I’m not one to defend Adobe – they make steaming piles of crap that make Windows Me look like a good piece of software – and I think their products deserve to fail, but Steve Jobs posted an open letter to Adobe today, full of ridiculous levels of hypocrisy, some wrong information, and a small amount of failing to understand the technology.
Let’s start with Apple’s bashing of Flash as not open, and that there’s no competing implementations. Sure, there’s no good competing implementations for general use (and that’s compared to Adobe’s own Flash Player,) but with the Open Screen Project, the specifications are open, with no restrictions on their use. And, there are a few competing implementations.
While we’re on the topic of Flash… Jobs said that H.264 is a more modern competitor to Flash, that can be hardware accelerated, and uses less power due to using such dedicated hardware. Here’s the thing… most Flash video nowadays is H.264, just in an FLV container. And, Adobe’s working on versions of Flash Player that will offload H.264 decoding, including for Mac OS (which just recently had the API to allow that exposed.)
But, here’s another thing. H.264 is actually closed! And, the MPEG LA is threatening to eventually sue even end users who run H.264 decoders that aren’t properly licensed. Now, H.264 is a good quality codec, but… why would Apple, who claims to care so much about openness, want to steer so many people towards H.264? Simple, Apple owns quite a few of the patents that H.264 uses, and therefore makes a large amount of money off of H.264 licensing.
As for the whole “cross-platform frameworks suck, because apps for them don’t take advantage of the platforms they’re on,” well, um, iTunes for Windows? Safari for Windows? QuickTime for Windows? All apps that dig their hooks into Windows deeply, but don’t use the services that Windows provides for them, instead using Apple’s own stuff on top of Windows, and not taking advantage of Windows.
Apple’s just as guilty, here.