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While I'm fond of Apple products in general, I'm not a raving fanboy and I'm quite aware that the company has a long history of bizarre gaffes. And in this case, their boy Jobs is at it again. He's trying to "explain" why Apple has elected not to support Flash on their smaller devices. Instead of leaving it alone with the semi-plausible explanations of battery life, CPU usage, and performance, he decides to beat the "open standards" drum:

Adobe's Flash products are 100% proprietary. They are only available from Adobe, and Adobe has sole authority as to their future enhancement, pricing, etc. While Adobe's Flash products are widely available, this does not mean they are open, since they are controlled entirely by Adobe and available only from Adobe. By almost any definition, Flash is a closed system.

Note the emphasis here. He's referring to the products (software) that Adobe offers, not the actual definition and format of Flash data.

But perhaps I'm misinterpreting. Let's see what he thinks an open system is:

Though the operating system for the iPhone, iPod and iPad is proprietary, we strongly believe that all standards pertaining to the web should be open. Rather than use Flash, Apple has adopted HTML5, CSS and JavaScript – all open standards.

Did you catch the change in scope here? He's gone from complaining about a closed "system" to trumpeting open "standards". Two different animals. Most folks know I'm rabidly against closed, proprietary protocols, file formats, and the like. But, Flash isn't one of these! The Flash specification is open and documented. People and companies are free to implement their own Flash interpreters (and even generators, which are the payware parts).

It's almost as if Apple is attempting to conflate their iPad with "the web", a rather untenable position, as far as I'm concerned. I can understand why they'd want people to think that anything that doesn't work on an iPhone isn't really "the intarwebs", but if they persist in this sort of chicanery, Android is going to continue to eat their mobile market for lunch.

Apple, I can understand not wanting to support Flash, for whatever reason. And if you don't want to admit the real reason in public, that's fine with me (we all reserve the right to air our guesses, however). I know you'd take a drubbing if you publicly announced "we're not saying why" or if you did cop to an unpopular reason. But I'm calling you on this specious claim. It's nonsense, and I'm disappointed and vaguely insulted that you'd stoop to this kind of contradictory handwaving in a feeble attempt to avoid the real issue (whatever it is).

May 2017

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