I have some remarks on Steve Jobs’s “Thoughts on Flash”.
- “Adobe claims that we are a closed system, and that Flash is open, but in fact the opposite is true.”. I agree with Steve: Flash is pretty closed. However, the iP(hone/od/ad) isn’t open either.
- H.264, which Jobs touts as a great modern replacement of flash, is patented. You have to pay whatever the MPEG LA fancies you to pay for use of the standard. This is not really different from the control of Adobe over Flash.
- iPhone OS is closed. You need to buy yourself into the iPhone Development Program. Again Apple can shut the program down whenever they like, which is not really different from the control of Adobe over Flash development.
- Safari is an intermediate layer and creates sub-standard apps. Jobs claims that third-party intermediate layers result in sub-standard apps. Jobs argues that an intermediate layer will keep developers from platform enhancements, won’t result in targeted great apps and won’t put apps directly on the shoulder of the platform. If he is thinking about Safari, he is right: web-apps for the iPhone just don’t feel great, can’t use all the platform enhancements and don’t result in great targeted apps.