Steve Jobs hates Adobe Flash: iPhone 4.0 SDK lockdown smackdown

Ouch. Looks like writing apps in Flash is verboten, according to the latest iPhone OS 4.0 SDK legal language. CS5 and other cross-compilers could be dead in the water. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers uncover more proof that Steve Jobs hates Adobe.

By Richi Jennings. April 9, 2010.


He's back: your humble blogwatcher selected these bloggy morsels for your enjoyment. Not to mention Michelle Obama's biggest fear...     Cade Metz has met the enemy, and it's Adobe, apparently:

Apple's new SDK for the iPhone ... will likely prevent ... Adobe's upcoming Flash ... development suite from converting Flash scripts into native Jesus Phone apps. ... Apple's iPhone SDK has always said that "applications may only use Documented APIs." ... But Steve Jobs and company have now tacked on a few additional sentences.


It would appear that Steve Jobs has landed another blow against ... Adobe. ... Steve Jobs has already barred untranslated Flash from the iPhone and the iPad, calling it "buggy," littered with security holes, and a "CPU hog."

John Gruber is widely credited with breaking the news:

My reading of this new language is that cross-compilers ... are prohibited. This also bans apps compiled using MonoTouch. ... The folks at Appcelerator realize ... that they might be out of bounds with Titanium. Ansca’s Corona SDK ... strikes me as out of bounds.


The language in the agreement doesn’t leave much wiggle room for Flash. ... Wonder what Adobe does now? ... They’re pretty much royally ****ed..

Hank Williams calls it an "insane restraint of trade":

3.3.1 not only bans cross platform tools, it bans everything that is written in other languages and are ported to C. This, obviously, includes libraries. ... [It's] an insidious concept and strikes at the core of product development and of computer science in general. Everything is built on other stuff. ... This language is fundamentally unreasonable.


Some may say my interpretation is too pedantic. But the point is that in order for Apple to limit people in the way that they want to ... they are inflicting collateral damage. ... There is a reasonable risk that not only is 3.3.1 restraint of trade, but that the entire ... App Store concept ... is found to be restraint of trade. ... Adobe, and/or class action lawyers start your engines!

But Tom Chamberlain wants us to better understand Apple:

A lot of developers are livid about this. ... [But] understanding Apple means coming to terms with a philosophy that is opposed to what most technology people believe. ... When Steve Jobs came back to Apple ... his first steps were to throw out nearly everything and replace it with what he’d built at NeXT.... Apple does things Steve’s way and if you want to develop for Apple you have to follow suit.


I’m not saying I agree with Apple.  I, like most tech people, like open solutions. But I understand the value of an alternative vision and that’s what Apple holds. ... I have to grudgingly admit I love my iPhone ... and the reason is largely that Apple created it with their unique vision.

And Reginald Braithwaite urges caution:

Getting away from the frenzied rhetoric, my opinion is that what Apple really wants to prevent is people releasing multi-platform compilers. ... If I can build one app and the compiler can make me an iPhone executable, an Android executable, and so forth, Apple don't want that.

Boring! More "frenzied rhetoric" please. Rob Beschizza obliges:

The prospect of this is enormously frustrating. It feels like we're being told not to 'port' stuff to the iPhone without ... writing it again from scratch. ... It's easy to see why people whose creative endeavor is development  will remain unimpressed ... by adhesive contracts.

So what's your take?
Get involved: leave a comment.

And finally...

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him as @richi on Twitter, or richij on FriendFeed, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon