Hey! Thanks for reading! Just a reminder that I wrote this some years ago, and may have much more complicated feelings about this topic than I did when I wrote it. Happy to elaborate, feel free to reach out to me! 😄
Still studying like a madman for Neuroscience, but took a few minutes to catch up on some news. First, a co-creator of Flash makes the best defense of Flash as a platform contra Steve Jobs I've seen, many echo my sentiments exactly. Some money quotes (emphasis mine):
I think Steve Jobs is willfully missing a key point with his arguments against Flash. The important reason to put Flash on the iPhone is that millions of developers have invested millions of hours building Flash content in Flash. The Flash content out there in the world is an asset of our society and the people who created it. People built it in Flash because there was no other decent technology from companies like Apple, Microsoft or Real Networks that enabled this kind of content to be created and delivered. To say that all this content should be discarded because Steve Jobs is afraid that people will build Flash content that runs on mobile devices running any operating system instead of building content that will only work on Apple mobile devices is doing a disservice to the efforts of all those individuals.
Personally, I think that Flash content will probably outlive iPhone and iPad apps because Flash is designed to deliver media content while the iPhone/iPad development tools are designed to build applications for a specific hardware platform that will be obsolete in 5 or 10 years.
On Apple's devices as a whole:
The iPhone/iPad model certainly has some of the appealing traits of the personal computer market but it also borrows heavily from the business models used by the cell phone, and cable industries. With my computer, I feel like I own it and can do what I want with it. With my iPhone and with an iPad, it’s more like you are leasing a device for a few years until the battery wears out and it’s time to buy the new one.
Apple aside: yes, I've read Designing with Web Standards, and absolutely believe in the future of a better Internet, one that is standards-based, with fewer applications relying on closed, commercial plugins.
But, if it's a challenge for me, a Computer Science concentrator at a top university, to use a programmatic technology that's only been available for a few years (HTML5) to make even a simple graphic react to the most basic inputs that will only work for some browsers... well, it's no surprise that a company filled in the void for rich content, and that designers flocked to it in droves.
Throw all this in with Apple, who have their own crummy record of openness, supporting developers, and economic interests and well... I'm not buying most of Jobs' arguments.
(Adobe isn't excused from this either, mind you: they are also driven primarily by profit motives, and Flash as a technology certainly has its flaws. Yes, they are guilty of not being perfect, but I think Apple is currently more guilty of willful, opaque obstruction, and do more harm to developers and ultimately end users).
The other major story was that Facebook and Zynga have entered a formal agreement. Facebook is a company I've been thinking a lot about these days. As a game developer, game player, and privacy/civil liberties enthusiast, Facebook and Zynga's recent turmoils have been a hot, hot topic for me.
(another great post is Diaspora's curse, on why the author believes (and I agree) that Diaspora is doomed to fail, unfortunately).
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