Adobe CTO: Apple trying to wall off the Web; Jobs as railroad baron?

Adobe CTO: Apple trying to wall off the Web; Jobs as railroad baron?

Summary: Adobe's CTO argues that Apple is like a railroad company in the 1800s trying to wall off a key commerce route---mobile apps. The solution: Adobe is focusing on Android and everything that's not Apple controlled.

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Adobe Systems CTO Kevin Lynch isn't mincing words about Apple. At the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco, Lynch compared Apple to the deployment of railroads in the 1800s and moves to restrict compatibility.

Lynch's volley, which occurred during a brief stage appearance, indicates that the rhetoric between the two companies is increasing. Lynch's talk comes as antitrust regulators are reportedly pondering an antitrust review of Apple. Adobe reportedly has requested the review since Apple won't use Adobe's Flash on the iPad or iPhone.

Also: Apple vs. Adobe on antitrust: Should regulators dictate what's in an SDK? The debate

Meanwhile, changes to Apple's iPhone SDK precludes developers from using Flash. Lynch said that it's not Apple's role to tell developers what to make. In a nutshell, Apple is trying to wall off the Web, said Lynch.

Here are the comments directly from Lynch:

Apple's response to Lynch is all in CEO Steve Jobs' Thoughts on Flash missive.

As I noted Tuesday, it's unclear whether Apple can be forced to alter its SDK in a way that would allow Flash. The debate may be decided by the Feds at some point. In the meantime, we can all just enjoy the verbal jousting.

Topics: Security, Apple, Browser, Enterprise Software, IT Employment

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59 comments
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  • To me...

    it sounds almost like Adobe is whining. Don't get me wrong i really really really(can go on for a long time) dislike Apple, but I still think it sounds like Adobe is just whining.

    Apple does suck though with their tightly controlled lock down on who and what can be developed for their products. If you don't meet the status quo you must go.
    tbensen@...
    • RE: Adobe CTO: Apple trying to wall off the Web; Jobs as railroad baron?

      @tbensen@... I wonder how many other people think this way re Adobe and whining. I'm kind of leaning that way perception wise too. The more Adobe yaps the more it sounds whiny. Shut up, make your Android bet and kick Apple's tail may be a better course.
      Larry Dignan
      • RE: Adobe CTO: Apple trying to wall off the Web; Jobs as railroad baron?

        @Larry Dignan Exactly. If Adobe [i]really[/i] wants to shut Steve up, then they should ship a 10.1 player, soon, that works well, is fast, and doesn't kill battery life. Real artists ship!
        matthew_maurice
    • "tightly controlled lock down"

      "Apple does suck though with their tightly controlled lock down on who and what can be developed for their products. If you don't meet the status quo you must go."

      Other companies have equally tight control over their products, eg Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft for their consoles. Do you believe these companies suck also? If not, why not?
      The Star King
    • RE: Adobe CTO: Apple trying to wall off the Web; Jobs as railroad baron?

      @tbensen@... All depends on whose ox is getting gored. Not long ago the exact same comments were about Microsoft by the same type people.

      some of us drive a little better car (parts are not interchangeable), better homes, because it's what WE want, and eat different food and choose different clothes ... all of that has, in the past, been considered the American way.

      Start young (maybe poor), application and effort resulted in economic security that enables choice.

      The idealogues of today want it all with no effort and sneer at those who succeed.
      781lc
  • RE: Adobe CTO: Apple trying to wall off the Web; Jobs as railroad baron?

    @Info-Dave

    We'll see what the future holds.
    HypnoToad72
    • Getting to the future will be exciting

      @HypnoToad72

      The Steve Jobs vision of the future has no Flash. And it seems Google has buddied up with Adobe with the hopes of differentiating Android to being the smartphone that runs Flash. Android 2.2 and Flash 10.1 will be a defining moment it what the future holds.

      It's interesting because both Apple and Google have been instrumental in promoting HTML5. The web (metaphorically) gets tangled here. Down the road it won't matter. If Flash dies, we move on. If Flash makes it, Adobe will have done much of the work Steve Jobs has been insinuating Adobe has dropped the ball on. I'll be curious how Flash is redesigned to handle multi-touch and the lack of a mouse hover feature.
      Info-Dave
  • RE: Adobe CTO: Apple trying to wall off the Web; Jobs as railroad baron?

    @Info-Dave There is nothing "open" about preventing cross-platform development. HTML5 won't matter if applications within that framework are required to be developed in code native to specific platforms using tools exclusive to specific platforms. The issue transcends Flash.
    Lester Young
    • RE: Adobe CTO: Apple trying to wall off the Web; Jobs as railroad baron?

      @Lester Young Are you kidding? Where were you when this whole computing thing got started .. in your crib?
      781lc
    • You're confused

      @Lester Young - you and CyberGuerilla are confusing HTML5, Flash and the web with Cocoa, Xcode and the iPhone SDK. Apple is very open on the web but has created a walled garden regarding its own apps. Flash is just as closed as the iPhone SDK. It's just that Flash runs on multiple platforms.

      You are right that the issue transcends Flash. It is much bigger than Apple and Adobe. It has also been blown way out of proportion.
      Info-Dave
    • RE: RE: Adobe CTO: Apple trying to wall off the Web; Jobs as railroad baron?

      @Lester Young <br><br>Wow. Nothing you say reads true. HTML5 IS cross-platform. PERIOD. It's why they call these things "web standards". When developing Native applications, NOTHING is promised to you. Each OS can set their own rules. Windows required developers to use its proprietrary Direct X instead of OpenGL... which hurt Mac development. Big deal. If Apple wants to say, "You must create binaries using our approved toolchain" and these standard languages which we have APIs for, then you do it... if you want to develop for iPhone. This may limit iPhone development, but its Apple's vision of a platform that doesn't get progressively crappier. Android... in my opinion, is REALLY struggling with crappy apps right now. With Flash, non-standard development, I think its gets crappier.
      cleverboy
  • RE: Adobe CTO: Apple trying to wall off the Web; Jobs as railroad baron?

    If Apple is truly sincere in promoting open Web and HTML5, why do we have Cocoa?
    CyberGuerilla
    • RE: Adobe CTO: Apple trying to wall off the Web; Jobs as railroad baron?

      @CyberGuerilla

      Because Cocoa has nothing to do with the web and everything to do with app development for OS X.
      Axsimulate
    • RE: Adobe CTO: Apple trying to wall off the Web; Jobs as railroad baron?

      @CyberGuerilla
      Apple started out with a phone that ONLY ran web apps, and made mobile Safari so powerful its started a revolution amongst all of its contemporaries around the Webkit engine. There's EVERY reason to encourage people away from Flash at this point. It took someone to stop the train and let accessibility back on.
      cleverboy
  • RE: Adobe CTO: Apple trying to wall off the Web; Jobs as railroad baron?

    @Info-Dave ,
    I'm no Apple "fan-boy" and own a Windows 6.5 phone, Flash-Lite doesn't cut it on there either. And I agree completely with Jobs on this issue. (And wondering why the DOJ isn't looking at Adobe's practices.)
    Mr. Tinker
  • RE: Apple is not trying to wall off the web

    @Info-Dave

    Exactly! How is Apple walling off the web if it is pushing open standards that benefit everyone and Adobe is pushing for it's proprietary standards that benefit, well...Adobe?
    Axsimulate
    • Proprietary softward being pushed

      like h.264?
      Michael Alan Goff
    • RE: Adobe CTO: Apple trying to wall off the Web; Jobs as railroad baron?

      @goff256 "Proprietary softward [sic] being pushed like h.264?"
      Flash would LOVE to be in the same position h.264 is in. There is a logical reason for it... hardware acceleration footprint being a huge one. Adobe is racing to get Flash support amongst chip manufacturers, and an ARM VP recently called it "heavy lifting" and noted that Flash performance problems have delayed tablet offerings in 2010. Meanwhile, all of Apple's iPhone's and iPod touch devices have had H.264 hardware acceleration built in.

      If Adobe open sourced its player, and gave any vendor the opportunity to implement Flash however they liked (as well as choosing what parts to support), Flash would be much similar to H.264. --But, that's not what we have here, is it?
      cleverboy
    • Open Source....

      Quote: If Adobe open sourced its player, and gave any vendor the opportunity to implement Flash however they liked (as well as choosing what parts to support), Flash would be much similar to H.264. --But, that's not what we have here, is it?

      Who told you there was anything open about H.264? It's proprietary and royalty-enriched. Why do you think Mozilla and Opera are going for the REAL OSS variant (Ogg Theora).

      Flash 10.1 will have acceleration, iirc.
      Michael Alan Goff
    • RE: RE: Adobe CTO: Apple trying to wall off the Web; Jobs as railroad baron?

      @goff256 <br><br>So... Flash "will have" acceleration? Who are we waiting for? Ah, yes... we're waiting on Adobe, because they're the ONLY ones who can release Flash Player and authorize any changes to Flash's specification. Why would I think H.264 was a more open standard when clearly having bottlenecks like Adobe, who... again... according to ARM's VP of marketing, Ian Andrew, is behind delays to launch new Flash equiped browsers... is MUCH better for the web.<br><br>Why should Apple delay their product launches for Adobe? Answer: They shouldn't. Apple isn't doing anything but giving real, shipping, non-vaporware products to the marketplace and helping the American economy in the bargain.<br><br>Ogg Theora. When is hardware acceleration coming to Ogg? Who is providing it? I missed what you were saying about that while you were specifically addressing my comment. Oh, wait... you didn't address my comment at all. Be careful about simply being driven so hard by ideology that you fail to understand how to participate in a conversation about practicality and real-world efficacy. I have nothing against Ogg Theora, but personally I'm more interested in Google's plans for On2's codec.
      cleverboy