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Can open source make Apple deal with Adobe?

Assuming the OSP meets its technical goals, Apple would then face a choice between accepting a standard every other phone maker accepts, and letting Adobe's nose under the tent, or defying the rest of the market.

Having failed to come to an agreement on licensing its Flash technology for the iPhone, Adobe has joined Apple rival Nokia in a $10 million fund aimed at forcing the issue.

Publicly, Adobe is saying its problems with Apple are all technical. But if the Open Screen Project, which is managing the fund, delivers on its promise, doesn't that work become redundant?

Assuming the OSP meets its technical goals, Apple would then face a choice between accepting a standard every other phone maker accepts, and letting Adobe's nose under the tent, or defying the rest of the market.

This is what negotiators call a power play, and what others might call a desperate gamble. Cupertino cannot be amused at what San Jose is doing here.

My question is how open source advocates should feel.

  • On the one hand you have a project backed by multiple corporations aimed at providing a universal mobile video technology.
  • On the other hand you have open source being used as a card in a game, one that might easily be ruffed or tossed if an agreement is reached over our heads.

I'm inclined toward optimism myself. Who cares why people offer you money, so long as they offer it. Would the work be abandoned if Apple let in Flash tomorrow? Doubtful, because Nokia and the other phone makers still need a bridge to the iPhone, and this is the best idea they have.

Those who have commented so far over at the boss's shop seem inclined to diss Flash as a compute hog. That $10 million won't be going to waste.

But what do you folks here at Open Source feel?