According to game designer, developer and university professor, Ian Bogost, the brouhaha about Flash and Apple's mobile platforms reveals some disturbing trends in the computer development business
In his blog, Bogost says that there are plenty of programming languages and IDEs but that developers aren't concerned about this "computational literacy."
He said Georgia Tech's Computational Media curriculum committee is considering creating a history of programming languages course that would look at the evolution of a number of different languages and environments.
In addition, this course might focus on how to learn new languages and environments, Bogost suggested. He said that this skill and process isn't obvious to today's students.
Finally, he decried the search for uniformity and the transfer of one set of computing assumptions from one platform to another:
The computational ecosystem is burgeoning. We have more platforms today than ever before, from mobile devices to microcomputers to game consoles to specialized embedded systems.
Yet, a prevailing attitude about making computational creativity longs for uniformity: game engines that target multiple platforms to produce the same plain-vanilla experience, authoring tools that export to every popular device at the lowest common denominator; and, of course, the tyranny of the web, where everything that once worked well on a particular platform is remade to work poorly everywhere.
Now that there have been demonstrations of Flash running on Google's Android platform, developers and users can make a choice: Flash runtime for content and the Flash platform for applications and development. If developers want to address the iPhone market they can do it with Xcode tools.
One interesting feature of iPad and iPhone development are the ways that programmers are exploring new ways to present information and a user interface. Apple's apps and those of third-party developers don't have a common windowing system, standard interface elements and toolbars. Perhaps some of that will come with the arrival of iPhone OS 4. But for now, while there is a set of Apple iPad user interface guidelines
, each app is its own computing world offering strong personal expression of the developer.