Who's Right in the Debate Over Flash?

Poll choices
Posted 9 years.

32 Comments

  • Dave M. - 9 years ago

    I'm convinced the market will decide this debate, not technology companies. HTML will ultimately win for most of the reasons that Apple articulated -- particularly device independence and open standards compliance.

    In the same manner that many homes still have VHS players, Flash will continue to have a home as companies figure out how to develop to the new platform and leave Flash behind.

  • flashopen - 9 years ago

    As a Web/Flash Developer for the last 10 years, I do know that HTML5 is not fully opposed to Flash Player.
    Actually, I've seen applications, using geo-location for example, where the combination of both was successfully used and where the user experience was beautifully enriched.
    Apps in HTML5 alone are in 2010 what Flash apps were in 2000!
    HTML5 is a good thing, but it has a long way to go, really.
    HTML5 it is in nowadays most used with video and it sees Apple as its best sponsor.
    I wish HTML5 could have came in peace and not attached to 'Flash-hate' and to Apple's new business models!
    My vote is obvious and, looking at the polls, I can see that so it was for many as well.

  • someperson - 9 years ago

    @Philip:
    I might not have liked your first post, but I agree with your second post.

  • Philip - 9 years ago

    @ Chris Pratt:

    If some people are so worried about their battery life, no one's putting them at gun point to endlessly view flash content, etc. until they inevitably drain out their battery. That's a very weak argument. Shouldn't the consumers decide if they want to be able to view Flash content on their iDevices or not, and not Apple? THIS is proof of Apple's deathgrip on their products. They decide for the users because they think they always know better. Stupid, stupid argument. I actually think Steve Jobs is really just making excuses. Also, "Apple is not trying to bring Adobe down"? Yeah, and I just found out that pigs do fly. If Apple wasn't trying to bring Adobe down, WHY would they claim that Flash is "in the past"? Why would they call Adobe "lazy" for fixing the compatibility of Flash in Macs (in my book, the host should always be the one to adjust. Mac is the host, ergo Apple should be the one who should do the compatibility fixing, not Adobe. Right now, Mac is an inhospitable environment for Flash, that's why Macs crash). Apple is pointing fingers, and it's obvious. Steve Jobs is one immature sob.

  • Philip - 9 years ago

    Apple is right, obviously. Just check out this video on YouTube showing someone having an amazing web experience on his iPad! Some games, 3D animations, a video, etc. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfmbZkqORX4

  • someperson - 9 years ago

    @who ever gives a sh*t: OK, well i'm scrolling through the applications, oh what's that... half of them either don't work or are a waste of time. What does this mean??? Oh yes, some apple iphone developers (if that's what you call them) are churning out sh*t as a filler for the 50,000+ apps on the app store.
    I agree with "Cricket"' 's opinion that there should be something that will accept anything the customer wants but this would very likely cost something so ridiculous there would be no point in making/selling it. Oh well, at least there's hope?

  • Robert - 9 years ago

    Flash is one of the best things that happend to the internet, without flash the web wouldnt be what it is today.

  • Giri - 9 years ago

    I love Flash!

  • Chris Pratt - 9 years ago

    I'm growing increasingly tired of the "Apple's just a big bully" argument. Apple doesn't care about Adobe. They're not trying to bring Adobe down; they don't even need to: Adobe's handling that all on their own. As Jobs has explained numerous times, Apple doesn't allow flash on their iDevices because doing so would negatively affect performance, battery life and ultimately customer satisfaction.

    It would be entirely different if Apple was a sole holdout on the whole mobile Flash thing, and it performed flawlessly and beautifully on ever other mobile device. HOWEVER, the reality is that Flash to this day is not running successfully on ANY mobile device. Even if Jobs came out tomorrow and said, "Fine. I give up. Adobe, you win. We'll put Flash on our devices," guess what? Adobe wouldn't have anything to offer up. The whole issue is a moot point, anyways.

  • Daniel - 9 years ago

    @someperson: No, Jobs has all the developers he needs. Cross platform tools enables the developers he already has to deploy their applications to other devices, thus reducing the "unique factor" of the iPhone. When you go to the store to decide between a Droid and an iPhone, you account for the fact that many applications are exclusive to a particular phone, with the iPhone having the lions share. If this unique factor were eliminated, the iPhone would have less to compete with, will slip on market share, and more developers will begin to lose their focus on the platform (the iPhone is only lucrative and only has a high developer base because the potential customer base is HUGE).

  • Daniel - 9 years ago

    The problem with this whole debacle is we have the pot calling the kettle black. Yes, flash is a closed platform. Yes, I would love to see it disappear from the web. HOWEVER, this should not come at the expense of my freedom.

    Jobs would say to us "use free standards" yet refuses to support any video codecs other than H.264 in all incarnations of its Safari browser. Does the fact that H.264 is only semi-royalty free until 2016? Does not one person remember the GIF patent debacle and endless lawsuits?

    Jobs would say to me "flash is proprietary and one shouldn't use it" yet as of the newly written section 3.3.1 of the Apple developer agreement, I am told that I am only allowed to use C or Objective-C and their official APIs to develop within his walled garden. What if I dislike Objective-C for producing unreadable syntax and wish to use MonoTouch to develop my applications in .NET? Or Python?

    Apple tells me "cross platform tools always suck as they don't conform to the host device" yet refuses to conform their Windows ports of Safari and iTunes to Windows HIG standards. If reflecting a native experience was so paramount to Apple, why would they let this slip through?

    Adobe is not my savior. Adobe makes good tools. Without their engineering effort behind Photoshop, my day-to-day job duties would be that much harder. But that's all they are to me, a provider of a few tools. Their tools are not the end-all-be-all of my existence.

    Apple is not my messiah. Apple makes good computers, upon which I type this response. But that's all they are, is a good computer manufacturer. They do not hold the keys to what is best in development, they are not the gods of perfect programming.

    Neither company deserves our endless devotion nor our scorn. Apple has done more than any company to introduce innovation to the smart phone market, but trash whatever good will they had by acting even worse than Microsoft ever did. Adobe/Macromedia produced a viable rich-media experience for the web in Flash when the browser vendors were too busy trying to lock in their market share to actually innovate, but lost it all when they attempted to stall the W3C from implementing the Canvas and HTML5 standards.

  • Cricket - 9 years ago

    First, there's nothing to say that one *must* eliminate the other. HTML5 has it's uses and so does flash. Yes, they have a good bit of overlap; but there are still things that they both offer that can't be covered by the other AT THE SAME LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE. Folks, development and technology is about solving problems. Given the problem, you chose the best tool. In some cases--on some platforms--that may be HTML5 and other cases that may be Flash. No one is fussing about Silverlight or Unity3D? Why is Flash the only plugin getting blitzed here? Yes, Adobe needs to boost general performace of the flash plugin on Mac and Linux. In some cases, Apple has directly impeded their progress on that front. Google's playing nice with Adobe and now Flash is going to be fully integrated into Chrome.

    really, though, wat gets my gaot is that companies, not just Apple, seem to think that it's okay to simply bully folksinto doing everything their way. Apple simply want to control their ecosystem. That's all this is really about. I don't blame them; but I don't appreciate them using "standards" and "openess" when they themselves don't encourage alternate methods of development and general computing. Last time I checked, Quicktime is a plug-in and it's not open source.

    I read this article this morning and it really made me look at Applea little more soberly. http://jessewarden.com/2010/04/steve-jobs-on-flash-correcting-the-lies.html

    Adobe's products are geared to serve a different set of needs than what in the narrow scope of Apple's world. There are other devices out there than Apple's and Adobe wants to enable developers to make things tat work in more than one place. I do agree that there's an issue with having a 3rd party layer that doesn't update enough; but let's be fair, just because a new feature is added doesn't mean that we need to run out and use it everywhere. Have you ever seen a PowerPoint presentation that had every bell and whistle that it possible in it? Not good. One can let the market decide. Adobe listens to their users. Flex and it's open source status is proof of that. It'll get there. More apps that meet the needs of the users on iPhone is a good thing. Period. Don't fault Abode for not using Cocoa when Apple themselves STILL don't use Cocoa for I-tunes (one of their most coveted gate-keeping/trademark apps. And don't force anyone to develop with only your tools. You don't tell a experienced carpenter what kind of hammer to use when he's building you a free coffee table to put in your house.

    A lot of what Jobs said is true; but a lot is simply unfair. I'm sick of PR and marketing spin in my devices and my internet. Just sell me the gizmo and let me do what I want with it, with my OS, and my programs. Don't make me have to through your approved channels (App Store, I-Tunes, etc).

    This whole debate and state of computing today is just tiring. Can someone stop this BS and make a good device and let the user decide what to do with it (we are supposed to pay for it, after all)?

  • Bruno - 9 years ago

    Steve Jobs has good arguments, especially when he speaks about hadware decoding. Nevertheless, Flash is still very present on the web, and by preventing people to access this content on his devices he does in fact prevent them from accessing the Full content of the Web. His talk about Flash being closed technology is highly hypocrit, as no compagny is as closed and proprietary as Apple.

    As for html5, we're all eager to see it become a standard on the Web, but in fact we're still very far from there. It's not even fully supported by all modern browsers. Jobs has a point when he says Adobe didn't prove to this day their technology had a place on mobiles. Not it's Adobe's job to prove it. As to the rest of the Web, Adobe will have to prove that Flash still has its place there in the future.

  • Brad - 9 years ago

    HTML5 is the future, its what we need to help standardize the web. Even IE9 will support it!

  • Thomas - 9 years ago

    Apple is shitty for not having flash. Flash is the future of the web.

  • someperson - 9 years ago

    Apple is money lover, as is Adobe. All businesses love money more than their customers. I have worked with Flash since it belonged to Macromedia with MX and those times were great times. I must say that Flash games are what will definitely keep Flash going, not video or website (even though those are used). As far as I know, you cannot make games in HTML 5 and even if you put the effort to make one with javascript, it is never as good as a Flash game.
    What I find most important in recent times is the release of Flash CS5. I couldn't care less if HTML 5 ended up being used to make websites more than Flash because that's already the case with HTML 4, it would just be more significant. In Flash CS5, there is a new piece of kit which allows a developer to compile their flash game/app into a native Iphone app. As a flash developer, this is of great interest to me. However, recently Apple have given Adobe the boot with their latest SDK update with Iphone OS 4.0 which prevents the compiled Adobe Flash apps to work on any Iphone OS 4.0 or be uploaded to the Apple Store for download.

    Many developers find it irritating that the idiots at Apple make it a compulsory requirement for developers to have Macs with the SDK and strong knowledge in Objective-C. I'm sure that if Steve Jobs and co wasn't so stubborn and permitted flash compiled apps for download on the app store then there would be a huge increase in developers for the Iphone.

  • Krazzypraveen - 9 years ago

    No way, Flash can't be the future. It works for now bcz no alternative yet. Flash ruins the harddrive.
    It needs instalation, speed cnctn, bla bla...
    Steve job does a grate Job, he is uniq. I am with you Dude.
    Think Global, Not Local...

  • stanislas duprey - 9 years ago

    Give a kid the choice between chocolate milk and white milk, he would often choose the chocolate milk, although white milk is much healthier for him. Give a designer the choice between the creative freedom of flash or html5 that needs to be learnd cause it is new and different, the designer would often choose flash, although it is not always the best choice for the user. the user should be in the center of this debate. And although it is not directly in the center of whatsteve job said, I think he has stronger arguments than any reply from adobe. A bit on the edge of the the "don't be evil" policy. But it'a apple, not google

  • Matt - 9 years ago

    Apple didn't kill flash, Adobe killed Macromedia.

  • Dale - 9 years ago

    Flash can do amazing things in much faster time for the designers. Truth is flash has a need.

  • mike/ - 9 years ago

    too often, no more than 'too', Flash hijacks a page downloading because of one stupid ad that I don't even want to see! it will take forever!

    I use the programs that allow me to turn Flash on when I want to in my browsers; everything works much better...

  • BigMac - 9 years ago

    Logic dictates - to me - that having both technologies subsist side by side, with one achieving dominance over time through a process of updating and "natural selection" has many more arguments in its favor than "imposed selection" by one, or even an oligopoly of vested commercial interests.

    I also am concerned that a multitude of EXCELLENT Flash based Websites which I (and I'm guessing many many many others as well) use all the time - small operations with meager financial resources - will be unable to make the change to HTML 5 quickly enough to survive this push from a few GIANT commercial interests (e.g. Apple) to lock out Flash.

    If this imposed selection proves successful, I foresee that - for some time going into the future - the Web's content and diversity will be the poorer for it.

  • Lance - 9 years ago

    As a User Experience designer I have seen the evolution of Flash since it's first inception. It has some useful applications when used sparingly however, there has been too much emphasis on using it for complete websites. It can be useful when used for an application platform to serve a captive and persistent audience through Flex or AIR, but when over used as a vehicle for the general public it is an unsatisfactory user experience.

    Flash will be around for a very long time, but it would behoove any application designer, for the sake of longevity, to phase HTML5 techniques into their repertoire.

  • Xavier Gillon - 9 years ago

    One thing that I know about technology is that it always changes. As a Mac user for nearly 30 years I am surprised that Apple would do this to Adobe, exspecially when it was Adobe's cross platform applications that help keep Apple alive. Apple complains about waiting for Adobe to address Apple's needs but what about how long it took for Apple to address the needs of it's original customers the Education market. I think given time Adobe will catch up just like Apple did. One thing that concerns me is Apple's products' COST. As the head of Information Systems & Technology for a school district, i am finding that the lower cost found in the PC world is more appealing to the Superintendent and District leaders. Seems as though Apple is pricing themselves out of k-12 education. I'd rather hear Steve talk about cost of the products and opening Apple's product line to other wireless carriers.

  • Hans Groeneweg - 9 years ago

    @Wasantha

    DreamWeaver and Flash were applications of Macromedia. Adobe both it en fucked it up. DreamWeaver was a very nice tool and look what Adobe did with it. To bad.
    Sure the original apps Adobe makes are nice.

    Flash however, runs bad on OSX. I notice that regulary and it's very disturbing. Adobe could adress the problem but refused to do so. Apple gave them so much time and now it's up to Apple to call the shots. No pitty for Adobe.

    Once, Flash was the future of the web but, come on, times are changing. There were times the steamengine was the future. How many steamengines do you see nowadays?

    The new future of the (mobile)web is HTML5.

  • Jason Olsson-Seeto - 9 years ago

    Wasantha, Macromedia developed Flash and Dreamweaver - not Adobe. They got those when they bought out Macromedia... yes Adobe has done some good things (I use Adobe CS *EVERY*day), but we're talking about what's best moving forward, not backwards. HTML5 is far more stable.

  • hecresper - 9 years ago

    If you think about it, had Adobe decided to create a Flash version for the iPhone, the device would not have had a stable/usable version for a very long time. It was bad enough having to wait for AT&T to get their act together about MMS and the iPhone. Adobe had their chance, they blew it, and Apple moved on. Had Apple waited for Adobe to get their act together on Flash for the iPhone, the app store would've probably been half the size of what it is right now. I'm basing that on the fact that Mac OS X has been out for so long, and many years later, Adobe finally releases a version of their creative suite that works with OS X. I believe the same thing happened with Microsoft and their Office suite for Mac OS X. All that said: I hate that AT&T charges so much to people that use the iPhone. I wish they'd come up with a lesser price Internet usage package for iPhone/smartphone users.

  • Jason - 9 years ago

    Both technologies will coexist. What I can't stand is I the fact that someone can dictate which technologies I'm allowed to use and where. From the perspective of a long time mac lover, the only thing this "debate" has done is make me reconsider my buying options. Hopefully, we as consumers won't be consumed by this media frenzy and blindly choose between two great technologies.

  • PileDriver69 - 9 years ago

    A multi-touch interface has no equivalent to a mouse hover

  • corundum240 - 9 years ago

    I agree with Wasantha..... and I love flash.

  • Wasantha - 9 years ago

    Why can't the two technologies coexist? Why is Apple trying to kill off Flash completely? About six to seven years back everyone embraced Flash to be the future of the web and now this! Isn't Adobe the company that has given us such good software as Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver to name a few and by doing so they are contributed a lot to the current state of the web and web technologies. Therefore I am always with you Adobe and my vote is for you!

  • john Abreu - 9 years ago

    a day or so ago, steve Jobs commented on the whole thing. and in many ways, he's right. the iPhone/iPod/iPad has more games than anything, flash uses rollovers, and it's not open. HTML 5 is probably more stable, less prone to instability (thank you w3c), and from my point of view, probably more accessible than flash was! I mmean, htmls 1, 2, 3, and 4 have dominated the web because that is the standard. flash was just a layer over these formats. why would you need flash if html5 can accomplish the same thing?

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