I’ve stumbled upon an imbroglio: Apple hates Flash.
I had no idea until Stanford got me an iPhone and said “Develop scholarly digital media for mobile devices!” and I said, “Yeah, sure–John Milton’s Paradise Lost: Mobile Edition!”
And then I found out that the iPhone doesn’t support Flash, and that Steve Jobs thinks Flash is awful because it makes Safari crash and that the only way to get your Flash app working on an iPhone or iPad is to use some packager from Adobe that isn’t even out yet.
Way to go, Nintendo. Seriously, now that Apple has locked in a revenue stream by controlling the applications that run on their proprietary mobile environment, they’re happy to lock out the greatest tool for rich internet applications because they, claim, it’s not open. It’s two issues, really: Apple wants to break the chokehold Flash Video has on the net, and I don’t give a hoot about that, but I do care about issue two: Apple wants to control the “software processes” that run on its little closed-core world, and that sounds like it puts Apple on the wrong side of 1984. The amazing genesis of Web 2.0 came about because of platform-independent application environments, not because of Quicktime. Closing down the fun little platform that Apple has created means someone like me, who already knows a perfectly usable platform independent language for writing code, has to go and buy the Nintendo SDK (or whatever it’s called for the iEnvironment) and submit any application for review by the Standards Board so that it can appear in the official company store, even if it’s free.
Don’t get me wrong, I love svg and HTML5, and maybe in two or three years that’ll provide a competitor to Flash, but the idea that Apple is going to close itself off because HTML5 will be here someday doesn’t ring true. They might as well say they’re not implementing Flash because the iPhone is waiting for the Semantic Web.