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Adobe, Flash, and Desperation

February 4, 2010 10:50:29.361

First, after Apple's iPad announcement with no Flash, Adobe's Evangelist pulled out the pr0n card:

My friend Matt Drance, Apple's former iPhone evangelist, summed up what this means on Twitter:"Adobe has resorted to playing the porn card. It's over."

Following a link from there, John Gruber noted:

Flash evangelist Lee Brimelow made his little poster showing what a bunch of Flash-using web sites look like without Flash without actually looking to see how they render on MobileSafari. Ends up a bunch of them, including the porno site, already have iPhone-optimized versions with no blue boxes, and video that plays just fine as straight-up H.264. iPhone visitors to these sites have no idea they’re missing anything because, well, they’re not missing anything. For a few other of the sites Brimelow cited, like Disney and Spongebob Squarepants, there are dedicated native iPhone apps.

Finally, I came across this thoughtful piece on the problem, which explains that Adobe is actually stuck in C++ legacy-land, while Apple wants developers to work in Objective-C:

Can Adobe just port what they have into Objective-C or use Carbon. Unfortunately no, the Flash Player is written in C++ and going from C++ to Objective-C is not very practical. Objective-C is just another superset of C. It simply adds some OOP logic and a messaging and some of the syntax is similar to Smalltalk. You can compile any C program into Objective-C but that's not currently possible to do with a C++ program

Based on all of this, I've rethought my theory - I don't think Apple will need to reconsider Flash at all. I think Adobe is going to have to reconsider where they stand. Mind you, I've had it pointed out (via Rob Fahrni) that you can, in fact, compile C++ in an Objective-C environment. Based on his post, it still sounds like Adobe has a rather large mountain in front of it...

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posted by James Robertson

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