back to article iPad pitch to the Wall Street Journal laid bare

Steve Jobs took the iPad to the Wall Street Journal to explain why the paper should drop Adobe's Flash, to a cool reception. The details of Mr. Jobs' presentation to staff at the Journal were revealed by ValleyWag. They included his dismissal of Adobe's Flash technology along with the arguments about why the Journal should drop …

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Coat

BBC holds the key

If Apple are unfriendly to the Been muscling into the commercial newspapers territory with iPhone apps, I'm sure Murdoch would be more willing to tow the line with Apple.

Mines the one with the black helicopter keys in the left pocket.

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FAIL

I'm sure Flash works in IE 6 with a plugin

and there's more IE 6 installs than iPads in company offices. I don't see enterprises "simply" moving from IE 6, to a browser that supports HTML5, regardless of how flakey IE 6 really is.

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What are you talking about?

Plug ins? IE 6? Company Offices? What on earth has this to do with the WSJ dropping flash?

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Jobs Horns

Format conversion tool

So, what the world needs is some kind of Flash to HTML5 converter tool?

Is Apple going to provide one, seeing as it's "trivial"?

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Go

Flash to HTML5

Don't laugh, but someone has done precisely that. A Flash SWF interpreter written in 100% standards compliant Javascript and HTML, called Gordon. Quite amazing really if you think about it.

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Silver badge

Funny

Apple also has a history of creating the obsolete ports it walks away from. ADB anyone? At least their latest usb connector has balls! Don't believe me, here's the first and last bits of the abstract to US patent 7641498.

"A Universal Serial Bus socket-equipped arrangement (USB-SEA) configured for mating with a Universal Serial Bus (USB) plug having a plug metal housing and an aperture disposed in the plug metal housing... The spring-loaded mechanism represents one of a spring-loaded ball and a spring-loaded pin."

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ADB

Apple Desktop Bus was a terrific way of hooking up keyboards, mice, tablets, midi keyboards etc back in the early days. Way ahead of the game.

It was however, purely Apple... not licensable to any other computer maker and thats why it probably died eventually.

USB was an Intel development and believe it or not Apple was the first company to adopt it.

I think you will find that there are no other proprietary ports on Apple computers since the introduction of the first iMacs.

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Reception

Sounds like anything but a "cool reception".

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Anonymous Coward

"don't miss floppy drives"

Obviously, you don't spend much time mixing up computer parts in an attempt to make functioning machines.

I miss floppy drives! At least, I would if I didn't have a box full of the things under my desk...

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Bronze badge

Assuming You Actually Have A Need For Them

There are USB floppy drive devices. Searching for "floppy drive usb" will give you a nice list.

I've had to use one for clients who have ten-year-old or more equipment.

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WTF?

re: "don't miss floppy drives"

What? Why are you putting floppies in machines that you're building today? Even scrounging parts to make Frankenboxen, a lot of people stopped putting floppies in things 5+ years ago.

These days, you're better off putting a cheap (and my goodness, they *are* cheap) dual layer DVD rewriter in, and blanking off any floppy-sized holes. Blank CDs bought in cake packs are insanely cheap- much more so than floppies, and a lot more reliable. Moreover, USB flash drives cover a multitude of sins- and for those BIOSsen which don't boot from USB keys, the optical drive will do the job (if you need to update a BIOS or something).

Without wishing to be unkind, the year 2000 called, and giggled.

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Jobs Horns

Flash video re-coding...

... to what - Quicktime absolutely stinks. As buggy and resource hungry as Flash!

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HTML5

To H.264 of course. Heard of a little thing called HTML5?

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...to H.264

Duh. Which isn't limited to Quicktime. Although Quicktime isn't anywhere near as buggy or resource hungry as Flash...doesn't crash, doesn't use half as much CPU.

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FAIL

@Steve John

Come back to us when you've had Quicktime crash your browser.

(or when Flash allows you to convert movies from one format to another)

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"As buggy and resource hungry as Flash!"

Buggy? Are you sure about that? Cant think of when its crashed on me.

If I monitor my CPU load when running flash content each processor runs at 75% load. Battery life nosedives. Fans kick in within seconds of playing a flash encoded movie.

Quicktime? 15% per processor.

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bye bye, firewire

Apple's trying real hard to drop firewire. Good thing its most loyal customer base has so many of those darned overpriced peripherals that use it.

I'd fax this to The Reg., but my mac doesn't have a modem built in . . .

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IT Angle

Fax?

Fax? Jeez... get with the program. Not hear of email?

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Jobs Horns

Poor Adobe

Surely this has got to be getting right up the people at Adobe's nose?

Maybe its even a case for sueing them, definmation? sladner? I don't know, but going around telling people that some one else product is garbage is a bit out of order.

But then, its apple. They don't like to give any one any choice. Suprised they don't have a 'web protal' and thats the only site you can see with their browser.... after all, surely there is no need to view the hole web, apple.com must be enougth.

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Anonymous Coward

Out of order?

Don't you think Jobs has a good reason for being bitter so why not call a spade a spade? It is very true that Adobe's product is complete garbage, and especially so on the Mac. It is also very true that Adobe have been effectively ignoring the Mac platform for the past decade. It is only now that Adobe are faced with obsolescence for one of their key products that they are suddenly pretending to give a fuck about proper support for any of Apple's OSes. Quite rightly, Jobs is telling them to shove it where the sun don't shine and good riddance too. As another poster mentions below, along with Microsoft, Adobe have become one of the worst operated tech companies of the past twenty years.

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Anonymous Coward

re: Poor Adobe

In a lot of countries, truth is a valid defense to defamation. Try using the poor neglected Linux flash plugin sometime.

Doesn't crash the machine or browser... but falls over itself a hell of a lot.

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FAIL

You cannot...

be put on trail for telling the truth - Flash is crap, always has been and always will be

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Anonymous Coward

What a failtard...

"Surely this has got to be getting right up the people at Adobe's nose?" I'd imagine that it is. Fuck 'em if the truth hurts. They know what they need to do.

"Maybe its even a case for sueing them, definmation? sladner?" Seriously, how old are you? Defamation (PLEASE! Get a dictionary or use a browser that has inline spell checking) IS slander! For something to be slanderous the statement has to be proven to be false (i.e. a lie) beyond all reasonable doubt. That's simply not possible because Flash IS buggy and full of holes. FACT. So pointing this out when asked why you aren't supporting it as a company is wholly reasonable and not at all illegal! Lacking class, maybe, but legally fine...

"I don't know, but going around telling people that some one else product is garbage is a bit out of order." Not really! They all do it!

"But then, its apple. They don't like to give any one any choice. Suprised they don't have a 'web protal' and thats the only site you can see with their browser.... after all, surely there is no need to view the hole web, apple.com must be enougth." I won't even bother commenting on that assault on my language, suffice to say that you are talking out of your arse!

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Poor Adobe?

If people bothered to find out what Jobs has actually said about Flash and Adobe I am sure they would agree with him.

Jobs is a man that admires well designed hardware and software no matter where it comes from. He is on record at being upset with Adobe for having such great potential with flash as a product but then putting so little effort into developing it or polishing its code so it runs efficiently... especially on mobile devices.

He is no less critical of the developers that have worked for him... One of my favourite quotes from him was after a programmer showed him a new version of a product he was working on that did not have a great user interface:

"You baked a really great cake... too bad you used dog shit for icing".

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Developers are disposable?

Instead of converting your in-house Flash development staff to Javascript, you toss 'em in the dumpster and buy new ones?

never mind familiarity with the company culture, they only need to know one thing: it's mean?

America is a mean place.

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Gold badge

Corporatism in general is mean.

Employees are expected to be 100% loyal to the company that employs them. In return you receive the smallest paycheque and most minimal benefits the company feels it can get away with. All the while under the constant threat of being downsized/rightsized/laid off/outsourced/asked to take a wage cut to keep your job/etc.

We are all totally disposable. The only thing that isn’t is short term revenues.

Heil the cult of the quarterly bonus!

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Anonymous Coward

Ditto

Yeah, what he/she/it said. Alas, it seems that right-wing Europe is taking over the shitty traits of the USA.

Politicians & managers - the second(*) against the wall when the revolution comes.

(*) Points for knowing who the first are.

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Joke

Third surely?

First lawyers, second accountants (after they've counted all the dead lawyers)

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Jobs Halo

Adobe is legacy everything

They haven't moved past 32-bit Carbon, nor are they actively developing for anything other than x86 stuff for Flash. It's long past time for Flash, pox on the interwebs that it is, to be officially deprecated. A good portion of my time these days is spent keeping up with Adobe-related security bugs, many of them stemming from the fact that they won't update their development model. How's that 64-bit Linux port, comin', guys? It's only been "alpha" for what, eighteen months now?

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FAIL

64 bit Windows

Flash isn't even available for 64 bit Windows - how long is it taking - 2 years so far...

They are selling Adobe Photoshop Elements and Premier Elements - even the latest versions are not supported on any 64 bit Windows platform.

Jobs said Adobe are Lazy. I think he's making a truthful statement (as opposed to when he said, with the original iPhone, that 3G would not be viable because of decreased battery life).

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Actually...

…CS5 moves several apps to Cocoa to get 64 bits. They would have done that sooner hadn't Apple produced and then cancelled Carbon 64.

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FAIL

@AC

@AC regarding flash not being available for 64-bit windows. That is completely incorrect. Flash works perfectly fine on 64-bit windows, just not 64-bit browsers. Good thing pretty much all the popular browsers now are 32-bit.

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3G iPhone

Sorry to pull you up on this but what he actually said was that at the time of the first iPhone the 3G chips available were too power hungry - which was true.

Sure enough, when more power efficient chips became available they launched the iPhone 3G

Somehow including this in your post seems irrelevant.

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Jobs Halo

I'm with Apple on this...

...because Adobe, from 2000 onwards, has turned into one of the worst companies in computing history.

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WTF?

CD's?

Seriously?

AFAIK the drives in Mac's still play / record CD's to this day. iTunes can certainly import CD's.

Unless the Mac drives are DVD only. In which case that's even more sucky for a so called 'SuperDrive' that can't even do HD yet.

Sure, there may not be a dedicated CD drive, but I thought that was only because their DVD drives could handle them perfectly fine.

Perhaps Steve would care to explain exactly how Apple has ditched CD's?

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Welcome

@CD's?

> Perhaps Steve would care to explain exactly how Apple has ditched CD's?

Apple introduced the iPod, which helped move music consumers from CD players to MP3 players. At least I guess that's what he meant.

Alternatively: The Mac tiny-laptop-whose-name-i-forget doesn't have a CD drive, you use WiFi, a USB key, or an external CD drive. But that one's not exactly mainstream.

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FAIL

CD's what?

CD's what?

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Die FLASH! Die!

I wish Steve Jobs the best of luck.

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Grenade

RIP Flash

It wouldn't take much to re-train from Flash to JavaScript y'know: AS3 isn't that different. It's just like JavaScript with classes.

I wouldn't miss Flash if it died tomorrow - I loved coding for it, but these days I can do so much more with jQuery and JavaScript and never worry about plugins!

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Stop

USB-SEA patent.

The USB-SEA patent mentioned in an earlier post suggests Apple want to make a USB port with a software-eject mechanism.

Their floppy disk drives used to have a motorized eject mechanism too, so that users couldn't eject the disk themselves: they had to ask the OS to do it for them. This eliminated the whole, "WTF? Where's the floppy disk I was just writing this very important data to?" class of error caused by users ejecting the disk while it was still in use.

A software-ejectable USB port makes sense for similar reasons. I've lost count of the number of times I've seen people forget to manually eject their USB pendrives from a computer before pulling it out of the port. This was a fundamental design error. (Memory card readers have the same problem. The same mistakes have been endlessly repeated. Frankly, it's a miracle optical drives have a software-controlled eject system as standard.)

Apple's control-freakery is a necessity. If the f*cking IT industry's endless bloody committees, coalitions and associations would bother to put end users *first* when designing new standards, Apple wouldn't have to waste so much money fixing their stupid, stupid mistakes.

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Thumb Down

USB-SEA is typical Apple invention

@Sean.

USB-SEA sounds like typical Apple invention, a good idea as long as you accept the limitations it brings.

If self extraction would be mandatory we would not have cheap passive USB hubs. Also I have my PC in very hard to get location and I have printer and other cables connected to back of the PC.

It would really suck to eject my printer or USB hub cable by mistake when I want to eject USB stick from the front.

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Most users...?

"I've lost count of the number of times I've seen people forget to manually eject their USB pendrives from a computer before pulling it out of the port."

Most users don't "forget" to do it -- they didn't know in the first place!

So design error one is making it possible.

Design error two is that the OS doesn't pop up a great big flashing error every single time you do it, but gives you a small non-descript dialogue box or balloon, and includes a little checkbox saying "don't show this error again".

Unplugging a device without stopping it first risks data loss, so the user shouldn't be able to ignore it....

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Silver badge

As for Flash vs. HTML5...

...the sooner the former dies, the better. If it takes Apple to get the ball rolling on this, so be it. It might also bring about a speedier wave of browser upgrades among end users. Nobody should be using IE6 today.

(Hell, nobody should have been using it two years ago.)

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98%

of net connected computers run flash what percentage of those are going to be disenfranchised if they move to html5 just so it will run on the ipad?

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FAIL

RE: 98%

Umm, none because HTML5.0 is going to work everywhere and won't be reliant on buggy bloated crap.

The worst thing that will happen to them is that they'll have to download some software... after that things will work smoothly for a change!

...and what the FCK has the iPad got to do with the move to HTML5? Have you been sleeping in class?

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FAIL

pay attention

Assuming, for the moment, that the 98% figure is correct... the answer to your question is 'zero'... if the browser is capable of using HTML5. That list includes Chrome, Safari, Opera, Firefox, and... MSIE 8. (Though that last one has only limited HTML5 abilities. Allegedly MSIE 9 will do better.) Anyone who has a modern browser can access HTML5 sites without a problem. And, most important, they _DON'T HAVE TO USE A BUGGY, MEMORY AND CPU HOGGING, SCUM-SUCKING, ABORTION OF A PLUG-IN TO DO IT_.

Anyone who has WinXP can update to MSIE 8 for free... except for those poor slobs who work for luddites who require MSIE 6. Mickeysoft all but begs users to please, please, PLEASE drop MSIE 6 and at least go to 7, and if you're at MSIE 7, to consider going to 8. They've been trying for _years_ to get people to move on.

If you don't want to move on, then that's your problem. If you're working for luddites, then what are you doing cruising the Web on a company machine looking for video, anyway?

Get real, twit.

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Flash is banned because it's an emulator

Jobs is wrong that Flash and HTML are redundant, there is no viable means to replace all (or even most) applications of flash with HTML. HTML and Javascript, as is, are inadequate and he knows this.

On the other hand, the same line of argument could have been applied correctly between Flash and Java (the JRE applet kind). The two are redundant (although conversion would still be far from trivial).

That neither of these are available is revealing of apple's actual motivations, java is known to have a good security track record, so why isn't it available?. It seems that the banning of emulators (which flash qualifies) has everything to do with preventing customers from installing anything sufficiently powerful to compete with revenue generating applications purchased from the iStore.

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Boffin

@Lou Gosselin

Stay after class and write out ten times on the blackboard "Flash is banned because it's shit, buggy, bloated and can crash your browser"

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Gold badge

Javascript interfaces

Have you not heard of jQuery?

There's all manner of nice plugins for all kinds of UI stuff. In fact it makes cross browser javascript easy, makes styling pages easier and reduces the amount of code in your pages.

I agree with Steve, Flash video was a stop gap hack and the time has come for a more open standards approach.

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There is a way to put Flash apps on iPhone

Even if Adobe fixed the badness of Flash, Apple is never going to allow a third party runtime to dynamically load and execute code of unknown provenance on iPad/iPhone. With 24/7 net connectivity and lowest common denominator users, this platform needs to be highly secure, and so far they've succeeded. Apple's Javascript in Safari is the only way to get you code onto this platform without submitting it through the App store.

That's why you'll have to translate your Flash solution into a Cocoa application (with Adobe's tools) and submit it to the App store if you ever want to see it on iPhone/iPad. You'll get the benefit of the only properly functioning marketplace for mobile app developers.

H264 is the obvious alternative to Flash for video, not Quicktime. That's what Youtube, Vimeo and Hulu are implementing. Try enabling youtube.com/html5 and see how nice the videos can be.

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