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back to article Apple building its own Flash, says rogue Tweeter

As Steve Jobs goes out of his way to badmouth Adobe Flash and keep it off both the iPhone and the iPad, Apple is developing its own Flash alternative. Citing tweets from a developer who viewed a demo of the technology, AppleInsider reports that Steve Jobs and company are developing a standards-based framework for building rich …

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Aggh, no. I dont want a title.

"Apple’s mobile devices all ship with high performance, low power implementations of these open standards"

LOL! (Hey, Im a fanboi)

"It would be easy to applaud Jobs for backing opening standards, but this is part of a larger agenda. He's also intent of preventing developers from using a technology like Flash to build native applications for the iPhone and iPad."

Ok, so correct me if Im wrong, but aren't Adobe building a separate application to do this, nothing to do with Flash?

"He doesn't want the devices running cross-platform applications that also [sic] on hardware he didn't build. He wants iPhone developers using Apple development tools - and nothing else."

No, he wants people to code in objective-C, which the platform requires. I really don't see why this is an issue? Learn it, or don't write for it. It's not that big of a deal. I (personally) hate Java, so I would never code in it, I don't get all shouty about Android!

"Jobs has even go so far as to throw FUD at open source codecs, claiming that unspecified people are putting together a patent pool to "go after" Ogg"

To be fair, without any evidence to the contrary, you are just as bad! He said, she said. Im not saying that it is or isnt bollocks, but Im guessing that the Great Apple Pip has more heads up than your average hack.

*sigh*

[One Apple developer that has let his 'licence' (dammit FF) pass. Not going back]

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Anonymous Coward

Apple shills - AGAIN

El Reg - PLEASE do something about all the shills roaming your boards. It's making reading any comments relating to, particularly Apple, intolerable. I think we're all getting mighty sick of it.

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WTF?

What?

are you on about?

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Yes, I agree

Please don't allow anyone who doesn't agree with raidet's opinions to post from now on. Ideally, just get his opinion on every story and post that alone.

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Android & Java

Benny, Java is the glue for android but you are not forced to write all your app with it. The NDK exists for people to compile and build native code in any way they see fit. The NDK contains a C/C++ compiler which could be used to build other compilers or tools. Even dynamic languages could be ported.

So someone could port or write a game predominantly in C++ and OpenGL and only use Java as glue to plug it into the Android world - lightweight classes for activity & layout, that kind of thing.

As for Apple's fanfare for open standards. What complete bollocks. Something can be standards based and completely proprietary at the same time. A simple example of that would be Apple's container format that they use to DRM video and audio content. Apple appear to have the same embrace and extend attitude that Microsoft have. Of course Microsoft doesn't have an army of apologists to excuse their behaviour.

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@Benny: just go back and renew your ADC sub...

...because with this very shallow understanding obviously no other platform will ever work for you as a developer.

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Grenade

I'm also a fanboi...

I'm aware that you're a troll, or a shill, or whatever. But I'm going to write a reasoned response anyway, because it will help people to understand what Apple is doing, and why.

Steve wants people to write only for his platform, and for his platform to be a walled garden that it is difficult for the end user to migrate away from.

Introducing the 'no cross-compilation' condition into the developer agreement allows Apple to prevent Flash application getting into the iTunes store. It also allows Apple to threaten any developer who writes a really good application for (say) Android and then writes a native Objective-C version which looks and feels the same. They just claim it's cross-compiled. Not originating on the iPhone.

This might sound far fetched, but without a differentiator, all mobile devices are commodities. If the key apps you need are available on iPhone and Android (and Windows 7 Mobile and RIM and PalmOS) and data is in the cloud or quickly transferrable via desktop synchronisation tools then users can switch platform quickly when it is expedient for them to do so. This is not good news for Apple (this is also why PCs have got cheaper and cheaper, they all do the same thing, the only difference is price).

If Apple can obstruct low-cost development of cross-platform applications (job done there, thank you very much) then software houses may decide to focus on fewer platforms. If I develop a top-notch Android application and then write an iPhone version from scratch that looks and feels the same, it would be in Apple's interest to ban the iPhone version. Even if I wrote a successful iPhone application and then ported it to Android, the same still applies. Even in the event that both versions of the application get published in their respective stores, Apple has still achieved a partial victory because their customer's migration options are limited.

I've almost reached the point at which I am going to give up my iPhone altogether, and use my Nexus One full time. The Nexus has flaws (related to Google's ways of doing business) but those flaws can be fixed with third party software - software that Apple would never dream of allowing. Not to mention the highly successful Cyanogen(mod) 'Android on steroids'. If I get the next iPhone on contract at all, it will only be to re-sell it almost immediately to somebody who wants one on PAYG.

You can prize my Macs from my cold, dead hands though.

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Jobs Halo

Puzzle piece

If Uncle Steve is so worried about people developing content for other devices, why would he support open standards like JavaScript at all? Wouldn't this mean that the same content would work on Android phones (with WebKit browsers)?

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@Gulfie

"Steve wants people to write only for his platform, and for his platform to be a walled garden that it is difficult for the end user to migrate away from."

Because C, C++ and Java aren't available on any other platforms?

"It also allows Apple to threaten any developer who writes a really good application for (say) Android and then writes a native Objective-C version which looks and feels the same. They just claim it's cross-compiled. Not originating on the iPhone."

...and then the developer shows them the source code...

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Seems as if Apple are into being a Paradise Island Model of Sustainable Self Support *

"and the Concierge service that takes reservations for its in-store "Genius Bars" and Personal Shopping program."

Do they have a SMART Service Searching for Driver Core Source to Deliver Stealth and Cloud Protection to Expensive and Expansive Executive Exotic Applications?

In other words do they have a HyperRadioProActive Headhunter Project in House for All to Follow and/or Copy whilst Apple Core Heads Run/Rule/Reign/Register Results with Beta Virtual Media and IT Control for Programming Simply Complex Command aka Sublime Heard Lead with Programmable Neuro-Linguistic Strings which listen for Thoughts ...... and then Invite Live Comments on the State of your Understanding of Lead with Programmable Neuro-Linguistic Strings, and where IT does Lead to.

* for Rapid Travel in AI R&dDs ...... when you can grow your own ingredients, is the cake always as you bake it, and present it too.

You realise of course that the Internet is a Big Screen and Great Game Monitor for the Present State of Human Progress, which is certainly Chaotic and Dysfunctional and Inequitable, and IT Servers and Hosts Future Program Details and Media Projects in Live Operational Virtual Environments for the Assumptive Playing and Claiming of any Role from Lead Actor to Vital Extra. And Very Sophisticated it is too.

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Jobs Horns

I can't wait to run Gianduia apps on Android

Apple will support non-iPhone platforms, right?

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According to the article, yes

Since it's built on HTML5, CSS and JavaScript. And 'yes' implicitly, since the mechanism Apple use to support HTML5 and CSS is WebKit, which is also the mechanism used by Android. I think they differ in Javascript implementations, but only so that each week one or the other can claim the new fastest Javascript engine ever.

In the past where Apple has created a proprietary extension to the DOM, such as the canvas element which was originally implemented for Dashboard widgets, they've fully documented it and it has quickly spread into the other non-Microsoft browsers. And even into the HTML5 spec in that case.

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g e
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Oh yes

More than likely they'll just install it without asking in an itunes update.

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WTF?

RE: I can't wait to run Gianduia apps on Android

"Apple will support non-iPhone platforms, right?"

You mean like OSX?

Or maybe you're imagining that Safari on Windows won't be supported?

Since it's all open standards, I'm guessing it'll be available on many more platforms than the heap of crashy, buggy crap from Adobe.

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@g e

Last I looked, iTunes wasn't a web browser...

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Bah

The sensible thing to do would have been to put more manpower behind the Gnash project. Even if they don't like the Flash IDE or ActionScript, they could have built their own tools and language around it the format.

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sssssh!

We don't talk about Gnash. (For some reason.)

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WTF?

Is that what you take away from this?

So, how is this a Flash killer? If it's just for mobile devices that don't run Flash, it's hardly a killer.

Once again, tech is a zero-sum game. One thing doesn't have to kill another to be successful; the sooner blogs and news outlets like this one understand this, the sooner we'll get less comments wars and the pageview count can go down to a … oh. Right.

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Because it will be multitouch aware

I'm sure if Adobe were creating flash from scratch they would do things differently.

The whole reason flash is so bad is because it is so common. Abobe can't throw it all away and start again due to compatibility and all the time people have spent learning all the script language.

If they did they wouldn't bother with much of what it has. It largely grew out of Macromedia's director, multimedia presentations for CDROMs.

Apple will ensure that this alternative is good for mobile devices with input devices other than keyboard and mouse. Multitouch will be possible.

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It's HTML+CSS+Javascript

and should work with most recent browsers, so if you don't insist on IE6 to IE7 you should be fine.

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Giles

Flash's problems are several fold but I think two stand out to me.

Firstly, it's a victim of its own success. Most commercial websites will employ 1, 2 or possibly more flash ads / movies at the same time. Many users even have multiple tabs open so there may be 4, 5, 6 etc. instances of Flash all screaming for attention. This is obviously computationally expensive and if a site brings a computer to its knees, people bitch about Flash when any plugin (or the equivalent HTML5) would suffer under similar circumstances. Made worse is the fact that some browsers do not even provide enough info for Flash to know if its plugins are visible or not so it can't even throttle painting even when it would slash CPU consumption.

Secondly, some operating systems are more suited for plugins (including Flash) than others. On Windows for example, most plugins are windowed so they can paint any way and any time they see fit and it's easy enough to use hardware acceleration where they see fit. By contrast OS X is terrible for plugins and it's not hard to see why from reading articles like this - http://www.kaourantin.net/2010/02/core-animation.html. Most of the time Flash is actually waiting for the browser to paint it because there are no such thing as windowed plugins on the Mac. It's just too bad people like Steve Jobs are mouthing off that its Adobe's fault when there is plenty of blame to spread around. To be fair to Apple it seems that for all the noise of their leadership, they are providing assistance to resolve the issue and that Core Animation might provide the relief that some people are screaming for.

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RE: Because it will be multitouch aware

"The whole reason flash is so bad is because it is so common"

..and here I was thinking it was because it was a CPU hog and crashed a lot!

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Gates Halo

H.264 patent pool

"Like Microsoft, Apple is one of the patent licensors behind the H.264 codec, which means the company gets money when it's used."

Certainly in Microsoft's case this a disingenuous statement - they have previously stated:

"Microsoft receives back from MPEG-LA less than half the amount for the patent rights that it contributes because there are many other companies that provide the licensed functionality..."

Source: http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2010/05/03/follow-up-on-html5-video-in-ie9.aspx

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Anonymous Coward

Yes it's true...

...MS never lies. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm waiting on the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny for a tea party.

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Alien

Idiots deserve Apple

More proprietary shit from Skeletor's labs.

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Erm....

Did you not see the multithreading technology Apple developed and then gave away to the wider world?

Did you not see the improvements they did to KHTML and gave the changes back?

If you want "proprietary shit" then Microsoft is number 1.

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Proprietary

Apple, Microsoft, what's the difference any more? They're each as bad as the other nowadays.

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RE: Idiots deserve Apple

Idiots who didn't read the part of the article about it being open standards deserve to be taken outside and kicked between the legs.

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EWI
Dead Vulture

Reg FAIL

So, the "own Flash" is just Javascript (and presumably HTML5? Better Reg tech writers, please.

As to this:

"Plus, his commitment to open standards goes only so far. For web video, Apple uses the patented H.264 codec, not the open and license-free Ogg Theora. Jobs has even go so far as to throw FUD at open source codecs, claiming that unspecified people are putting together a patent pool to "go after" Ogg.

Like Microsoft, Apple is one of the patent licensors behind the H.264 codec, which means the company gets money when it's used"

It's a certainty that some tosser - and likely more than one - will sue on Ogg implementations (as soon as there are some in popular use, that is!). Patent trolling is a profitable business. And given that Microsoft have already stated that they pay more into MPEG LA for the rights to use H.264 than they get back, it can be surmised that Apple are in the same boat.

Still, +1 for not being a shill-piece on politics or the environment, which is a nice change these days.

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Giandiua fever?

There's no evidence that Giandiua either targets Flash replacement, or is even intended for release. And to say the patent pool assembled against theora is FUD is to say Steve Jobs is lying, which I seriously doubt. Obviously H264 is safer for Apple.

Apple nearly lost everything to Microsoft with Mac, and then only survived with the monopolist's permission. It took Microsoft twelve years from Mac launch to overwhelm Mac. That's the timescale Apple is thinking about when defending its mobile platform. 12 years from launch takes us to 2019.

Despite the whingeing Reg readers, Apple's business model is explicitly designed to coexist with others while resisting the development of a new monopolist. The "high prices", and the standards compliance ought to give competitors plenty of space to work. But they just want to copy and crush.

Adobe have been incompetent with mobile Flash. They don't even have a product. It's 18 months late, and I bet it will be an as-yet undisclosed extra year before it's solid (late 2011), and Adobe management knows it. The iPhone cross-builder toolkit was their intended bridging product to carry Flash into the mobile space meanwhile. No surprise Apple's not having it, and no surprise Adobe see a bleak future when mobile Flash may now have nothing to offer before half a billion ARM smart mobile devices have shipped. Allowing Flash cross builds for iPhone would be giving iPhone/iPad competitors a ready made App ecosystem at launch, for no cost.

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Why would you

doubt that Steve Jobs was lying? Is he somehow more honest than other CEOs?

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Ohh, special for the special Jobsian framework

Open standards? Then why has Apple had to design this off in their own private woodshed?

So now, I guess I see why <srike>Apple</strike> Jobs has been holding the mobile Apple platforms back from realizing the Flash side of the modern internet framework. Jobs wants Apple to make their own special little bifurcation on the RIA concept? It sounds like a hater's response to Flash. I wonder how it'll fly, outside of Apple Happy Fun Land?

Anonymous - don't hate the playah, h8 the game.

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RE: Ohh, special for the special Jobsian framework

"Jobs wants Apple to make their own special little bifurcation on the RIA concept? It sounds like a hater's response to Flash. I wonder how it'll fly, outside of Apple Happy Fun Land?"

Since it's going to be an open standard, it'll probably fly very well indeed.

It probably won't crash and burn as often as Flash either, I'll wager.

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Anonymous Coward

Who cares?

And the point of an overblown javascript "MVC" framework on a phone is what exactly, so mobile browsing can be even slower?

I'm sure there were these box things with big, unfashionably readable screens attached that people used to use for I.T related tasks? Com-something I think. Com.. puters? Is that it?

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Jobs Horns

Time repeating itself.

Are we really going to have to go through the same old shit we went through last decade with Microsoft, but this time with Apple?

Bollocks.

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RE: Time repeating itself.

Except MS never had open standards. The closest they came was "Embrace, extend extinguish."

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Title

Apple knows whats best for all of us. When Apple speaks, the world listens. When Apple decides what's best for us, we must never question them. When Apple wants money, we must give them all of our money.

Umm, yeah sure.

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I'm gonna build my own Flash

...with blackjack and hookers

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Re: Build your own

I will be happy to implement the multi-touch aware portions. Just need a few test beds. ;)

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Jobs Horns

@Because it will be multitouch aware

The latest Flash Players are already multi-touch aware - just because Jobs says Flash isn't doesn't make it so.

Just one more reason why Jobs is going to look even more of a mug when Flash runs sweet as a nut on the competition phones, as indeed it does already on the Nokia N900.

I'm not a fan of Flash per se, just a fan of giving consumers what they want, hence the icon.

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RE: @Because it will be multitouch aware

"I'm not a fan of Flash per se, just a fan of giving consumers what they want, hence the icon."

I'm a consumer and I *REALLY* don't want Flash. It has crashed my browser numerous times and seems to eat up CPU cycles.

So what's your point?

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Jobs Halo

iFlash

I'm sure Steve could live with an iAd-serving wrapper for running Flash apps. He might even make a version for non-Apple platforms.

Of course, following the iTunes model, the Windows version would have to be much slower - maybe almost as slow as Adobe's version, but less crash-prone.

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Gianduia

Sounds like a sexual disease.

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Jobs Horns

Adobe's likely comeback

I would be totally amazed if Adobe aren't working on a version of Flash that generates HTML5 and Javascript code as its output. I suspect to begin with the HTML5 target will be an optional output mode, with SWF files being the default, but as HTML5 based browsers proliferate I could easily see the HTML5 mode becoming the default.

This then gives developers with Flash experience the ability to quickly create HTML5 apps, giving them the convenience of Flash without the worry of Jobs deciding not to run their apps. A "backwards-compatible" SWF file to serve to older browsers with the Flash plugin could also be generated.

Apple might be trying to outflank Adobe with its own Flash-like tool, but I suspect Adobe's legion of Flash developers will stick with what they know, and the ability to still create SWF files for older browsers will be compelling.

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Jobs Halo

Interesting idea but...

Given the fact that Adobe didn't write Flash in the first place (remember Macromedia?) and that they have a difficult time making substantial changes to even their flagship products, I doubt they will do anything so radical... and intelligent.

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WTF?

RE: Adobe's likely comeback

"I would be totally amazed if Adobe aren't working on a version of Flash that generates HTML5 and Javascript code as its output. I suspect to begin with the HTML5 target will be an optional output mode, with SWF files being the default, but as HTML5 based browsers proliferate I could easily see the HTML5 mode becoming the default."

You mean that they would deliberately shoot themselves in the foot and replace Flash with HTML5?

It's not like they've never shot themselves in the foot before - I've used Flash, so I have sampled the Adobe "experience" and it wasn't good. I've now set up my browser to block Flash by default...

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Flash Killer?

Straw man: Flash Killer.

Reality: Yet another web development framework with some HTML, CSS & JavaScript. Completely proprietary and closed to all (except those lucky enough to be equipped to view source, copy and paste).

Frameworks we got already. Successful Flashicide depends on having easy to use dev. tools. If Apple build this into iWeb to make a consumer-friendly HTML 5 tool, they might have a winner.

If they don't - well, I'd rather use jQuery anyway.

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WTF?

RE: Flash Killer?

"Yet another web development framework with some HTML, CSS & JavaScript. Completely proprietary and closed to all (except those lucky enough to be equipped to view source, copy and paste)."

The article says:

"Rather than use Flash, Apple has adopted HTML5, CSS and JavaScript – all open standards,"

Last I looked, Javascript, HTML and CSS could all be viewed (or at least saved to the desktop) using the browser itself...

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What does "open" mean?

"Plus, his commitment to open standards goes only so far. For web video, Apple uses the patented H.264 codec, not the open and license-free Ogg Theora."

For my money, H.264 is open and patent-encumbered but licensed non-discriminatorily, while Ogg is open and not* patent-encumbered. Depends what you mean by "open". H264 has no vendor lock-in, for instance, and the specs are freely available.

* i.e. they have a page where you can declare patent interest in Ogg, and no-one has declared, which obviously means no 3rd-party patents cover their technology, hence their offer of free indemnity against lawsuits *cough*

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Ahahahahaha, the turtlenecked freak at his 'hypocrisy-at-its-best' moment - what lying lowlife!

Seriously: I really don't like Adobe and its bugfest,. shitty world but Apple, more closely the turtlenecked cancerous freak a.k.a. The Great Leader is really-really DISGUSTING.

Jobs' letter was FULL OF CRAP, flat-out LIES and now this...?

Cannot wait to see how his paid shills like Walt "Slimeball" Mossberg et all will explain this...

...what bunch of crooked scumbags.l

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