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back to article Adobe heats up iPad Flash bash

The Flash mob over at Adobe has escalated its attack on Apple for Cupertino's refusal to allow Flash on the iPad. If one picture is worth a thousand words, one Flasher has just launched a 12,000-word volley of derision. On TheFlashBlog, Adobe platform evangelist Lee Brimelow's web site for all things Flashy, you can now find his …

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FAIL

Uhhh.,.. monopoly?

Everyone whining about Apple's monopoly - what do you think Flash is?! If you're really in favour of open standards, get behind HTML5!

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Grenade

Good Riddance to Flash

So people are bemoaning the fact that the iPad is closed and proprietary because it doesn't support a closed and proprietary standard like Flash?

Oh the hypocrisy.

Flash sucks big time. If HTML5 and Apple's iPhone and iPad's lack of support for Flash help eliminate it from the web it will be a good thing. The iPad has many shortcomings but lack of Flash support isn't one of them. Even YouTube supports HTML5 H.264 now.

Say goodbye to Flash and let's group the Flash cheerleaders together with the Visual Basic apologizers and just ignore them.

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Flash back

Maybe having more devices that don't run flash is a *good* thing - it might slow down the excessive use of flash on websites.

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Bassackwards

If Apple markets this product in any semblance of the success they've seen with the iPod and iPhone, my guess is Adobe has good reason to run scared and blog about "the end of pr0n" on their site. With Google and Vimeo going to HTML5 for video and dissing Flash, 75M iPhone/iPod users dissing Flash, competition coming from Silverlight, web browsers supporting HTML5's canvas element or SVG, this could be yet another nail in Adobe's coffin. This could be a big, hard, meaty nail in Adobe's a... uh, coffin.

No wonder they're squealing.

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Doesn't bother me

I'll buy one either damn way. This is the future, boys and girls, and I'm getting in on the ground floor.

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flash sucks

Bringing flash to the ipad would only prolong flash's life which isn't a good thing imho. The sooner flash dies the better - it's a steaming pile of brown stuff for video delivery.

Bring on HTML5 - the same vid quality but without the wasted cpu cycles and reduced battery life which goes hand in hand with flash.

On the other hand if flash were to be properly open sourced and totally rewritten - then I'd be interested in having it on an ipad.

thingi

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Badgers

web without flash?

but where would we be without the likes of

http://www.pown.it/29

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Flame

Flash's Bad Ratio

The Ratio of Flash-based ridiculously annoying spam-vertisements versus things I actually want to see is about 4million to 1. So I still can't really see this as a blanket "bad thing" no matter what anyone says.

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concur

I agree - perhaps have it but leave it switched off by default?? save lots of annoying ad banners and preserve battery life, but it's still there if you want it.

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FAIL

It's

Lego, goddammit, not legos!

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Jobs Horns

Flash kills batteries dead

Although there is some political wrangling and corporate pissing-matches going on here, I think the lack of Flash on the iPhone and iPad is mostly due to the fact that Flash is so CPU-intensive, it kills battery life:

http://adobegripes.tumblr.com/post/231806385/adobe-gets-bitchy-over-the-iphone-and-flash-bit

http://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comments/a0cqa/fight_for_flash_on_the_iphone_gets_dirty/

"The [Flash] prototype allowed the iPhone to have less than half an hour of battery life using flash."

A version of Flash that uses the GPU might be easier on the battery, but that would require actual effort on Adobe's part.

Not that I have any need for an iPad at the moment (I had hoped for a full-fledged Tablet PC that could run OS X and Photoshop, but I'll just have to limp along with my XP tablet for a bit longer).

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Consumer choice!

But Apple isn't even giving their paying customers a choice!

If you want to run Flash and are prepared for the battery hit then that's your choice. If you don't want to use flash then block it. It is the choice other netbook and smartphone owners are free to make.

The battery life and other excuses are an example of our culture of spin. Apple doesn't want you to be able to run apps that have not been bought from their store. Simple as.

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FAIL

Noting to with "Consumer Choice"

It *is* to do with who the consumer will blame. Who is the consumer going to blame when the battery drains after just 15 minutes on a Flash based site? Adobe? Nope. Apple? Yes. Why bother adding something as insecure and buggy as Flash? If the code monkeys at Adobe can't even write a decent plugin for the OSX desktop platform, what hope is there for the idiots to write one that works safely and efficiently for the iPhone OS?

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Thumb Up

Let Apple squeeze their own customers

by not allowing Flash apps. Good thing for us is that it helps move Flash off the web. Bad thing for their customers, but I could care less: if you buy Apple products, then you vote with your money that you want to live in a jail (albeit a nice jail, but a jail nonetheless).

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Headmaster

Ahem

The phrase is "I couldn't care less". And don't argue. I'm right.

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Silver badge
Headmaster

I could care less

but it would take an amount of effort I'm not willing to expend.

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Welcome

@alphaman

Adobe have an opportunity to become "the" development platform for iPad/iPhone though with their up-coming Flash CS5. Building apps right inside Flash in native iPad/iPhone format sounds rather cool - AS3 is heck of a lot more forgiving than objective-c.... plus you wouldn't necessarily have to write any code at all yourself (looking at Flash Catalyst). Flash lends itself to the slick UIs we see on these devices.

IMO Flash is doomed as a browser plug-in, with the infinitely more flexible open tech like HTML5 and powerful frameworks like jQuery: Adobe need to find a new market, and perhaps this is the one. If they can get Flash to compile apps specifically for other platforms, like Android, or even (gasp) Windows Mobile, they could 'own' the cross-platform development field.

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@Shell

"Flash lends itself to the slick UIs we see on these devices."

No, Flash lends itself to two things:

1, porn

2, stupid animated dancing twaddle that you need to click on before you can access the rest of the site.

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Megaphone

Flex AS3 on iPhone/iPad: we do that

Hello @alphaman ...

> If they can get Flash to compile apps specifically for other platforms,

> like Android, or even (gasp) Windows Mobile,

> they could 'own' the cross-platform development field

it just happens that my company is precisely doing that ... you may want to have a look at :

http://developer.openplug.com/

Our ELIPS Studio 3 plugin allows to build native mobile applications for iPhone, Android, Symbian and WinMob right from your Flex / Actionscript3 code

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Anonymous Coward

Blue Lego?

Umm, do Lego(TM) know about this usage?

I sense a suin a comin

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Why Bash Apple Over This

Killing flash is a badwidth reducer. Who benefits from less data traffic? The already sluggish ATT 3G network.

Flash avoidance benefits ATT by allowing them to continue to operate bandwidth starved a little longer. Maybe a backroom deal to keep from totally dragging down the ATT 3g performance? ATT hadperformance issues with their DSL in the'90's until a class action suit by their business customers got them to increase their capacity. The timing was just a coincidence though.

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Anonymous Coward

...kind backwards that

Flash is a more bandwidth efficient medium - better compression, binary, optimised file format etc compared to same content created with straight html/css/script and images. Audio/Video doesn't make much difference either way - advantage of flash is persvasion and predictability.

Apple will have to backtrack sooner or later, Flash is certainly the quickest/easiest IDE to develop app store rivals in, but there's a ton of other options they can't ban, so the protectionism is pointless

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Alert

Flash is like Floppy Disks - it has to go

Flash is like Floppy Disks.

It is a dead technology.

HTML5, CSS Animation, H.264 video, and Javascript is the way to go for the future. And these are open standards.

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H.254 Is Neither Free Nor Open

It's impressive how so many people seem to assume that because they can downloads lots of MKVs in H.264 format that it is "open". It is not. It is a patent-encumbered MPEG-4 codec and the vendors of products which make use of H.264/AVC are expected to pay patent licensing royalties for the patented technology. If you are in a country that is benighted enough to assert software patents, you will owe money to the ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) together with the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG).

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FAIL

@James Katt

What you fail to realise is that none of those technologies are accessible or friendly to designers who are the majority of flash content creators. The tooling isn't going to catch up anytime soon either, and until 99% of people are using a capable browser (come on, 20% are still using IE6 for petes sake) the technology is as good as dead in the water as far as big content creators on the web are concerned.

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Anonymous Coward

sigh

First, it's h.264

It's plenty open enough- there are specs documents for what constitutes valid encoded material, a reference decoder and everything else, it's a standard. I can sit down and build tools to encode or decode it from scratch, from openly available docs, if I want (or I could just watch grass grow, obviously). What it isn't, is free- either as in beer or as in Nelson Mandela. There are MPEG LA stylee licensing feels to pay, and so forth.

Don't conflate the two.

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Flash off on many devices

Ever heard of flash killer plugins? On FF, flash killers are one of the most dowloaded plugins.

Speaking for myself, I have flash killers on every browser I use.

Content creators will use the tools that make them effective at reaching their market, and tool makers will create tools to fill content creator needs. That's generally how markets work, isn't it?

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Boffin

@Phil 33

What you fail to realise is that to the majority of web users, Flash is something you click past so that you can actually access the web site you want to read. That's all it's for.

(Oh, and the dancing animals that could easily have been gif anims, how could I forget those)

There was a time when some bright spark decided that computers didn't really need floppy disks any more. That manufacturer had the balls to decide that their next gen of computers would have no floppy disks. Now it's pretty hard to find a machine that has a floppy disk drive.

The difference? Floppy disk drives were more-or-less reliable, weren't buggy and you weren't tied in to just one company when you started using them...

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FAIL

@AC 10:23

The difference to me? Sites are still using Flash for content - pretty much all the TV catchup services use it, which is my main use of it. Until this changes, I would like the choice of whether or not I can use Flash on my device.

Floppy drives? You can get an external drive or swap an old drive to my new machine but in the main, you won't need to because they are mostly defunct and no-one will hand you a floppy with data you want. But how can I watch ITV Player or 4oD on my iPad? Oh I can't... and that's just one of the reasons I won't be buying one.

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title

I can't seem to work out whether you're for or against removing features.

On the one hand you're saying that Flash is crap and we don't need it, but on the other you're saying that old floppy drives, which generally have no use now, should still be in PC's. Either you're for customer choice or you're not. Make up your mind.

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Not open....

Open in this regard generally means "open source" or "open to extension or use without royalty".

Just because the specification is documented does not make it "OPEN"! A patent is documented and the specification is freely available, but you wouldn't call THAT open!

So h.264 is NOT "open" by any definition of the word in the software community.

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Alert

To flash or not to flash

Actually it's not a question of using proprietary Adobe Flash or web standards it's about accessibility of the content. Flash can be nice for enrichment, the same can be accomplished using HTML5/CSS/JavaScript. So poor lazy web developers only bet on Flash because everybody (98%) has Flash installed. But what if you don't or can't view the content? Is there an alternative available?

It's commonly known that Flash uses a lot of memory and GPU/CPU, two things you definitely don't want on a portable or any device for that matter add there the instability of the Flash plugin which cause 99% of the crashes of the web browsers on the Mac and you have the perfect answer of not using this technology. Adobe has to fix this first before it's usable on any iDevice.

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FAIL

@Lee Jenderko

Welcome to the rest of the world, where AT&T doesn't exist. Why bash Apple indeed, surely they cannot be held responsible for accepting a deal with AT&T, since AT&T holds all the card in the market their product is for.

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Gold badge

Flashblock

I run flashblock on all computers I use, I only see a handful of sites where I see blank spaces.

It's usually used for video or some horrible navigation panel, in some cases really irritating flash adverts.

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WTF?

As a 64bit Linux user ..

I'm used to not having flash plugins. And where is a current flash plugin for my Winmobile 5.5 Phone? There was one with limited flash 8 capabilitiies for Winmobile 5, but I never got it to work.

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From the Websites' perspective

Adobe says 98% of desktops *have* Flash, but a good fraction of those *don't run* it due to Flash blockers or the more selective Click2Flash. And now, tens of millions of portable devices MORE every year — Apple's iProducts adding to older BBerries etc — are driving an increasing share of web traffic, and also don't do Flash.

If I were a website owner running Flash ads, I'd be hurting my bottom line: reducing impressions and clickthroughs. If I were a website owner with Flash-only content, I'd be telling a growing fraction of my would-be customers, “You're too stupid/lazy to be my customer. Take your business elsewhere.” I'd be cutting repeat visitors and unique impressions.

Needless to say, these are not the attitudes of most commercial websites, no matter how much Adobe's PR lackeys say “Flash forever!” and no matter how much Steve Jobs has a messianic complex. The sites webmonkeys find the time to code around the unique ”quirks” of IE's various versions despite older versions' dwindling value, but can't be bothered to supply an alternate for Mobile Safari? Bad economics. Bad business. Won't happen.

For Adobe's sake, I hope they have a business plan that provides an option of using Flash for authoring — lots of developers seem to like it, and so what if some say they're “lazy” — while providing an output file that's readable across the whole spectrum of devices that will be browsing. Otherwise, if they believe their own marketing line, they're headed at high speed straight for a brick wall.

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Apple should not even get a say...

"Whether you, Reg reader, think Flash is a buggy resource-hogging doggie or a vital element that needs to be accepted by all browsers"

In the ideal world, the consumer could pick and choose what to run on their device. Some people will want flash, others will not. Either way apple's approach is rather draconian.

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Is there really a choice?

In practice in the real world I've found that sites that use Flash extensively often don't provide a non-flash alternative (or not a working one at least), so there's not that much choice apart from not visiting those sites.

Generally the same problem you used to encounter a couple of years ago quite often - visit certain sites with anything other than IE5 or 6 and be greeted with a helpful page from the site saying you need to use IE5 "or better" to use the site ("I'm using IE7" or "I'm using FF2", is this some weird definition of better that I wasn't previously aware of?).

And don't forget those who have some kind of disability that hinders their use of web generally, flash sites are often pretty hostile to their experience.

If I were running a commercial website I'd make damn sure that it worked with as many browsers as possible, which means either no flash or a working alternate. People running high street stores don't generally have rules like "no one with a blue shirt can shop here", so why the hell would you do something similar on a website?

Really, the problems with flash are well documented and Adobe et al have had more than enough time to address them. Now that a major manufacturer has stood up and said "enough" you have a choice too - you can decide to not buy their product and if flash is such a major part of your life that it's a deal-breaker then you might want to write to them and let them know why you're not buying their product.

Most of the comments I've seen are of the same ilk; "It doesn't run flash, *another* reason why I won't buy one, not that I was going to anyway, and *you* shouldn't either because without it you'll just be getting a fashion trinket that's only for fanbois." I'm not planning on buying a motorbike, but that doesn't mean no-one else should and it having two wheels instead of the four I'm more used to is my problem rather than that of the bike or the manufacturer.

What I don't get is why people think that what Apple are doing is so wrong, but have no aparent beef with any games console manufactures, who have been using a similar approach for years. Where are all the complaints that PS3 games can't be used on an Xbox 360 or a Wii?

I think there is a perception that the iPhone and iPad are something that they're not which leads to inappropriate comparisons - the iPad is not a NetBook, so comparing it to one is largely irrelevant, for example.

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FAIL

@Lou Gosselin

Apple's approach seems to be the same one taken by WinMobile.

It's this - we don't want your crappy, bloated, buggy shit and we won't be supporting it.

That's hardly draconian.

Seems sensible enough to me. There are only a handful of sites I have *ever* encountered where I have had no option but to use flash. Surprisingly, I can't remember any of them because I didn't stick around long enough. The only site I can think of that uses flash and which is actually useful is BBC iPlayer. (Not a problem for our US chums)

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Draconian....

If it were just Flash, that would be one thing. However, the lockin to iTunes, the proprietary connectors, the lack of multitasking (inspite of consumer complaints), the suing of bloggers, the alleged patent infringement --- all add up to Draconian.

Besides, as I said, it is not just Flash, Apple want to control everything regarding their platform. Can you imagine what would happen if they got as big as Microsoft? How many other software companies would go to the wall because they were prevented from competing on equal terms because they were locked out of the Apple platform.

Already iTunes is a near monopoly!

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FAIL

Monopoly?

iTunes has approx 70% of the *digital* market share. That's not even close to being a monopoly! It has approx 25% of the US music sales, and I imagine less than that globally. It has been DRM free musically since last April, so lock-in is now a strawman. The Video DRM is at the behest of the movie industry. In fact DRM was ALWAYS at the behest of the content makers, never the providers.

The "proprietary connectors". Okay, I can see the arguement there.

The lack of multitasking? Not really been that much of a problem on the iPhone, but whatever. It's a meme that raised it head after MMS and copy/paste. Just a new stick with which to try and beat the platform. Push notifications, while a little intrusive, work fine. What you and everyone else mean is background tasks. It's a trade off between battery life and function. The ability to use spotify in the background. Then again, the music I like is on my iPhone, so where is the problem? It would be beneficial, but I, and other RATIONAL individuals can see both the pro's and cons. The current status quo works, however improvement can be made. Let's see what they do with OS 4.0 shall we?

Apple aren't the first or only business to litigate against bloggers. They won't be the last.

The "alleged patent infringement"?! Oh do fuck off! Not trying to justify it, but it's not as if Apple are the only ones ever to be accused of patent infringement! The system is broken for everyone!

"Besides, as I said, it is not just Flash, Apple want to control everything regarding their platform." So don't buy their products then!

"Can you imagine what would happen if they got as big as Microsoft?" They're not far off; AAPL are 70%t he size of MSFT in terms of market capitalisation AND revenue. AAPL growth is twice that of MSFT.

"How many other software companies would go to the wall because they were prevented from competing on equal terms because they were locked out of the Apple platform." What a ridiculous statement! Do you mean like Netscape did because of IE? You do realise that there are other platforms, from other companies that are just as "draconian". What have Apple done to you? Did they steal your sweeties? Draconian? Only as much as Oracle, IBM, Microsoft Google and every other business! Apple are no better or worse than ANY of their competitors. It is fair to say that they are secrative to the point of paranoia, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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This is a golden oportunity

to get ride of the most annoying maleware on the net: FLASH

i don't care if it's apple or any other company. Flash as to go.

it proven:

Criminaly slow and insecure

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The content providers will adapt

Especially the porn producers. Content providers will deliver what the customer wants.

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Anonymous Coward

OMG, nudity!

Quick, fry the perpetrators so we can get on with another war!

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flash=itunes

Yep Flash is pretty damn bad, but now maybe apple users who bemoan its performance on osx have got a taste of what Windows users suffer when they use the virus that is itunes on their pc's. I agree that Adobe should sort out flash but equaly apple should sort out itunes.

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Anonymous Coward

WTF?

Typical dumb logic! This has nothing to with iTunes? Yes, we all know it a crock. Yes, Apple need to sort it. THIS IS ABOUT FLASH!!!

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Anonymous Coward

No, I don't want Adobe FLUSH either.

It's difficult, but my desktop PC has been running Flash-free for about 6 months now. I simply refuse to install it. Sure, some stuff doesn't work, but guess what? My PC has NEVER been this stable. It just doesn't crash, ever. Maybe coincidence, I think not.

I can understand why Apple says NO to Flash - it's a bug-ridden resource hog that rips your whole system open to exploitation. The sooner it disappears the better.

As for pr0n, judging by the iApp iStore there's about 10,000 iApps for that. So much it would be simply if Apple made a pr0n category so we could easy find it, er, not have to wade through it when looking for more reproductions of Flash-based games.

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Blocked flash for yonks

I have blocked flash for the last couple of years. Pages load a lot faster and are far easier to read as they are less cluttered. Most flash sections in pages are just adverts anyway and how much time and effort do people spend blocking those? Cheers... Ish

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Jobs Horns

Why no flash?

Why play silly little flash games for free when you can pay for silly little app store games.

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Paris Hilton

Now this is ironic - Remember SVG?

So Adobe lets (causes) then-promising technology SVG (to) die The Slow Death after 2000 finally kills it on the desktop and laptop contexts when they buy out Macromedia for their Flash market share and slick streaming media capabilities that the Adobe SVG plugin never really managed to offer (mostly due to strategic decisions seems)

Meanwhile the withering SVG community continues to plod on and develops native vector graphics and streaming video capabilities. The same native capabilities that are now supported by Apple browsers natively. The same capabilities that make it possible to do everything Flash does, except that it is less ugly.

Now, roll forward a few years and presto, Adobe are suddenly whining about access to iPad for their their Flash plugin-based solution is being hard done by and promising that the world will end if their plugin is not allowed on the iPad.

Hah, now that's funny in a bitter sort of way. There *was* an internet before flash and there was streamign media before Flash. And if critical websites need to find an alternative to interpreted flash content, then they can look to industry standards like the very SVG that Adobe effectively let die in the wind.

Who knows, maybe SVG will get a second wind outside of the smart phones context...? Yeah, I know, in my dreams. Then again, the iPad is an apparently portable device...

So why should Flash be supported when there's at least one open standard available that works on the device that replaces it?

I'm going to enjoy this show.

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