Coffeehouse Thread

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Steve Jobs on Flash

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  • vesuvius

    Ian2 said:
    bureX said:
    *snip*

    Surely that should be Steve Jobs' Arse?

    In Britain, the nether region of ones posterior in the region commonly known as the buttocks is referred to as arse, across the pond however there are sayings like "your * is grass".

     

    One could never image one saying "your arse is grass" in Received Pronounciation, but rather the Phonetic and more common version.

  • PaoloM
  • Ray7

    rhm said:
    JoshRoss said:
    *snip*

    Yeh, as I've commented elsewhere, it's ironic that Jobs opens with a section on open standards when trying to defend a rule that forces native app developers to code to Apple's proprietary APIs.  It's a great example of doublethink.

     

    Also, I'm amazed how many people are buying this crap about quality and consistent UI experience - not just Apple shills like John Gruber, but most of the media are taking it at face value also. And yet it doesn't stand up to scrutiny from any angle:-

    • Qualtiy - example the app store and you can find lots of low-quality apps that would embarass any competent Flash developer.
    • Quality - if Apple decided to care about quality of native apps they already have the App Store approval process to deal with it.
    • Quality - the idea that making developers use worse tools will impove the quality of apps is laughable. Everyone has had approved apps crash on their iPhone and 99.9% of the time it was because of a memory leak or a memory access error. Forcing developers, usually ones with no experience in unmanaged languages,  to use C/C++/Objective-C is the cause of the problem, not a solution.
    • UI Consistency - has anyone ever played a game on the iPhone? Guess what - they're like games on every other platform, i.e. they don't use standard GUI look components. Never have and never will. If people were going to make non-game apps with Flash and use the Flex libraries to code the UI, that would be a problem, but again it could be dealt with in the App Store approval process easily enough.

     

    +1

     

    As soon as he started on about 'Flash not being open', I stopped reading.  He's the last man on earth who should preach about open standards.

     

    Flash is cross-platform, that's why he doesn't want it.  The fact that Adobe has been lazy enough to give him an excuse is just good luck on his part.

  • Ian2

    vesuvius said:
    Ian2 said:
    *snip*

    In Britain, the nether region of ones posterior in the region commonly known as the buttocks is referred to as arse, across the pond however there are sayings like "your * is grass".

     

    One could never image one saying "your arse is grass" in Received Pronounciation, but rather the Phonetic and more common version.

    I think its a Potato Putarto thing  (interestingly 'Your Arse is Grarse' works phoeneticaly over here - though I've never heard anyone use that expression). 

     

    Over here an * is a cross between a horse and a donkey.

  • kettch

    Ian2 said:
    vesuvius said:
    *snip*

    I think its a Potato Putarto thing  (interestingly 'Your Arse is Grarse' works phoeneticaly over here - though I've never heard anyone use that expression). 

     

    Over here an * is a cross between a horse and a donkey.

    Interesting. In the US an * is a donkey. A cross between a female horse and a male donkey is a mule, the reverse being a hinny.

  • Bass

    It is interesting he doesn't mention KHTML by name, just calling it a "small open source project".

  • Bass

    rhm said:
    JoshRoss said:
    *snip*

    Yeh, as I've commented elsewhere, it's ironic that Jobs opens with a section on open standards when trying to defend a rule that forces native app developers to code to Apple's proprietary APIs.  It's a great example of doublethink.

     

    Also, I'm amazed how many people are buying this crap about quality and consistent UI experience - not just Apple shills like John Gruber, but most of the media are taking it at face value also. And yet it doesn't stand up to scrutiny from any angle:-

    • Qualtiy - example the app store and you can find lots of low-quality apps that would embarass any competent Flash developer.
    • Quality - if Apple decided to care about quality of native apps they already have the App Store approval process to deal with it.
    • Quality - the idea that making developers use worse tools will impove the quality of apps is laughable. Everyone has had approved apps crash on their iPhone and 99.9% of the time it was because of a memory leak or a memory access error. Forcing developers, usually ones with no experience in unmanaged languages,  to use C/C++/Objective-C is the cause of the problem, not a solution.
    • UI Consistency - has anyone ever played a game on the iPhone? Guess what - they're like games on every other platform, i.e. they don't use standard GUI look components. Never have and never will. If people were going to make non-game apps with Flash and use the Flex libraries to code the UI, that would be a problem, but again it could be dealt with in the App Store approval process easily enough.

     

    Games are still reasonably portable between Android, WebOS and iPhone. They all use the same graphics API (OpenGL ES). As long as you code to OpenGL directly and don't use any of the Cocoa widgets it should be fine.

     

    Potentially you could also also have some portability on the mobile platforms for more traditional apps. You just code your business logic in C or C++, and your iPhone specific UI logic in Objective-C. Most smartphone OSes both support C and C++, and could share the business logic.

     

    Of course they could close this loophole by saying "all code written for the iPhone must only be used on the iPhone, no sharing!". Of course, that will be probably be added just before they also add the "all your softwares are belong to us" clause.

  • Dovella
  • Charles

    bureX said:

    "New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind."

    If Apple and Adobe were in good relations and this lead to Flash being ported and fully supported on the iPhone, Steve would have gone on about the brilliancy and the unprecedented potential of flash apps on the "worlds most advanced smartphone platform"... In short - I hate PR stunts, Steve is just talking out of his * again and has no real opinion of his own.

    Well, not really, His point with respect to open standards is that whereas the openess is realized in a closed system (like the iPhone, iPad and iPod), the freedom afforded by HTML5, CSS and JS empower developers to build experiences that are in and of themselves platform independent. So, a single HTML5 application would run conistently across all devices that support it and since it is an open standard, there is no notion of proprietary technology at the level that HTML5 operates (again, iPhone, iPad and iPod ARE closed systems that are proprietary down through the OS level).

     

    The future will be heterogenous, with balanced forms of open and closed systems that empower both developers and users to get the best out of general purpose computing. I'm not in the HTML5 is everything camp, but I'm also not living in lead box... I think Silverlight, for example, has a very bright future and will do well in the closed-open world (it runs on all major operating systems and will soon show up in mobile devices like WP7...).

     

    C

  • ManipUni

    Charles said:
    bureX said:
    *snip*

    Well, not really, His point with respect to open standards is that whereas the openess is realized in a closed system (like the iPhone, iPad and iPod), the freedom afforded by HTML5, CSS and JS empower developers to build experiences that are in and of themselves platform independent. So, a single HTML5 application would run conistently across all devices that support it and since it is an open standard, there is no notion of proprietary technology at the level that HTML5 operates (again, iPhone, iPad and iPod ARE closed systems that are proprietary down through the OS level).

     

    The future will be heterogenous, with balanced forms of open and closed systems that empower both developers and users to get the best out of general purpose computing. I'm not in the HTML5 is everything camp, but I'm also not living in lead box... I think Silverlight, for example, has a very bright future and will do well in the closed-open world (it runs on all major operating systems and will soon show up in mobile devices like WP7...).

     

    C

    Do you think Flash and Silverlight are any different? I'm still yet to even see anyone deploy Silverlight in a meaningful way outside of Microsoft and a very niche Microsoft-loving sites.

     

    I think Silverlight has as much of a right to exist as Flash but honestly we should expect better than to have browsers needing third party plugins in order to deliver animation, video, webcams, and sounds.

  • Charles

    ManipUni said:
    Charles said:
    *snip*

    Do you think Flash and Silverlight are any different? I'm still yet to even see anyone deploy Silverlight in a meaningful way outside of Microsoft and a very niche Microsoft-loving sites.

     

    I think Silverlight has as much of a right to exist as Flash but honestly we should expect better than to have browsers needing third party plugins in order to deliver animation, video, webcams, and sounds.

    Ah, but Silverlight does not require a browser to provide usefulness to users and developers... The future of OOB is quite compelling. Again, why does it have to be all or nothing? This is what I mean about a heterogeneous future.
    C

  • Bass

    wkempf said:
    CannotResolveSymbol said:
    *snip*

    That's not the point. If Apple/Steve wants an "open web", he should not be pushing for closed video formats, regardless of who owns them. In this case, though, since they do own them OGG isn't the only solution... but of course they're not about to open these codecs up.

    H.264 is proprietary in the FSF sense, but it is arguable if it is proprietary in the "industry" idea of the term. If Steve Jobs is saying H.264 is not proprietary he probably means it is an MPEG ISO standard that is licensed under reasonable and non-discriminatory (aka "RAND") terms. Proprietary in this sense tends to mean a technology owned usually by a single entity and perhaps not even licensed at all, let alone to everyone. So what I am saying is calling H.264 proprietary is debatable.

     

    But lets ignore that. Even in the FSF sense, a dependency in the open web on H.264 is preferable to Flash or Silverlight.

     

    - The "IP" of H.264 is entirely based on patents and nothing more. In fact the MPEG has a fairly fully functional H.264 encoder/decoder they have written and is available under a extremely permissive open source license.

     

    - Being based on patents instead of copyrights means H.264 will become 'Free' quicker then Silverlight or Flash would. For instance, copyright lasts 95 years, while patents last (at most) 20 years. The very last relevent patent (out of nearly a thousand) that covers any part of the H.264 spec expires in 2026, 16 years from now. That means by 16 years in the latest, H.264 will be an open and free format no different from Ogg Vorbis or Ogg Theora. Even if Silverlight 4 becomes free in 2105 or whenever, there is nothing in current copyright law that addresses source code.

     

    - MPEG LA does sue entities for patent violation on H.264. So far all these entities have been very large corporations. You couldn't even qualify them as small businesses. I highly highly doubt they'll start going after random bloggers who post H.264 videos directly on their website. Because it will bring the issue to the of H.264 license to the forefront of the debate. They don't want that.

     

    - The MPEG LA has suspended the patent royalty for distribution of H.264 videos on the Internet till 2016, anyway. This applies to everyone, including YouTube. This at most gives them 10 years (2016-2026) to harass webmasters, should they choose to do so.

     

    - The pigeonhole principle and strong industry standardisation. This will make it difficult for the powers that be to push people off of H.264 once it becomes free. By then they will be so many "H.264" devices that their will be a virtual lock-in on the format (hint: virtually all Blu-ray players and PMPs). Any H.265 that might pop up will really have to be a lot better then H.264 to overtake it.  This will be difficult just by the fact that with any kind of compression, the limits of discrete mathematics come down hard (eg: the completely undefeatable yet simplistic pigeonhole principle). So there is serious diminishing returns involved every time you try to rev up a compression algorithm. So if they come up with such a better format, they deserve the money anyway Smiley

     

    I personally rather Ogg Theora become the standard video format of the web, but I can understand the technical arguments for H.264.

  • brian.​shapiro

    ManipUni said:
    Charles said:
    *snip*

    Do you think Flash and Silverlight are any different? I'm still yet to even see anyone deploy Silverlight in a meaningful way outside of Microsoft and a very niche Microsoft-loving sites.

     

    I think Silverlight has as much of a right to exist as Flash but honestly we should expect better than to have browsers needing third party plugins in order to deliver animation, video, webcams, and sounds.

    For every function you add to the browser, there'll be one more left out. Speech recognition. Touch sensitivity. Full 3D acceleration. Natal like controls.

     

    I guess we'll prepare for the future where all of these are in the HTML5 specs, and we'll all have to manage it through JAVASCRIPT!

  • brian.​shapiro

    Bass said:
    wkempf said:
    *snip*

    H.264 is proprietary in the FSF sense, but it is arguable if it is proprietary in the "industry" idea of the term. If Steve Jobs is saying H.264 is not proprietary he probably means it is an MPEG ISO standard that is licensed under reasonable and non-discriminatory (aka "RAND") terms. Proprietary in this sense tends to mean a technology owned usually by a single entity and perhaps not even licensed at all, let alone to everyone. So what I am saying is calling H.264 proprietary is debatable.

     

    But lets ignore that. Even in the FSF sense, a dependency in the open web on H.264 is preferable to Flash or Silverlight.

     

    - The "IP" of H.264 is entirely based on patents and nothing more. In fact the MPEG has a fairly fully functional H.264 encoder/decoder they have written and is available under a extremely permissive open source license.

     

    - Being based on patents instead of copyrights means H.264 will become 'Free' quicker then Silverlight or Flash would. For instance, copyright lasts 95 years, while patents last (at most) 20 years. The very last relevent patent (out of nearly a thousand) that covers any part of the H.264 spec expires in 2026, 16 years from now. That means by 16 years in the latest, H.264 will be an open and free format no different from Ogg Vorbis or Ogg Theora. Even if Silverlight 4 becomes free in 2105 or whenever, there is nothing in current copyright law that addresses source code.

     

    - MPEG LA does sue entities for patent violation on H.264. So far all these entities have been very large corporations. You couldn't even qualify them as small businesses. I highly highly doubt they'll start going after random bloggers who post H.264 videos directly on their website. Because it will bring the issue to the of H.264 license to the forefront of the debate. They don't want that.

     

    - The MPEG LA has suspended the patent royalty for distribution of H.264 videos on the Internet till 2016, anyway. This applies to everyone, including YouTube. This at most gives them 10 years (2016-2026) to harass webmasters, should they choose to do so.

     

    - The pigeonhole principle and strong industry standardisation. This will make it difficult for the powers that be to push people off of H.264 once it becomes free. By then they will be so many "H.264" devices that their will be a virtual lock-in on the format (hint: virtually all Blu-ray players and PMPs). Any H.265 that might pop up will really have to be a lot better then H.264 to overtake it.  This will be difficult just by the fact that with any kind of compression, the limits of discrete mathematics come down hard (eg: the completely undefeatable yet simplistic pigeonhole principle). So there is serious diminishing returns involved every time you try to rev up a compression algorithm. So if they come up with such a better format, they deserve the money anyway Smiley

     

    I personally rather Ogg Theora become the standard video format of the web, but I can understand the technical arguments for H.264.

    And Microsoft doesn't sue over re-implementations of .NET, so all of that is just technical details. The real issue is whether Steve Jobs is really being honest in supporting an 'open web' or whether its just political cover because they want to control the iPod platform.

  • Bass

    brian.shapiro said:
    Bass said:
    *snip*

    And Microsoft doesn't sue over re-implementations of .NET, so all of that is just technical details. The real issue is whether Steve Jobs is really being honest in supporting an 'open web' or whether its just political cover because they want to control the iPod platform.

    I think Apple has a bigger interest in an open web then Microsoft does. Actually, I don't see how Microsoft's business model fits in any shape or form into the idea of an open web. Microsoft wants control over the ways people develop software and ensure that software runs best on Windows only, if it even runs anywhere else. That way they can keep racking in the Windows royalties they bill to OEMs.

  • elmer

    brian.shapiro said:
    Bass said:
    *snip*

    And Microsoft doesn't sue over re-implementations of .NET, so all of that is just technical details. The real issue is whether Steve Jobs is really being honest in supporting an 'open web' or whether its just political cover because they want to control the iPod platform.

    Interesting article on Anantech

     

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/3682/adobe-enables-gpu-flash-acceleration-in-os-x-we-test-it

     

    As the story goes, until a week ago, Apple would not provide the required OS/X APIs to allow Flash to use efficient GPU acceleration.

     

    Last week Apple released some APIs, and a week later Adobe (that supposed foot-dragger) released it’s preview of GPU accelerated Flash for OS/X.

  • PaoloM

    Bass said:
    brian.shapiro said:
    *snip*

    I think Apple has a bigger interest in an open web then Microsoft does. Actually, I don't see how Microsoft's business model fits in any shape or form into the idea of an open web. Microsoft wants control over the ways people develop software and ensure that software runs best on Windows only, if it even runs anywhere else. That way they can keep racking in the Windows royalties they bill to OEMs.

    I think Microsoft has a bigger interest in an open web then Apple does. Actually, I don't see how Apple's business model fits in any shape or form into the idea of an open web. Apple wants control over the ways people develop software (hi 3.1.1!) and ensure that software runs best on iPhone OS only, if it even runs anywhere else. That way they can keep racking in the iPhone OS devices' and subscriptions' money.

  • Bass

    PaoloM said:
    Bass said:
    *snip*

    I think Microsoft has a bigger interest in an open web then Apple does. Actually, I don't see how Apple's business model fits in any shape or form into the idea of an open web. Apple wants control over the ways people develop software (hi 3.1.1!) and ensure that software runs best on iPhone OS only, if it even runs anywhere else. That way they can keep racking in the iPhone OS devices' and subscriptions' money.

    Obviously Apple is also a platform vendor and would rather have their platform have the best web experience by introducing proprietary Apple OS X / iPhone only tech on the web if possible. The thing is they are in no position to make this happen.

     

    Microsoft has a better shot at this. When people view the web it is usually through a Microsoft product (~90% on a Microsoft OS). Silverlight supports Mac OS X, but I think this is more to entice developers to the platform then anything else. There is no business case for it other then appeasing the demand for cross-platform development. Microsoft is a platform vendor, and as a platform vendor, a business case for cross-platform development (which means improving your competitor's platforms) is almost nonsensical.

     

    If Silverlight ever gets popular I'm sure the Mac OS X version will go the way of the dodo, probably with Microsoft citing "lack of demand" as typical. This will lead to a greatly degraded web experience for everyone not using Windows. Which will make Windows more appealing. Which arguably was the whole point of the experiment.

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