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FSF Response To Steve Jobs's Letter

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the pot-meet-kettle dept.

GNU is Not Unix 572

boilednut writes "Steve Jobs's recent missive on the deficiencies of Adobe's Flash is still reverberating around the Internet. In this editorial, John Sullivan of the Free Software Foundation responds, arguing that Apple is presenting users with a false choice between Adobe's proprietary software and Apple's walled garden."

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Ol' Jobby-Boy (-1, Flamebait)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060304)

Steve jobs is no charismatic guru, he's just a turtlenecked faggot in the right place at the right time who speaks with a wimpy-voiced lisp. He had the chance to earn more mainstream credibility with getting the slate form factor right, but he failed because he assumed that everybody else would suck his cock without wanting those things called "features". Only a Frisco faggot insulated from the rest of the thinking country* could be as arrogant as the Hep-C-ridden Steve Jobs, who attained a second chance at life because he had money. Linux is kicking MacOS' ass as we speak.

* Steve Jobs is the George W. Bush of Cupertino.

Re:Ol' Jobby-Boy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060392)

Mod parent up as informative/insightful!

Another Jobs achievement (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060430)

If you would be as abusive as Steve Jobs, you too could get cancer at 53.

Re:Ol' Jobby-Boy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060460)

Jesus fuck, mod parent down

Re:Ol' Jobby-Boy (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060502)

Don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel! :)

Re:Ol' Jobby-Boy (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060510)

lol, I love how you overruled the Mac fanboy downmods by throwing in the "Linux is kicking Mac's ass" bit to ensure victory in the form of Linuxfag upmods.

And Theora? (4, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060306)

I'd be more interested in a response from Xiph on Job's email concerning Theora.

Re:And Theora? (4, Informative)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060336)

I'd be more interested in a response from Xiph on Job's email concerning Theora.

They have a comment from him here [slashdot.org] .

Let the users decide (2, Insightful)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060308)

Letting the users decide is the best option, what's that? the users can't decide because of apple, of course they can, they aren't forced to buy the product. Their own stupid fault if they buy something so locked down and don't like it.

As far as stallman is concerned, it is still another choice, just one that doesn't make sense from the freedom perspective.

Re:Let the users decide (5, Insightful)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060478)

What's that supposed to mean? Apple's approach conflicts with the FSF's philosophy, so they're telling people why. Users are obviously still let decide; advising people one way or the other doesn't change that.

And it's not like the FSF is meddling in other people's business, because the question of what standards are commonly supported/used is relevant to everyone who wants to use a computer.

Re:Let the users decide (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060698)

The people aren't being informed of the CHOICE though. They aren't told about DRM. They aren't told about the problems of proprietary software. Even when they are they aren't given a choice. Companies lock them into it. Other users that need to exchange files with each other have forced yet others into making the same bad choices of using the same vendors products. No choice here.

Re:Let the users decide (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060702)

Letting the users decide is the best option, what's that? the users can't decide because of apple, of course they can, they aren't forced to buy the product. Their own stupid fault if they buy something so locked down and don't like it.

As far as stallman is concerned, it is still another choice, just one that doesn't make sense from the freedom perspective.

And that's Stallman's problem. His ideal phone boots a GNU/HURD kernel and comes with nothing but a copy of emacs and the specifications of the hardware. From there, he expects people to write their own media library, implementing codecs from scratch.

He is perplexed as to why anybody would choose to pay for Apple's platform and accept the restrictions imposed by it.

To me, it's a question of mobility. (5, Insightful)

WilliamBaughman (1312511) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060324)

I think that what many people are missing is that what Apple is offering is a proprietary implementation of open standards, vs a proprietary implementation of a closed standard. If Apple finds a problem in Safari, it can fix it. If it finds a problem with Flash, it can't. An iPhone owner who doesn't like Apple's implementations of HTML5 or IMAP can get a different smart phone. If he doesn't like Adobe's implementation of Flash, he's hosed.

Re:To me, it's a question of mobility. (5, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060426)

That's stupid. If a user doesn't like Adobe's implementation of Flash, he can choose not to Flash. At the moment the user has less choice, not more.

Re:To me, it's a question of mobility. (5, Insightful)

cbreak (1575875) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060522)

There is a big difference between a proprietary software and a proprietary format. If the format is open, you can chose which software to use to view it. Just look at Office and it's format: It is a massive factor in the dominance of the software. But Internet Explorer is a proprietary software rendering an open format, you can easily pick or even implement yourself a different reader. That's why there is a competition in the browser space, much more than in that for office software.

Re:To me, it's a question of mobility. (5, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060446)

Apple wants me to be dependent on Apple.

I would rather not be dependent on Apple. I would rather not be dependent on Adobe either. However, I would like to be able to choose for myself.

At least Microsoft allows me the freedom to be "tasteless".

This is "why I shouldn't buy an iPad". This is also why "no one else should buy an iPad".

No one should actually buy into the idea that Jobs is some sort of nice-guy-hippie. He just wants people to buy into his brand of vendorlock.

Re:To me, it's a question of mobility. (5, Insightful)

mr_lizard13 (882373) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060622)

This is also why "no one else should buy an iPad".

It's why you shouldn't buy an iPad, sure, but to be fair, being dependant on Apple is one of the things that makes this device appeal to me. Simple reason being, I've seen Apple products time and time again trump their competitors in terms of usability, and that's the one thing that matters to me.

I buy it knowing full well it's locked down like fort knox, but it's their control over the thing that makes it as easy to use as possible.

It's not for everyone, I know.

Re:To me, it's a question of mobility. (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060718)

I buy it knowing full well it's locked down like fort knox, but it's their control over the thing that makes it as easy to use as possible.

That's pretty much it. They are selling an appliance with a specific function, or two.. It's like people are complaining because their refrigerator can't fly them to the moon and back

Re:To me, it's a question of mobility. (5, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060796)

No, it's like people are complaining that their refrigerator can't keep chicken cold, it only works with beef.

Re:To me, it's a question of mobility. (1, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060638)

At least Microsoft allows me the freedom to be "tasteless".

But if you choose Microsoft Windows, you are also dependent on Microsoft. How is this any different? How can Microsoft be considered open, when their products are utterly proprietary?

No one should actually buy into the idea that Jobs is some sort of nice-guy-hippie. He just wants people to buy into his brand of vendorlock.

Yet, you believe that Microsoft is somehow about freedom and not vendor lock-in. A very strange belief.

Re:To me, it's a question of mobility. (1)

Arker (91948) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060520)

H.264 is NOT an "open standard."

Re:To me, it's a question of mobility. (3, Informative)

Q-Hack! (37846) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060750)

H.264 is NOT an "open standard."

Err...

This may just be semantics, but it is an 'open standard' what it is not is 'open source'. There is a difference.

evil...? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060326)

i'm not 'hating on apple' but one does get the feeling that if most of the mac crowd didn't have jobs' wrinkled cock in their mouths then they would be out on the streets preaching the word of god, most probably the kind of creep that has a zip-up bible.

jobs looks like he's going to croak soon; lets hope it happens before he drags his crappy firm even further into the gutter.

Meh (0, Troll)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060328)

What's strangely absent from "Thoughts on Flash" is any explanation for why proprietary technology on the Web is bad, or why free standards are good.

If Mr. Sullivan needs this explained to him then maybe he should hold his comments until he understands it. Does he actually expect *every* article, blog post or story to rehash this basic concept?

Re:Meh (1)

robla (4860) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060378)

If Mr. Sullivan needs [the fact that Jobs doesn't talk about the general problem with proprietary technology] explained to him then maybe he should hold his comments until he understands it. Does he actually expect *every* article, blog post or story to rehash this basic concept?

I think it's reasonable to expect an editorial that complains that Flash is "not open" as its first big bold bullet point would somehow address the reason why Jobs thinks we should care. I know why I care, but it's not at all clear why Jobs thinks I should care.

Re:Meh (2, Insightful)

oztiks (921504) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060424)

He doesnt care that you should care, or not.

Flash apps circumvent the app store, you can make a website app through flash for free (such as a game) and Jobs doesn't get to enforce his Apple Tax.

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060554)

Flash in Safari is buggy. Adobe has had 3 years to show that they can make a workable version (full flash - not flash lite) on a smart phone. Instead they have slipped. Apple doesn't care what you do in safari - you can make a game there and put it on the web without anyone caring. The issue however, is that when Safari crashes, Apple is taking ownership of that perceived failure. One way to reduce this is to not have flash on there.

Flash in the app store is an issue of "who releases updates." Lets have firmware for the iDevice 4.0 come out and pretend that Adobe hasn't given up on flash to the iphone development. How long would it take for Adobe to release an update that supports the new features of the firmware? This is the issue that Apple has with there. They don't want to release the firmware and have to wait until another company comes out with an update before the customers can finally get the features - features that apple perceives as setting them above the other smart phones.

Re:Meh (4, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060388)

If you had read the next paragraph as well, you would probably have held your idiotic comment as well:

If he had said anything about why user freedom on the Web is important, his hypocrisy would have been explicit. In a nutshell, he says, "Don't use Adobe's proprietary platform to engage with information on the Web. Use Apple's." He doesn't want users to freely wander and creatively explore the Web or their own computers; he wants them to move from the fenced-off "Freedom Zone" based in San Jose to the one based in Cupertino

Jobs doesn't say why open standards are good, because then it would be obvious that that the "freedom" Jobs offers just isn't.

Re:Meh (3, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060674)

Jobs doesn't say why open standards are good, because then it would be obvious that that the "freedom" Jobs offers just isn't.

Except Jobs isn't offering "freedom". He never really argued that in the essay.

Job's argument was that with open web standards, if he/Apple/or_it's_customers are unhappy with the browsing experience, Apple can throw money at it and make a better browser. But if they hate flash on the iPhone, there is NOTHING apple can do to improve it. In essence, Apple has been selling a seamless user experience. It has never been selling freedom and often times you trade in some freedom for convenience. That is Apple's market and his argument.

I own one of the last generation of PPC notebooks Apple made. It's true, it has a slow 1.67GHz G4 processor. But at it's speed it should offer somewhat decent flash, but nearly all video's are choppy for it. I never got a satisfactory answer. Apple points to Adobe saying they code a crappy implementation. Adobe points to Apple talking about not having accent to libraries they need. All I know is flash is ultra slow.

Frankly, while I think Apple is crummy on things sometimes, I know the Internet is also one giant waambulance too. If Apple wanted a super closed off garden, it's not going to get that with HTML5 anyway. I also think flash sucks, so I'd rather have it die as well.

Re:Meh (-1, Troll)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060746)

Stop speaking like a fucking advertising agent, and I might take you seriously. "Seamless user experience" just makes you sound like you've got cum dribbling out of your mouth.

Apple wants a patent-encumbered HTML5. I guess it's good enough for Apple if they can have Mozilla and all other free software on the other side of their fence, and they make sure it's impossible for unpatented codecs to enter.

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060732)

There are many applications built on MSFT technology that locks you in to the platform and there is nothing you can do about it. For instance, FMLS real estate applications requires that you use Internet Explorer. I have tried Safari, Firefox, Chrome on Mac and Linux, and the web app renders it all wrong on those platforms. When I complained to them, the response was yes we require IE, and we are working on supporting other browsers. A few years later, they are beta testing out the new system and guess what? They re-wrote it in yet another closed proprietary system, Flash. Now they are already pointing the finger at the iPad, saying its not supported because of lack of Flash support. Shouldn't a CTO be smart enough to select a technology that would play nice for the future. I mean, they should have known that choosing Flash is choosing yet another lock in technology and stick with the basics of web app development, or plan on building on top of HTML5.

Wasted argument (1, Insightful)

OS24Ever (245667) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060364)

Yet if the FSF can't put out something mainstream people want to use, this entire argument is worthless. Besides, it's just a cycle. Open - > closed -> open -> closed. Just think pre-web ineternet, compuserve, WWW, and now App Store or Facebook.

People don't see 'free' as good because if it's a bitch to use they're going to ignore it. It's gotten significantly better in the last decade but in general term it's still a PITA to use.

Re:Wasted argument (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060438)

n general term it's still a PITA to use.

I know quite a few Aunt Millies using Ubuntu who'd disagree with you.

Re:Wasted argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060492)

ubuntu is the closest thing (rich dictator at top making decisions) to OS X that linux has. But he's not talking about ubuntu, he's talking about the FSF. How many Aunt Millies use HURD?

Re:Wasted argument (2, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060672)

ubuntu is the closest thing (rich dictator at top making decisions) to OS X that linux has. But he's not talking about ubuntu, he's talking about the FSF. How many Aunt Millies use HURD?

Ubuntu is loaded with software owned by the FSF. The entire GNU userland for example.

Re:Wasted argument (1)

LoneHighway (1625681) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060594)

n general term it's still a PITA to use.

I know quite a few Aunt Millies using Ubuntu who'd disagree with you.

I bet those Aunt Millies didn't install it themselves.

Re:Wasted argument (1)

pixelite (20946) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060664)

How many Aunt Millies install Windows?
How many Users install Windows?

Re:Wasted argument (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060678)

n general term it's still a PITA to use.

I know quite a few Aunt Millies using Ubuntu who'd disagree with you.

I bet those Aunt Millies didn't install it themselves.

Maybe they did, but if not so what?

Why not .... (1, Insightful)

crumbz (41803) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060372)

... Let the market decide? If people value walled gardens over open source or vice versatile, then let users vote with their dollars ornEuros or whatever?

Re:Why not .... (3, Informative)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060470)

The problem with letting the market decide on fascism is that you no longer get to choose anything else.

That is what closed standards do.

Between a Flash app and an Apple app, the Apple app is the one that is more closed.

Plus, with an Apple app it's not just the proprietary API but the whole walled garden that comes with it.

Re:Why not .... (3, Insightful)

cbreak (1575875) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060550)

Many parts of apple's API are not proprietary: Look at OpenAL, OpenGL, OpenCL. Others are proprietary (Cocoa/Core).
Between a flash app and an apple app, both apps are closed. They run on one closed system. But at least apple's closed systems is partially open... (I heard that flash was apparently also opened a bit recently... but I haven't seen any result from that yet)

Re:Why not .... (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060598)

Do iPhone/iPad apps run on non-apple hardware?

Re:Why not .... (1)

cbreak (1575875) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060620)

Not without changes to the code.

Re:Why not .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060680)

Have you ever used an X11-based app on a Mac?
If you had you'd know why "universal" or multi-platform apps suck as far as appearance/usability goes.
And appearance/usability is what Apple is about.

Re:Why not .... (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060722)

Let the market decide ..
Like the US did with banking, post Bell telcos, the desktop and MS, Enron and your power grid, big pharma, big oil ect.
The thing that makes the net unique is many packets still move around the world in the same way.
With hardware, effort, ideas, open network tools, open codecs and a good bank in theory someone can still enter the digital marketplace without an MS, Apple or Adobe.
Apple is really misusing the term "HTML5". Say a county now has paved roads paid for by the tax payer for Apple vans, trucks and cars to move on. Apple wants you paying for a ride in their bus.
Flash wants to coat the bus in bright flashing advertising that may or may not make the bus stop at random times.
Apple, MS, Flash all want to 'own' you as you travel down the bright new html5 road.
Open standards lets you use a truck, bus, car, pickup, bike, local or import - as long as it "works" for your needs, totally bypassing the Apple and MS toll booths and per seat deals.
Its your net, you paid for it via your isp, taxes and hard work, enjoy it.

If it's that predictable, is it really news? (2, Insightful)

dr2chase (653338) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060374)

I mean, really. The free software guys care about something that is irrelevant to most of Apple's customers, and vice-versa. What's the point?

Re:If it's that predictable, is it really news? (4, Insightful)

OrwellianLurker (1739950) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060456)

I mean, really. The free software guys care about something that is irrelevant to most of Apple's customers, and vice-versa. What's the point?

The point is Jobs presented a false argument for Apple's refusal to allow Flash on iPads.

Re:If it's that predictable, is it really news? (2, Interesting)

dr2chase (653338) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060636)

Corporate CEO not entirely honest? Oh, my, bring the smelling salts, I feel faint.

I think it would be different if he were selling addictive poison, cooking the planet, or selling tainted food. Otherwise, this is just standard issue corporate deception.

As I see it, there are several things going on that he doesn't want to talk too much about. First and foremost, above and beyond the slowdown, is that there are no standards for Flash advertising. It's a race to the bottom, and it causes everyone with a modicum of technical skills (i.e., 90th percentile or better among Apple's customers and would-be customers, I think) to install a Flash Blocker. We do this, why? Because it makes browsing better. How can Apple get that same improvement for the other 90%? One option is, he can ban Flash, and promote alternatives for popular Flash applications while he has the market ability to do it. Then there's the slowdown, and the desire to control the platform's evolution, and I would be surprised if he were not looking into the problem of HOW do you present advertising that doesn't annoy people. The App Store may be a model for that, too.

Another obvious problem, not discussed, is the difficulty of virus-proofing the platform. It's not a matter of "user education" -- saying that, is another way of saying, "won't happen, ever". A side-effect of the no-interpreters rule, is that the only "programs" that run, are those that are eyeballed and approved at the app store. Flash, as a programmable widget implicated in previous hacks (e.g., the Flash+UPNP attack on DNS from home routers) is certainly on the list of things to avoid. Acrobat Reader in its full form (recently the cause of a PDF-hosted hack) is another bad guy -- another Adobe product. I don't know quite why Jobs doesn't talk about this (does this make relations with Symantec and McAfee difficult? Is this like talking about death in a hospital?), but it's an obvious reason to rule with an iron hand.

So, I think it's just plain silly to complain about this. He's got good reasons, he's not talking about them, and I think the not-talked-about reasons are much more interesting than the official ones, or the complaints about how this chokes off innovation.

And by-the-way, here's one way to think about what Apple might do, that has not much effect on the consumer, might make life better for them, but would be devastating to other corporations. Supposing that Apple did for the iPod/iPad/iPhone, what I like to do on my home router, which is just plain block all the popular advertising sites. If you want your advertising to be seen by Apple customers, you go through Apple. Why should I complain, that I am deprived of the ability to see ads that I already take actions to avoid? If Apple does a better job with the advertising, bully for them. But the advertisers, whoo-hoo, won't that be fun?

Re:If it's that predictable, is it really news? (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060740)

Corporate CEO not entirely honest? Oh, my, bring the smelling salts, I feel faint.

The problem is that there is a cult of personality surrounding this particular CEO. Name any other CEO who engenders this type of fanatacism. Lou Gerstner? Nope. Larry Ellison? Nope. Jack Welch? Maybe only for certain business types, but for his employees definitely not.

Re:If it's that predictable, is it really news? (1)

DannyO152 (544940) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060778)

That wasn't Jobs' argument. Jobs said a deployment of Flash without hardware acceleration quickly drains the battery. Remember how, famously, Apple has phased out the changeable battery, so they may figure that they have no room for fooling around regarding this matter. He also said that Flash was designed for browser plus mouse. And he said that Apple believes that when developers arrive at a platform through cross-platform tools, customers get least common denominator functionality. Jobs did say, as a counter to Adobe's assertion that Flash was a standard, that HTML5, javascript, and CSS are standards, Flash is proprietary. Seems about right to me. Now we know Jobs is not concerned with customer freedom on the mobile devices because Apple's bread is buttered when it delivers simple consistent devices that are easy to operate and which do what they say they will.

Customers who prefer to exercise their freedom to tinker have other devices to choose from. That looks to me an excellent environment for maximum customer satisfaction.

It may be fair to say the EFF is using this as an opportunity to take some of spotlight, while the tech world is focused on these parties. That's fine, I believe in the EFF's fundamental philosophies and do not want GNU/GPL tools to disappear or be co-opted. I think it is a bit misguided and counter-productive to insist that everyone march to the same drummer.

Re:If it's that predictable, is it really news? (3, Informative)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060488)

"free software guys" make some of the most popular Mac downloads actually.

So clearly there is an interest there from "Apple users". Even members of the flock tend to stray when they are given the liberty.

Re:If it's that predictable, is it really news? (5, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060654)

Its news for me because Apple got an operating system for free (BSD and Mach underlie OSX) because of those free software guys.

Re:If it's that predictable, is it really news? (4, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060714)

I doubt that the developers of BSD would consider themselves "free software guys" in the FSF sense.

iFear... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060380)

i'm not 'hating on apple' but one does get the feeling that if the mac crowd didn't have jobs' wrinkled cock in their mouths then they would be out on the streets preaching the word of god, most probably the kind of creep that tends to have a nice zip-up bible.

jobs looks like he's going to croak; lets just hope it doesn't happen too soon or these cunts will be out on the streets god-bothering for all they're worth.

People don't WANT free... (0, Flamebait)

Mark19960 (539856) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060382)

They want to be told what to do.
That is why people buy Apple shit... because their friends told them to.
The Adobe vs. Apple war... meh.

In the end the user wants to play his Facebook games and Apple says 'you can't on My iPhone or iPad' and they say 'okay' and play on their computer instead.
Do they ditch the iPhone or iPad? Nope..... They go buy another one!
When the general public actually decides to grow a pair things will change.
Whether it's the government or a corporation.... all they do is herd people and separate them from their money.
This is just a war over MONEY and who gets control over more of it.

Re:People don't WANT free... (0, Troll)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060608)

Yes, people just do whatever they are told by corporations. They are all mindless droids who hate freedom, EXCEPT FOR YOU, the true savior of humanity, who is unaffected by marketing, and here to save use all! You're so awesome, you don't even own a TV, or anything made by a faceless corporation, not even a computer.

Re:People don't WANT free... (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060658)

In the end the user wants to play his Facebook games and Apple says 'you can't on My iPhone or iPad' and they say 'okay' and play on their computer instead.
Do they ditch the iPhone or iPad? Nope..... They go buy another one!
When the general public actually decides to grow a pair things will change.

I wouldn't necessarily put it that way.

I paid $199 for my iPhone and I can't play Facebook games? Well, I guess that's just the way it is. At least until my best buddy starts doing it with his Android/WebOS/Symbian phone. When I see someone in my peer group doing that, that's when I'll say, "Wow! I know what my next phone is going to be!"

Kind of like the Mac and Windows--you'll see one person switch and show off what they can do. That'll inspire someone else. That'll inspire a few more people. And so on and so on.

A good criticism, but... (5, Interesting)

A. Bosch (858654) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060398)

I RTFA, and I think it's the most well-thought-out criticism of Jobs' anti-Flash editorial I've seen so far The author maintains "the way out of the Adobe vs. Apple cage match is straightforward, and exists already: free software operating systems like GNU/Linux with free software Web browsers, supporting free media formats like Ogg Theora" and later concludes, "So, the correct decision in the dispute between Apple and Adobe is "none of the above." The past we need to leave behind is not just Flash, it's Apple's proprietary software as well." I agree with that in principle. I guess where I get stuck is, I do like OS/X. I like it a lot better than Linux. I'm not involved in cutting video but I work with someone who is, and they tell me they like H.264 a lot better than Ogg Theora. So...am I part of the problem? Is the Free Software movement not up to the task of competing with proprietary software? I feel like the trade-off I'm currently making with OS/X is acceptable -- for now. I don't see myself buying an iPhone (or iPad) anytime soon, but neither do I see myself getting rid of my iMac.

Re:A good criticism, but... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060530)

I'm not involved in cutting video but I work with someone who is, and they tell me they like H.264 a lot better than Ogg Theora.

A writer may like PDF or FrameMaker ahead of html but if they want people to read their stuff its going to have to be published in html. Where would we be if you had to use a restricted format to read normal web pages?

Re:A good criticism, but... (2, Interesting)

A. Bosch (858654) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060584)

> Where would we be if you had to use a restricted format to read normal web pages? Oh, absolutely; I agree. I'm not a video expert; I was told the quality of the Ogg Theora video paled in comparison to H.264, which is why I mentioned that comparison. I feel like "Open/Free vs Proprietary" sometimes means "Pretty Good vs Very Good." And sometimes "Pretty Good" isn't good enough.

Re:A good criticism, but... (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060766)

Just because Adobe's reader is the most prevalent doesn't make PDF any less of an open standard.

Re:Free Software is up to the task (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060566)

But proprietary vendors don't want the competition. Steve Jobs mentioned the MPEG-LA consortium is looking through their patents to see if they can shutdown Ogg Theora before it takes root. OS/X is based on Free Software. The only thing that would be necessary to complete the task if if Mr. Jobs relicensed the remainder of OS/X (the Aqua interface for example) under a Free license and everybody would win -- Mac Heads (great documentary!) would get their desktop, Free Software people would benefit from the infusion of cool software and the remainder of the proprietary software people would have to scramble to keep up.

But... I don't see that in the future with Mr. Jobs at the head of Apple. Based on what I have observed he sees Free Software only as a means to an end --- selling more Apple hardware (which is a good thing) but only on his terms of usage (not so good for the *rest of us* -- things like "Thou shalt not write flash, Thou shall not use a cross-compiler, etc. on the iphone.").

Re:Free Software is up to the task (1)

A. Bosch (858654) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060630)

> But... I don't see that in the future with Mr. Jobs at the head of Apple.

No, me neither. Wozniak, maybe. Jobs, no. But you make an excellent point, thank you.

Re:A good criticism, but... (1)

assertation (1255714) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060612)

That has always been the crux of issue of why the FSF has not been more prominent then it is. It is long on making ideals short on making software that someone who is not a computer enthusiast would be enthusiastic about using.

Newsflash (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060404)

Nobody gives a shit about the FSF.

Figures... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060410)

With all of the "nice PR" of late with Apple and Jobs snotty assed attitude... I can't believe I am saying this, but Jobs, you have alienated me to the point where I will never buy a apple product until you pack up your shit and get out!

Just hijacking thé dedate (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060418)

The FSF is hijacking this debate for their own cause. In fact, the choice is between open standard (html5) or Adobe's format. Another choice you have to make is Apple walled garden vs open platforms (FSF).

Everyone is just trying to get publicity from this. The funny thing is that IF Apple would open up AND accept Flash everyone would go back at bitching about Flash.

Re:Just hijacking thé dedate (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060524)

The FSF isn't hijacking it. It is correctly framing the discussion. HTML5 isn't going to do anything to replace the bulk of Flash web content out there. Most of that is already replaced with "apps".

That's the single most annoying thing about the iPhone/iPad. It takes a common protocol and a common interface that works the same across multiple diverse operating systems and takes us back to the 80s and 90s where every little thing like Google Maps would be a seperate single-platform-only probably windos-only proprietary application.

HTML5 is infact just a red herring.

HTML5 isn't going to replace Flash. Proprietary Apple apps are. Proprietary Apple apps already do.

I can choose between a platform that's more closed than a Nintendo and proprietary apps to match, or another proprietary standard that at least lets me pick the OS of my choice.

Jobs is all about the vendorlock. His populist rantings are just a smokescreen.

Re:Just hijacking thé dedate (1)

cbreak (1575875) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060586)

So google maps is more than just a HTML + Java Script web application that requires no proprietary software to run?

Re:Just hijacking thé dedate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060736)

Adobe has long been all about getting a lock on the industry.
Look how many of their products have become pseudo-standards.
PDF, Flash, Postscript, .PSD and so on. They are every bit as bad in this respect as Microsoft.
And they don't care which platform you use them on as long as you use them. They do object mightily when some platform excludes them, for obvious reasons.
And the addicts line up to complain along with them. Going so far as to slander anyone who doesn't allow Adobe to dominate that platform, too.

No closed OSes ever?? (3, Interesting)

RoadNotTaken (1702106) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060428)

He's implying that no-one should access the web with a closed OS under any circumstance. That seems ridiculous. There are many items that may benefit from web-access that don't need full/open access. I think right now people are arguing over whether or not a phone is such an item. Personally, I don't want root access to my phone. I'm happy to give up full freedom on my phone in exchange for it NEVER failing to do what I need it to do.

Re:No closed OSes ever?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060666)

He's implying that no-one should access the web with a closed OS under any circumstance. That seems ridiculous. There are many items that may benefit from web-access that don't need full/open access.

I'm not the least bit bothered by you accessing the web with a proprietary browser. When the web requires that proprietary browser it's a different story.

Personally, I don't want root access to my phone. I'm happy to give up full freedom on my phone in exchange for it NEVER failing to do what I need it to do.

There is a big difference to not using root access and not having root access. If you don't use root access, you can have the convenience of the companies expertise benefiting you. If you don't have root access, you are at their mercy, which may or may not turn out well for you.

I can understand why you wouldn't want to use root access but there is no reason not to have root access unless you can't be trusted. So mentally incompetent wards of the state shouldn't have root access, everyone else should though they may decide it is to their benefit not to use it.

Think about it like free speech - do you want to give up your right to free speech just because you don't feel talkative right now? That would be most foolish.

Re:No closed OSes ever?? (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060684)

Personally, I don't want root access to my phone. I'm happy to give up full freedom on my phone in exchange for it NEVER failing to do what I need it to do.

That's a false choice.

This is ripe for a car analogy actually. You can pop the hood, swap in OEM parts, and tinker to your hearts content, and accept the consequences. Or you can leave it alone, and have it serviced exclusively by factory trained technicians in factory authorized dealers.

The point is, most people leave their engines unmodified (and receive the security of the factory stock maintained engine), but EVERYONE has the freedom to pop the hood.

Why exactly do you think you need to give up that freedom?

Typical con (4, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060464)

This is pretty typical for a confidence man or a salesman - he doesn't ask "do you want my product or not" but rather, "do you want the green one, or the blue one?" The trick is accepting the false premise in the first place. As soon as you try to follow the red queen as it jumps around from left, right, and center, the con man has you.

It is a choice (4, Insightful)

cbreak (1575875) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060468)

Apple is presenting users with a false choice between Adobe's proprietary software and Apple's walled garden.

It is a real choice, but there are obviously more options to chose from than the enumerated two.

Right != Ability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060514)

I'd rather have proprietary software from a vendor I trust than the legal right and theoretical ability to edit software code. For most applications I don't have the time, skill, or knowledge to fix problems I find. For example, I'm still dependent on Mozilla for upgrades, new features, and bug fixes to Firefox. Individuals can submit patches, but Mozilla still has the ability to reject them. Users could fork the code, and I'm sure some have, but how often will that solve my specific problem. But I'm not worried about these limitations because so far I trust Mozilla.

As for Apple vs Adobe, I have my opinion. Neither are perfect. But we should be criticizing them when they abuse users whether or not their code is proprietary.

It's a matter of money (1)

CityZen (464761) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060518)

Say what you want about Jobs, but one thing is clear: he's a businessman first and foremost. He knows how to make money. Regardless of what he may say about Flash, the decision to keep it off certain Apple products is a business decision that is aimed at making Apple more profitable.

Re:It's a matter of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060600)

Say what you want about Jobs, but one thing is clear: he's a businessman first and foremost. He knows how to make money. Regardless of what he may say about Flash, the decision to keep it off certain Apple products is a business decision that is aimed at making Apple more profitable.

Of course but it's the motivation behind it. He doesn't want shitty bloated closed flash on his hardware because it makes the product look bad. So yah it's about making money but why shouldn't it be? No company is going to make a product as refinded and useful as the iphone and then just not protect it. Comparing flash to apple hardware isn't fair either. If I want to watch video on the web I pretty much have to put up with flash. If I want a phone or and os I don't have to buy apple. Simple as that.

Article doesn't make sense (3, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060536)

For example:

A free Web needs free software. You cannot have a free Web if your access to the software you use to engage the Web is limited to an arbitrary number of computers, or if you are not allowed to conduct business on the Web using the software, or if you are forbidden from asking someone to develop additional features you need.

The web is a separate entity to the client software that accesses it. If somebody accesses the "free web" with a proprietary client, that doesn't make the web any less free or open. The "free web" is dependent on open standards, not the open source nature of browsers. As long as open source browsers exist, I don't see what the FSF's problem is, users still have a choice.

Re:Article doesn't make sense (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060682)

Users don't have the choice to get support for Theora video on Apple's iWhatever platform, for instance. So if "the free web" wants to support Apple, "the free web" needs to support the proprietary h.264. Does "the free web" have the resources to support both Theora and h.264 at the same time? If not, either Apple's customers have been denied access to the free web, or free software support of the free web is impossible, which makes the free web remarkably unfree.

Re:Article doesn't make sense (1, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060774)

Users don't have the choice to get support for Theora video on Apple's iWhatever platform, for instance.

And Mozilla users don't get the option of H.264 on their platform. So, why no outrage at Mozila and Firefox?

o if "the free web" wants to support Apple, "the free web" needs to support the proprietary h.264

And yet Firefox supports the proprietary Flash plugins. Outside of certain sites, the web isn't particularly "free."

If not, either Apple's customers have been denied access to the free web, or free software support of the free web is impossible, which makes the free web remarkably unfree.

Many of Apple's customers are denied access to certain web elements because of the lack of Flash support. But there is full support for the "free" web if your definition of that web is open standards. But video formats are an entirely different kettle of fish. HTML doesn't define video formats, much as it doesn't define image formats. It's a tangential argument.

What I really don't get is why there is so much outrage over H.264, but nobody is complaining about FOSS browsers supporting Flash.

Re:Article doesn't make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060730)

Your argument is fine as long as the web site is accessible to any software. But it goes south in a big hurry if specific software is required to access any part of it. Which is a common problem with either of the two companies this thread is about. Yes, the FSF definitely has a complaint here.

Search and Replace per Mr Jalopy (5, Interesting)

MauiMaker (1802288) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060542)

Mr Jalopy posted a note [blogspot.com] on doing a search & replace of Adobe w/Apple and Flash w/closed. It reads rather well. Probably NOT what Steveo intended but if the turtleneck fits...

From: Steve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060544)

Change your codec. No big deal

Steve

Sent from my iPad

Think about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060552)

Flash video is an embed in an embed. First you add the flash, then you embed the video in the flash file.

Everybody has Jobs all wrong (4, Insightful)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060560)

Steve Job's isn't a tech visionary, he's a *salesman*! That's all you need to know.

Re:Everybody has Jobs all wrong (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060762)

This was the bit of pure luck which got Apple off the ground. If Jobs and Woz had been even five years older Jobs would have laid all these NDAs and contracts and such onto Woz and he would have bailed out of the partnership in disgust.

And Apple wouldn't have happened. It needed the tech guy and the marketing guy to be young and immature enough not to hate each other.

apple should drop that $99y just to come free apps (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060572)

apple should drop that $99y just to come free apps other phone systems do not have this level of lock in.

Re:apple should drop that $99y just to come free a (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060688)

other phone systems don't have 185,000+ apps either.

I guess this is what they call (1)

KuRa_Scvls (932317) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060576)

Sullivan's Choice

apple needs to drop the App Store censorship too!! (1, Informative)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060596)

apple needs to drop the App Store censorship too!!

That is likely why no flash.

And that is whyyyyyyyy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060624)

I'm a PC. *snap snap* :)

"Life without walls..... Apple's walls..."

It's not a debate. (1)

DJCouchyCouch (622482) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060634)

Steve Jobs told the world Apple's strategy and it's pretty darn unambiguous. No amount of bitching or pointing out holes in his letter will change that. Accept it and move on.

Microsoft cant, Apple can. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060690)

Why is it not okay for Microsoft to offer only internet explorer with windows, but apple can restrict the flexibility of there OS to make you have to choose their software? Unconstitutional if your ask me.

The truth is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060700)

Often the worst/inferior solutions for the masses are the best.

And often less is more, even when we sacrifice the ritual of trusted computing.

It's inevitable.

Yfrist stop (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060720)

PLEASE MODERATE may do, may not Megs of ram runs

Another Agenda added to the mix (-1, Troll)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060728)

Adobe, Apple, MS, and now the FSF. Each promoting their own self-serving agenda.

Steve jobs is a liar (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060748)

Steve Jobs has one reason and one reason only for disallowing Flash on his platforms: If flash could be run in the browser, the entire app market would fall apart--the same useless apps would be available for free on the internet. Apple wouldn't make any more from the app store. Anything else Stevo says about Flash is complete BS and misdirection. /story

Defending a closed Web? (2, Interesting)

gig (78408) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060768)

There is no choice when it comes to open standards. It's a Web developer's responsibility to build HTML5, it's a platform vendor's responsibility to include HTML5, it's a browser maker's responsibility to render HTML5, it's a tool-maker's responsibility to make their tools compliant with HTML5. The spec is not optional. Your website also has to use UTF-8 and TCP/IP and ISO MPEG-4.

Consumers use the Web now. Regular people with phones, not tech people with PC's. You can't ask them to patch their system, use an alternate browser, install a plug-in, update a plug-in, or do any kind of I-T work at all. The model is CD/DVD players. A CD put into a CD player has to work. You have to make your CD to Red Book spec, and CD Players have to be to Red Book spec. End of story.

Flash developers do not use the Flash tool to make Flash ... that is an Adobe conceit. They use Flash to make Web apps. In the HTML4 era (1999 through 2007), a Web app was HTML4 plus an embedded plug-in for Mac/PC. The entire Web was Mac/PC, and most users were techies. In the HTML5 era (2007 forward), a Web app is HTML5 on any unknown platform. The users are everybody. That is the reality. There are dozens of HTML5 platforms and only Mac/PC has a Flash plug-in. Adobe's FlashPlayer team is less than 8 people. How are that going to support dozens of platforms? How will the 3-4 updates per year be distributed to what will soon be 10 billion devices? Stop holding your breath.

What has to happen is Adobe has to upgrade their nonstandard, proprietary, closed Web app tool to export HTML5 Web apps. They have to respect the Web app spec just as music tool makers had to respect Red Book. End of story.

It's unbelievable to see FSF support a tool where developers write JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and include ISO MPEG-4 and wrap it up in a closed binary that only proprietary software from one vendor can render. Not to mention, Flash is 14 years old and has had 3 different owners. What if Microsoft buys Adobe (with cash) and screws it up even further, or Apple buys Adobe (with cash) and shuts it down? The Web cannot depend on a single $599 Mac/Windows tool to create and publish audio video. In 5 years, the Web will look like TV. Adobe cannot be the only one who makes VCR's. There is not even a Flash authoring tool for Linux!

Standards are not an issue of choice. See HD-DVD and Blu-Ray DVD which together killed the fucking DVD! No, we are not going to have both standard and nonstandard Web apps. There is only one Web, and it's open, and you can build and publish whatever you want, with any tools, on any platform, as long as you respect the HTML5 spec. Users can use any device, from any manufacturer, to view the Web, as long as that device respects the HTML5 spec. The lack of choice with regards to the spec enables unlimited choice in everything else. See the billion CD/DVD players and exponentially more media and the world enriched by music and movies. Now, we are doing that for the Web with HTML5.

 

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