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Adobe Founders On Flash and Internet Standards

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the where-wizards-go-to-bed-early dept.

The Internet 515

An anonymous reader points out an 18-month-old interview with the founders of Adobe (and creators of PostScript) Charles Geschke and John Warnock, and highlights three interesting quotes from the book Masterminds of Programming that seem very timely now. "'It is so frustrating that this many years later we're still in an environment where someone says if you really want this to work you have to use Firefox. The whole point of the universality of the Web would be to not have those kind of distinctions, but we're still living with them. It's always fascinating to see how long it takes for certain pieces of historical antiquity to die away. The more you put them in the browsers you've codified them as eternal, and that's stupid. ... With Flash what we're trying to do is both beef it up and make it robust enough so that at least you can get one language that's platform-independent and will move from platform to platform without hitting you every time you turn around with different semantics. ... You can see why, to a certain extent, Apple and Microsoft view that as a challenge because they would like you to buy into their implementation of how the seamless integration with the Web goes. What we're saying is it really shouldn't matter. That cloud ought to be accessible by anybody's computer and through any sort of information sitting out on the Web."

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First Trout! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32333480)

I am a FISH!

Re:First Trout! (1, Funny)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333518)

399 more times.Then do a funny little dance and keel over to fail your astronavigation exam.

Re:First Trout! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32333606)

I'm on a horse.

Hmm.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32333486)

How ironic.

And boring.

This depends on the site... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32333488)

I disagree with "if you really want things to work, use Firefox". A number of businesses I have dealt with base their webpages primarily around IE, be it IE6 (which is still used although it needs to be killed with fire), or a later version. Ideally, it shouldn't matter what a user is using for a browser, but because customers use IE the most, the Web designers are told to design to make IE work first, Safari on iPhone second, Firefox or Safari third, and worry about the rest of the pack when time permits.

Re:This depends on the site... (4, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333860)

Yeah, I've seen more IE than Firefox too. But that's irrelevant to this particular straw-man.

They are basically washing over the fact that they are causing the same issue, except they are adding an additional layer that it can occur on. Although, in this case competition is limited.

Still, a decently written page with a cross-browser javascript library and/or plain HTML will work on more platforms than Flash.

Re:This depends on the site... (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333994)

I'm honestly not sure, at this point, if they are just self-serving whiners or if they have been wrapped up in adobe so long that they've acquired a capacity for sincere delusion on par with the guy outside 7-11 who rants about the Second Coming...

"Gosh, it sure is terrible that some sites only work properly in Firefox. And other demand IE. There are even a few that only work in Safari. Wouldn't it be better if every site just required Adobe Flash 10? Things would be so simple!"

That's very nice of you Adobe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32333494)

Now make your CS-software cross-platform, that would probably help a bit in that regard.

Re:That's very nice of you Adobe (0, Troll)

Mr Thinly Sliced (73041) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333514)

Shhh.

Adobe is busy wetting themselves over someone else monopolising important tech toys. Don't disturb them.

It'd be entertaining if it hasn't been holding back the free web for so long. Look how much energy people have put into "flashifying" the web. Sad really.

Re:That's very nice of you Adobe (1, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333944)

If it comes down to Adobe Flash or HTML V5 H.264 I'll take Flash any day and twice on Sundays! At least Adobe doesn't act like douchebags and make you pony up $$$ just to have flash support in Linux distros. And SD Flash plays beautifully on this 1.8Ghz Sempron I use for a low power netbox, and with the latest Flash I can add a $50 AGP card and go full HD. From what I have seen HTML V5 is frankly a dog, and even in a window it runs like a slideshow.

And let us not forget the real enemy here is MPEG-LA, who unlike Adobe really REALLY [mpegla.com] likes to sue...a lot. Old Steve may like having only H.264 on his iStuff ( and why not? Apple and MSFT are a part of MPEG-LA [techrights.org] ) but I prefer having a format I can run just about anywhere WITHOUT having to write a check. MPEG-LA has made it clear [betanews.com] that even just using a browser plugin to view H.264 means you WILL pay up.

So everyone can go "poo poo Adobe, poo poo" and I'll be the first to say their past versions of flash left a lot to be desired. But at least it seems they are trying, and aren't going around trying to lock up the web with an AV paywall like MPEG-LA. Why anyone not drinking the iKoolaid would actually want MPEG-LA with their major douchebag behavior to win over Flash is frankly beyond me. And please don't claim the H.264 paywall is a "standard" because it doesn't matter if it is all locked down behind a paywall of patents. I mean, do you REALLY want to help lock web video into a legal minefield [cnet.com] that benefits Apple and MSFT while screwing Linux?

Re:That's very nice of you Adobe (4, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333970)

One more time: Apple has a single patent in the h.264 pool. Microsoft has something like sixty, and they still pay the MPEG-LA twice what they receive in royalties. And Apple gets pocket change for their patent. Neither have an economic interest in promoting h.264, beyond sunk costs.

Re:That's very nice of you Adobe (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#32334202)

You mean besides the fact that they can't be sued for patent infringement by other members of MPEG-LA?

yeah.. thats not worth anything.

Apple has exactly 1 patent in MPEG-LA? That means they need MPEG-LA more than any other member.

Re:That's very nice of you Adobe (1)

flnca (1022891) | more than 4 years ago | (#32334016)

lol, I'd glady shell out a few bucks for a picture perfect Flash player on Linux!!

Re:That's very nice of you Adobe (2, Informative)

arielCo (995647) | more than 4 years ago | (#32334084)

Perhaps you [we] could donate to Gnash [gnashdev.org] ? You know, they might get there someday.

Re:That's very nice of you Adobe (1)

flnca (1022891) | more than 4 years ago | (#32334144)

Noted. :)

Re:That's very nice of you Adobe (2, Insightful)

Mr Thinly Sliced (73041) | more than 4 years ago | (#32334158)

You go ahead declaring whomever you want enemies.

Personally I feel the internet has to be based around free non-patent encumbered standards. Yes it's currently a lofty goal and we can't do it overnight (we should never have let it get this far, but people like shiny toys, don't they.)

This does means that Flash and the MPEG-LA just smell wrong. I couldn't care less about demonising them - the techs wrong, plain and simple.

You presented a false choice - I choose neither.

nothing against flash (5, Insightful)

Rikiji7 (1182159) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333500)

I'm not against flash, but i would like to be able to opt it out without losing any feature of the website i'm browsing. As i don't need/like flash based games and bloated intros, at the moment i got it installed just to watch embedded videos. One feature to go.

Re:nothing against flash (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333750)

Not everything flash is bad: http://www.homestarrunner.com/ [homestarrunner.com] , although I suppose that site *could* theoretically be done with SVG...

Re:nothing against flash (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333946)

Vote with your feet. If a page does not offer you an option to skip their flashtastic crapfest, close the window, go elsewhere.

Re:nothing against flash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32333998)

_Obviously_ you haven't played "gemcraft zero". ;)

What WE'RE saying is ... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32333504)

We'd like you to buy into OUR implementation. That cloud ought to be accessible to anyone's computer - as long as they're running Flash.

Adobe wants a monopoly on content, and wants the OS to be commoditized. I want the whole platform to be commoditized - and that's why I support truly open standards.

Got it in one (5, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333610)

Adobe wants web content to just run anywhere? When the plugin they sell doesn't run everywhere and in places it does run, it often runs poorly?

Where is Flash for BSD? For AMD64? Oh, wait, when Adobe speaks about the net, they mean IE.

Adobe, the reason Apple hates your guts is because you never ever supported their OS properly until you absolutely had to.

Oh and I hate your guts too, just a little bit more then Steve Jobs in fact, so I hope he rapes your stinking rotting corpse and eats your babies. Sometimes the enemy of my enemy is worth cheering on.

Re:Got it in one (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32333668)

Remind me what devices iPhone OS runs on?

Re:Got it in one (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333948)

Remind me what devices iPhone OS runs on?

Um, the iPhone (all versions), iPod Touch (all versions) and the iPad (all versions). Gee, I thought that list was required reading to get an account on /.?

Unfortunately, Write once, run anywhere will never be a reality. And that isn't necessarily a bad thing. No software or tech company is going to be able to make sure their products run on everything. And every platform/OS company shouldn't have to make their products support every other product out there.

Sure, Flash should play nice on all the major platforms, but it doesn't (and probably never will). If you can live without it (I can) then you don't install Flash. The consumer ends up with a mishmash of choices and someone is always going to be saying "but I wanted A, D, F, K & N with R, but I can't get exactly that mix". Not everyone is going to be happy. Not every consumer, not every software company and not every platform/OS company.

Re:Got it in one (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32333678)

er...have you seen Steve Jobs lately...? for an apple fan like you the subject of death should be out of bounds, no...?

of course you'll be there at the funeral soon enough, trying to get your slathering mouth-parts around his lifeless dick! something for u to look forward to eh!!!!!

Re:Got it in one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32333836)

for an apple fan like you

Are you that stupid, or can you not read? He clearly said Apple is his enemy too... hardly a fan

Sometimes the enemy of my enemy is worth cheering on.

Re:Got it in one (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32334190)

er are you thick? anyone who cheers apple on is a fan.

motives for apple cocksuckers vary from fake elitism through to sheer inability to use a real computer. they're all the same as far as my fanboy rifle is concerned. back to the basement you turd!!!!

Re:Got it in one (4, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333848)

Adobe, the reason Apple hates your guts is because you never ever supported their OS properly until you absolutely had to.

Ironically, Adobe owes its existence to Apple adopting PostScript [wikipedia.org] as the standard for the Apple LaserWriter printer.

Re:Got it in one (3, Insightful)

A12m0v (1315511) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333892)

It is amazing how much support Adobe gets online and how much hate Apple gets for badmouthing Flash, when Adobe itself has a shoddy history of supporting many OSes, Apple is not to blame for their attitude towards Flash. The web is meant to be universal, but with some OSes lacking Flash support, and there are thousands of Flash sites, it'll never be. Adobe never cared about any OS other than Windows and Mac, so I'm glad that Jobs made it his mission to kill Flash.

Re:Got it in one (1)

jack2000 (1178961) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333926)

Actually Flash works for AMD64. For XP64 and the rest of MS's 64bit oses. But i guess you meant linux based 64bit oses.

Re:Got it in one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32334018)

Actually Flash works fine on 64bit Linux based OSes :)

Re:Got it in one (1)

HBoar (1642149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32334062)

I've also been running 64 bit flash on linux for about a year.... I think it may still be called a beta, but I've never had any trouble with it and it runs very nicely.

Re:Got it in one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32334128)

Flash works on W64 but there is no native 64-bit browser plugin. Flash is the only reason I ever have to run a 32-bit browser on a 64 bit OS.

Re:Got it in one (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333978)

You're absolutely right about Adobe.
Even back when Adobe product ran ONLY on Apple platform, Adobe should have supported Apple more.

Re:Got it in one (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#32334204)

That's my personal beef with it. Still no production x64 plugin. Adobe has sat on their ass for a decade while 64 bit computing marched on, they 'penalize' anyone wanting to run a 64 bit OS. Perhaps not directly because the site designers opt to use Flash, but when the platform becomes unavoidable, and the only place to get it is a single company, I take issue with that.

There should be absolutely no excuse that they haven't had a 64 bit plugin for this YEARS ago. If they had no intention of keeping the tech current, then they should have open sourced the damn thing to let the community do what was right and needed. Instead, they have held onto it, and let the platform languish (not that it was ever top of the line, but that's another topic altogether).

It can't die soon enough.

Re:What WE'RE saying is ... (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333960)

Isn't the flash file format and programming language an open standard?

If they really want to boost Flash adoption ... (5, Insightful)

flnca (1022891) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333508)

If they really want to boost Flash adoption, they should make it open-source!! Or at the very least make cheap authoring tools that everyone can use. Flash isn't really all that multiplatform, b/c the authoring tools exist only for Windows and Mac ... where are the versions for Linux, BSD, Solaris?

Re:If they really want to boost Flash adoption ... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32333524)

Now what commercial gain could they possibly get from doing this? BSD/Linux makeup maybe 1% of multi-purpose computer users. Web content developers make up a fraction of a fraction of that. Also consider the fact that all web content developers have to have a windows machine around to proof for the ubiquitous "IE" that still makes up the lions share of the browser market.

Linux/BSD are great solutions but they are currently niche software for geeks and servers.

Re:If they really want to boost Flash adoption ... (4, Informative)

FyRE666 (263011) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333596)

As far as I'm aware, the swf file format is open and documented. Write your own authoring tool if you like - all the info is there. A lot of people seem to miss this fact.

Re:If they really want to boost Flash adoption ... (1)

neumayr (819083) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333660)

Seriously? People put up with that barely working binary only blob for ages, have been coding around it, thought up hacks like ndiswrapper, all while the filetype is openly documented?

Re:If they really want to boost Flash adoption ... (4, Insightful)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333688)

Yep. And it's been completely licence-unencumbered for 2 years now.

Apple and other corporate controllers of the W3C want a monopoly on specifying how the web is delivered. That's all this is about. And no matter how poorly Flash runs, it can still deliver applications or 3D gaming experiences or whatever (hell, as can Java applets!) while the 30 year old Pacman clone on Google's homepage stutters like a bitch.

Re:If they really want to boost Flash adoption ... (5, Interesting)

brillow (917507) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333796)

Good point, also, appeals to "performance" are short-sighted in computer land. Anything which runs too slow on a computer this year will be butter by next year. Apple is not against flash because its bad, but because once the performance problems go away with the next generation of hardware, Adobe has a platform which can do an end-run around Apple's app-store ecosystem. Its the same kind of logic behind why they don't allow java. If Flash and Java ran in the browser on an iPhone, then you could actually develop high-powered webapps, and run a web-based app store. Not to mention all the cross-platform development. This is especially true since Android is rapidly gaining marketshare, Apple is trying to lock up developers as fast as possible so they won't jump to Android quite as quickly when it inevitably overtakes them, and it is inevitable. There's no way Apple can compete with all the hardware-variety of Android phones. Plus, in a few years there will be Android phones doing something Apple can never do, which is being given away for free with contract. Not to mention Android apps are going to run on tablets and your TV (without any lame pixel doubling).

Re:If they really want to boost Flash adoption ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32334080)

It will not be better by next year -- I don't know if you noticed, but CPUs aren't getting much faster any more.

Re:If they really want to boost Flash adoption ... (5, Funny)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 4 years ago | (#32334166)

Read the GP's comment. He is not saying that it will be 'better' next year, he is clearly stating that it will be 'butter'. I cannot understand that you didn't bread that correctly.

Re:If they really want to boost Flash adoption ... (4, Informative)

flnca (1022891) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333934)

Interesting!! Last time I checked (which was more than 2 years ago), the format spec didn't allow it to be used to write authoring tools, plus the license was limited to 1 year. If they changed that, then the outlook for new free graphical authoring tools wouldn't be quite as dim.

Re:If they really want to boost Flash adoption ... (2, Informative)

flnca (1022891) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333956)

or was it players? can't remember, sorry.

Re:If they really want to boost Flash adoption ... (4, Informative)

Molt (116343) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333682)

Have a look at the Flex SDK [adobe.com] . It's Adobe's open-source tool for creating content to run on the Flash player, and it runs fine for me on Linux. I don't use BSD or Solaris so can't comment on those.

It's a command-line tool and doesn't have the visual bells and whistles of the Flash IDE but is a good way to produce Flash content. Whilst it's primarily aimed at producing application-style code it's more than capable of graphical/game content too, you just need to bring the graphics in from another application.

In the past I had to write a Flash 'video player plus graphical metadata overlay' style application for work. I had a choice of what to write it in, Flash IDE and Flex SDK were both readily available, and I went for Flex because it fitted in with my standard workflow better- I was still using the same text editors, build systems, and version control that I'd use in any language and the GUI library in Flex was a lot nicer than the one Flash was shipping with at the time.

Re:If they really want to boost Flash adoption ... (1)

flnca (1022891) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333768)

Thank you! I will have a look at it! :)

What about gnash? (1)

IYagami (136831) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333852)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnash [wikipedia.org]

http://www.gnu.org/software/gnash/ [gnu.org]

Gnash is a GNU Flash movie player. Flash is an animation file format pioneered by Macromedia which continues to be supported by their successor company, Adobe. Flash has been extended to include audio and video content, and programs written in ActionScript, an ECMAScript-compatible language. Gnash is based on GameSWF, and supports most SWF v7 features and some SWF v8 and v9.

Re:What about gnash? (1)

flnca (1022891) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333906)

That's true, I haven't thought of that. Gnash might be very useful as an authoring tool (as a player, it's not been very useful last time I checked).

Re:What about gnash? (2, Informative)

Spewns (1599743) | more than 4 years ago | (#32334078)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnash [wikipedia.org]

http://www.gnu.org/software/gnash/ [gnu.org]

Gnash is a GNU Flash movie player. Flash is an animation file format pioneered by Macromedia which continues to be supported by their successor company, Adobe. Flash has been extended to include audio and video content, and programs written in ActionScript, an ECMAScript-compatible language. Gnash is based on GameSWF, and supports most SWF v7 features and some SWF v8 and v9.

But does it actually work now? I try Gnash once in awhile only to realize it still doesn't work whatsoever. The only foss flash player I'd ever had *any* luck with was swfdec, and development on that project appears dead now. I mean, don't get me wrong, swfdec worked like crap, but I could still watch videos on YouTube and Google Video with it at the very least.

Re:If they really want to boost Flash adoption ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32334088)

I am a flex developer running linux OS for my desktop.

Re:If they really want to boost Flash adoption ... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32334168)

Adobe has a Flash player for Solaris:
http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashplayer10/

"Looks to me, I am open!" (5, Insightful)

Tei (520358) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333532)

"It is so frustrating that this many years later we're still in an environment where someone says if you really want this to work you have to use Firefox"

You mean, like these pages that say "To watch that, you need Flash 10"?, I have found loot of these. Your propietary extension is not better than some people doing a XUL remote webapp. (full disclosure: I have released a few xul apps, look for Tei in sf)

Re:"Looks to me, I am open!" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32333582)

Exactly. What an absolutely disgusting, hypocritical piece. The standards are there, no reason to re-invent them, just follow them. But no, another vulture looking for a lucrative death grip on our beloved internets...

Just say no to flash.

Re:"Looks to me, I am open!" (4, Interesting)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333588)

He didn't mean:

"It is so frustrating [...] where someone says if you really want this to work you have to use Firefox. [as opposed to this always working]"

What he meant was:

"It is so frustrating [...] where someone says if you really want this to work you have to use Firefox [as opposed to Flash]"

Pot ... kettle (3, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333726)

You mean, like these pages that say "To watch that, you need Flash 10"?

In the Wikipedia article on Pot calling the kettle black [wikipedia.org] there's this alternative interpretation: "the pot is sooty (being placed on a fire), while the kettle is clean and shiny (being placed on coals only), and hence when the pot accuses the kettle of being black, it is the pots own sooty reflection that it sees"

This is how I see Adobe's accusation against Firefox. I have yet to see *one* single site that requires Firefox, I have lost count of the sites that require Flash.

Platform independent != supporting a few platforms (5, Insightful)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333538)

With Flash what we're trying to do is both beef it up and make it robust enough so that at least you can get one language that's platform-independent and will move from platform to platform without hitting you every time you turn around with different semantics.

*sigh* another company claiming that what they're doing is "platform independent" because they've created versions for a few platforms. Just like Microsoft with their Silverlight technology, Flash isn't platform independent at all. Sure Adobe has created Flash for a few different platforms, just like MS has created a Mac-version of Silverlight, but at the end of the day, Flash only works on the platforms Adobe have decided to create a binary for.

What platform independence is all about, is that the platform is completely irrelevant. You know, like the web is supposed to be. Javascript doesn't care if it's running on an Intel chip or an ARM chip, it doesn't care if you're running it in Windows or Linux, it doesn't care which browser you are using. THAT is platform independence. Loading the approriate binary for your platform is not, especially if you can't create these binaries yourself in the case Adobe doesn't support your platform.

This is why Flash is terrible for the web. When websites rely heavily on Flash, it basically turns the web into an Adobe-only platform. That's terrible for everyone, no matter how Adobe is trying to sell it to you.

Re:Platform independent != supporting a few platfo (1)

gpuk (712102) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333592)

Very eloquently put. Wish I had some mod points left.

Re:Platform independent != supporting a few platfo (2, Interesting)

AndrewStephens (815287) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333640)

Correct. If Adobe had open sourced Flash right from the beginning and provided a free dev environment it may have been ubiquitous by now instead of being a glorified video codec. But the other reason Flash applications haven't taken off is simple - nobody whose opinion matters wants them to!

Microsoft is terrified by anything that would let it's locked-in customer base easily migrate to another desktop OS. Apple doesn't care so much, but would much prefer applications be developed specifically for MacOSX (and guards the iPhone like Fort Knox). The linux desktop people are busy with other stuff and distrust Adobe. The application developers would maybe like to use Flash (or maybe not) but are hindered by insane licensing fees. The only people (apart from Adobe) who really want Flash are Google, who stand to make more money if applications are pushed out onto the web. Google are the only ones who push out Flash with their browser, and include good Flash support in their mobile OS.

Adobe really tried to get people to develop whole applications in Flash, but I could never see a compelling reason to do this. HTML works well enough for most things (even more with HTML5), anything more demanding is maybe not a good candidate for implementing as a web-based application. Where is the Flash facebook or imdb? They don't exist because they wouldn't provide anything more than what we already have. Where is the cross-platform Flash email client? Nobody cares.

I don't mean to dump on Flash too much - it serves its purpose. Even with HTML5, Flash will still be used for games, advertising, and maybe video for years to come. But it will never be the all-encompassing platform that Adobe wants it to be.

Re:Platform independent != supporting a few platfo (0, Troll)

DMorritt (923396) | more than 4 years ago | (#32334006)

Microsoft is terrified by anything that would let it's locked-in customer base easily migrate to another desktop OS. Apple doesn't care so much.

Are you kidding? Both are as bad as each other, MS is being forced to allow people to choose things like browsers, Apple on the other hand are happily locking your into their tightly controlled products.

Re:Platform independent != supporting a few platfo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32334102)

Or maybe flash won't even be used for that anymore. Any OpenGL-esque extension which has a nicer production chain (3d studio max / blender / programming environment etc directly to browser) might make flash considerably less popular.

Many interest groups DO want that to happen. Lets see if it does.

Re:Platform independent != supporting a few platfo (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32333648)

This leads us to the root problem: Why is there no Flash binary for some relevant platforms (not talking about iP(hone|od|ad))? Flash is supposed to be a publicly available specification, isn't it? Well, it may be, but there is patented stuff in there and the spec is entirely under Adobe's control. Others have no say in it. Sun opened Java (after a long time of handling it much like Adobe still handles Flash), but Sun is no more, which might be a bit of a disincentive for Adobe following Sun's lead.

That said, even as an open platform, Flash would still suck. Flash "documents" or "apps" are binary blobs. That's not how I want my web to be. The granularity of a Flash applet is much too coarse.

Re:Platform independent != supporting a few platfo (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32333708)

Why don't you recompile the Gnash source for your platform of choice then? You lazy jackass

Re:Platform independent != supporting a few platfo (2, Funny)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333788)

not talking about iP(hone|od|ad)

Apple prohibits any kind of code interpreter, not just Adobe's.

Re:Platform independent != supporting a few platfo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32333894)

Where is javascript running on ARM?

Re:Platform independent != supporting a few platfo (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32334106)

Just a quick natter: JavaScript doesn't "just work" 100%.

ECMAScript is the name of the standard; Netscape (and later Mozilla) were entitled to use the Java trademark to call it JavaScript; Microsoft instead call it JScript. JScript somewhat resembles JavaScript, which is an implementation of ECMAScript; however, it is not much more compatible than anything else in the IE core.

Speaking of Java; it's funny, but as far as web-apps go, only a few years ago I'd have said that Java was officially dead and that Flash had gone and eaten its lunch. But now, it looks that, for web-apps, Flash is living on borrowed time and Java is on the brink of rebirth. Maybe once the non-IE browsers can finally, collectively dethrone IE and banish it to the far corners of the web, Java can finally do what neither Flash nor even itself managed to do: a true run-anywhere engine for compiled code inside every user agent.

Re:Platform independent != supporting a few platfo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32334138)

javascript doesnt care - you're correct - but somebody still needs to code in the interpreter for that javascript. If i put javascript onto a device that doesn't understand javascript i'm screwed - just like running an SWF on something that doesn't have flash player. There's no such thing as true platform independance - SOMEBODY needs to write the interpreter for whatever language you're going to use, either at OS-level or above.

anything truly platform independant will run on Lynx, a wap phone and a set-top-box's crappy inbuilt browser .... enjoy your text-only web

I'd rather depend on Firefox (3, Insightful)

jprupp (697660) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333560)

I'd rather be forced to use Firefox to view certain content, than Flash. At least Firefox is Open Source and WORKS FINE on all platforms it runs, and follow standards very closely without misinterpreting them. Neither can be said for Flash. Moreover, if it works with Firefox, it will work on pretty much all browsers that respect standards, unless you use XUL to develop the application, but then you're pretty much conscious you're doing a Gecko app, and not a standard web app.

Flash sucks, let it die, spit on it's tomb, for it's the biggest oppressor of the open web.

Re:I'd rather depend on Firefox (3, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333704)

I share your views in regards to Flash, but FF/Gecko doesn't quite "work fine" on all platforms it runs on - mobile Mozilla is not a new effort, all the previous ones basically abandaned due to "oh well, we'll just wait until the hardware gest faster"; and even the current one runs only on one of the most powerful mobile phones. Meanwhile Webkit and Opera run happily on quite "underpowered" devices for a long time.
OLPC XO-1 is also a curious example, having Gecko for some reason on what is essentially an overclocked 486...
Likewise with standards - they're damn good in comparison to IE6, but "work on Webkit or Opera, run flawlessly on FF" works more often than the other way around. For some time we even had basically "best viewed in IE & FF".

Re:I'd rather depend on Firefox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32334086)

IE6 sucks, let it die, spit on it's tomb, for it's the biggest oppressor of the open web.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves, will we? ;)

Firefox works on more platforms than Flash, so? (4, Insightful)

drx (123393) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333590)

So i "need Firefox for this to work" and that's worse than needing Flash? Well, Firefox works on more platforms than Flash. Problem solved, not by Adobe tho.

Re:Firefox works on more platforms than Flash, so? (1)

lordandmaker (960504) | more than 4 years ago | (#32334134)

Not really. Problem shrunk perhaps. The same issue is there - that you have to use one particular implementation in order to view the content - it's just that this particular implementation is easier to get and works in more places.

Flash not detected! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32333600)

"I'm sorry, if you really want to read this post you have to use Flash."

Re:Flash not detected! (2, Funny)

jack2000 (1178961) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333976)

"I'm sorry, if you really want to mod Funny this post you have to use Java Script."

Re:Flash not detected! (1)

Dexy (1751176) | more than 4 years ago | (#32334174)

Not a problem!

Over here are FOSS developers (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333670)

Who donate their time for no other reason than that they wan to enrich everyone.

And over there are Abode, who bill their time for no other reason than that they want to enrich themselves.

How dare they compare themselves with FOSS developers? How dare they?

Re:Over here are FOSS developers (2, Insightful)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333718)

The hippie OSS developer sold out about a decade ago, kid. OSS license choice is now mostly a pragmatic engineering choice for service delivery businesses, which are also by far the majority contributors to significant open source projects.

It doesn't matter what you'd like it to be, only what it is.

Re:Over here are FOSS developers (3, Insightful)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333794)

Choice by businesses != choice by engineers.

My work on open source projects is not motivated by making my employer rich -- it just happens to do that anyway, so no one is complaining. Adobe, on the other hand, creates deliberately convoluted, nearly impossible to reimplement, products, plays favorites in OS support, promotes DRM, and does pretty almost everything a software company can do to make everyone's life harder.

"Almost" because as far as I know, anti-open-source propaganda against their competitors ("Gimp does not support CMYK!" and the likes) originates from Microsoft marketing people, Adobe just gets windfall from it as Microsoft is too stupid to make a graphics editor.

Re:Over here are FOSS developers (3, Insightful)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333844)

My work on open source projects is not motivated by making my employer rich -- it just happens to do that anyway,

If it didn't make your employer rich, your employer would not have any money to pay you. So unless you're a volunteer, your work on open source projects is motivated by making your employer rich.

Adobe, on the other hand, creates deliberately convoluted, nearly impossible to reimplement, products

Like the W3C. I'm still looking forward to a browser which actually fully supports any of their mainstream standards produced over the past few years. Also good would be a standard written sufficiently well that two best-effort implementations are equally acceptable when provided with any standards-compliant HTML/CSS/Javascript.

Re:Over here are FOSS developers (2, Insightful)

brillow (917507) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333828)

Don't give me BS about OSS developers wanting to enrich anyone. They enrich themselves by pursuing a hobby. They only self-aggrandize by saying its about a cause. You act like these people are saints. An OSS developer is no more a saint than people who put their own apple-pie recipes online. OSS as it was can never really dominate, its impossible for less-organized, unpaid people to outperform highly-paid professionals at the same game. The only cases where I see OSS possibly moving into a dominant system is with Chrome/ChromeOS/Android and thats because Google puts huge amounts of resources into them (because they make money for Google).

Re:Over here are FOSS developers (2, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#32334172)

its impossible for less-organized, unpaid people to outperform highly-paid professionals at the same game

They're usually not playing the same game. They're usually doing things that companies like Adobe wouldn't touch with a barge pole because they're unprofitable. There are kinds of scientific research that you can't even do without OSS - the tools simply don't exist commercially, because there's no significant money to be made. That's the sort of work that Adobe is pretending to be a part of, and that pretense is unqualified bullshit. That is what the GP was posting about.

Adobe (-1, Flamebait)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333722)

Fuck you!
The sooner the web get rid of this bloated crap the better.

all this trying (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32333784)

His reasons are fine, but they've been "trying" for too long they need more doing!

If he's serious about content being accessible on any platform then they need to start treating all platforms equally and with decent performance too.

it's ridiculous that a stupid flash game takes as much resources as a full on game. using the same technology for advert banners is insane

Nearly... (2, Funny)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333810)

read the title of the story as: "Adobe Flounders On Flash and Internet Standards"

Re:Nearly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32333916)

Adobe was founded by flounders? That explains why it's so popular among phishers.

Sounds familiar (1)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333874)

What was it again?

Oh right

"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator."

-GWB

Oh..... (1)

Burnhard (1031106) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333898)

"The Following Plug-In has crashed: Shockwave Flash"

This is hilarious (4, Insightful)

bartron (772079) | more than 4 years ago | (#32333938)

I love it how if it a story about flash when concerned with iPhone/iPad everyone is full of hate and woe and spit venom towards Apple for daring to exile the chosen one.

However when you take Apple out of the picture (despite this being filed under Apple for some reason) no-one can think of a kind word for the Adobe wonder child. Oh how flash isn't open, only works on Adobe approved systems, Firefox runs on more systems etc etc....you can't have it both ways people.

I'm no fanboy but at least I'm not a hypocrite...Flash sucks, always has, always will....regardless of who choses to support it and who doesn't. FFS people, one would think you'd be happy that a company (in this case Apple) is trying to champion an open standard (HTML5) to free you from the shackles of requiring a compiled binary made especially for your system.

Re:This is hilarious (2, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#32334032)

you can't have it both ways people

You can and you must. The point of contention is closed versus open platforms. Condemning both Apple and Adobe is the only philosophically consistent, unhypocritical course of action. The decision only becomes hypocritical when you view the problem as "I must side with Adobe or Apple" which is precisely what the corporations want you to do.

People might say they would like the option of avoiding Flash, or that the Flash omission is symptomatic of the larger issue people are opposed to. That doesn't mean people endorse Flash's closedness or welcome piss-poor attempts to pass it off as an open platform.

Re:This is hilarious (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 4 years ago | (#32334132)

Oh how flash isn't open, only works on Adobe approved systems,

Unless you get an open source implementation of the flash plugin and then it would be become open. So actually flash can be open, it's just the non educated user that doesn't know better. Nothing is stopping any user who wants to from writing a complete and total flash "language" from scratch. If you want to complain about flash then fix the problem and make your own, or else shut up because no one cares. Flash works, flash does what it does and it's decent at doing it.

Re:This is hilarious (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#32334188)

Its possible to believe that flash sucks while simultaneously believing that users have the right to choose to use it.

In the case of Apple, it is very clear that Apple is not against Flash out of the goodness of their heart. They are against Flash because if it were on iPortables it would immediately screw over their media market control. iPortable users could run Hulu (for example) without Hulu having to make any deals ($$$) with Apple.
HTML5 doesnt theaten this market control because the Hulu's of the world only exist because of the DRM facade, which HTML5 doesnt offer.

When the discussion turns to Apple vs Adobe, it is a no-brainer that most people would be against Apple. Most people like choice. iPortables run a BSD-based OS's that you have to 'break' in order to obtain actual freedom. Even the GPL fans realize how fucked up that is.

Book Burning? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32333954)

Whether you like Flash or not, the fact remains that for a long time it was the only way to do all sorts of things that are only just becoming viable with other methods, as so was the de-facto standard.

Things like Joe Cartoon, RatherGood.com and Fly Guy would never have existed without Flash, and there is all sorts of information stored in SWF files going back to the 90s. You may argue that this information is now in the wrong format, but there's lots of things that will never be updated to HTML5 or JavaScript equivalents.

I can understand a lot of the complaints about Flash, but if goes, we lose a large chunk of internet history with it. The battles between Adobe and Apple is all about their own self interest, but may result in people losing lots information for idealogical reasons (as has already happened to iPad and iPhone users).

This seems a little bit too much like book burning to me.

Re:Book Burning? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#32334110)

Whether Flash is in use or not, whether Adobe continues to exist and produce new versions of Flash or not, there will come a time in the not too distant future when the only way to play old .swf files is by installing old Flash Player binaries on a real or virtual machine. Those binaries will not cease to exist just because we've rejected Flash on the web. Access will still be available. No burning will occur.

Call me crazy, but I LIKE Flash! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32334020)

I like Flash, it provides a higher level of interactivity than what can be done with just HTML. All the cool stuff on the Internet uses Flash.

On the automakers websites I can select different trims and colors and see a mock up on the actual car, with Flash I an view a 360 degree panoramas of the inside of rooms on real estate for sale without having to run Quicktime.

The kids love Club Penguin and Nick.com, all of which use Flash extensively. On my iPad it is a little frustrating that it just doesn't work....yet it works fine with Flash on my 3 year old MBP.

Double-meaning in headline, I like it (2, Interesting)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32334118)

The headline has a nice double-meaning. It could be read as an interview with the founders of Adobe on Flash and Internet standards, or that Adobe is foundering [google.com] on Flash and Internet standards. The latter is what I first read it as.

Is it ok to say I like Flash? (2, Interesting)

awjr (1248008) | more than 4 years ago | (#32334142)

Personally, as a development platform, with Android 2.2 around the corner, and Adobe releasing the iPhone packager for other mobile OS, I'm willing to give them breathing space to get on with what they are trying to achieve.

The problem I find with /. is so many people seem to be doing the "well v6 was crap, v10.1 must be awful" routine. It's tedious. Please go and read this http://blogs.adobe.com/flashplayer/2010/05/engineering_flash_player.html [adobe.com] .

Currently there is no other company out there trying to deliver such a comprehensive write once, run anywhere solution. If they pull this off, my life as a developer becomes a lot simpler.

Founders (1)

Allicorn (175921) | more than 4 years ago | (#32334194)

Founders... oh wait... it's a noun!

JUST FOR FIREFOX! *screams* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32334198)

Firefox is free in both senses of the word. If you wish to develop something for firefox, you are free to do so, if you need firefox to view a webpage, then firefox is a free, hasslefree, clean install that has little chance of causing problems and runs at a decent speed. No, it's not the be-all and end-all of web-browsers, but it's one of the most standards compliant, free, and hasslefree. If you absolutely need something on the web, then it's the browser of choice to need.

You want to know what I see more of?, IE only webpages, and they still work better in firefox with IE Tab. You know what firefox also can't do?, kill your computer. For some strange, idiotic and illegal anticompetitive reason MS decided to put IE in the kernel, which means if it has problems it can affect the entire fucking computer. You know what Firefox does?, crashes, quickly, and then when you start it up it asks if you want to reload your webpages. You know IE does?, it f's over your entire computer.

You want to know what's worse? Adobe-only content:
Flash gives us four things, flash games, flash movies, flash intros and webpages, and an easily replaced video codec. No one is making good flash movies anymore, (except for some people making commercial TV series, and then they export it to a more traditional video format). I'd miss flash games, but they are quite, quite problematic. The world would be so much better off without those idiotic flash intros and flash websites, and as I just said, the video codec is easily replaced.

Acrobat takes longer to boot then WoW, and it only displays a document piecemeal. I can't even use acrobat plug-ins because of the extra strain it caues. I cringe whenever someone gives me something in PDF format. It, after many years, added the ability to add a bit of text to the forms, but it doesn't run any faster then it did years ago.

Adobe has dominating the marketplace for years without ever improving. You know what we need, we need something to come and replace everything it has ever done. It might have had a time, but that time is passed, and if they want to keep their audience, then how about making something good for a change, rather then suing people who point out the obvious flaws with your programmes.

They don't understand Apple's business goals (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | more than 4 years ago | (#32334210)

These guys just don't understand Apple's business goals. Apple long ago realized that they can't compete as "just another computer company". The paper-thin margins of the PC business preclude that. So to that end, Apple's goal is to reinvent why people want to buy its products. Sure there were tons of MP3 players out there when the iPod came out but iTunes changed the way you get your music. Then the iPhone threw out the gimped phone device business model crammed down our throats by the phone companies. Apple wants to do the same thing with the iPad but with a broader goal. Embracing Flash is counter to that because then the consumer has less motivation to buy an Apple product. At its core, this is about business, not about technological ideology.

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