back to article Adobe's revenge on Steve Jobs: HTML5

Despite significant investments from Microsoft, Google, and others, HTML5 remains not quite good enough for a range of apps. So says Mark Zuckerberg, but I also heard that this week from the chief technology officer of a large media company. Rather than gloat over HTML5's long road to native app parity, though, he fretted about …

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  1. Rich 2
    Flame

    Oh no!

    I really hope Adobe doesn't get to grips with HTML5. The last thing the world needs is Adobe continuing to inflict their cruddy software on it. It's just a shame that most people don't realise that the bloated heap of crap called Acrobat is not the only PDF tool about.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Oh no!

      It's just a shame that most people talking about Adobe's 'cruddy software' have never actually done any serious development in it. Flex/AS3 and Adobe's toolset for it is actually a really nice development setup, speaking as a programmer myself, and FAR more portable than HTML5 is going to be for a few years.

      Also - how come we bash Adobe for being buggy and dangerous, but nearly all the exploits are Windows-only?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh no!

        If portable is your aim then Java is best. But every tool has its downsides.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Facepalm

          Re: Oh no!

          "If portable is your aim then Java is best. But every tool has its downsides"

          Portable between OS's maybe, portable between different versions of VM? Nah ah. Unfortunately Java brings its own unique set of issues to the portability problem which arn't necessarily any easier to solve. Besides which I'm afraid the days of Java (c)raplets has past. Not many people have the skillset and the browser based end results usually look pretty poor even compared to flash.

        2. Adam Azarchs
          FAIL

          Re: Oh no!

          "If portable is your aim then Java is best."

          Except we're talking about the mobile market, where iOS has nearly half the market and doesn't allow java to run. So that's a very strange definition of portable.

          The prohibition against interpreted code on iOS limits things to platforms which can be AOT compiled, such as .NET (see http://www.mono-project.com/Mono:OSX). Ironic, that.

        3. JDX Gold badge

          Re: Oh no!

          >>If portable is your aim then Java is best

          That doesn't make sense when we're talking about client apps. I'd say Flash is far preferable to Java applets; it's designed with presentation and GUI in mind and makes that stuff much easier.

      2. Rich 2
        Happy

        @JDX

        "Also - how come we bash Adobe for being buggy and dangerous, but nearly all the exploits are Windows-only?"

        I hate Windows as much as the next geek, but even I struggle to blame MS when I'm using a Mac, or Linux, or BSD, or......

      3. Eponymous Cowherd

        Re: Oh no!

        "It's just a shame that most people talking about Adobe's 'cruddy software' have never actually done any serious development in it."

        No, but most of us have seen the cruddy and bloated end products, particularly on mobile devices.

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: Oh no!

          >>No, but most of us have seen the cruddy and bloated end products, particularly on mobile devices

          It's not Adobe's fault that the people using their tools are poor developers. For one thing, many of them are designers who don't know how to code well. For another, many of them are paid $5 to create crappy adverts and so on... those people write equally horrible Java or C++ :)

      4. TeeCee Gold badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Oh no!

        ... but nearly all the exploits are Windows-only?

        You are confusing the exploit itself and the malware out there availing itself of the exploit. Just 'cos nobody's hitting it on other platforms doesn't mean it's not there. Why do you think Adobe keep shipping new versions of Flash, Reader, etc for Linux? Just for the sheer fun of it?

        1. Greg Tiernan
          Linux

          Re: Oh no!

          Adobe have a version of Reader for Linux? Not that I have any interest in installing it.

          1. Tilman Ahr
            Meh

            Re: Oh no!

            Yeah. Basically since forever. I keep it around as there are some pdf files that won't work properly with anything else. Alas these are mainly forms from some big organisations - often government and large banks.

            Come to think of it though: I haven't seen one of those for a while...

            Apart from that: yes, it's ridiculously bloated and not very nice to use, to say the least. Heaps of better alternatives for everyday use.

      5. sisk

        Re: Oh no!

        @JDX - Did you seriously just call Adobe's toolset 'nice'? And if so, are you sharing whatever it is you're smoking? It's anything but nice. It literally gives me a headache every time I have to deal with it.

        I will say this though: the continued lack of a HTML5 standard is getting very annoying. Haven't we been waiting long enough?

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: Oh no!

          >>Did you seriously just call Adobe's toolset 'nice'?

          I can't speak for the design-based tools, but Flex is a good API and FlexBuilder is a very decent IDE.

      6. Tom 13

        Re: bash Adobe for being buggy and dangerous, but ... exploits are Windows-only?

        Because at root, Adobe subsumed the MS mistake when they decided Reader shouldn't just be a PDF reader and needed to be able to write crap to the disk just like MS apps do.

        Adobe was never really comfortable in the MS world. But way back in the dark ages before Mordor forged the ring, I mean MS bound applications tightly to its OS (even third party apps), it was a bit more tolerable because even if MS wasn't specifically supporting their differently styled apps, they weren't trying to crush them into the MS way.

    2. Benchops

      Re: Oh no!

      > the bloated heap of crap called Acrobat is not the only PDF tool about.

      Let me guess, you're a windows user? No-one running Mac OS X or and flavour of Linux uses the Adobe reader unless they accidentally installed it and haven't got round to disassociating PDF files with it.

      1. regorama

        Re: Oh no!

        True, and even Windows users can use a different PDF reader if they wish. Adobe Reader is overkill (and a security risk) for just about everyone.

        Also, it sounds like the OP may be failing to distinguish between Adobe Reader (a free tool that many people still call "Acrobat" because it used to be called Acrobat Reader) and Acrobat or Acrobat Pro, which are non-free software for massaging PDFs in various ways. Most people have no contact with Acrobat / Acrobat Pro.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Most people have no contact with Acrobat / Acrobat Pro.

          Oh yes they do. Maybe not in the context of programming, but we're stuck installing it all over the network because somewhere up the chain of command there is a never to be sufficiently damned asswipe who has decreed that certain forms many in the office are required to complete will not be released as forms which can be completed and saved via Reader.

          Acrobat 7 is what 5 years dead? (Probably more, but Adobe hide the expiration pages these days so I'm not going to spend time looking it up.) But those Acrobat 7 installs are still big gaping security holes on our network because a different set of asswipes won't spend the money to replace it (and if I could get the price they'd get, I'd probably buy a copy for home use). Granted the second set of AWs have a slightly better case in that the money is needed elsewhere and if the first AW would send the files out correctly we could just uninstall Acrobat 7, but from my little foxhole on the front line it's still a fuster cluck.

          1. Androgynous Crackwhore
            Facepalm

            Re: Most people have no contact with Acrobat / Acrobat Pro.

            Jesus! Is amanfrommars posting anonymously now? What a cruel trick.

    3. Ilgaz

      Re: Oh no!

      For designers, Adobe suite is what gcc, visual studio,xcode is for a developer.

      They won't give it up, there is no credible rival, no alternative.

      Adobe embraces html5? Be happy for it.

  2. Patrick O'Reilly

    Jobs Last Laugh

    Steve may yet have the last laugh, as under his final watch HTML5 support was crippled outside of Safari by not upgrading the JS engine in the webView and limiting it's functionality.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Jobs Last Laugh

      >Steve may yet have the last laugh

      It's pretty clear now that he had no idea what HTML5 was when he made his pronouncement............judging by the number of iOS apps developed in Flash/Flash Builder & endless games with AS3 spin-off love-ins like Sparrow, pretty sure the argument is moot with developers too.

      1. t.est

        Re: Jobs Last Laugh

        I can spot those crappy app miles away. They all talk flash, and they for sure are pure crap.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Jobs Last Laugh

          >I can spot those crappy app miles away. They all talk flash, and they for sure are pure crap.

          I'm sure you think you can, but you're wrong. Recent Starling and AIR for iOS [many 10K's] are indistiguishable from their Sparrow cousins which have being doing rather well for a while - or maybe you haven't come across Angry Birds.

    2. Steve Todd
      Stop

      Re: Jobs Last Laugh

      EXACTLY why would using the older JS engine, when embedded in an app, be a problem for HTML5? When you're in Safari, where you're SUPPOSED to be running HTML5 code, you get the latest, all singing, all dancing engine but that breaks normal sandbox security rules so you can't embed it in your own code. Writing a native app and then adding HTML5 is kind of against the point isn't it?

  3. Gashead

    Rovio make Angry Birds, Roxio rip CDs and DVDs.

  4. Robert Grant Silver badge
    FAIL

    "Adobe for its proprietary approach to Flash."

    Little bit of bias here: care to mention the alternative at the time Flash was created by Macromedia, in 1996? For better or worse Macromedia/Adobe filled a huge gap in a browser-independent way, when Javascript was slow as a dog and there was no functionality alternative. It's only now, over 15 YEARS later, that there is a standard alternative available, except even then it's without the strong authoring tools.

    Worth remembering, I think. I disable Flash, as I'm not a fan of it, but I don't think just blindly repeating Jobs' words is a fruitful exercise.

    Also, would Apple have even survived in the dark days without Photoshop? They should be showering Adobe with thanks, I reckon.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Adobe for its proprietary approach to Flash."

      I wonder how different things would be if adobe had focused on making flash lean, fast and secure? Nobody really cared that it was proprietary back then, but a lot started caring when it became obvious it was slow, battery draining and responsible for a whole lot of security issues. I think that's what really focused people on the fact that we had a single company doing all the work on a major web standard - and ballsing it up.

      1. jjbd

        Re: "Adobe for its proprietary approach to Flash."

        'lean' - I assume you mean running lean, but one thing they were very good at was lean downloads (of the player!) - that's how they got onto those close-to 100% distribution figures. Became a pain in later versions with a separate text framework that needs downloading by the client (done in the background, blocked by aggressive firewalls); but their small plug-in download with a clear version path is why it was such a great development target - particularly if you compare it to shockwave or java.

      2. Tom 35

        Re: "Adobe for its proprietary approach to Flash."

        The upgrade treadmill required new features every few years. That's how we ended up with Acrobat with support for Flash and all the other crap. No one is going to pay a few hundred just for support for the latest version of office.

      3. Observer1959

        Re: "Adobe for its proprietary approach to Flash."

        Exactly in Jobs letter he said and I'm paraphrasing that if and when Adobe shows us a lean mean mobile Flash we will be happy to support it on our mobile devices. He never banned it on the Mac. Well Adobe never made such a beast and here we are

      4. Tom 13

        Re: "Adobe for its proprietary approach to Flash."

        One other thing that is useful to remember, the widespread adoption of Flash took place BEFORE Adobe acquired it. I think Macromedia was more responsive to the community and that it IS Adobe's corporate culture which has bolluxed things up.

    2. Steve Todd
      Stop

      Re: "Adobe for its proprietary approach to Flash."

      Apple's problem with Adobe was that, although they nominally supported OS X, they put so little effort in to it they might as well not have bothered. Apple provided the Carbon framework as a compatibility layer to allow developers of OS 8 & 9 apps to port to OS X. Adobe were still using it when Apple announced that 64 bit OS X wouldn't support it, and it wasn't until the second Adobe release following that they finally had a Cocoa version of their code.

      Don't forget that, although Apple had a nominally small market share at the time, a huge proportion of Adobe's Photoshop/Creative Suit sales were for the Mac versions, so it wasn't like there was no demand or money to be made. Adobe development was just hugely lazy and couldn't be bothered.

      Apple didn't want to be in that kind of situation with the iPhone, waiting for Adobe to catch up with their APIs when they felt like it. More importantly Flash just wasn't designed with the idea of being driven from a touch screen. Apple's challenge to Adobe was "show us a version that runs well on a mobile phone", and Adobe never really succeeded (to the point that even they gave in and cancelled the mobile version).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        WTF?

        Re: "Adobe for its proprietary approach to Flash."

        "Apple didn't want to be in that kind of situation with the iPhone, waiting for Adobe to catch up with their APIs when they felt like it. More importantly Flash just wasn't designed with the idea of being driven from a touch screen. Apple's challenge to Adobe was "show us a version that runs well on a mobile phone", and Adobe never really succeeded (to the point that even they gave in and cancelled the mobile version)."

        Well thats one way of looking at it. Another way is that allowing a graphical VM to run on their phones that could download apps willy nilly off the web shot rather large holes in their profitable walled garden approach to software. I wish Apple fanboys people would stop thinking that Job's hate of Flash was some kind of magnaminous stand against crapware for the masses - it was nothing more than a stand against potential loss of Apple profits.

        1. Steve Todd
          FAIL

          @boltar

          The original plan for the iPhone was that everything would be a web app, uncontrolled by the App Store. It was only due to developer demand that Apple provided native binary apps in V2, but have continued to support web apps.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Down

          Re: boltar

          "I wish Apple fanboys people would stop thinking that Job's hate of Flash was some kind of magnaminous stand against crapware for the masses - it was nothing more than a stand against potential loss of Apple profits."

          And I wish people like you would realise that it was probably a bit of both. I can tell by your tone that you are not an Apple user, so you won't have an understanding of just how bad software on the platform was. It's equally as bad on Linux too and I'd argue that it's pretty rotten on Windows too. Jobs was doing what any CEO worth his salt would do with a nascent market place - his motives were financial, sure, but the bloke did give a shit about performance, whatever you may want to think. And Flash just plain sucked on mobile. It's still shockingly awful on my Nexus S.

        3. t.est

          Re: "Adobe for its proprietary approach to Flash."

          Nope, the fact that Apple tried to get Adobe to make a proper version from the very beginning talks against that conspiracy-theory.

          If that was the case why would Jobs even have bothered contacting Adobe on these issues. What jobs probably didn't tell Adobe was that they had a phone going on. Just that they should fix their bloody crap ware that they bought from Micromedia. Not one Micromedia product have been of high quality.

          And I'm sorry to say that when Adobe bought Micromedia, it was more like Micromeda taking over Adobe. Adobe used to produce high quality software, that's all gone, and been gone for a long time.

          1. Observer1959

            Re: "Adobe for its proprietary approach to Flash."

            I'd have to say I liked Freehand better than Illustrator until Adobe bought it.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "Adobe for its proprietary approach to Flash."

            Actually it was Macromedia, not "Micromedia." I had zero involvement with Flash as I am exactly the wrong person to pick in the artistic world. My involvement was with their Dreamweaver line which worked quite well and passed HTML validation with flying colors, unlike many other products I used at the time. After Adobe bought them, well that was the end of product use here as I was well aware of Adobe QA/QC problems.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Adobe for its proprietary approach to Flash." @Steve Todd

        It is not necessarily development who were lazy, but rather management who shrugged their shoulders and said "well, it works right now, doesn't it? don't bother porting until we *have* to".

        Unfortunately, the above is all too true all too often.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Adobe for its proprietary approach to Flash."

        Given that Adobe create the most advanced applications available for MacOS, I think it's fair to assume that they are also the biggest customer of those SDKs. The risk of building against a new SDK is huge, more than the company could warrant it seems.

        The more recent problem between them is better described below, note the "coincidental" dates of the respective bitch slaps..

        April 27th 2010 – http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/27/googles-andy-rubin-on-everything-android/

        April 29th 2010 – http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughts-on-flash/

  5. durbster
    Unhappy

    A couple of years on, there is STILL nothing to replace Flash for sophisticated things in the browser, which shows how far off the mark Jobs was.

    The saddest thing about all this is that people were happy to believe Jobs' nonsense about Flash, so clients started asking for everything to be done in HTML5 when that wasn't, and still isn't possible.

    During the Olympics there were several comments on the BBC iPlayer website whinging that it was done in Flash and not HTML5, demonstrating that people simply don't understand that wasn't possible.

    1. David Karla

      Totally agree here ... I've shifted from developing in a single (relatively) stable platform, flash/flex ... to the fragmented mess that is html5/css/js, and native ios, and native android in parallel. Not pretty. And by the time html5 catches up, people will then start making the same complaints about it as they did about flash.

    2. t.est
      Holmes

      Not seen one webpage in flash that I liked.

      In fact I did dislike them so much so I started to boycott companies products whose webpage was based on flash.

      Yepp, I did look elsewhere for a new car when I bought mine just for that reason. One potential sell that one company lost just because they had gone bananas with flash on their homepage, when I wanted information on their cars.

      I concluded if they can't build a proper homepage, to inform potential customers of their products, they for sure can't build cars either. Their flash pages was all flashy but just made me angry when I could not get the info I wanted.

      1. Fartin Fantastic

        Surely that's a design/development flaw. The problem with Flash is that its too accessible to have-a-go coders, who can produce rubbish. Flash/AS3, like anything else, should be done properly or not at all.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Ad absurdum together

        And I'm looking forward to losing all sense of proportion by buying houses with whichever real estate company uses the most jQueryUI on their site

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Erm, am I missing something?

    Since when was Flash ever used to build applications on the WWW? it was usually for video playback or really annoying website intros which went out of fashion years ago. There may have been Flash games and some people using it for upload controls, but nothing that major.

    Job's fight was against flash on the mobile device for video and that battle has largely been won.

    If there is something wrong with HTML5 then propose a solution, simple as that. We don't need proprietary solutions to widespread problems. The WWW would never have taken off if it was copyrighted and required you to only use a browser from one company.

    When Facebook re-wrote their iOS app did they use Flash? nope. So the battle now is HTML5 vs native applications, which is a well known battle. Control and lack of installation (web) vs speed and integration with the host device (native).

    1. durbster

      Re: Erm, am I missing something?

      Have a look at Audio Tool and Pixlr to name two. You can build incredibly powerful apps in the browser using Flash (I did so for several years).

      With the release of AS3 Flash became a serious development platform with a huge amount of capability and potential. The biggest problem was that a lot of developers couldn't get over its reputation as a lightweight tool for making advertising banners so didn't even consider it.

      I know a few .Net programmers who were very surprised when they saw AS3 code, with a class structure, object typing etc.

      1. t.est

        Re: Erm, am I missing something?

        No wonder I dislike Pixlr...

        I used to use Photoshop professionally, nowadays I use Pixelmator for the very little pixel work I do, and it's a pleasure to use, all native cocoa.

        1. durbster

          Re: Erm, am I missing something?

          Erm... if you're comparing a Mac only desktop application with a website then I think you may have missed the point.

          1. JDX Gold badge

            Re: Erm, am I missing something?

            Flash apps? ClubPenguin has 20million users or so.

    2. jjbd

      Re: Erm, am I missing something?

      Just to point to one place - an enormous amount of eLearning content on and off the web still is in Flash. YouTube propelled video to top of the Flash application charts - unfortunately overshadowing all the richly interactive applications of Flash that HTML5 remains some distance from matching.

    3. Wibble
      Windows

      Can't we also heap blame on IE?

      Sure, Flash is one challenge in HTML5 adoption, but the other, possibly bigger challenge is that festering turd Internet Explorer.

      Just run the HTML5Test.com and see that most browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera) are all scoring close to or above 400 out of 500 points. Internet Explorer 9 scores a dismal 138 and IE10 scores a barely adequate 320.

    4. stewski
      FAIL

      Re: Erm, am I missing something?

      You are missing something if you think Jobs was fighting against proprietary video by ditching flash.

      safari ONLY really supports proprietary video formats like h.264 a video codec that Apple (with others) is part of the licensing pool for.

      It has been the case that those proprietary software vendors have promoted this codec (and other non free codecs) hampering the web for media continually.

      Apple and MS et al:

      Where is the ogg/vorbis free lossy compressed audio support?

      Where is the FLAC free lossless audio support?

      Where is the WebM/VP8 or ogg/theora free lossy compressed video support?

      Yup Jobs was all about improving the web and moving away from proprietary lock ins...

  7. Allonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Arrgh, it's a Matt Asay article

    I read all the way to the six-line unabridged employment history at the end before I realised. Now I feel dirty.

  8. dshan

    Doing What Jobs Urged Them To

    When Jobs criticised Adobe over Flash he also made a point of saying they should get involved in HTML 5 and produce tools for it like those they had already built for Flash. In short, he wanted them to do exactly what they are now doing.

    Jobs is the one having the last laugh re Flash. He would be very pleased to see how right he was about Flash (dead on Android, dead on Linux, dying on OS X and Windows), and that Adobe are (finally) waking up to the opportunities HTML 5 presents and getting involved with it.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Doing What Jobs Urged Them To

      This would be the same company that, for whatever reason, decided that the video of the I-Phone 5 was best run by Javascript from a collection of still images? Apple's motivation then and now was about more control over and less competition for the user.

      1. Steve Todd
        FAIL

        Re: Doing What Jobs Urged Them To

        Tosh. Video on the iPhone always has been h.264 offloaded to the GPU to decode. Adobe wanted to use software decoding and compositing (to add the adverts and overlays) before copying completed frames to VRAM. It's no wonder that Flash video ran like a dog on mobile devices.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          WTF?

          Re: Doing What Jobs Urged Them To

          "Adobe wanted to use software decoding and compositing (to add the adverts and overlays) before copying completed frames to VRAM"

          And? How else do you expect to get interactive video if the hardware only supports streaming playback? Stop coming up with straw men and put forward a proper argumeny.

          1. Steve Todd
            FAIL

            Re: Doing What Jobs Urged Them To

            You've not heard of window overlays? You have a (mostly) transparent window above your hardware decode window that contains your controls, adverts etc. Enough of the stupidity.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              FAIL

              Re: Doing What Jobs Urged Them To

              "You've not heard of window overlays? You have a (mostly) transparent window above your hardware decode window that contains your controls, adverts etc. Enough of the stupidity."

              Ooh , overlays , must be the panacea , oh wait, no they're not.. Because you can't do much if anything to the video stream and there is a delay in sending commands to the hardware.

              1. Steve Todd
                FAIL

                Re: Doing What Jobs Urged Them To

                You honestly think that the delay is perceptible? Even Adobe shifted to that method of playback in later Android builds. Just face the fact that you don't understand the complexities of video playback (including the fact that Adobe's original approach required them to map the video from YUV to RGB colour space before they could apply their overlays) and give in.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  FAIL

                  Re: Doing What Jobs Urged Them To

                  "Just face the fact that you don't understand the complexities of video playback"

                  Thanks, I understand it fine. It appears to be you who seems to think overlays solve all problems. But hey, if that makes you happy in your ignorance good for you...

          2. t.est

            Re: Doing What Jobs Urged Them To

            Even Adobe has changed their methods on that and you defend it.

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Doing What Jobs Urged Them To

          @Steve Todd - I think you completely misread my post. Check out the following for full details of Apple's perverse approach to openness:

          https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1GWTMLjqQsQS45FWwqNG9ztQTdGF48hQYpjQHR_d1WsI

          1. Steve Todd

            Re: Doing What Jobs Urged Them To - @Charlie Clark

            I think I see the source of your confusion. The problem is that HTML5 doesn't mandate a given video CODEC, and indeed Google Chrome (one of the most popular web browsers) only supports WEBM. The iPhone 5 website had some hacked together code to, I believe, bypass this incompatibility issue.

            Personally I think Google are far too late to the table with WEBM (devices with h.264 hardware encode and decode capabilities are ubiquitous, and the cost of adding support is low), but until this sort of standards based argument get sorted out I guess we're likely to see more of this type of hack.

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Doing What Jobs Urged Them To - @Charlie Clark

              The iPhone 5 website had some hacked together code to, I believe, bypass this incompatibility issue.

              What complete crap! As the video tag happily accepts different sources so it's easy to have h264, webm and Flash fallback, though you have to do it in that order otherwise Safari sulks in a corner.

              No, the only reason that Apple could have had for the convoluted and wasteful approach (painting JPEGs onto the Canvas!) was to stop people saving the video. Oh, and perhaps being able to claim that the page was Flash-free.

              H.264 is only go to be royalty-free as long as there is reasonable competition and if you've ever paid for a media encoding software you will know that was not always the case. So, even if WebM is only acting as a cap on H,264 royalties it's a win, but more importantly it has spawned the highly impressive WebP bitmap format which is transparently available (little or no work for site owners) via mod_pagespeed to browsers that support it. A cheaper, faster and better looking internet that degrades gracefully. What's not to like? Oh, not enough polo necks. Yeah, I see what you mean.

    2. Mark .

      Re: Doing What Jobs Urged Them To

      Jobs is the one having the last laugh re Flash. He would be very pleased to see how right he was about Flash (dead on Android, dead on Linux, dying on OS X and Windows),

      Yes and no - I mean yes, he was right that it would one day die out, but this was not a difficult prediction - it was clear that HTML5 was planned, and this was clearly the better way forward long term. This was what almost everyone was saying.

      But it's also worth nothing that with the IOS devices, it wasn't about dropping Flash to embrace HTML5, but instead to support "apps" as their lock-in. So like, we went from sites that required a closed proprietary application that could run on most platforms, to sites that now require a closed proprietary exe that only runs on one type of hardware! Hardly an improvement - out of the frying pan, into the fire, I'd say. Furthermore, Jobs's actions did nothing to kill Flash, as the response from websites was to make the closed exe for IOS devices, and still use Flash for other platforms; it wasn't to move to HTML5.

      Compare this to Google who more recently removed Flash from Android, but they also updated Youtube to use HTML5 (as opposed to requiring you to use an Android-only app).

      Flash may be dying, but we should hold off cheering until websites can be accessed through any device, including all mobile devices, using HTML5 and not platform specific closed exes that might or might not work on your device.

  9. Jim Willsher
    FAIL

    Roxio???

    "For every Roxio making millions on Angry Birds"

    Rovio surely?

  10. Dave 8
    Mushroom

    HTML5 = vapourware.

    The end.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      Re: HTML5 = vapourware.

      You do realise that this very site uses element of HTML5? Go on, check the source. See that doctype declaration..?

  11. Sander van der Wal
    FAIL

    It will happen, but not right now.

    In the middle of a platform war, the contestants are going to implement a a competing platform that will commoditize their own platform? Yeah, right.

    Implementing a full HTML5 browser that will diminish the changes of the native platform is a good strategy for the losers in that platform war. HTML5 will gets its change after the war is over.

  12. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Has nobody noticed that

    HTML5 tools will (eventually) be written in HTML5 and no-one will give a toss about Apple, Adobe or MS or any other proprietary dog food.

    Except for IE6 compatibility of course.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    html5 dev tools = browser & text editor

    Adobe loves to make everything too complicated. People know to stay away.

    P.S. html5 is NOT vapourware. It's a DRAFT standard, like every other relevant internet standard. Yeah, it's got issues, but if you're only supporting recent versions of Chrome/Safari/Firefox, it's probably the least crappy viable platform out there today (which isn't saying much...)

  14. Colin Millar
    Mushroom

    So - this Sesame Workshop?

    They haven't been introduced to the web before have they?

    Or at least that's the impression I get of someone who finds it annoying that the web won't stand still to let him line up his soldiers. Presumably he'd curl up in a foetal position and cry quietly to himself if someone started telling him the story of Netscape Navigator, IE3 and HTML 1.1/2.0

  15. James 100

    Adobe's mixed blessing

    Some of Adobe's tools can be very useful - Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign - but Flash (originally Macromedia's fault, as a comment earlier noted) should be enough to get their Net access revoked.

    To be fair, though, much of the problem with Flash is not the platform itself (though their refusal to do accelerated video on non-Windows platforms for ages was infuriating) but the lousy McProgrammers. Just how can a browser game, less than one-tenth the complexity of Sim City 2000 that ran happily on a 486, max out a 64 bit CPU a hundred times faster - even when doing nothing? Sh**y programming, that's how.

    The number of times I hear "Why is my laptop running so hot?" and have to help hunt down the Flash-infected web page wasting all the CPU power, memory and electricity....

    1. durbster

      Re: Adobe's mixed blessing

      So badly programmed Flash will be replaced by badly programmed HTML5 and Javascript. Nothing will change there :)

      Flash was too accessible for non-programmers in the early days though, which helped make it successful but also allowed numpties to misuse it with ease. AS3 resolved this to an extent because it was far stricter, but it never shook that reputation.

    2. stewski

      Re: Adobe's mixed blessing

      Actually I'd lay off macromedia.

      Fireworks supported png natively and reverse engineered Adobes proprietary .psd file format whilst providing most of the capability at less cost with a focus on screen content.

      Dreamweaver supported relatively browser agnostic HTML and attempted to place Macromedia as the Switzerland of the early web format wars.

      Flash was the only viable tool for a large portion of web interaction and video playback and had to work with a bunch of crappy audio and video standards.

      Had Macromedia held out and ended up buying Adobe, instead of the otherway around flash would have probably morphed into HTML/Open Standards sooner and world peace would be upon us right now...

      P.S. Adobe probably bought Macromedia just because their open standard supporting pixel editor had reverse engineered enough of the cash cow .psd lock in to make them seriously concerned...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The divide and conquer game

    Who has the control ? Adobe did achieve to get a real edge on the web developments marketplace with portability across platforms via the flash engine at the expense of Google, Microsoft and Apple own respective controls. That is why they did push for Javascript/HTML5 with this last one still unfinished. It's still Divide and Conquer !

    Do we still need time to observe and learn. Probably.

    I am not a developper just an observer.

  17. Alan Denman

    HTML is too loose a cannon in aspring app monetisation corporate world.

    It is in the interests of Apple, Microsoft and even in some ways Google to undermine the web.

    So will Apple and Microsoft sign that petition to keep the web free?

    Apple especially, have their financial heart set in a limited web.

  18. tentimes
    Thumb Down

    $49.99/month for full package in US, £47/month in the UK. Total rip off! US dollar to pound is currently $1= £0.62!!!

    I hate it when US companies do this. They also pretend about taxes and say they add that on - yet they don't actually pay taxes in the UK on these sales.

    Outrageous. If I need anything I will get it on torrent until they stop making fools out of us in the UK.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    What discussion?

    You people confuse me, a lot. I was under the impression HTML 5 could be written by hand right now to the fullest available spec. If you need "tools" you could use C++ like a normal human and write you some. Git'R Dun!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What discussion?

      You could write it all in notepad. It's quite tricky though...

  20. Skymonrie
    Go

    good

    As a web developer, I think this is quite good news. Not everything adobe do is bad, just as not everything apple do is bad.

    I recently used a canvas library called easel which brings an equivalent of actionscript straight in to the browser and was most impressed. It turns our, some adobe emplyees are responsible for it. I'm not so much concerned about the overall package but, you have to admit, there are quite a few areas of HTML that need to be buffed up.

    I beg adobe not to reinvent the wheel though, use what's already here, maybe basing an SDK kit on jquery in a jquery like manner

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Advance the start of the art for HTML5 functionality"?

    That sounds like lot embrace and extend. If Adobe adds their own functionality to HTML5 it won't threaten Apple, it'll prolong the day (if it ever comes) when HTML5 replaces native iOS and Android apps with web apps.

    After all, how long did it take for the web to recover from Microsoft's proprietary HTML4 extensions? Given the number of corporations still having trouble migrating from IE6, the clock is still ticking on that little fiasco...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Adobe don't know anything about the Web

    To understand how little Adobe know about the Web, look no further than CQ5. It uses a dozen javascript files to provide functionality that the server should be doing. What's more, you can't concatenate those files for a single download because "it may produce unexpected results". They haven't the first clue about how to make a sensible app.

    Adobe have no clue about how the web works. Keep them away from HTML5 tools.

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