Adobe’s chief technology officer has finally weighed in on the great Flash debate, and is taking potshots at Apple for not supporting Flash on the iPad. Adobe’s head software honcho Kevin Lynch says Flash on the iPad is essential to the “open” internet. Except Flash isn’t open.
In a blog post published Wednesday, Lynch makes several points about Flash, the iPad and video on the web. Unfortunately, there’s no swearing or unbalanced ranting, and his references to Apple are sometimes oblique. His main points are:
1. Flash is being improved to work on everyone’s smartphones and tablets except Apple’s (Flash 10.1 for smartphones, coming shortly).
2. HTML 5 will not kill Flash, but return the Web to the “dark ages of video on the Web.”
3. Accuses Apple of being a walled garden — and that Flash is essential to the “open” internet:
This model of open access has proven to be more effective in the long term than a walled approach, where a manufacturer tries to determine what users are able to see or approves and disapproves individual content and applications. We strongly believe the Web should remain an open environment with consistent access to content and applications regardless of your viewing device.
CoM’s Take: The accusation that Apple is a walled garden is an old cliche that doesn’t apply. Flash is a proprietary format, wholly owned and developed by Adobe, and not an open internet standard (like HTML 5). Lynch is right that Flash enabled the web video revolution, but the “walled garden” is pure FUD. At an Apple employee meeting last week, Steve Jobs said Flash is buggy and excluded from Mobile Safari for stability reasons, according to a report by Wired.com.