Adobe Flash, Apple iPad and iPhone, Unity3D, HTML5, FXG, Chrome and Webkit 2... where is this all heading?
Flash is Dead
Ok, no not really, but It's wounded and bleeding and to no sudden surprise to me and many others.
Apple you see has very firmly put the last nail in the coffin for Adobe Flash on the iPhone and the iPad with recent announcements.
Steve Jobs was visibly gushing at the recent iPhone OS 4.0 event, demonstrating his vision for iAds, little animated interactive adverts that don't suck, all made in HTML5, throwing round numbers like BILLIONS and 'have you ever seen anything like this before!!... I havnt'
All at the same time slightly rubbing his genitals in the face of Flash, and rightly so.
This of course followed by the announcement that the new appstore policy would most certainly exclude all Adobe Flash powered apps. *gulp*
Link: www.apple.com --- specialevent0410
My Logo for HTML5
Link: apirocks.com --- html5
Apple have been and are increasingly persuading people to use HTML5 instead of Flash. This is partly because Apple/Steve Jobs hates Adobe for being such a sloth and are no doubt internally fuming that It's taken until Adobe CS5's release (coming out soon) for them to finally use the coding frameworks Apple have strongly been advised them to use since OSX was in very first development. And partly because they don't want anything like that kind of situation ever happening on their new light weight modern mobile operating system that is the iPhone/iPad OS.
Personal disgust aside, Looking purely at the technical reasons, multitasking, battery life and low level hardware features... it makes perfect sense and over time will hugely benefit consumers. Flash on the iPad/iphone is a bit of a shitty citizen and Apple demands higher standards, I suspect they don't much like the idea of the already crammed AppStore being Flooded with quickly ported buggy slow and battery draining shovel ware. This hurts some of the genuinely good apps but if the developer is genuinely good and the app is genuinely good then they would have no trouble justifying porting it properly and re-releasing it. Anything worth doing on the AppStore is worth doing right in Apples opinion.
The reason they didn't let Adobe know that they were going to uhm ban all their efforts is likely because:
A: Apple have always said and persuaded people to USE the proper development tools to make apps and doing anything else will result in your eventual demise.
B: Apple thought it would be bloody hilarious to kick Adobe in the teeth for all the shitty lagging they did back when the Mac was struggling for support and they just floundered about with lazy stop gap measure partial ports of Photoshop right up until the release of CS5.
'Creative types don't care about technical lingo, cross-compiling or the compatibility layers.'
Link: tekkie.flashbit.net --- creatives-should-remind-apple-they-exist
And It's because they don't care they are not aware of how damaging a 2nd class citizen like Flash could be to a mobile platform if it promotes lazy coding or ports opposed to the hard work that goes into making First CLass native applications. And First class is what is needed to facilitate things like multitasking without increasing power consumption.
For every Flash developer that isn't on the iPhone it makes room for native programs and the people who code those, and that is a good thing. Even if it means people have to go out and actually learn another language or invest more effort and energy into something. No ones complaining theres lack of choice on the AppStore, if anything it needs pruning.
SproutCore SquirrelFishes and more?
And theres SproutCore
Which is what Apple actually used to produce It's very polished web apps for MobileMe with a fully featured Mail client as one example.
It has tools coming to visually build 'rich' user interfaces using all kinds of elements you'd expect for building desktop applications, buttons, panels, sliders and so on.
Link: touch.sproutcore.com --- hedwig
Adobes: FXG - Open advancement/replacement of SVG for storing animation/vector graphics in a way that doesn't suck hard
Link: www.andersblog.com --- flash_on_the_be
It's not all doom and gloom for Adobe of course, they are implementing HTML5 tools and conversion from Flash/Illustrator via Dreamweaver. And it looks pretty good too using FXG the open format they designed. They tried to use open SVG for their purposes but SVG turns out to be ass backwards so they tweaked it and improved it and called it FXG.
This is great as lets face it, no creatives were looking forwarded to creating things like Apples new iAds and animating HTML5 using a graphing calculator and a spreadsheet.
Link: www.9to5mac.com --- Flash-html5-canvas-35409730
Adobes Flash Player was one of the more impressive things Adobe have developed (the AS3 runtime engine not the horrible IDE) and It's still pretty inefficient (the graphics part) especially fullscreen on a iPad like device with limited RAM and battery, the IDE's and Tools Adobe make to edit content are generally antiquated and bloated by todays standards too, regardless of how established they are and how monumental they may have been decades ago, Adobe appear to try and get away with as little effort and work as humanly possibly when it comes to Mac support, maximize profits and cut corners, they are slow moving and dogged down by too much baggage and legacy. And they will pay dearly for this as they have visibly pissed Steve Jobs off and rightly so. Saying that though, there are still strong forces for good inside Adobe trying to change things for the better, to open up formats like .FLA and generally promote freedom and choice and interoperability all things this creative professional likes greatly.
But they are moving perhaps too slowly, we shall have to see with CS5 if they have grown enough to stay relevant
It really is time to get on board with open standards and make money from creating GREAT content creation tools, not making mediocre minimally updated content creation tools that rely on locking people into popular but closed systems for distribution.
Link: www.google.co.uk --- chrome
With my new custom icon cus the default one is a gay. Really gay
Flash was a force for good when JS execution was awful and rendering HTML was guaranteed for failure in one browser or another. But that landscape has now changed drastically thanks to Apple with Safari/open WebKit and Mozzilas Firefox and now Google with open Chrome.
And during a tough time like this what you don't need are official Adobe Evangelists spouting complete bollox and looking rather childish:
Apple Slaps Developers In The Face
I had to wipe a tear of laughter from my eye to the recent addition of:
[Adobe would like me to make it clear that the opinions below are not the official views of the company and are entirely my own.]
Yah I bet they would, you raving lunatic
It's a fair first reaction to have, but as an Adobe representative and a grown Adult you're supposed to maintain the company message not confuse matters more with your own reactionary blabbering and name calling. Plus being in that position you'd think he'd actually be required to know anything about what he's talking about. I know more than him and Adobe don't pay me anything.
'let me put aside my role as an official representative of Adobe for a moment' = you just fired yourself, you can't do that and get paid at the same time (I presume he gets paid?)
This kind of oh mummy Apples bad to me crying does nothing to help me take Adobe seriously
It's a tough world, you have to innovate to compete, not recycle, fortunately I believe this is just the idiot few at Adobe (that should be removed) and Adobe as a whole are not collectively as stupid as It's few vocal bottom dwellers.
More laughter ensues: An additional claim that "Apple has timed this purposely to hurt sales of CS5" has been redacted from Brimelow's blog entry at the request of Adobe.
Yah that basically concretes my initial conclusion that he is a massive tool. I wouldn't be surprised if the next redaction turns the site into a big blank page saying they are experiencing technical difficulties as he is forcibly dragged away screaming and sucking punctuating by him sucking his thumb.
"The primary reason for the change, say sources familiar with Apple's plans, is to support sophisticated new multitasking APIs in iPhone 4.0. The system will now be evaluating apps as they run in order to implement smart multitasking. It can't do this if apps are running within a runtime or are cross compiled with a foreign structure that doesn't behave identically to a native C/C++/Obj-C app."
"[The operating system] can't swap out resources, it can't pause some threads while allowing others to run, it can't selectively notify, etc. Apple needs full access to a properly-compiled app to do the pull off the tricks they are with this new OS," wrote one reader under the name Ktappe."
maybe he can find the guys from Adobe Dimension and Adobe Livemotion and form a support group -_-
Unity3D - a forward thinking 3D engine and toolset for creating games for Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone, Wii (and PS3 soon I think)
I do hope none of this impacts Unity3D in a negative way, these guys seem to really 'get it' and produce good tools and good solid performing code.
They seem hopeful that it won't effect them. So fingers crossed for them.
Above: The mighty Apple has seen it all before
Some people have short memories
There are many that think Steve is some kind of control freak who wants the world to revolve around his finger, well, this is maybe partially true but It's also the no.1 reason why Apples products are so unusually interesting and fun and easy and joyous to use, Apple have had a long history of throwing out the old while everyone else is still getting used to it. It has allowed them to remain nimble and grow fast where everyone else is still talking about it and showing concept images.
It's the fundamental way they work, a driving principle behind their success, sure they don't make any friends doing so, and in the past this worked to their disadvantage on many occasion but these days, with Apples power and influence (market/mind share) it doesn't really matter, as Apple now sets standards all by itself. If Apple wasn't this way there would be no reason for them to exist as we already have plenty of mediocre reactionary companies to choose from.
I remember an old Apple Keynote, where Steve jobs revelated in the thought that when Apple and Microsoft join forces they are 100% of the market and anything they decided to do IS standard. This shortly preceding Bill Gates big goofy mug filling the presentation screen to a chorus of boo's as they helped bail out Apple for their own ends.
How things have changed since then, now Apple sets the standards by itself on It's own platform with a complete end to end solution and a freakishly dominate market share.
Apple got the chance to do what they dreamed of for the Mac with the iPhone, unhindered, unrestricted.
I applaud Apple for their vision, they were given the chance to do exactly what they wanted and they TOOK IT like they always have done, but this time without any worry of backwards compatibility or having to court and ass kiss slow moving software corporations to port software.
And now everyone is fighting to make software for Apple devices, and the consumer wins big time, and the creative artist and programmer wins big time too (the good forward thinking ones who don't cry baby that their investment in Flash is dwindling)
And I say all this as someone who has 1000's of hours investment in Flash... *gulp*
Now can we have the same revolution for the Mac Desktop?
Applications that resume where you left off and resume FAST no matter what computer or device your use, preferences and documents that go where you go.
A regulated organised application store for games and tools promoting modern code and good design.
Instant content/document search from a modern metadata file system like ZFS
A Finder capable of leveraging the modern filesystem with organising and displaying all kinds of media, documents, images, photos using modern concepts of stacks and tags and other logical groupings
Resolution independent GUI for high resolution LCD displays of the future, complete with modern GUI widgets and tools for creating powerful easy to use programs around standard components.