Steve Jobs: Thoughts on Flash

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Aydin, Apr 30, 2010.

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  1. Aydin macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    My apologies if this has been posted already, but I noticed that Apple's website was updated and now includes a letter from Steve Jobs on the first page which is very interesting to read:

    Steve Jobs: Thoughts on Flash
  2. zephyrnoid macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2008
    Geneva Switzerland
    I can offer some insider/old-school insights into this debate that may be worth considering.
    The press incorrectly attribute the invention of Flash to ADOBE. Nothing could be further from the truth. It was originally a Macromedia acquisition called 'Future Splash Animator' that they re-branded as Flash after the acquisition. Adobe unfortunately acquired it along with the rest of the MM suite when Adobe bought Macromedia, and in typical Adobe form, mucked it up a bit.
    I know all this cause I was a beta tester for Flash 1 back in '94 or '95
    Flash was much ballyhooed by me at the time since I viewed it as revolutionary for web based information centric multimedia. Indeed, I was much disappointed as it has been misunderstood as a format and poorly underutilized. Flash's conspicuous feature is not really animation, but it's resolution independent vector graphics- a handy tool for zooming into graphics. Sadly, only about 1% of content takes advantage of that.
    Flash is a huge resource hog. Contrary to ADOBE's assertion that the problem is the Mac OS, it's actually a problem related to two facts.
    Adobe switched from Mac OS-centric coding to Windows centric coding about the time that they bought out MM. So no wonder Flash is buggy on handhelds running the mac mobile OS.
    Apple should do humanity a favor and buy out ADOBE, kill Premier and illustator, revive Freehand and fix Flash. Adobe sucks now. A far cry from the company the Knoll bros. started, it's a poor "author once, play anywhere" software company.
    The fact that so many websites utilize Flash for UI and immersive experience is also a bit of a mistake.
    Flash was designed to furnish resolution independent vectors for web delivery and NOT as a UI environment! So Steve is right it's not ready for mobile handhelds.
    But the authors out there should know better than to blindly ignore one of Jakob Neilsen's key heuristics. Graceful degradation is key to a robust UI design.
    So part of the blame goes to all you web ui designers and developers that use Flash as a content container for every page of a website. Steve is right, most if not all of the video containment in Flash will be entirely accessible in HTML. Same goes for the rest of the bitmap family of content.
    Since hardly anyone even knows about the resolution independence that aspect is pretty much redundant. So one is compelled to ask. Why Flash?
    Adobe take a hike. Pat on the back to Mr. Jobs.
    I still love and highly advocate Flash for it's strengths, but not for it's weaknesses.:apple:

  3. annk Administrator


    Staff Member

    Apr 18, 2004
    Somewhere over the rainbow
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