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Overdigital.com | April 24, 2014

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Jonathan Gay (Flash creator) about Apple

Jonathan Gay, the original creator of Flash (at that time FutureSplash), shares his thoughts in this interview. An excellent read, providing some exclusive insights. (please note Jonathan doesn’t work for Adobe anymore). (via Cold Hard Flash)

“[...] With any technology, like Flash, the web or the Internet, where there are millions of people who have invested money and energy into making it part of their lives and their businesses, it’s important for there to be a good steward of that technology. The open source and standards body approach is one way for that stewardship to happen but having a good corporate steward of the technology is also a successful model. I believe that Macromedia, followed by Adobe, have done a good job of being stewards of Flash.

[...] It’s disappointing to me that the media is letting Steve get away with dinging Flash on it’s openness while Apple advocates a much more closed model of application development.

[...] The fact that Steve wrote a letter explaining their position suggests how powerful the demand for Flash is from their partners and customers. While I respect a desire to provide a quality experience to customers, it looks to me that keeping Flash out of the iPhone is a simple competitive choice on Apple’s part. Apple wants to displace Flash’s role in video delivery on the Web with the H.264 standard and Apple wants developers to build custom applications for the iPhone and not cross platform applications. Both of these goals support Apple’s business goals driving their closed iPhone application platform but are destructive to openness on the web. In particular, the stranglehold on video technology that the group of large consumer companies that control the MPEG video patent pool have been pushing toward for decades is very destructive to openness.”

[...] “It’s worth noting that Flash was developed on a 66 Mhz 486 which is probably one tenth the speed of an iPhone. So I don’t think there is a fundamental architectural issue. I think the Flash architecture with the binary file format is inherently higher performance than HTML for multimedia.”

[...] “I think Steve Jobs is willfully missing a key point with his arguments against Flash. The important reason to put Flash on the iPhone is that millions of developers have invested millions of hours building Flash content in Flash. The Flash content out there in the world is an asset of our society and the people who created it. People built it in Flash because there was no other decent technology from companies like Apple, Microsoft or Real Networks that enabled this kind of content to be created and delivered. To say that all this content should be discarded because Steve Jobs is afraid that people will build Flash content that runs on mobile devices running any operating system instead of building content that will only work on Apple mobile devices is doing a disservice to the efforts of all those individuals. Personally, I think that Flash content will probably outlive iPhone and iPad apps because Flash is designed to deliver media content while the iPhone/iPad development tools are designed to build applications for a specific hardware platform that will be obsolete in 5 or 10 years. Many years ago, we talked about the idea of “Forever Flash.” The idea was that it should be possible to create interactive multimedia content with a lifetime like a famous book, painting, or movie. The content should be able to be part of human history and be able to be preserved for hundreds of years. I’m not sure if that will happened or not, but it’s easier to imagine that cross platform content like Flash can achieve that than mobile applications dependent on a particular operating system.”

Read the full interview: Flash Co-Creator Jonathan Gay Responds to Steve Jobs

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