Apple’s anti-Flash rage continues

In case you were asleep for the last few weeks Apple is at it again crafting our future. Like our parents before us, they are deciding what is best for us. For those who actually missed this I am of course referring to the now infamous “3.3.1”. It reads as follows:

3.3.1 — Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).

Now they should have really had a parenthetical reference that simply says “Adobe, we really mean you”.

We have been at this web thing for a while now and have seen all manner of things said, done, done again, invented, and re-invented. This though for some reason feels different. While Apple has been conspicuously holding back Flash from us this still feels sudden.

This news comes with mixed reviews to this blogger. On the one hand we have adapted our coding styles over the years to adapt to shifting industry trends. We have adopted new systems and new code when circumstances make it advantageous to do so. Given our traditional deadlines it makes no sense to re-invent the wheel every time. So porting code from one place to another to save some time or bring one technology to another place does not see so bad to me.

On the other the device is small and there are limitations to it. While the majority of the world has placed the iPhone on an elevated platform let’s be honest, it is still young and has a ways to go to be the device it can be. By Apple putting restrictions on what you can or can’t do with the software they can control the output a bit more and perhaps dodge a repeat of the rep they so appropriately earned in the 90’s with their machines crashing every 10 minutes or so.

That being said which side of me is right? I think ultimately I have seen Apple do this with countless things in the past. Remember when Apple decided it was no longer fashionable to have a floppy drive and swapped it out for a Zip drive? Then when those were no longer cool, with nothing at all? What about ditching SCSI in favor of USB? What happened shortly after that? For those of you too young to remember or those who have forgotten, I will tell you; shortly after every printer, camera, microphone, etc was USB. I have definitely seen Apple go down this path before, several times.

We are temporarily suspending my frustration regarding the code issue to explore some new ways of coding. Time will tell if Apple was right or wrong but for now, we just have to learn a new way of doing it.

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