UPDATED: Adobe Blocks HTML5 Canvas Competition via "Secret Hold"?

UPDATE: Adobe commenters below point us to OSNews, which states:

The concerns in question have to do with charter and scope, and are not exclusive to Adobe. The problem seems to be that all these documents - Microdata, RDFa, Canvas 2D API, HTML5 document - are all lumped together, and some are confused about whether or not an objection to a single one can block all of them. The answer is clear: no, it cannot. In other words, Masinter's objection does not block HTML5.

They further claim that since the objection was discussed in a publicly accessible archive, it wasn't secret either. A tempest in a teapot, perhaps, but the debate concerning Flash and HTML5 shows no signs of breaking soon...

ORIGINAL: Daring Fireball has linked to a post by Ian Hixie that states, while Adobe has been publicly supportive of HTML5 -- sometimes seen as a open rival to their proprietary Flash technology -- they've secretly but a block on the publication of the specification.

Gruber expands as follows:

My understanding is that Adobe is trying to block the API spec for the canvas element. The canvas element hasn’t gotten as much attention as the video element, but clearly, 2D graphics in canvas is competitive with Flash, and it appears that Adobe’s plan is to sabotage it via W3C politics.

Would this be analogous to Microsoft trying to block JavaScript and CSS back during the height of ActiveX? (If you don't know what that is, thank the open, standards-based web).

Adobe was apparently supposed to have made the objection public 4 days ago but as far as we know have not followed through on that yet.

This may sound like a bunch of geeky web geek geekery, but it involves the next step forward in web technologies -- something which in the past has brought us the likes of Web 2.0's Google Maps and Facebook, WebKit (the basis of iPhone Safari) and Twitter, and now seeks to give us less resource intensive, vendor-independant specs for the future.

And since the iPhone doesn't (and the iPad won't) support Flash, HTML5 is how Apple hopes we'll be enjoying the dynamic web for a long while to come.

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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UPDATED: Adobe Blocks HTML5 Canvas Competition via "Secret Hold"?


Hi Rene -- The account at Daring Fireball was a late repeat of a rumor which was cleared up last week. Thom Holwerda at OS News has the best current account I've seen, and the main Friday discussion was in comments at Ajaxian.
btw, there will be some actual news tonight, coming out of Mobile World Congress, should be fun. :)

Here's a post from OSNews clearing up the confusion, that Adobe is not trying to block HTML5:http://bit.ly/9iQVw9
Meanwhile, the Adobe AIR 2.0 beta supports HTML5/CSS3 as Adobe is apparently using the same version of WebKit that is in Safari 4. I imagine Dreamweaver CS5 will also support those features to encourage developers to use Dreamweaver to develop AIR applications. Adobe has already demoed (check YouTube for videos of this) copying and pasting content from both Illustrator and Flash into Dreamweaver CS5 and outputting it as for the canvas tag.

This is just getting damn silly. The future is in mobile devices. Adobe should be burning the midnight oil trying to figure out how to get Flash to work on all capable mobile devices.
I hope in the next two years all of this gets sorted out.

What adobe needs to do is build a Flash-est IDE which used the canvas tag, not a stage, and uses javascript and not action script. Not only will this be amazing. It'll be web standard. Which means you don't have to install flash player. It'll work where browsers work.

jd/adobe is just playing the game of his employer (and they fooled OSNews).
Adobe is trying to block the 2D Canvas-element. They dont consider it part of HTML5.
But Canvas has been a part of HTML5 all along. It was just separated out in a separate document for convenience. And W3C (all the way up to Berners-Lee) decided on that Canvas was a part of HTML5 two years ago when this question came up.
So now Adobe is playing games by saying that Canvas is not part of the HTML5 document (which it isnt). But it is part of the HTML5 standard.
So Adobe is trying to block/delay the HTML5 standard. But not by attacking the HTML5 document - but by once again attacking another document that was decided over two years ago is a part of the HTML5 standard.
Oh - do I need to say that Canvas is a direct competitor to Flash ...