Adobe fires back at Apple over cross-compiler ban


With the apparent iPhone 4.0 SDK ban on cross-compiled code, Adobe has begun firing back at Apple. The New York Times Bits Blog carried the following statement from Adobe:

We are aware of Apple’s new SDK language and are looking into it. We continue to develop our Packager for iPhone OS technology, which we plan to debut in Flash CS5

The TheFlashBlog (which readers might remember from iPad porn posts past) took it far more personally:

What is clear is that Apple has timed this purposely to hurt sales of CS5. This has nothing to do whatsoever with bringing the Flash player to Apple’s devices. That is a separate discussion entirely. What they are saying is that they won’t allow applications onto their marketplace solely because of what language was originally used to create them. This is a frightening move that has no rational defense other than wanting tyrannical control over developers and more importantly, wanting to use developers as pawns in their crusade against Adobe. This does not just affect Adobe but also other technologies like Unity3D.

[...] Now let me put aside my role as an official representative of Adobe for a moment as I would look to make it clear what is going through my mind at the moment. Go screw yourself Apple.

The timing does seem interesting. Apple could have put this in iPhone 3.2 for iPad. They could have skipped iPhone 4.0 betas and put it in the final iPhone 4.0 GM release (rendering wasted all the apps (time and money) developers had built using CS5 between Flash release and iPhone 4.0 release).

The timing could be to hurt Adobe CS5 sales (though certainly lots of creative professionals use CS5 for reasons that have nothing to do with Flash cross-compiling) or it could be an advance warning to developers not to use those tools because they won't be allowed (or perhaps even compatible) with the final iPhone 4.0 release. Spending several months making an iPhone app in CS5 and then not being able to run it under iPhone 4.0 would be worse.

Ultimately, the language used by Apple is unclear and everyone is going to waste a lot of time and worry until it's clarified.

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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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Adobe fires back at Apple over cross-compiler ban


Should Adobe scupper regular OSX support for their vast array of creative software (Photoshop/Illustrator etc), Apple stands to lose a lot.
The 1984 ad is ironic today. Big Brother wears a black turtleneck.

Yeah, that'll happen... Mac versions discontinued for spite. :roll:
Adobe knows, as well as all creative people know, how brutally agonizing their software is to use on Windows.

OK, so this guy goes on a rant only knowing his/Adobe's side of the argument and who has clearly not programmed for 4.0. Yet, he's the authority on the subject and gives a reasoned argument saying why Apple is wrong. I think I still have none of the facts and cannot make a decision. With that said, until someone from Adobe can absolutely prove their claim of damage and also prove that their products compiled would run as effectively as Apple's recommendations for 4.0 apps then I'm inclined to side with Apple. If/when Adobe can prove that Apple is just playing it safe I'll change my mind but name calling and assuming Apple is EVIL is no substitute for the truth.

@Justin Case
I think if Adobe drops OSX support for it's desktop products it is Adobe that stands to lose a lot. I imagine a major part of their sales come from OSX users. And if Adobe did, Apple would only stand to gain by pushing their own Pro products, like Aperture. I'm glad their is a company out there, like Apple who is not willing to budge when it comes to the quality of their products, or at least that's the way I see it.

Now let me put aside my role as a consumer for a moment as I would look to make it clear what is going through my mind at the moment. Go screw yourself Adobe.

Who cares... I can't wait until Flash bites the dust! Adobe could stop supporting OSX products if they DARED! There's no way in hell they'd ever do that.

@Ray bang on. Keep in mind that Mac users are 3xs more likely to pay for software. That makes the Mac OS X business of Adobe VERY lucrative. It's also why the Mac Business Unit at Microsoft has the highest profit margin of any MS division.

@Adobe Boo f-ing hoo. Enough already. Apple doesn't like you so get over it. They don't have to allow your technology on theirs.

I'm with The Reptile on this. Adobe may have a solution that works as well as a native C compiled app, and if so, they will find an Apple audience less biased againt Adobe (can't really live without Photoshop) than the haters irrationally biased against Apple. But until then, Apple's position (with good reasoning and no Adobe-specific language) simply makes sense.

Wow what an idiot, I mean its a fair first reaction to have, but as an Adobe representative your supposed to maintain the company message not confuse matters more with your own blabbering and name calling.
"let me put aside my role as an official representative of Adobe for a moment" = you just fired yourself
This kind of oh mummy Apples bad to me crying does nothing to help me take Adobe seriously
Its a tough world, you have to innovate to compete, not recycle

Well, if Adobe wasn't so greedy and released the Flash CS5 beta back in Dec as they said they would, perhaps, just perhaps this would be different as tons of CS5 flash apps would be on the iphone by now. And when it comes down to it, it's Apple's ball and they can do with it as they will. Where was Adobe when Apple needed them, they said FU and refused to exploit the power of OSX, it's finally happening with CS5 but I think Adobe is LAZY!!!

While it may have been rude for Apple to do this, think of it this way, did Adobe ask Apple to see if it was okay if they made a cross compiler for their device? Obviously not. So isn't it kinda fair to lock them out? They never said it was okay in the first place.
And to everyone siding with Adobe on this and saying they should take support away from Mac OS... well... do you really think that would hurt Apple very badly? Face it, they're pushing HTML5 and it is working. Plenty of sites redid their stuff just to work on the iPad. Once people finally start realizing that HTML5 is better, even more stuff will be switching and eventually Flash will be extremely endangered, on the verge of extinction in the common computing experience.
This being said, I personally do pretty much hate Flash, but I hope Adobe takes this in a good way and decides to do something smart like, oh, I don't know... maybe focusing more on the big product that everyone loves. Photoshop doesn't even really have any major competitors in my opinion... maybe they should just be nice before Apple whips them at that too.

Maybe he should have gone out for a walk in the park before pressing submit.
Classic Adobe though - it's always the other guy's fault.
Took their time with 64bit Photoshop/Flash/Dreamweaver, and apparently that was the other guy's fault too.

Lmao, he spent more time ranting than Adobe spent on pumping out the latest flash update to all those Android users who are waiting to play Farmville, his argument is basically pointing fingers, This will not hurt any Adobe sales at all, as VERY FEW if anyone at all will be purchasing CS5 for the sole purpose of developing iPhone apps, it's very laughable when you think about it.

Adobe has been treating Mac users like second class citizens for many years now. This, after they basically built their business on the Macintosh-based creative market. Now they are crying because Apple isn't playing kissy-face with them. Adobe now makes bloatware that performs particularly egregiously on Macs, so my feeling is, "No, screw YOU, Adobe."

"Should Adobe scupper regular OSX support for their vast array of creative software (Photoshop/Illustrator etc)"
Adobe already did this. In the process they lost me as a buyer a long time ago. Adobe software doesn't hold up to the standards it set decades ago. I've had Photoshop and Illustrator (I'm a paid buyer) since before they were actually released. They were great software, once upon a time.

For a beginner this is way confusing! I use dreamweaver/Photoshop/bridge, what other web building software is there that is at the same level

Lee Brimelow is a joke to call himself a 'tech evangelist' if his arguments are so one-sided in favor of a particular company like Adobe. A tech evangelist should be promoting open platforms and standards instead of closed proprietary systems such as Adobe's. Apple developed the iPhone OS 4.0 on its own, and it reserves the right to determine what system and programming language works best with the OS. It's not like Apple is restricting Adobe Flash from all of its products. Adobe itself isn't a picture of openness at all, with highly restrictive licensing requirements and system controls that shame even Microsoft's. For it to complain that Apple won't let it have its way with Apple's own software is silly. I could care less about what Mr. Briimelow feels. Bye and good riddance, Lee.

Could someone pls help me understand the implication here? If I receive .PDF after implementation of iPhone OS4, will I still be able to open it on iPhone? This has important implications for business users. Thks!

Flash sucks, period. It is such a resource hog. On a terminal server, 2-3 users using flash content cripple our servers. The same box can host Smalltalk, Java, C , and .NET apps in a virtual desktop environment for 10-15 people. Flash cannot be any good if it is that resource needy. And it supposedly will be better with 10.1? A .1 revision means only minor changes. It us not a rewrite. Still going to be a resource hog, guaranteed. Flash is a crappy excuse for software.

You, as a company, as a supplier of a proprietary content container, which hurts the globalization of information, the development of mankind, deserve nothing better. I really hope Adobe crashes like Microsoft will (lets see who is first)
That aside, apple really develops bad practice like Adobe, Google, Microsoft and a alike did before - they are now in one boat with you.

@Tim; if you are on the Mac platform, take a look at TextMate, CSSEdit, Coda, Espresso, Pixelmator, Opacity, Acorn to name a few; for Windows, look no further than Microsoft's Expression Suite.
OT: I really liked the "...not looking to abuse our loyal users" bit. The only thing Adobe do to their "loyal users" is shaft them with apps that are unstable and full of unnecessary feature bloat. They'll also charge their European customers twice as much for the pleasure! Wait for OS X 10.7 or Windows 8, they'll claim that they won't support the new platform and the only course of action is to upgrade. Cry me a river Lee...

Lee Brimelow in his ignorance and blindness forgets several important things.
One of them is that when Steve Jobs came to Adobe in late 1990's, and asked Bruce Chizen if Adobe would be interested to make a suite of multimedia programs for Mac, Bruce very much said to SJ to pi** off.
Then Apple decided to do it on their own and that's how iLife came to life.
Second is that Flash has never been nicely transplanted for Mac OS X, for it exhausts Mac machines and it is a processor hog. Adobe knows that.
Adobe wants developers to use Flash even further with the CS5. When I saw the feature lists in CS5, I sad to myself: "Oh my God, Adobe not only doesn't want to think for the future, but plays on Flash in all of its applications without making Flash itself a truly cross-platform-good-performing citizen."
And now when Apple wants to make an all new OS (iPhone OS) well performing, feature full, adding in all new features to support just that -- a remarkable user experience -- a lazy columnist from Adobe summons into a burst of sheer ignorance defending its own lack of vision, blaming others for taking alternative steps to provide us users great products with great user experience.
Adobe and Macromedia have had Flash for 15 years and have done nothing substantial and visionary about it, and now when they want to use it as a shortcut to develop apps for iPad -- and clearly Apple wants applications to be written differently for best iPhone OS performance -- they start to cry.
They're just lazy, lazy, lazy. In last 10 years Apple has made 5 major versions of the OS X for both PowerPC and Intel processors (that's 10 versions of OS X for both platforms, as Jobs demoed when introducing first Intel Macs), one version of the OS X for Intel only (10.6, making it a grand total of 11 versions of the Mac OS X, which is very indicative in what a hostile environment Apple lives in that makes it prepared and ready for everything), several editions of a completely new iPhone OS, made its own suite of high quality applications for users of that platform (iLife, iWork) because others didn't have any interest to do it ... yet Adobe now with CS5 finally delivers a native version of the Photoshop for OS X, and Microsoft finally delivers Cocoa based MS Office (in their next issue of the MS Office for Mac).
Now, tell me now who is a hard working visionary that works madly around the clock, adding new stuff and innovating, and who's a spoiled, lazy, lazy, lazy brat, that can't make a good native application for Apple's OS in 10 years. And they won't even do it justly for the iPhone OS, but they want to do it their own lazy, lazy way.
Mr Lee Brimelow, same to you.

Adobe fires back at Apple over cross-compiler ban
We don't care if we sat on our hands for the last 15 years, we are entitled to this technology without any competition getting in our way. It's's ours I tell'd better stop it..........mommmy.......tell Apple to knock it off....

The worst thing Adobe ever did was to hire a bunch of Java guys to develop Flex framework. Instead of going forward with Flash Magic and making it better and better they wasted their time and created Java Swing--. Now, unfortunately for Adobe and me (being a Flash platform developer), seems like this runtime could die very soon.

Wow... Adobe Drama. I thought the SDK already banned this long ago (interpreted languages) but I guess this is a little different. Adobe has basically been taking a shot at Apple all along with the whole Build-iPhone-Apps-In-Flash! deal. Apple just shot back. Suck it up Adobe.
And as far as them dropping OS X support in Creative Suite... I think they'd take a bigger hit from it than Apple also. Then again I almost wouldn't care if I could find a suitable alternative to Photoshop. I've found much lighter faster replacements because Adobe seems hell bent on feature bloat and massive overhead.

For all you people defending Apple, supporting their decision and bashing Adobe. I would LOVE to see how you guys would deal without Flash. If you were to watch videos, then you'd have to download them, then watch them and then delete them to save hard drive space. You'd wouldn't be able to watch youtube, or any online video streaming you would be out of luck on that, or you'd be severely limited. You couldn't play any Flash based games that are online unless you download it to the computer as a standalone no flash based program. You would basically be reduced to reading text and looking at still pictures and GIF files, so if you want a boring internet experience, go uninstall Flash and be my guest to a boring, tasteless internet experience.

I agree with TK. There is no way Flash is going to die off at this rate. Apple has too many "enemies" as it is. (ie. google - youtube).
I know there's the beta for HTML youtube, but on an iPhone/iPad it's no different from dowloading a movie file. Awful user interface.
You need to realize the entire 'dynamic' internet experience is not just based on flash. It IS flash.

"go uninstall Flash and be my guest to a boring, tasteless internet experience" Actually, i did it a year ago... and my internet is faster, less crashy, far less annoying-advertisement-filled. I love my boring, tasteless internet experience.

Please Adobe don´t cry. Produce Software we can use. Nail it down like Photoshop. Flash sucks and yes it is buggie. Go with the Standards big brother. Flash Catalyst is a good idea but i think you let us bleed and you foul us with another software. Why not integrate it in Flash Builder??? This is what i mean. And with the name!!! Flex Builder (Flex Catalyst) was better. Please Think Different.

Have fun, must be really boring not being able to do much with a Flash player. So what do you do? Read fanfics? Look at still pictures? Send email?

Flash gives nothing to the internet, that html5 can't do. Back in the days it was a nice way of embedding sound and video (quicktime ain't better but worse!), and it was a great way of working around limits of Windows (namely complete ignorance of SVG and worse than that no real front AA up to today).
Nowadays its just a video player, mostly used for porn streaming services. If the big players all jump (like youtube, hulu, vimeo, and so on) - flash will be nothing but annoying advertising - like animated gifs were back in the days - and after that they were just used less and less.
Seriously, I really hope that Apple gets through with this AND I really hope that the EU will unlock the iPhone. Result: you have a.) A clean marketplace where you get reviewed Quality apps (the AppStore) at a rather high margin. b.) Free to download apps anywhere that can be build on crappy backwards technology and frameworks (like Adobes whole software stack), or use nice modern multi platform development (lets say QT or WxWindows) - that market is the real market, but not the one where most of the profit will be made. Regular users will buy in the AppStore, those who care will here and there pick up an app from the free market.
So: The issue is not that Apple controls its distribution channel, the issue is that apple restricts to this distribution channel.

Please Apple... buy this comp.and make a 1000 $ suite for us. than kill the windows side of adobe and you will win the rest of the market (hehehe)
never mind.
2599 $ is much
3.687,81 Euro is a f... joke
this means 5.000 $ for a german cs5 master collection. are you crazy!!!

Hey Guy's, i don't understand the trouble!
First Apple isnt a holy company at all. Apple did a lot of really bad things. The most people ignore that because they life with Apples ecosystem. But just think.. what is when some needs java for work or the control over graphic driver in this case for opengl 3.x > 4.0? Apple user (so am I) cant work with OSX in this case, or have to wait 18 Months or so. This is one reason to install Linux or Windows on a Mac. Not good for Apple :-)
Then we have really expensive Hardware... with G4 and G5 i think wasnt a big problem because it was own Hardware and at this time really great as well. But now all is Intel,Macbooks are actually made by Asus.. that means a Mac is still a PC...
I have the Unibody first gen Macbook pro and if i wish to buy a new one... isnt it an Apple.
First the resolution of my 15' is a bad joke. I mean 1440x900?! then a lack of ports, like esata and hdmi -- display adapter that only works with Apple DVI plugs?! come on.. this is one little thing that pisses everyone off. Theres many more.
My next notebook is in this case a Sony Vaio Z with 1900x1080 resolution on 13' plus sRGB Panel.. and Bluray Burner and a Geforce 330 with 1GB GDDR Ram. --- :D
13' Inch Portable Pro Level Computing...
What i say is.. Apple is outdated and expensive.
And thats the reason to say goodbye to Apple...
this 25 year relationship is now over ;-)
Btw. Adobe did a great job. CS5 is a great update!
And YES really expensive...

No matter how much of an Apple-nerd I am (and have always been) I feel sad for Apple now. Locking developers out from mobile platforms will only hurt our good brand. I pray to the binary God that Adobe don't remove their products from Mac, I would have to switch to PC for sure... :(
(Flash apps can sure be crappy, but that is probably due to poor programming rather than Adobe product issues.)

(Flash apps can sure be crappy, but that is probably due to poor programming rather than Adobe product issues.)
Absolutely agree

@PeterM11 No, Adobe didn't "ask permission" from Apple, but then again, over the last 4 decades or so, it has not been customary to ask permission to write software in any darn language you wanted for any platform you wanted. In fact, it was also not customary to block developers from using a particular tool or programming language to develop an app, and it was also not customary to restrict who could deploy an app on what device.
Since Apple controls the distribution channel, they can enforce the contractual/license restrictions they impose upon developers. That doesn't make the onerous terms in the license any more fair or morally/ethically just. If it weren't for the DMCA's anti-circumvention language, Apple wouldn't be able to enforce these developer restrictions at all.
Think of it this way: Did Compaq ask IBM permission to reverse engineer the PC BIOS, paving the way for PC clones? Of course not. In fact, IBM sued Compaq -- and lost. There's no point in asking permission to do something if you know that the other party is going to say no, and frankly, Adobe wasn't breaking any terms of any licenses, contracts, or developer agreements. Apple prohibits virtual machines and interpreters on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, so no Java or Flex apps. (I guess the JavaScript interpreter/JIT compiler in Safari are an exception, since they're supplied by Apple and necessary for modern web development.) Apple never prohibited cross-compilers until just now.
Once you have a binary blob that complies with requirements of the operating environment in order to run, what's the difference which language it was originally written in? Clearly Apple wants to keep the iPhone an Objective C environment, but the reality is, forcing everyone to use a niche programming language for one particular family of devices is not generally a good idea these days.
So for all the reasons I just gave, I can't give Apple a pass on this one. I was actually interested in Adobe's product, because it gave developers a way to distribute Flash applications without having to ship a separate Flash runtime -- the app is compiled directly into native code for the target platform. Now we'll never get to truly see how Adobe's development tool compares to Apple's tools.
As for me, I let my iPhone developer license expire a while back, mainly because of how locked-down the platform is, and mysterious rejections of apps by Apple for reasons that are not consistent (often with published apps).

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