Flash and Silverlight to Make MobileSafari Crashier?


We've covered the iPhone Flash saga ad nauseam here, but in an interesting post involving the technology itself, NetNewsWire developer Brent Simmons (via DaringFireball) shares some interesting error/crash logs highlighting the instability-adding benefits of Flash, and the rapid catchup of Microsoft's copycat, Silverlight:

I’ve said it before — one of my favorite things about the iPhone is no Flash. I will now add and no SilverlightPlugin.

As a web developer who uses Flash routinely, I've also come to enjoy its absence on the iPhone (and the absence of like technologies, and even prehistoric kin like animated GIFs), and the amazing increase that absence give to the information over noise ratio. It's led me closer towards "Web 2.0"-style AJaX for interactivity, and away from the proprietary, and often overkill, that is plugin technology.

What do you think?

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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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Reader comments

Flash and Silverlight to Make MobileSafari Crashier?


Flash, when done right, adds to the website, and doesn't take away from it. Unfortunately, there is much more in the way of Flash that has taken away from the web rather than added to it.
Apple might go the way of including such a feature (on/off to Flash and Silverlight, maybe even at the granular level for some websites) as that would help things for some users.
The other issue with Flash has to do with how its built. If Apple takes a page from the Sony mylo COM-2 (sitting beside me right now) and uses Flash Light (2 or 3) then they could proably have a better experience with it than many mobiles have had to date.

Jobs has already dismissed Flash Lite as not powerful enough, and desktop Flash as too heavy, but either way I'm interested in what you think Flash adds in terms of user experience and usability?
The only thing that really comes to mind for me is application deployment, a la Photoshop Express, which arguably user browsers in lieu of desktops. While powerful, I'm not sure we're at a point yet where that helps the user (vs. a native app).

Jobs has already dismissed Flash Lite as not powerful enough
Lies, pure lies.
What Flash Lite gives you is compatibility with the real internet.
Good luck creating your own iInternet.

No need, HTML, javascript, AJaX, and other non-proprietary, standards-based technologies have already provided it for them.
(And they'll likely use QT to fill in any interactive gaps, while punting Flash and SL off into external players).

This is all silliness. There should be flash. There should be silverlight. If people are worried about crashes, add a "disable plugins" preferences option.
In the long term, it would be nice if both flash and silverlight went away and were subsumed by html standards, but that's just me.

First the Internet had text, then pictures, then the next biggest thing from any perspective is Flash. There are millions of websites with Flash that the so called great "Safari" browser already works fine on the PC. So what's the problem? Nothing has ever been dowloaded more than Flash. More people can see Flash than frickin' JavaScript. Take any top 100 sites for any category and most of them will have some information in Flash.
The reason that .swf files are not allowed in the so called great "Safari" browser on the iPhone is strictly business. And pretty bad business too.
Just because you can see QuickTime on the iPhone doesn't replace the millions of web sites with Flash.
And let's not confuse the issue, we are not seeing a big clamor to make it so you can program on the iPhone with Flash.
We just want to be able to see browsers correclty with the most widely accepted browser plug-in of all time. It's just stupid to say that Flash isn't a significant part of the Internet. For God's sake they put the New York Times (Liberal Rag) on every commercial and even the NYT has Flash on the home page and in other parts of its online publication.
The Flash question is stupid. I've NEVER heard of a .swf making a computer crash and I've been in web development for over 10 years. So, I'm not buying that argument.
Even if that was real they could confine the .swf version to only see say ... version 5 of the plug-in. That would dispel these mysterious crashes that have never happened. And if you think about it, how would anybody even know if Flash would crash the 'great' Safari Browser on an iPhone? It doesn't exist remember?
Flash is just a part of the Internet, and if Apple want's to ignore the mistake, then there's no way to apologize for it or somehow make it Flash's fault. That's just silly.
The latest version of flash is over 97% ubiquity among ALL KNOWN COMPUTERS with an internet connection. Somebody must like it.
And the dumb argument about standards doesn't work either. 256 colors was standard. 14.4 modems was standard. And a whole bunch of other stupid limitations that were overcome.
And what if Flash was part of this 'mystical' standards team. The svg plug in from that group doesn't work on the iPhone does it? Would you not find a way to stick your nose up at Flash anyway?
The 'standards' group didn't allow for color television for over 10 years past the proven technology. Is that a good argument? Because Flash has been widely accepted for over 10 years.

And 'stability'? ARe you kidding? I downloaded the new 2.0 software and it's killed my phone. I can't even get it to power up while it's plugged in.
Stability? Come on.