Cross-compilers

Adobe thinks Apple's new cross-compiler policy is great, lack of support for (non-existant) Flash player not so much...

Like Google, Adobe is also over-joyed at Apple's newly changed and clarified developer license agreement, specifically the part that now allows cross-compilers like Flash CS5 Packager for iPhone:

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Apple Slightly Changes Terms in Section 3.3.2 Dealing With Cross-Compiling and Use of Interpretors

The iOS 4 GM seed (gold master) released during WWDC 2010 once again made changes to Section 3.3.2 of Apple's licensing agreement -- specifically the part that deals deals with the use of cross-compilers.  The changes this time around may not make things all better, but it could make things slightly better for some developers.  Matt Drance had this to say about the change to Section 3.2.2:

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RunRev responds to Apple's new cross-compiler policy

Apple's new policy on cross-compilers has the development community in a frenzy, and for good reason.  RunRev is reaching out to Apple and developers and voicing their opinion on the matter.

For those not familiar with RunRev, revMobile is a cross-platform solution that will allow developers to port their applications to several different mobile platforms with ease.  Even though revMobile is still in its pre-alpha stages, it shows a lot of promise for developers who wish to develop for multiple platforms.  It allows them to build their applications and not have to re-write code for each and every platform separately.  This would provide an invaluable tool for devs.  Now with Apple bringing the ban hammer down on cross-compilers, Adobe isn't the only one speaking up anymore.

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Apple killing iPhone cross-compilers in 2010 like they killed Mac clones in 1997?

Apple has recently made headlines for banning cross-compilers in iPhone OS 4 SDK, and Steve Jobs fleshed out the specifics in his Thoughts on Flash open letter. This is nothing new. Back in September 1997, Apple and Steve Jobs made headlines for killing something else -- the Mac clones. And as is often the case, the past sheds some interesting light on the present and future of Apple and the iPhone and iPad. This is what Doc Searls wrote about it at the time:

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ARM, Opera, former US Secretary of Labor weigh in on Apple, Adobe, and Flash

Companies and individuals as diverse as mobile chip-licenser ARM, browser-maker Opera, and former US Secretary of Labor Robert Reich are offering opinions on Adobe, Flash, Apple's restriction on cross-compilers, and rumors of an Adobe-prompted DOJ/FTC inquiry into Apple -- and they won't be making Adobe very happy.

ARM flat out says Adobe's Flash has held back the delivery of smartbooks (think netbooks running on smartphone-scale ARM-processors). Adobe and ARM signed a partnership in 2008 and ARM hoped Flash would be up and running by 2009, but say it's "slipped". They think we'll see it in late 2010 (though there was outcry the iPhone didn't have it in 2007, right?)

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Adobe complaint behind possible DOJ/FTC inquiry into Apple?

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Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission jostling over inquiry into Apple restriction on cross-compilers

Citing the usual "people familiar with the matter", the New York Post claims the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commissions are negotiating over which one of their organizations will inquire into Apple's new iPhone OS 4 SDK section 3.3.1 -- the restriction against cross-compilers in general and Adobe's Flash CS5 Packager for iPhone in specific.

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Steve Jobs posts "Thoughts on Flash", or why you'll never see Flash on iPhone or iPad

Steve Jobs has posted his "Thoughts on Flash" up on Apple.com, and like his previous thoughts on (DRM) music, it's a fascinating insight into the mind and tactics of Apple's CEO. As background, this follows up iPhone, iPod touch, and now iPad shipping without Flash support, Apple's recent change in license to prevent the use of cross-compilers like Adobe Flash CS5's Packager for iPhone (which let developers make Flash apps and output iPhone apps), and Apple's recent addition of Mac APIs to allow hardware accelerated Flash on the desktop.

Jobs begins by stating how close Apple and Adobe were and how they've drifted apart. He then breaks down his case against Flash on mobile into 6 key areas:

  1. Flash is not open, it's wholly owned and controlled by Adobe. While Apple also has proprietary products, they believe the web should be open, and Jobs singles out Apple's support of WebKit (the rendering engine behind Safari, Chrome, etc.) as an example of this in action.

  2. Flash is not needed for the "full web" because H.264 is becoming the standard and as sites update to support H.264 they automatically provide video supported by the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. He lists Vimeo, Netflix, Facebook, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, ESPN, NPR, Time, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, People, National Geographic as examples. Jobs also says Flash games aren't needed because the App Store has 50,000 games, more than any other platform in the world, and many of them free.

  3. Security and performance. Flash is increasingly an attack vector for malware, and Apple still claims it's the number one cause of crashes on the Mac.

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Adobe quits Flash packager for iPhone, Apple comments

Adobe's Mike Chambers put up yet another screed against Apple and their iPhone platform -- specifically the disallowing of cross-compilers -- this time basically saying Adobe was going to stop work on Flash CS5's iPhone packager:

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Regarding rumors of Adobe preparing to sue Apple

Just when you think the internet can't take any more crazy it laughs, loosens its belt another notch, and unleashes something like ITWorld's story about Adobe getting ready to sue Apple over the iPhone's lack of Flash support or the iPhone OS 4 SDK prohibiting cross-compilers, or Canada winning Olympic hockey, whatever.

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