iPhone SDK: Smashing Flash Rumors

We all know by now there's no Flash on the iPhone or iPod touch, and it doesn't look like there'll be Flash on the iPad, which is probably why Adobe's Chief Technology Officer fired off an impassioned defense of the plugin, while a software engineer shows how a still-unfixed bug crashes it, and the first full on HTML5 video player concept makes its debut.

First up, Adobe CTO, Kevin Lynch has posted a full throated defense of Flash on his Adobe Blog and in a follow up comment notes:

Regarding crashing, I can tell you that we don't ship Flash with any known crash bugs, and if there was such a widespread problem historically Flash could not have achieved its wide use today.

How does this reconcile with Apple CEO, Steve Jobs saying something along the lines of "Whenever a Mac crashes more often than not it’s because of Flash"? TUAW draws our attention to Matthew Dempsky who found a bug that causes Flash to crash in Safari and Chrome, and Firefox to crash completely. And Adobe hasn't fixed it some 16 months later... Dempsky has created http://flashcrash.dempsky.org/ to demonstrate (remember, it will crash Firefox completely!), and says:

This page exploits a bug that I reported to Adobe in September 2008, and has affected every release of Flash on every platform since then. Despite numerous email exchanges with the Flash product manager about the bug, the bug report being hidden from the public for "security" reasons, and [although] Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch's claims otherwise, it continues to be an issue. [...] I'm just a software engineer who at one time had to deal with Adobe's sorry excuse for a development platform and made an earnest effort on several occasions at helping them improve it for everyone. (This issue is merely the tip of the iceberg of ridiculous bugs and random backwards and forwards incompatibilities known as Adobe's Flash Player plug-in.)

TUAW makes the case that Adobe's been resting on their de facto-standard laurels.

Daring Fireball, meanwhile links to SublimeVideo, the first (to our knowledge) full on HTML5 and JavaScript alternative video player. It's still early days, of course, but it works without a plugin, doesn't buffer until you tell it to, and lets you jump to any point in the video with fairly robust controls -- and more to come.

(And Gruber also notes that MPEG LA, owners of H.264, the proprietary codec used by Apple's gear and online in Safari, Chrome, and Flash -- but not in Firefox -- have announced it will remain without charge for free-to-end-user video through 2016)

Lynch, and former Macromedia Flash MX co-creator, Jeremy Allaire on TechCrunch, make valid points that HTML5 can't replace Flash and that Adobe works really hard on both.

In an ideal world, however, perhaps HTML5 can relieve Flash of some of the duties for which it's unsuited, give us back a lighter, cleaner, faster web overall, and let Flash and Adobe concentrate on those tasks for which there is no Flash alternative -- complex data visualizations, for example.

(And we'd also appreciate it if Flash stopped allowing websites to abuse local settings by storing "cookies" on our system -- okay Adobe?)