May 10

Adobe’s theater of the absurd

Companies do show their character when they enter into combat as Adobe and Apple have done. In theory, high-stakes pressure brings out the best in both sides.

Just a theory, mind you.

Apple gave us a straightforward open letter. Adobe rants about defending freedom, trots out the founders and even summons the ghost of Flash past.

On their truth about Flash page, Adobe “sets the record straight” and “clears up the misconceptions” — starting with this:

Touch. The Adobe Flash Player runtime was actually originally created as a technology for tablets with touch interfaces, and today, it has support for working on touch-based devices.

Wow. Shocker. Didn’t know that. Eager to learn more about Flash’s touch-DNA, I clicked read more, which whisked me to the personal, non-Adobe blog of Flash product manager Mike Chambers. Mike addresses the Top Flash Misconceptions, his first being that Flash doesn’t work on touch screens. “Ironic,” he says, because “Flash was originally created specifically for tablets with touch inputs.”

Yes. So I’ve heard. But again, there’s no further info, so I click yet another link to go deeper. Now I’m at Adobe’s official The History of Flash. However, I’m dumped in the middle of a story that obviously started elsewhere, where the writer speaks in first person but is never identified. Summoning my formidable detective skills, I check the address bar and see the name John Gay, a pioneer of Flash.

He’s talking about his work in pen computing, which had its origins in 1993, and how Macromedia’s Flash still contained much of the code that was written for pen computers. Okay. Thanks for sharing.

It’s interesting that Adobe opens its argument with the flourish that Flash was originally created for touch-based tablets — when the connection is so tenuous and so totally irrelevant to the issues today. Compare this again to the way Apple has presented its argument against Flash. Crisp and to the point.

After following these convoluted links, I’m actually more amazed with Flash than I was before. I was under the impression this technology had only been failing with touch devices for about three years. Turns out it’s more like 17.

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  • ChuckO

    Tee hee hee! I especially like the end. As I remarked on the previous post I don’t understand what Adobe is after with these tactics. They need a strategy and I have an easy one although it’s too late to start now. Keep your mouth shut and deliver a good product!

  • Kesey

    Ken come clean. You’re really John Gruber aren’t you?!

  • HAHAHAA!!!! Love it!!!!

  • No good marketing here from Adobe. Btw, it turned out Flash works pretty well on touch devices: http://theflashblog.com/?p=2027