Nov 11

Adobe: woe of the freedom fighter

I was going to say, “Farewell Flash, we hardly knew ye.”

But, of course, we knew ye pretty well. That was the problem.

I won’t waste anyone’s time by dissecting Flash’s many failings. The bottom line was that without a role to play in iOS, Adobe was missing out on too much action. Despite their protests, they had to do what they had to do.

It’s the way they protested that got under my skin.

Back when Apple banned Flash from iOS, I took issue with Adobe over the “theme” they chose to rally the people to their side. For obvious reasons of self-preservation, they wrapped themselves in the flag of freedom. They tried to win support as the company who fights for the rights of developers. They were there to defend us all.

I’m sorry, but it just makes me ill when a company hijacks a basic human right to preserve their own cash cow.

As Adobe has now confirmed, this was a disposable use of a sacred concept. If you read their latest words, there is no lament that we will soon live in a totalitarian state controlled by the evil Apple. Adobe is no longer protecting our cherished values. Now it’s just about HTML5 being “the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms.”

I know Adobe would rather put their “freedom fighter” campaign in the past, but they don’t get off the hook that easy. That effort showed something about the character of the company—especially now that they’ve done a 180. Apparently, in Adobe’s world, the concept of freedom is merely a disposable tool of convenience.

We owe Steve Jobs a huge thank-you for Adobe’s decision to abandon ship on Mobile Flash. Steve was the only person on earth with the clout to force the issue. Now Adobe can join the industry in creating the tools for a standard that is truly open, and performs better across all devices.

One could speculate about the timing of Adobe’s announcement in relation to Steve’s death, but a move of this magnitude would have to have been in the works for quite some time. It’s possible that the announcement was scheduled for an earlier date, but was delayed so it wouldn’t come too soon after Steve’s passing.

Bottom line: all is well. The whole industry can now concentrate on perfecting a more stable, less power-hungry way of enabling creativity on the web, without depending on a single company to control our access to it.

Now that’s freedom.

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  • David Best

    What announcement are you talking about?

  • ken segall

    Gee. I thought everyone knew. http://huff.to/saf64A

  • yetanothersteve

    We’re going to miss having someone with the clout and the balls to draw a line in the sand like that. (And the sense/taste/strong people around him to challenge to be right.)

  • Bmcfadden

    Adobe reacted EXACTLY like RealNetworks did when they got in a fight with apple a few years ago. RN even went so far as to create a sham website dedicated to “freedom of choice” or some similar line of corpoate bullshit. When everyone pointed out RealNetworks as being the purveyor of probably the worst, most bug-ridden proprietary crapware on the planet, they quietly slithered back into their hole. Needless to say, RN is now a shadow of its former self. Perhaps it is not too late for Adobe.

  • Bmcfadden

    As Rick Perry might say, “sorry for the typos … Ooops!”

  • ken segall

    No worries. I got your back!

  • Adobe douchbags are missing in action this week. Or maybe their Flash PR budget ran out.

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