The lack of support to Flash on the iPhone OS devices has been a very contentious issue for quite some time and the debate is back in the limelight ever since Apple unveiled the iPad which, like the iPhone, does not support Flash.
Steve Jobs has always maintained that Flash is a “buggy” piece of software and the company is looking at HTML5 as an alternate platform to support multimedia applications.
Earlier this month, Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch countered Steve Jobs’ statements insisting upon the ubiquity of his company’s software. Lynch claimed that nearly 85% of the top websites in the world and 98% of computers employed Flash; implying that Apple was denying its users the best experience by not offering support to Flash.
Though Adobe has constantly backed the capabilities of their multimedia software, the company has also lent its support all along to the HTML5 platform asserting that the future will see Flash co-existing with HTML5 rather than one platform outdoing the other. In a discussion last year, Shantanu Narayen, the CEO at Adobe said:
“To the extent that an improved HTML standard accelerates innovation and consistent reach for web content, we’re very supportive.”
Despite all the lip service in support of HTML5, it now appears that Adobe could be acting to sabotage the growth of the open specification. According to Ian Hixie, a member of the HTML5 working group, the company has objected to the latest publication of HTML5 without specifying the reasons behind it. On his blog, Hixie writes
“Larry Masinter, Adobe, quoted in the minutes of yesterday’s weekly phone status report for the HTML working group: do I need to repeat objections?
Net result: the latest publication of HTML5 is now blocked by Adobe, via an objection that has still not been made public (despite yesterday’s promise to make it so).”
As folks at Apple Insider note, the reasons behind this are not hard to see. The canvas element of HTML5 supports the creation of rich media ads and games that could directly compete with Flash. However, it could still be premature to blame the company. We are waiting for an official response from Adobe regarding these accusations and will update you as and when that happens.
Adobe’s Larry Masinter claims that Adobe is not blocking anything related to HTML5. He commented on 9 to 5 Mac’s blog:
No part of HTML5 is, or was ever, “blocked” in the W3C HTML Working Group — not HTML5, not Canvas 2D Graphics, not Microdata, not Video — not by me, not by Adobe.
Neither Adobe nor I oppose, are fighting, are trying to stop, slow down, hinder, oppose, or harm HTML5, Canvas 2D Graphics, Microdata, video in HTML, or any of the other significant features in HTML5.
Claims otherwise are false. Any other disclaimers needed?
So that should put the speculation to rest.
[Ian Hixie Blog via Apple Insider]