Much has been said in the last 12 hours regarding Apple's latest display of disregard for the thousands of potential designers and developers who would like to leverage their existing skills to contribute to the app ecosystem. While the ban of Flash in mobile Safari makes good business sense and even possibly has some technical merit behind it, the latest move seems without explanation even by many of the industries smartest minds.
It seems amazing to me that Apple is putting themselves into a position to tell the likes of the New York Times and Conde Nast, who are using apps "originally developed" in Flash to publish to the iPad, that they will have to abandon all they've done and start over.
As we wait and see how this plays out and possibly see what the official word is from Apple I give you the most interesting analysis of the new license agreement that I've seen so far. Here's an excerpt from Flash developer Joe Berkovitz's blog:
Apple is implicitly taking a position that apps are not “originally written” in the minds of developers, in the form of cognitive representations of problems and their solutions. They are taking a position that the brain is not a translation tool for mapping from these representations into C, Objective-C, or what have you. They are subscribing to the canard of a “ghost in the machine”, implying that at some point an app crosses some magical boundary from being an mental thing into a physical thing that is “written” in some definite programming language. They are maintaining this because, if they weren’t, every single iPhone app would violate their licensing agreement by virtue of the developer’s mind itself being a tool that produces Objective-C as an “intermediary result”. Apple may thus be the first company to bet the farm on Cartesian dualism.
If this seems like a really nerdy joke (which it could be), try a few thought experiments. What if Ben writes a Flash app, shows it to Amy, who codes it up in Objective-C, compiles it and submits it to Apple? Should it be rejected since it was not “originally written” in Objective-C? If you think Apple’s answer would be “no” — a good guess — then substitute Adobe’s iPhone Packager for Amy. Now should it be rejected according to the rules? What, at the end of the day, makes Amy different from a machine translation tool? (Personally, I’d rather hang out with Amy than with iPhone Packager, but that’s another story.)
You can read the complete post here.
I'm sure this drama is only going to get more interesting as it unfolds. We're currently working on putting something together for FITC Toronto in response to what we feel is an unfair and unjustified moved on Apple's behalf that will have a real and negative effect on many of our close friends and supporters. Anyone know the folks at Blendtec?