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Apple and Adobe: Can’t we all just get along?

Posted by Dr. Burton on April 10, 2010 in rant |

Right tool for the job…
I grew up on a small farm. One of the things I learned early on was to select the right tool for the job. If I needed to drive a nail, I didn’t use a sledge hammer. If I need to cut wood, I didn’t use a hacksaw. As a developer, I continue to choose the right tool for the job. If I’m developing for the iPhone or iPad, then I use xcode. If I’m developing a rich media application or web application, I’m probably going to use Flash or Java with php. If I’m building an application for the Windows environment, it will most likely be developed in C#. Those are my choices, and how I like to work.  They are the tools that I have found effective in accomplishing my work

Recently, Apple added language to the pre-release iPhone SDK 4.0 License Agreement that prohibits using anything other than Apple’s APIs and C, C++, or Objective-C in our app development. This doesn’t just impact Adobe, but also Unity 3D engine and many other wonderful tools that are on the market for developers. I’m sure that this is not the end of it (it is just the pre-release agreement), but as a developer, I do feel like a kid caught between fighting parents.

If developers want to use Flash to develop their code, why does Apple have a problem with it? It still has to compile using Apple’s SDK. It still has to work on the iPad & iPhone.   It’s not like we pay to use xcode. It costs Apple nothing to play nice and will increase the app offerings (and the number of developers) on the iPhone and iPad, which generates more money for them. Obviously, if developers want to use Flash CS5 to develop for the iPad/iPhone, they perceive that there is something lacking in the xcode IDE. Perhaps Apple should open the door, play nice, and let those who want to develop with Flash CS5, or Unity 3D, or whatever else is out there, develop.  Quit trying to mother the developers by telling us what tools we can and cannot use!

Yes, yes, I know. There are a lot of issues that are impacting all of this. Perhaps I am over-simplifying everything.  From a user’s and a developer’s perspective though, all of this finger pointing and fighting just makes me want to go develop in someone else’s sandbox.  Hello Android and Microsoft Mobile!

Apple and Adobe, for the sake of the developers, play nice.  Please!

Update:
It would seem that Apple not playing nice (which seems vaguely familiar of some similar issues that Microsoft had in the 90’s) is going to have to go to the courts (see http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/04/wsj-confirms-apple-under-preliminary-antitrust-investigation-ove/).

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