Posts in Category "Uncategorized"

Time is money

Want CS4? Although the release has been very well-received on its own merits, political uncertainty over the current economic climate has slashed discretionary spending. Everyone is closely examining the return-on-investment of new purchases.

So Adobe hired Pfeiffer Consulting to benchmark over 120 bottlenecks to creative production workflows. The results are dramatic, as charts in the 1.5meg PDF overview show: “In some workflow situations, the ROI impact of Adobe Creative Suite 4 can be in excess of $10,000 per year and per workstation.”

Time savings are about half-again for web work, twice as fast for design work and Photoshop, and four times as fast for video.

Much more source data is available on the productivity portal.

I knew that there was a lot of work done in CS4 on everyday efficiency. But I never expected to be able to see this measured and tested, much less with such dramatic results.

If you want the fun and features of Creative Suite 4, but couldn’t convince the purchasing department before, then make sure they have access to these results from Pfeiffer Consulting… the numbers show, in black and white, that it’s hard to afford using anything other than CS4!

Silverlight mobile timelines

I was expecting to hear news this week about cross-device Silverlight, so when I didn’t, I spent some time hunting things down. Short story is that there doesn’t seem to be a public timetable right now. But it took awhile to search up and disentangle the various accounts, so to save others time, here are the best hits I’ve found on Microsoft’s timelines for mobile. If you’ve got additional links with more source info then a note in comments would be great, thanks.

April 2007 TechCrunch: “Silverlight was demonstrated today on a Windows mobile device as part of a new service that the NBL have built. The demo showed both Silverlight applications and media streaming running on a mobile phone – so Silverlight even at this stage is about more than just the desktop browser and desktop market.”

May 2007 Staff weblog: “For those of you who didn’t get to see the Silverlight Windows Mobile demo at MIX, here’s Scott Holden, the Product Unit Manager for the Compact Framework team, giving us a closer look a the Major League Baseball (MLB) demo.”

July 2007 Steve Ballmer keynote: “So, this is example of a prototype, a future look at potentially what we can do with Silverlight for mobile devices. And this is an experience that was built by Major League Baseball working with Frog Design on the design, both the mobile app and the desktop app. And we have the games that are live right now, and we can drill into a specific game, and actually see real time data flowing down….”

March 2008 Nokia press release says “Microsoft will demonstrate Silverlight on S60 during the opening keyote at Microsoft’s MIX08 conference on March 5 in Las Vegas. Silverlight is intended to be available to S60 developers later this year with initial service delivery anticipated shortly thereafter for all S60 licensees.”

March 2008 Apparently from the then-current version of the FAQ: “We will have the First Developer CTP for Silverlight for mobile available in 2nd Quarter of CY 2008 targeting Windows Mobile 6.”

March 2008 CNET: “A version of Silverlight for Windows Mobile will be available later this year, said John Case, a general manager in Microsoft’s developer division.”

March 2008 Staff blog: “The team is planning to ship a CTP of version 1 in the 2nd quarter of 08 and then RTM the 4th quarter of 08. Along with the RTM of version 1, they are planning to release a CTP of version 2 which will match Silverlight 2 including the managed runtime.”

May 2008 “We are still waiting for Silverlight 1.0 support on Windows Mobile. At Mix08 I attended various mobile talks (Amit Chopra: ‘The wait is finally over, we have Silverlight for Windows Mobile’ – from one of the less impressive sessions), where Silverlight 1.0 was promised shortly after Mix. According to Todd a CTP should be available soon – a CTP? of Silverlight 1? Come on guys, Silverlight 1 should be done and dusted by now, it was announced at Mix07, we need Silverlight 2 and a WPF-like UI.”

May 2008 A developer puts together a timeline: “The first version of Silverlight for Mobile is going to be Silverlight 1.0 (JavaScript only – no .NET) and a CTP should be available any day now. We’ll get the first ‘official’ Silverlight for Mobile (1.0) towards the end of this year, sometime after Silverlight 2.0 officially ships for the desktop. Around the same time we should get a CTP of Silverlight 2.0 for Mobile. Finally, around this time next year we’ll get the .NET-loving version of Silverlight for Mobile.”

June 2008 A third-party developer was apparently doing test apps on SL1/Mobile.

September 2008 In an article on the Windows Mobile delay: “Microsoft, for its part, has said very little about the next generation of Windows Mobile. The only public statement we know of came from Steve Ballmer, who said, ‘The work we’re doing on Windows Mobile 7, which is the next major release of Windows Mobile, not just in the Windows Mobile team, but across Windows Mobile, in Silverlight, the development platform, the e-mail, the back-end, I think you’ll continue to see that as an area of major excitement and innovation for the company as we move forward.'”

November 2008 “According to a Microsoft FAQ, SilverLight Mobile will be a subset of SilverLight 2. The program will initially ship on S60 and Windows Mobile, and may become available for other platforms later. As for the initial shipment: it is scheduled for ‘2009’….”

March 2009 A staff weblog titled “Windows Mobile 6.5 – What’s in for developers?” does not mention Silverlight Mobile.

March 2009 Gavin Clarke at The Register got the chance to ask about timetables: “In a further change from last October, meanwhile, Microsoft has decided against a public beta of Silverlight for mobile this quarter. Guthrie said Microsoft felt ‘pretty good’ about the feedback it’s getting from the private beta. He would not provide a date of a public beta.”

March 2009 In a forum question about updated SL/Mob updates, a staffer says “I found a CTP version which is for internal only. Currently, we cannot assure you its release time or something else.”

March 2009 Another forum conversation seems to contain current best-info. “Nothing official has come out of the MIX09 conference, but word on the street and on twitter is that it won’t be available until Windows Mobile 7.” “Hmm, that’s very unfortunate. Windows Mobile 6.5 is planned for release in September this year. I have the feeling a final of Silverlight Mobile won’t be here until the end of 2010.”

March 2009 From the product FAQ: “Q: Where can I find Silverlight for mobile and associated SDK for download? When is Silverlight for mobile available? A: Silverlight for mobile is currently under development. We haven’t announced any further details around availability at this time.”

Today’s “Hello World”

I watched part of Microsoft demos yesterday, and realized something that had been brewing for awhile… we saw it a few years ago with “RIA” demos, and the spread of “Experience Matters”, but now it’s coming down to a more granular level.

It was at the “spinning postcards” demo, which Apple had worked the week before in its 3D CSS extensions * … in similar vein to the JavaScript homage to Papervision3D “cloth” demos of the week before, and a whole bunch of projects before that.

Innovative Flash work is the new standard to which other technologies aspire. Gifted people create intriguing examples to take advantage of new technology, and then these intriguing examples are the role models for others to work. “Can I code *that*!?” is the driving question.

No big deal, and we all had an awareness of it already. But it’s getting more clearly defined these days… today’s Flash grooviness becomes tomorrow’s “Hello World”.

* re: Apple’s “3D CSS”, WTF is up with putting “3D” libraries into a spec about styling? That’s one of the worst examples yet of proprietary extensions to what should be sensible and implementable standards… why not call it something other than “Cascading Style Sheets”, which is ostensibly about mediating styling options between creator choices and user choices? Only reason I see that Apple calls it “3D CSS” is that they hope to ride coat-tails in on a “standard”, get some opensource blessing for Apple’s proprietary “Safari” runtime. I hope someone can show me a way this makes sense, but right now, “3D in CSS” just seems sick, sick, sick.

Flash on iPhone, on Twitter

I edited the last two hours’ hits at for term “flash iphone”… pulled out the robot autoposts from news sites, tweets with profanity, and some that were repetitious or didn’t make sense. (I also left some out because I got tired of copy/paste. 😉

The overall emotional tenor here is representative… I left in the few that said “I don’t want Flash on iPhone” and such. Some of the non-English character sets have rough translations appended [in brackets] beneath.

(Adobe’s position is that we want to enable universal publishing… we’ll work with anyone and everyone to bring this about. We’re working on an iPhone port, but without Apple adding plugin support to Safari, and without them permitting distribution to un-jailbreak’d phones, it’s hard to see how it can occur. I have zero visibility into the business deals, but the refrain below about Flash endangering the monopoly revenue off of App Store makes the most sense of anything I’ve heard so far.)

Anyway, on with tha’ tweets…. 😉

Dave’s right, don’t get me started on mysteriously missing iPhone functionality! Video?Camera focus? Flash player?

New iPhone OS 3.0 announced today! Finally mms and copy and paste … But no video recording or Flash support. Cmon Apple give us Flash!

from the Q&A it sounds like apple doesn’t want the word “flash” anywhere near the #iphone, guess it’s Spotlight for now. 🙂

News flash: iPhone OS 2009 to offer same features as Palm 2000. Be still my beating heart! Anyone else think Apple’s late to the party?

we won’t need Flash on the iPhone now that there’s a mobile version of Sproutcore 🙂

iPhone 3.0 = still no Flash. Come on guys, get with it.

Yeah I guess the only thing the iPhone is missing now is Video and Flash … not bad IMHO

They have the capability of Flash in iPhone, but I think they haven’t worked out the legality yet.

That is outstanding to hear that it’s actually being worked on. Flash (someday) on iPhone. Yay!

Those iPhone 3.0 updates are really nice, shame about still no Flash though.

New Apple SDK…where the F is flash functionality????

boo no flash for iphone 🙁

…and more. available: “this summer.” Free for iPhone 3G & it’s enabled to work on the original iPhone as well. Still no flash though.

“Flash you vile piece of crap, you single-handedly took down my Mac.” – or why the iPhone doesn’t need Flash…

iPhone 3.0 Announced and Detailed. Everything you wanted except Flash.

I hadn’t considered HTML 5 + Js as a replacement to Flash. There are a lot of Flash sites unaccessible by iPhone. I’d like both.

Good stuff in 3.0 iPhone. Only gripes: no flash, no real multitasking.

I’m still disappointed with lack of Flash still. IPhone 3.0 that is.

They say June, but who knows. Flash-free web on the iPhone is a breath of fresh air man.

Good news about iPhone 3.0. Flash would be nice though.

iphone dev consultancy contacted me asking what im gonna do with 3.0 — their site is 100% flash

Flash is coming for the iPhone, just waiting on Adobe, I expect by the time 3.0 is released, their just not announcing it.

Happy with C&P and MMS but still no Flash, when will #Apple put the Full Internet in my pocket??

iPhone 3.0 – Good: MMS, cut/paste, parental controls, spotlight. Bad: No Flash, iffy tethering capabilities, no updated camera support?

Pre still has (or will have flash) the iPhone still doesn’t, so only time will tell

Apple won’t allow flash on the iphone because it’s a dev platform. Meaning, people can dev apps that Apple can’t control.

Nice to hear ‘cut-paste’ has come to the iPhone in 3.0, but too bad flash support is still missing.

Still a lack of Flash on the iPhone. Kinda sad.

iPhone 3.0, umm Great But missing: Teahterhing and Flash!

Watching MacBreak Weekly, a little miffed about the lack of flash in iPhone 3.0, copy and paste is nice, but without flash, meesa not happy.

Where’s my Flash, godammit, Mapple. You’ve brought basic functions two years late, bloody hurry up with it. Not that I HAVE an iPhone.

iPhone got cut/paste/MMS finally. Sheesh. Know what’s next, right? FLASH.

Hmmmm iPhone 3.0 is defiantly leaning alot further towards media and games, and what use is that without flash, still got my eyes on a pre

I could live with out Flash on the iPhone. Apple wants quick mobile freindly web pages. Not giant bloated flash sites.

iPhone 3.0: copy/paste; YES! Flash support; NO!

Press: Hey Apple, where’s Flash on the iPhone!? Video sucks! Apple: Here’s H.264 now shut up!

Verdict on 3.0 — not complete wish list (no multitasking, flash etc) but every iPhone user will want it asap. (wait till summer)

Why doesn’t iPhone have Flash????? I live on mine, sone things can’t be viewed… DUH!! … but I’d never not have apple products.

You know, I like some of these new iPhone feature announcements… But where in hell is the flash support?!?

Is dissapointed with the new iPhone update 3.0 Still no flash!

haven’t heard this, do u know the price it will b? luv my iPhone, but need more speed. and where is Flash!

Man…para cuando flash en el Safari de Iphone!!!!!!!!!

yeah… i wouldn’t hold your breath for iPhone Flash support.

The new iPhone features sound cool but I would love to see Flash support

iPhone 3.0 will not have flash support, but it will play HTML 5 video (I’m not sure I know what that is) and the API is opened to developers

Cut and Paste coming to iPhone…no mention of Flash 🙁

Nothing new to announce on Adobe Flash on the iPhone though. Not a dealbreaker, just a disappointment.

why Flash on iPhone if you already have Flash on Nokia! 😀

iPhone 3.0 still no flash, halfway 2 tethering; cut & paste, & search will be nice, MMS but not 4 iP2G users lk me – time 2 upgrade?

Not impressed w/iPhone OS3 features; no multitask, no push uptime guarantee, no flash, no video.

we’re never gettting flash on an Iphone are we?

hmmmm… still no Flash for iPhone… but at least I got MMS, Copy/Paste, and tethering…

Still no Adobe Flash for iPhone. Wonder if Silverlight will show up first?

“attendais” je ne sais pas, mais espérais: flash, un nouvel iphone, la vidéo, le bluetooth…

Finished watching Apple event. Still no flash for iPhone… Seriously??

I can’t wait! I love my iPhone but del it lacks some important things. Like flash player and mms.

all in all, i deem iPhone 3.0 a success. wasn’t dying for flash support, nor was i expecting it so no disappointment.

Yay, iPhone gets copy/paste, A2DP stereo bluetooth, and MMS! Just add Flash, filebrowser, multitasking, and other networks and it’s perfect!

Hell Freezes over!!! Copy/Paster for iPhone!! Finally. No Flash though.

So was iPhone 3.0 good for you or is it still lacking something? For me, give me Flash and Background Apps, but liked the other additions

yeah still nothing on the flash. Which sucks but all in due time. Rumors have it their releasing a new iPhone in June. Hopefully.

Is hearing that the iPhone still doesn’t have flash support. Lame! Sticking to my BlackBerry Pearl.

So many twitts talking iPhone cut & paste…whopdy freakin do! Still no Flash capabilities?

Can’t wait to play around with the new iPhone SDK 3.0. But why oh why, still no flash support 🙁

there will be no flash for the iphone for a while. The new update should help bring the phone up to speed with the rest of us 😉

Still no Flash, but I don’t care. Now I just need a 3G instead of my dinosaur. Any more rumours about a new iPhone?

Apple allowing Flash on the iPhone would be like the Pope promoting premarital sex – it will never happen.

Any news on when Flash will be available on the iPhone?

really? but even though they have flash on it, i’ve heard they’ve had flash on the iPhone for a while yet no release…

Not everything you hoped for, but it’s a start 8) Flash support was missing

sorry meant I don’t understand why you need flash on the iPhone

lese ich richtig…? copy&paste kommt mit os 3.0 für’s iphone? fehlt nur noch richtige flash-unterstützung für “mein nahezu perfektes ding”

Last time I heard, Adobe was pretty much good to go with Flash on iPhone, but the hangup with was Apple somehow.

iphone 3.0 – copy & paste, battery-friendly push and Bonjour are all good news. Lack of news on flash support is disappointing though.

How is it possible that I am so PUMPED and yet so DISSAPPOINTED about the #iPhone announcement? I guess it’s cause I really wanted Flash.

When asked about Flash on iPhone Apple starts talking about how well iPhone already handles video. WTF?

iPhone 3.0 not here until June. Adds MMS, Copy/Paste, notification, landscape email, global search, notes sync but STILL no Flash support!

iPhone is free. iPod Touch is $10. I’ll update to get the new features. Wished for Flash though…

So there you have it. No flash support yet but MMS plus Copy, Cut and Paste is confirmed in the iPhone 3.0 software update. Coming summer.

My take on iPhone 3.0? It does not disappoint in the least.Can’t think of anything that is missing. Don’t say flash, flash is a dead medium.

I’d be more interested in Flash on IPhone OS than background apps. But I’m a Flash enthusiast!

I’ll agree with you on that. Flash on the iPhone = no time soon.

What ? Flash doesnt come to the iPhone? How sad 😉

iPhone 3.0: NO Flash, NO background apps, YES to: MMS, copy/paste, Bluetooth stereo, global search (email, music etc), SMS forwarding.

New iPhone update is Sweeeeeet! No Flash:( everything else is pretty cool though. My fav, mms

Ahhh, se me olvidaba, no hay soporte para Flash en iPhone … todavía… ¿lo ofrecerán algún día?

Flash บน iphone มันปัญหาการเมือง มากว่า ปัญหาทางเทคนิคครับ
[“Flash on the iphone it political problem more than technical issues”]

Following the iPhone OS 3.0 conference…still no flash…you’ve got to be kidding me…

Hulu doesn’t need Flash to be on the iPhone anymore than Youtube does.

WOW copy and paste, landscape texting, the finder, MMS, the IPHONE IS BEAST just waiting for flash now but other than that its perfect!

iPhone 3.0 update is looking gooooood! No Flash, but still a pretty nice list of features. Needs to come out sooner!

So with all the iPhone 3.0 talk there’s still no Flash support. Is it a matter of money with Adobe? What’s the hold up?

Do you REALLY want Flash on the iPhone? I don’t. The iPhone’s flashlessness has greatly helped web design. No gratuitous Flash!

iphone doesn’t have flash support does it? I wouldn’t have thought the CPU was powerful enough in most smartphones anyway

iPhone 3.0 pretty good but where is Flash support Apple?!

Here’s my hypothesis on Apple’s reasons for not porting Flash:

My guess is that Apple has an in house Flash player for the iPhone, but it sucks the battery extremely fast.

No flash on the iPhone. Thanks apple! #fail

Well, iPhone OS3.0 will have copy/paste; now everyone can switch to bitching about no Flash support for the iPhone

I admire Apple for rejecting Flash and favoring open standards. It took the iPod to kill DRM, maybe the iPhone can do the same with Flash.

Ah Apple, just minutes after making the iPhone complete, the tweetnerds have already found a flaw: where’s the Flash?

I’d rather see Hulu create an iPhone app or a mobile version of the site. Or do what FunnyOrDie did and embed both Flash and non.

Disappointed by lack of video. Understand lack of flash. Enthusiastic about everything else about iPhone OS 3.0. Roll on the release…

If MS were smart, they would get Silverlight onto iPhone (at any cost) before Flash gets in.

No #Flash on #iPhone 3.0. Bummer dude!

I am like the new 3.0 os for the #iphone, I still want flash though.

Apple’s iPhone OS 3.0 preview event now over. mildy impressed. really wanted video and flash. copy&paste/MMS/spotlight/tethering is cool.

IPhone 3.0 verkar ju riktigt sweet. Synd att de inte slängde in stöd för flash dock.
[“IPhone 3.0 seem really sweet. Too bad they threw in support of the flash, however.”]

flash on the iPhone? Nooo. Much better! Copy & Paste functionality. (although everyone else has flash)

oh btw , apple , where is my Flash support for Iphone ? with Iphone 17.2 ?

Dear Steve Jobs: Adobe’s phone number is 800-833-6687. Please call them to get Flash technology for the iPhone. You would be a hero.

Uh…I wish I had flash on the iPhone.

methinks, for now, things look bad for adobe flash ever coming to iPhone as apple would prefer to drink adobe’s milk shake.

iPhone gets cut&paste, but not until june. Still no flash

Mostly happy with iPhone 3.0 – tho’ no flash support. Guess I’ll have to upgrade my handset, yaaay!

Missing from iPhone 3.0: still no Flash support in safari? Ridiculous.

It’s kinda ridiculous that the iPhone doesn’t have flash. Adobe supposedly has had a port ready for ages.

será que a Apple mascarou a falta de flash no OS3 do Iphone com mais conectividade, jogos e tudo mais? Só falta vierem com essa desculpa
[“Apple is the masked a lack of flash in the OS3 Iphone with more connectivity, games and everything else? Just come with that excuse absence”]

Pretty happy about iPhone 3.0 software updates. Still want video and flash on the thing.

iPhone 3.0 update looks cool – has pretty much everything I wanted, except still no Flash support in the browser. Oh, and no toaster

ALOT of great features coming to iPhone OS 3.0 this June, but it doesn’t look like Flash support will be coming period.

Some things I miss from the iPhone3.0 OS: video recording, Flash Video support, backgrounding, multitasking, full fledged tethering

iPhone news was pretty good. Flash has to be the #1 desired feature now. I just don’t see Apple doing that lest they make $ by it.

Screwed out of Flash support in the iPhone 3.0 announcement. I’m going back to a couple of cans and some string.

Sounds like iPhone OS 3.0 still missing flash support

Fending off the inevitable question: No Flash for iPhone. Not now, not in 3.0, probably not ever. Wrong for the form factor. Move on.

now all i needs is flash for iphone

Iphone chaps excited about version 3.0. My smart phone did copy & paste from day 1… Plus Flash.

Iphone OS 3.0 : bummer no flash for iphone but the peer to peer feature that has much the greatest potential..Look at my former posts

Still no Flash support for the iPhone…weak.

The continued lack of Flash support on the iPhone is a mystery. I really want to know what’s going on behind the scenes on this one!

#iphone 3.0 update – no news on Flash. 🙁

Got 2 of 3 on my personal iPhone wishlist. Got Cut/Paste and MMS, but did not get Flash support. Flash sucks, but too pervasive to ignore.

Yay for copy and paste! Now is Flash support on Adobe?? Come on! It’s about time for a feature complete iPhone!

econd bummer on iPhone 3.0: No Adobe Flash. C’mon, Apple.Well, HTC is coming on strong with Google phones

lo malo, nada con flash en iPhone

I read an article about Flash on iPhone (can’t remember where) and it didn’t sound very promising. We can always HOPE! 🙂

New features for the iPhone – yes! Cut and paste is a must, but bummed about no announcements re: Flash

ya, they said they have no announcement on flash today. DAMN. but get this it doesnt come out til “summer” and cause iphone 1st gen…..

UR joking. It’s top on the wishlist for the iPhone, along with flash support.

yes finally! MMS and Copy/paste on iPhone! Thank you for bringing the jesusPhone into 2002! Now if we’d only get some embedded flash…

When Adobe make a Flash player that doesn’t run like crap on a Mac, they’re welcome to try porting it to iPhone.

Pas de support Flash pour le OS 3.0 du iPhone. Dommage sinon le reste des fonctionnalités est bien.

Not sure why I take so much joy in the fact that there is NO Flash support coming to the iPhone. Ohh yeah, it’s because I HATE Flash.

Personally, I hope no Flash on the iPhone eentually kills off Flash. It’s bloatware at its most addictive.

But still no Flash player for the iPhone… 🙁

O pessoal pergunta sobre Flash no iPhone e eles respondem que estão trabalhando em outras soluções de vídeos… Mas e os sites e jogos?
[“When asked about Flash they replied about video, but what about sites and games?”]

Where is the Flash for iPhone Apple?!

They’re still pretty matter of fact with their Flash related responses. #Apple #iPhone

Impressive iPhone 3.0 preview. I thought Flash may be in there…

#iphone 3.0 My friend says question came up about flash. was told nothing happening & there’s ways to work around flash. Doesn’t sound good

From the Q&A — it’s clear that Flash is *not* coming to iPhone anytime soon (yay!), but tethering is. (yay!)

I still want flash player. Wanna watch LOST on iPhone

How can the iphone stream HDTV, yet be unable to render Flash? Perhaps it’s more a threat to the app store than a technical challenge.

Disappointed that iPhone 3.0 may not support Flash. Sounds like Apple & Adobe are still butting heads.

Best part of the iPhone 3.0 OS pres: *NO FLASH SUPPORT!!!!!*

won’t see flash. It’s a dev platform (AIR) and Apple won’t allow Adobe to have their own AIR store on iPhone

MMS, cut and paste, landscape keyboard, synced notes, YouTube subscriptions. iPhone OS 3.0 upgrade Done. Still No Flash for now 🙁

iphone ainda no escuro com o flash?!?! será que vai rolar no lancamento na wwdc? tipo com keynote superespecial com o jobs ainda no palco?

Count me among those grateful that the iPhone remains Flash-free.

no way. dude, my powerbook g4 can barely handle flash. you want the iphone to?

Don’t count on flash support showing up for the iPhone, at least for a non-jailbreaked iPhone.

Features missing on iPhone updates: Flash support, tethering, anything else?

If they even make flash happen, I doubt it will be till they upgrade the iPhone hardware.

Still no Flash support in new iPhone OS; but will support HTML5-spec’d video, as well as HTTP streaming. Flash ain’t the only game in town.

#iPhone 3.0 update: suporte pra Flash? Nem pensar pra essa versão. Frustrante, vai!

Летом будет представлена следующая модель iPhone, которая благодаря более шустрым мозгам сможет тянуть flash.
[“Summer will be provided with the following model of iPhone, which is due to a more nimble brain will be able to pull the flash.”]

iPhone can barely handle HTML+JS! Throw Flash into the mix and it’s an even bigger lagfest

Why does everyone find it unacceptable for there to be no flash on the iPhone? There is no other MOBILE PHONE that supports (full) flash!

New iPhone OS sounds great — not sure how I feel about the new home page yet, and it needs Flash support, but otherwise, rock on!

Stoked about copy/paste on iPhone…not stoked about the STILL lack of Flash integration…wtf Apple!?!?

#iphone 3.0 – NO announcements on adobe flash support… continue waiting for this one…

so what’s still missing? flash support, video recording and tethering

I forgot about the Flash whiners. Can anyone give me a flash site that doesn’t have an iPhone app, that makes Flash on iPhone worthwhile?

awwww still no flash for iphone? ugh…

Man all I wanted was an iPhone flash annoucement.

To be honest – I think excluding Flash from the iPhone is a big win for the entire internet. Flash is obnoxious. The less Flash, the better!

still no support for flash on iPhone… damn.

Np flash for the iphone yet? well, they said they had no announcements for today. Flash will be it’s own event.

Q: Video is still a blackhole if you visit a website with flash. A: We have no announcements on Flash today.

Still no #iPhone Flash. Sounds like they think people only want it for video.

Copy/paste and MMS on the iPhone is great, but come on, guys. No video camera? No Flash? Let’s try to get AHEAD of the curve, Apple.

Okay the iPhone is now 99% perfect. We just need Flash. . .

I think Apple is still internally conflicted about Flash.

And from the q&a on iPhone OS 3.0, still no flash support? I was hoping for that one.

Ah, one more thing (and not in a good way), they’re still avoiding the flash question…still no for iPhone…

AAAAHHHHH!!!!! iPhone 3.0 pretty much everything I was looking for!!! all but a Flash player… one day

hmm, Apple’s take on Macromedia Flash on the iPhone/iPod Touch seems to be that people ONLY use it for video. ORLY?

I forgot about Flash support. I do wonder why there is no Flash support. Doesn’t Apple work well with Adobe?

Only thing missing from iPhone 3.0: Flash. Other than that, it hit on all cylinders, and THEN some!

I’m not that worried about Flash.. I’ve rarely missed it on my iPhone. I watch video like that on my Mac.

In all the excitement, I completely forgot about no Flash on the iPhone. My high just dropped a little.

On Flash Killers

There’s a common problem in each of these recent quotes… matter of fact, there are two problems, a smaller one and a larger one:

“Actually, canvas is an HTML 5 standard, not a proprietary solution. It’s a peer to any other feature of HTML.” [link]

“There are huge differences between canvas and Flash: canvas IS an open standard (see HTML5) and there are multiple interoperable implementations, even multiple excellent open-source implementations.” [link]

“If you needed further evidence that Apple will never allow Flash to sully its portable Internet devices, then 3D CSS transforms are it. Along with WebKit’s support for HTML 5’s advanced media handling capabilities, advanced Nitro JavaScript engine, and CSS-based transforms and animations, Apple is readying WebKit to be the best tool for providing web-based applications on a wide variety of platforms… If Apple enables the features on the desktop, they could kickstart the development of a whole new class of visually rich web applications, without Flash.” [link]

“Safari was the first web browser to support HTML Canvas, and the standard is now supported by most popular browsers.” [link]

“With Safari 4, and the upcoming Firefox 3.1, we’re going to see the beginning of the end for Flash. Why is this? One word, ‘Canvas’.” [link]

“We want standards that make it possible to do everything that Flash does.” [link]

The smaller problem? People who say “CANVAS is an open HTML5 standard” either do realize they’re speaking mendaciously, or do not realize they’re speaking mendaciously, or maybe-sorta realize they’re speaking mendaciously. There is no “HTML5 standard”, only a process which might potentially lead to a Recommendation but more plausibly would lead to something like HTML 3, XHTML or ECMAScript 4. And its history doesn’t seem very open.

Read through Sam Ruby’s timeline or Doug Crockford’s desire to see a larger context for why advertising “CANVAS is an open HTML5 standard” is so strange. But that’s a smaller problem.

The bigger problem? Technologies which define themselves by what other technologies already provide tend not to do as well as those technologies which seek a novel, fitting and sustainable place in their larger ecology. There are opportunity costs for needless opposition.

SVG is the poster child. The idea for it originated about the same time as Flash appeared. It was even the very first W3C Recommendation. As a way to express curves in documents it still has potential. But its fans pushed it in competition with Flash, and feature proposals kept increasing. Now 14 years later its use is still stunted.

Silverlight was hailed as Flash Killer. They haven’t been able to meet those expectations. Silverlight still has potential for cross-browser deployment of .NET applications and Windows Media workflows. But the earlier hype has made its path more difficult.

VIDEO tag is another… the different actors in the consortium couldn’t even agree on basics like codecs, and leave absent metadata support, production workflows, streaming and multicast, much less two-way video communication. Even if the HTML5 process was “finished” tomorrow morning instead of in 2022, do you see any way it could be deployed in the world?

All of these “Flash Killers” have their fans — you’ll hear voices on both sides of such a debate. But over time, the “lookit what i can code!” crowd fades before the larger number of people actually trying to use the technology. Focusing on the smaller technical details does not replace considering the larger surrounding ecology of real people employing the technology.

Being defined in terms of an existing standard diverts a potential technology from its most fortuitous growth within the ecology. SVG collapsed under its own weight. The Silverlight wishlist is the current Flash feature list. And expanding the requirements for any hypertext browser to be its own full multimedia runtime will, at best, just crowd out diversity within browser development — no more room for a small startup like Firefox to be born.

Look at how a technology can best be used. Seek out unique advantages which it alone can provide. Look beyond the code, to realworld usage. Be yourself.

I think HTML5 should improve hypertext use. Figure out how to solve the printing problem, the font problem, the mobile problem, the accessibility problem, the semantic problem. The World Wide Web was created for linking physics papers, yet still cannot display them! Think of why Berners-Lee did not just use SGML. Reduce the learning curve, make it easier for anyone to learn how to publish — focus fiercely on lowering the barriers to communication.

Open up your browsers to third-party plugins — fix WMODE visual integration, and fix NPRuntime scripting integration. Figure out the EMBED/OBJECT/VIDEO business, and agree on background-TAB CPU privileges and accessibility hooks. And if you could open up your Prefs UI to plugins (for an integrated user experience) then that would be great too.

You’ll need some type of cross-browser ability yourself, if you ever want to offer new features beyond your current browser marketshare! So make it easier for other people to add standard support to your rendering capabilities. Let Adobe and others help provide realworld people a universal choice, spanning browser brands. Browsers and plugins are naturally synergistic, so be a part of the ecology which surrounds you.

But most of all, clean up hypertext. That’s what the 5.0 version of the Hypertext Markup Language should do. Don’t get distracted. Clean up hypertext.

We can’t afford HTML5 to be called a “Flash Killer”, then fail. We all need hypertext to succeed.

Friction-free audiences

Sometimes, application development is its own reward. But application distribution is harder, because you have to support people trying to use your application.

Last week started testing a new streaming video architecture for live baseball games. Comments in the forums are rather remarkable. I snipped out some while reading to give you a flavor.

(Background: MLB.TV has provided online viewing for years, and each season they try to improve the service. While their Gameday apps and many interface elements are delivered as SWF, their video production system (capture, editing, titling, compressing, streaming) has been Windows Media. Last year MLB.TV added support for Microsoft’s Silverlight browser plugin, in addition to the prior support for the standalone Windows Media Player. This year they’ve converted their entire video ecosystem over to Flash.)

These quotes come from the MLB.TV weblog and support forum. (I haven’t formally quoted each because most were pseudonymous, but if you wrote a quote and want it removed, just let me know and I will, thanks.) They’re quite positive, but are also representative of the whole.

“I must say, after being a sub since day 1 of, this is BY FAR the best player yet. Very fast, beautiful interface, perfect layout of multi viewing frames.”

“Loved it. Only problem that I saw was the scoreboard was too close to the center of the screen. It should have been more down to the bottom right corner. It got in the way too often. Fantasic picture and coverage. This is exactly what I paid my hard earned money for. Awsome. I can’t wait for the full player. Great job so far.”

“I had some concerns that Flash might be worse than Silverlight, but this is a definite improvement. This looks like its going to be great way to watch the season. Running on Firefox 3.0.7 on Vista 64-bit.”

“Are some occasional glitches, but looks fantastic! Great interface, outstanding quality image. A very welcome change after the 2008 Silverlight/Mosaic disaster!”

“I like the New MLB.TV Beta Media player. It’s a nice layout and the video playback is smooth and not grany and jumpy like last year. I hope also the media player is going to be a standard on’s main media player.”

“This is looking great! Thanks for all the improvements since last year. I’m having jumpy video problems too, but no worse than it’s been in other years.”

“Agree that the quality is a big step forward – even for non-premium users like me!”

“This looks as if it is going to be a great improvement on last year.”

“Today is my first chance to see the new player and I kind a like it. It works pretty fast, for instance it doesn’t even take a second for the control panel to vanish once you move the mouse out of the window. And although it is only 800k right now, the picture looks better than comparable sources on WMP which is a bit surprising to me.”

“All in all, you guys are doing a tremendous job this year. Even in BETA-stages, this product looks ridiculously cool.”

“I just tried again with IE 7 and it worked. Currently watching on my 50″ with svideo connection on a wireless network. Excellent quality, probably as good as you can get with svideo. very little stuttering, but some of the best streaming video I’ve seen.”

“Probably the best internet video I’ve seen.”

“Hey guys, the new player is incredible. I’m excited!”

The tenor of the forums is quite a bit nicer than last year. The biggest problems are the installation of’s optional proxy manager NexDef, the expected streaming tweeks, the desire to work on one monitor while the same computer shows “fullscreen” on a second. But mostly, it just works — the developers can concentrate on new features, not try to fix old issues.

This isn’t a “sis-boom-bah, rah-Flash-rah” kind of affair. It shows a financial calculation which every business must perform.

What is the cost to your audience to hear your message, to use your service?

How many are excluded outright? How many are asked to install something new? How many are then asked to troubleshoot that installation? What are your support costs, your goodwill costs?

It’s true for video publishing, and it’s true for application publishing. How much does it cost your audience to use it?

At a hobbyist level, techblogs can argue about “which syntax is better” or “how many 3D polys” and so on. Those are important issues when you’re making something.

But when you’re trying to distribute something — to make something which is actually used by different people — then removing obstacles from your audience’s path becomes more important.

It’s much easier this year at MLB.TV. Consumer media playback is not an issue. There’s nothing to install for regular viewing, and fewer people are excluded. They can concentrate on actual development, and don’t have to do low-level support.

Audiences come easier when you remove obstacles from their participation. They seek friction-free use.

Platforms: How wide? How deep? How chunky? How durable?

Just a simple thought here, one you’ve probably thought of before, but not one that we hear a lot of talk about.

When you’re choosing a platform to build upon, you can compare them along four axes:

  • How wide? How many people can you reach? If you’re in Windows Presentation Framework or ObjectiveC, you can reach people using each distinct operating system. There are cross-OS platforms, but that still limits you to desktops and laptop — there’s work going on now for cross-devicetype platforms to reach mobile, but lowly paper and film can reach those who cannot afford a smartphone. The potential audience for your work is one criterion in determing a platform.
  • How deep? What can you do in that development environment? Apple’s iPhone offers both Ajax development and native development. The latter gives you deeper capabilities. For .NET developers, using Silverlight offers a deeper experience than using Ajax as the presentation layer. Digital displays give you more possibilities than linear video or a paper delivery. No-brainer here… judge platforms by what you can do atop them.
  • How chunky? How homogenous is the platform? Java Micro Edition and Flash Lite both suffer versioning fragmentation on mobile, but even so, the differing implementations of J2ME across different phone brands resulted in 5:1 efficiencies for Flash Lite. A similar situation exists with trying to do vector-charts in desktop web browsers… much easier to do this in Flash than special-case each browser brand, version, and OS.
  • How durable? How long will your work remain viable? Some people use this as an argument for things labeled “open” — “Suppose Adobe starts to charge for Flash Player?” is one popular objection. Sudden shifts beneath you are not fun. Me, I don’t much care about the decision process for a platform, whether it’s a bigger multi-company committee or a smaller single-company committee… I’m looking more at the final result than the process. Still, things that become de-facto standards tend to become de-jure standards with time, as the history of PostScript, PDF, and Flash attest. If you’re betting on a platform, you need to trust it’ll stay around.

How many people can you reach? What can you do once you reach them? How much does it cost to reach them? And how long can you enjoy the benefits of your work?

Four simple questions that seem to slice through a lot of the discussion out there. How wide? How deep? How chunky? How durable?

Encouraging Better Practices

I’ve got a problem, and I’m not sure how to address it. If you’ve got ideas then I’d love to hear, but mainly I think I just need to rant and whine a little. 😉

I’m trying to find ways to improve public choices in topics such as accessibility, redaction, security, and user-experience. People get hurt, unnecessarily. But it’s a hard thing to solve.

Here are some recent examples:

  • Redaction: “Redaction” means to remove information from a document. This is an old problem, but we still see fresh cases like Facebook’s $6 billion redaction error (which was done with non-Adobe PDF creation tools). Adobe can publish instructions on best-practices, but we can’t force people to follow them… even if we could, it might seem a little creepy for us to do so. How can we help people use PDF and other technologies in ways that would benefit them? Hard problem.
  • Accessibility: Last month WebAIM published a study with the troubling pullquote “71.5% of screen reader users reported that Flash is difficult”. I don’t put much faith in the study as it’s worded — any video would likely be “difficult” to turn into a stream of spoken text — and using the word “accessibility” as a synonym for “text-enabled” misses the wider issues implied by accessibility as a whole (language differences, cognition differences, emotional vs abstract communication, etc). As the continuing conversation at Adobe Accessibility blog points out, authoring tools can make certain choices default choices, but the implementor still needs to pay attention to diverse needs. How to make rich-experiences easier to experience as text-only? This too is a hard problem.
  • Security: It is, unfortunately, very easy to make insecure projects, even with secure tooling. HTML injection, cross-site permissions, third-party content and more… all require a lot of learning before they can be successfully avoided. Aftermarket tools such as IBM Rational AppScan can help, as can studying best-practices guides. I’d like to see Adobe make secure-authoring much easier, but I’m not sure how to best bring this about. Another hard problem.
  • Installation: A disheartening note this week… the Koobface exploit has re-appeared on Facebook. In this, some untrustworthy third-party content is included in a trusted webpage, throwing up a dialog which urges an installation of something calling itself “Adobe Flash Player” — another case of software impersonation. Even though mainstream reporters urge people to get their updates from legitimate sources, so long as ad-networks and social-sites cannot vet the content they broker, it seems like more consumers will be exposed to such exploits. Hard, hard, hard.

During early Flash days, some of us joked about putting an Easter Egg in the tool to detect the typing of “Skip Intro” and pop up a little dialog box asking “Are you *sure* you want to do that? Try this link for alternatives.”

Even back during earlier Adobe days, audiences complained about designers going too wild with filters and channel operations, and back before that the “ransom note” style of Desktop Publishing could be seen as something that an authoring tool might be able to mitigate. I’ve got mixed feelings about toolmakers injecting “taste controls” into tooling, but this seems one of the few choices we have to improve such hard situations.

All of us have a stake in bad usage… lingering doubts about security or search-engine results or whatever do add up, and make a difference in our daily lives. It would be useful if Adobe could help improve designers’ appropriateness. But even just typing that phrase, my stomach snarls in ambivalence… it’s a very narrow road to walk between suggesting improvements and preaching on taste.

Anyway, that’s my rant, thanks for listening. 😉 If you’ve got thoughts, perspectives on this whole set of issues, I’d be interested in hearing, thanks.

EMBED in OBJECT, and both in VIDEO

Mozilla staffer Chris Double has one of the best blogposts I’ve yet seen on using the currently-proposed VIDEO tag in a realworld environment. It’s more realistic than other markup I’ve seen in that it goes beyond a single-browser audience. I would have commented there, but he requires either Google notification, or OpenID (which has been funky for me), so I’ll make a larger blogpost about it instead.

One of the most interesting aspects is that he’s addressing the age-old nesting of OBJECT and EMBED tags by [drumroll] wrapping a VIDEO tag around them both… VIDEO tag on the outside, then an OBJECT tag, then on the inside an EMBED tag. It makes sense, considering how HTML4 blessed Microsoft’s later OBJECT while dysfunctionally deprecating Netscape’s original EMBED, but to see three nested tags just for one media element, I got a kick out of that, and you might too.

The real reason I wanted to comment was on Chris’s line about transport controls: “These fallback options don’t allow creating your own controls with JavaScript and using the nice HTML5 media API.” There’s hope… Flash, of course, has been providing the world’s computers with customizable UI elements for a very long time, no browser variance to worry about.

But you can still do it in JavaScript, if you prefer… the varied protocols for plugin/browser intercommunication have all been quickly supported by Flash, and it’s quite possible to have JavaScript control a Flash video. For practical work you’d also need to include the Microsoft protocols for browser/ActiveX intercommunication, to reach the majority of people on the web, but it’s doable.

(I know that other people have driven video from JavaScript before, but I’m not sure how to search it up… if you happen to know of existing libraries they might use, could you drop a note in comments here please?)

The unspoken question in all this, of course, is “Why?” Making two formats of a video is something that very few people would find worthwhile to do. But as an intellectual exercise it’s certainly novel… VIDEO enclosing OBJECT enclosing EMBED, the tagging inspires a certain perverse fascination. Check it out!

If Plugins Never Were

Thought experiment: What might the world be like today, if Netscape Navigator 2.0 hadn’t exposed a plugin API back in 1995?

The decision back then was based on sound history, of course… tools like Adobe Photoshop had already made third-party plugins popular… before that, the XCMD/XFCN extension mechanisms in Apple’s HyperCard proved useful and innovative, and Macromedia Director followed with cross-OS XObjects and then Xtras (one of which, XCMDGlue, let you bring in prior HyperCard extensions)… in the wider world before that there were COM, CORBA, and you could even see the hints in the UNIX “pipe” process. “Small pieces, loosely joined” was a proven model for the benefits of extensibility.

But suppose Netscape Navigator entered a parallel dimension, and stayed just one big isolated hunk of code, trying to do everything itself… how might history have turned out?

Microsoft Internet Explorer would likely have continued with ActiveX extension of their browser… their business drivers for third-party extensions were wider than just playing catch-up to Netscape at that point. At least one browser would still support open extensibility, but there wouldn’t be the cross-OS Netscape Plugins API.

In such a world you could extend the Microsoft browser, but not the other browsers. Microsoft’s relative openness would have been a significant advantage over other browsers.

But early on it probably wouldn’t have made much difference. There was an intense period of plugin exploration during the mid-90s, hundreds of browser extensions attempted, but few gained enough consumer support to make a difference. VRML authors would have just worked on the desktop, in networked applications, if they couldn’t extend the browsers. Shockwave is still one of the most popular plugins, with majority presence on consumer desktops, but there were few Shockwave apps which changed how people used the Web. Adobe Reader worked both in-the-browser and as a separate client application, so we’d probably still have Internet access to documents. Java has a number of roles beyond in-the-browser work, and it would have survived in different form. The inability to add third-party renderers would not have made much difference in the mid-90s.

Oddly, one of the most significant plugins in this alternate history of “a world without plugins” might have been Progressive Networks and its Real Audio. They did the first work in making audio available in browsers, only being eclipsed later by Shockwave’s inclusion of Fraunhoffer “MPEG 2 Layer-3” audio, and the later popularization of this as generic MP3 files. Real Video was constrained in its early years by bandwidth and decompression costs, but the whole MP3 revolution, which toppled empires, would not have been possible if third-party developers could not experiment around the edges of the browser core.

Think of the beauty of what Real offered… one codebase for Windows, one for Mac, and you could then use any browser you wished, so long as it supported the common Netscape Plugin API. Every browser had an equal chance to host hot new features… browser-makers were enfranchised, automatically, if your app could be extended.

But without a common extension mechanism, each browser would have to reinvent the wheel, and content developers would have to test against varying browser choices. New browser makers would have a higher hurdle before being able to compete.

The story takes a twist when we get to the late 1990s. Netscape 4 was as reviled by web designers then as Internet Explorer 6 is despised by web developers today.

Netscape dropped from the heights down to single-digit popularity in those dark days.

If Microsoft had added audio and video into its browser directly, rather than through a common extension mechanism, Netscape would have been even less able to compete. Being able to share in the innovation, through plugins for Apple’s QuickTime, Real Media, and even Windows Media, kept Netscape in the mainstream of capability.

And if the new Mozilla had been forced to license the codecs Microsoft supported before Firefox could attempt to play the world’s music or movies, well… they likely wouldn’t have made it.

In our world today you can surf The World Wide Web in Opera, Camino, Konqueror and so on… YouTube, Flash games, election charts, whatever. Those smaller companies didn’t have to engineer support for the world’s existing video and RIAs on their own. The stability, accessibility, and universality of common third-party plugin capability makes it easier for specialty browsers to participate in the full web.

Plugins enfranchise browsers.

And it goes beyond browsers. The Hypertext Markup Language is useful for desktop applications and embedded devices, not just web browsers. A hypertext markup spec which imposes specific video or drawing, synch or processing requirements on implementers would stunt experimentation and innovation.

If there were no plugins, you’d likely now be going to Internet Explorer to get your real work done. And considering what happened after Microsoft won the browser wars in our world, it’s a safe bet that in that “world without plugins” they’d still be at IE6, if that.

A world without shared plug-in capability… well, think about it, a little more, yourself. It’s bleak.

Here’s my main point. “Small pieces loosely joined” creates a supporting ecosystem of technology… living, breathing, decentralized decisions. But creating a few giant monoliths of feature-creep code is just plain not as lively. I think the Apple/Google drive behind the current over-ambitious HTML5 spec would lead first to confusion, then to anti-competitive barriers, and then to sterility.

I want the HTML planners to focus on making things easier and more predictable for web content publishers. I want a smart kid in a rural third-world village to have a chance to learn how to publish to the world. I want hypertext markup accessible to more creators.

I want the HTML planners to make the basics work right. Make it easy to create a browser. Make it easy for anyone to compete against today’s reigning browser brand.

I want webpages which can integrate third-party content with safety. Warn us about web beacons. Beat clickjacking, and give us back “What You See Is What You Click”.

I want browsers to improve their handling of plugins… clean up your OBJECT/EMBED hassles now, it’s 2009… improve JavaScript/Flash communication and make it consistent… take advantage of today’s video. Stop treating plugins as a second-class citizen or, worse, a refugee class.

I want “The Open Web” to work well with others.

I want “The Open Web” to open up, to be “small pieces loosely joined”.

I do not want a future where only a few mega corporations can afford to create a browser.

I want HTML to succeed. I do not want to see it fail through ambition and inefficiency, like Netscape did. I want HTML to get smarter by getting simpler. I want HTML to get sustainable, to succeed.

Imagine a world where plugins never existed. Can you picture it? Can you see how history would likely evolve, were cross-browser capability only up to the browser vendors?

Cross-browser plugins have made our web what it is today. They should be celebrated.

And what I want is for browser vendors to acknowledge plugins as first-class citizens.