February 15, 2010

Ian Hickson today: “I was mistaken”

Regarding Adobe blocking HTML5, that is. So, there’s that, then.
Now join me, won’t you, in holding your breath while we wait for various bomb-throwing Mac fan sites to issue a clarification/apology for totally blowing it on this one. (Man, I’m starting to… feel faint… *thunk*)
[Update: I see that Daring Fireball & Apple Insider have posted updates. Thanks.]

Posted by John Nack at 11:48 AM on February 15, 2010


  • Mata — 11:54 AM on February 15, 2010

    Now join me, won’t you, in holding your breath while we wait for various bomb-throwing Mac fan sites to issue a clarification
    Done: http://daringfireball.net/linked/2010/02/15/html5-adobe-not-blocking
    [Oh, was that an apology? I must have missed it. I see “Adobe Puts Secret Hold on HTML5 Spec” (declarative, confident, inflammatory) followed by “Adobe Claims Not to Be Blocking Anything Related to HTML5” (circumspect, maybe dubious). Disappointing. –J.]

  • Christine Meranda — 12:09 PM on February 15, 2010

    Judging by the time on that first comment, you had to wait 6 minutes. Admittedly, that is a very long time to hold your breath.

  • John Hoffman — 12:48 PM on February 15, 2010

    “Now join me, won’t you, in holding your breath while we wait for various bomb-throwing Mac fan sites to issue a clarification/apology”
    Perhaps you and the other Adobe folks would suffer less stress if you spent more time reading PC sites. From what I understand, Adobe sells more PC copies of its software than Mac copies, and the PC folks seem far less antagonistic towards Adobe.
    I for one, think that the Adobe products I’ve used (primarily Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Acrobat and InDesign) are pretty good as compared to the products from Microsoft, Intuit and Symantec that I also use. (I’ve used both PC and Mac versions of CS4 and haven’t seen any differences in quality between them.)
    There are improvements I’d like to see in all of the products I use but, as a 63 year old, I am amazed by the progress that has been made in the past 25 years in both hardware and software.
    Having new and updated standards issued promptly is important, particularly with regard to the web, which is in its infancy as compared to print, but it is important that the standards be developed thoughtfully because fixing things after the fact is usually far more difficult than getting it right the first time.

  • Jesper — 12:50 PM on February 15, 2010

    I’ll apologize if you’ll get your Flash people to apologize — really apologize, not just “damage control, you will see I was right all along, sorry if you had the misfortune of not understanding my newspeak the first time” apologize — to the public for claiming that no crasher was in a shipping Flash version, when there clearly was ( http://blogs.adobe.com/emmy/archives/2010/02/flash_bug_repor.html ).
    All I ever see out of Adobe is sass and snark. I don’t blame you for putting out PR or being protective of your business model, but I do blame you for not being honest about it. And I feel sorry that you feel so fragile that you can’t even really apologize.
    [Adobe is, like any company, made up of a lot of people. I thought Emmy did apologize on behalf of the Flash Player team for not fixing that crashing bug sooner. I’m sorry that she wasn’t contrite enough to provide satisfaction, but I can’t speak for her. –J.]

  • stejohns — 12:54 PM on February 15, 2010

    Jesper: AFAIK, we never claimed there was no crasher in a shipping Flash version. We said it was our policy to never knowingly ship Flash with a known crasher. As explained by Emmy, this one slipped thru the cracks of our bug system due to a mistake on our part.

  • Jesper — 1:01 PM on February 15, 2010

    Alright, let me refine that. Adobe claimed that no known crasher at the time was in a shipping Flash version. To its credit, Adobe explained the reason why it was there, but didn’t issue an apology. It issued an explanation.
    Maybe I’m petty in making this distinction. It doesn’t make the difference between the two evaporate.

  • Jesper — 1:05 PM on February 15, 2010

    Actually, I was wrong. The word “sorry” does appear in that article (“We should have kept in contact with the submitter and to let him know the progress, sorry we did not do that.”). I noticed it on my sixth read-through in the middle of the heaviest paragraph of the post, but my inability to read isn’t your fault.
    Sorry for the false accusations.

  • LazyAdobeLazy — 1:08 PM on February 15, 2010

    “Regarding crashing, I can tell you that we don’t ship Flash with any known crash bugs, and if there was such a widespread problem historically Flash could not have achieved its wide use today,” Lynch wrote. “Addressing crash issues is a top priority in the engineering team, and currently there are open reports we are researching in Flash Player 10.”
    This page exploits a bug that I reported to Adobe in September 2008, and has affected every release of Flash on every platform since then. Despite numerous email exchanges with the Flash product manager about the bug, the bug report being hidden from the public for “security” reasons, and Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch’s claims otherwise, it continues to be an issue.
    Explanation: I’m not an Apple fan boy out to prove Steve Jobs right in Apple’s decision not to support Flash on the iPhone / iPad. Instead, I’m just a software engineer who at one time had to deal with Adobe’s sorry excuse for a development platform and made an earnest effort on several occasions at helping them improve it for everyone. (This issue is merely the tip of the iceberg of ridiculous bugs and random backwards and forwards incompatibilities known as Adobe’s Flash Player plug-in.) After trying to work with them to fix this issue and experiencing nothing but frustration, I just don’t give a damn anymore.
    CTO Kevin Lynch and Adobe employees are not only LAZY, they’re LIARS.

  • jcool — 1:22 PM on February 15, 2010

    Don’t bother with the Mac nuts, John. Once Steve has told them to hate you, no amount of facts or logic will ever sate their burning need to destroy you.

  • Miloš — 1:29 PM on February 15, 2010

    I might once again be accused of “chasing perfection” but it’s not that important that Adobe shipped a player with known bug.
    What’s really important is that Adobe CTO states, at the same time, that player is not being shipped with known bugs.
    That’s the story here – CTO either wasn’t telling the truth or had no knowledge about what’s going on in front of his nose. Pick your poison.
    Of course, there’s always that yes-we-said-one-thing-and-did-another-but-you’re-just-nitpicking “argument”.

  • Nat Brown — 1:52 PM on February 15, 2010

    All that passion — must be something in the artistic temperament unknown to PC users.

  • Don — 2:26 PM on February 15, 2010

    What exactly is the “formal objection”?

  • jcool — 3:13 PM on February 15, 2010

    Did I mention condescending and smug?

  • Jin Kim — 4:03 PM on February 15, 2010

    Considering the amount of work Adobe is putting into their tools to author content for Canvas, I’m surprised by the complete overreaction by parts of the community.

  • Andy Baker — 4:39 PM on February 15, 2010

    John, it might be my British sensibilities but don’t you detect a touch of sarcasm in Hixie’s post?
    “Since I was mistaken about the formal objection, should I prepare the
    drafts for FPWD publication now? What date should I use?”
    I read that as “Larry has backtracked. Nya nya nya nya.” ;-)

  • Adam Jones — 6:05 PM on February 15, 2010

    You’re selectively quoting Hixie’s comments so that you can disregard the clear subtextual implication that Larry backed down. I suppose it is ok because you don’t claim to be an online journalist.

  • Julie deBruine — 6:46 PM on February 15, 2010

    Just work to get a smokin’ version of flash on the iPhone (and on the Mac while you’re about it) and all will be forgiven (except of course for installer, EU pricing, activation that apparently screws with the OS X kernel, tabbed layouts, deceptive IP address to spy on users, too much bloat, not enough new features, 64 bit, 32 bit, blocking HTML 5 features and implementation, lazy employees, overworked teams that can’t implement all the features they want and a few other things I might have forgotten like world peace) Seriously.

  • Angel Lamuno — 8:40 PM on February 15, 2010

    Dear John,
    Ian Hickson is, very clearly, being ironic. Still, I hope you and Adobe are telling us the truth regarding the fact that there was never a formal objection, something which of course will be proved by the drafts for FPWD being published shortly.
    Yours truly,

  • Pissed Mac User — 8:41 PM on February 15, 2010

    Hey, Adobe is a big company, made up of many teams working on many products. I’m sure they have a lot of dedicated people, despite the problems of their CTO.

  • Matthew — 8:50 PM on February 15, 2010

    I also read Ian Hickson’s post as sarcastic. I think the community is still confused about what the “objection” was about, because clearly SOMETHING was objected to, no?
    Also, I think your snide and defensive attitude is unbecoming. Adobe makes great software (mostly), but their position of power makes it inevitable that they will be viewed with suspicion. People are sometimes going to assume the worst, correctly or incorrectly.

  • moou — 2:34 AM on February 16, 2010

    so adobe has used pressure on them?

  • kijya — 2:38 AM on February 16, 2010

    it is called twisting the truth.
    honest i don´t believe a single word john writes.
    it is all to make adobe look good and the others bad.
    see yourself, it´s the same in any of his postings.

  • Char Roberts — 6:58 AM on February 16, 2010

    I love my Mac. I love Adobe. I like Flash. It has never crashed for me, but I’ve been trying HTML5 anyway to see what all the fuss is about (faster than Flash or doesn’t crash or something). But I don’t see any difference. I’ve never had a Flash crash. I couldn’t get through my day without Adobe products. I didn’t know we Mac users were supposed to be at war with Adobe :-(

  • haleonearth — 9:06 PM on February 16, 2010

    You’ve never had Safari crash on you ever?There’s a first.
    You don’t see the difference between HTML5 & Flash? Huh!?

  • Blinded by Disinterest — 10:11 PM on February 16, 2010

    Adobe: When we said “we won’t approve the FPWDs until the FO is resolved” we didn’t mean we wouldn’t approve the FPWDs until the FO is resolved.
    Ian Hickson: Oh, my mistake. When you said “we won’t approve the FPWDs until the FO is resolved” I thought you meant you wouldn’t approve the FPWDs until the FO is resolved. How clumsy of me. Should I prepare the drafts for FPWD publication now? What date should I use?
    John Nack: Ian Hickson admits he was mistaken!

  • Ryu — 12:32 AM on February 19, 2010

    Do adobe really think everyone is that gulliable? Adobe for many years is the freaking hypocrite that come up with excuses for poor support for Macs. This “adobe supports hrml5 fully” crap? Bullshit.

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