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Adobe man to Apple: 'Go screw yourself'

iPhone's code translation ban 'despicable'

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Adobe platform evangelist Lee Brimelow has told Apple to "go screw yourself," upbraiding the Cupertino cult for banning iPhone and iPad applications translated from code Steve Jobs doesn't like. Such code includes - most famously - Adobe Flash.

Yesterday, Apple released an updated SDK for the upcoming iPhone 4.0 OS, and unlike previous incarnations of the kit, it forbids developers from accessing Apple's APIs through any sort of intermediary layer that translates code not officially supported by the platform.

"Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited)," reads the new iPhone 4.0 SDK.

This will likely prevent the iPhone packager in Adobe's Flash Professional CS5 development suite - due for release next week - from converting Flash scripts into native iPhone apps. Untranslated Flash was already barred from the platform.

AppleInsider cites sources familiar with Apple's plans in reporting that the company has made the change so it can implement certain "smart" multitasking APIs. These APIs are designed to pause some apps while other continue to run, the report says, and they would not be able to do with cross-compiled applications.

But Brimelow sees the move as mere Apple pettiness. In a blog post entitled "Apple Slaps Developers in the Face," he says:

What they are saying is that they won’t allow applications onto their marketplace solely because of what language was originally used to create them. This is a frightening move that has no rational defense other than wanting tyrannical control over developers and more importantly, wanting to use developers as pawns in their crusade against Adobe

I am positive that there are a large number of Apple employees that strongly disagree with this latest move. Any real developer would not in good conscience be able to support this. The trouble is that we will never hear their discontent because Apple employees are forbidden from blogging, posting to social networks, or other things that we at companies with an open culture take for granted

Brimelow isn't forbidden from doing so. But his words aren't unrestricted. At the request of Adobe, he removed a sentence from his post that speculated on the motives behind the new language in Apple's iPhone and iPad SDK. And though for most of his original post, he seemed to be speaking in his official Adobe capacity, he later added a note to the top of the post that reads: "Adobe would like me to make it clear that the opinions below are not the official views of the company and are entirely my own."

Then, in the last paragraph, he struck through the bit indicating that in previous paragraphs, he'd been speaking for Adobe:

Now let me put aside my role as an official representative of Adobe for a moment as Speaking purely for myself, I would look to make it clear what is going through my mind at the moment. Go screw yourself Apple.

Earlier in the post, Brimelow - and apparently not Adobe - says that his company would never stoop to Apple's level. "The fact that Apple would make such a hostile and despicable move like this clearly shows the difference between our two companies," he writes.

"All we want is to provide creative professionals an avenue to deploy their work to as many devices as possible. We are not looking to kill anything or anyone. This would be like us putting something in our SDK to make it impossible for 3rd-party editors like FDT to work with our platform. I can tell you that we wouldn’t even think or consider something like that."

He says that Adobe has no intention of pulling its products from other Apple platforms. But personally, he intends to abandon the company entirely. "I will not be giving Apple another cent of my money until there is a leadership change over there. I’ve already moved most of my book, music, and video purchases to Amazon and I will continue to look elsewhere.

"Now, I want to be clear that I am not suggesting you do the same and I’m also not trying to organize some kind of boycott. Me deciding not to give money to Apple is not going to do anything to their bottom line. But this is equivalent to me walking into Macy’s to buy a new wallet and the salesperson spits in my face. Chances are I won’t be buying my wallets at Macy’s anymore, no matter how much I like them." ®

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