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Adobe to sue Apple 'within weeks,' says report

iPhone code translation ban 'the last straw'

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Adobe intends to sue Apple over the recent SDK change that bans iPhone and iPad applications translated from languages Steve Jobs doesn't like, according to a report citing sources close to Adobe.

IT World reports that Adobe will sue Apple "within a few weeks," after the Jobsian cult not only barred native Flash from the iPhone and iPad, but also put the kibosh on Flash apps repackaged for use with Apple's APIs. Last week, Apple introduced an SDK for the upcoming iPhone OS 4.0, and unlike previous kits it forbids developers from tapping Apple's APIs through an 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, released just days before Adobe announced its Flash Professional CS5 development suite, which includes a tool for repackaging Flash scripts for the iPhone.

The iPhone OS 4.0 is due to arrive on Jobsian handsets this summer, and according to IT World, the SDK change was the "last straw" in the long-running battle between Jobs and Flash. Famously, in barring native Flash from the iPhone and the iPad, Steve Jobs called it "buggy," littered with security holes, and a "CPU hog."

Officially, Adobe isn't really commenting. Last week, the company told us it was looking into the matter. And today, a spokesman declined to comment on reports of an upcoming lawsuit.

Yes, it's completely unclear on what basis Adobe allegedly intends to sue.

But whatever the company's official stance, Adobe platform evangelist Lee Brimelow made his feelings quite clear last last week when he told Apple to "Go screw yourself."

"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," Brimelow wrote on his personal blog. "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." ®

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