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Apple in shock public attack on Adobe

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Apple has issued a shock public attack on Adobe Flash.

Of course, it's not the attack that's shocking - just the public bit. Typically, the MO of the Jobsian cult is to abuse Adobe Flash behind closed doors - or simply ban it from popular handheld devices.

On Wednesday, Apple PR sent a - gasp! - statement to CNET regarding the ongoing Adobe kerfuffle, and the irony is that it called Flash "closed and proprietary".

Earlier this month, Apple released its SDK for the upcoming iPhone OS 4.0, and unlike previous versions of the kit, it bars developers from accessing the company's APIs through any sort of intermediary layer that translates applications written in ways Steve Jobs doesn't approve of. Adobe was days away from introducing its Flash Professional CS5 development suite, which includes an iPhone packager for translating Flash scripts into Jesus Phone apps, and many assumed that Apple's SDK change was a direct attack on the company.

Adobe platform evangelist Lee Brimelow even went to far as to tell Apple to "Go screw yourself".

Apparently, he wasn't speaking for Adobe. But early on Wednesday, Adobe announced it has ceased development of its iPhone packager, and Mike Chambers - principal product manager for Flash - took the opportunity to get his own dig in. "As developers for the iPhone have learned, if you want to develop for the iPhone you have to be prepared for Apple to reject or restrict your development at any time, and for seemingly any reason," he said.

"The primary goal of Flash has always been to enable cross browser, platform and device development. The cool Web game that you build can easily be targeted and deployed to multiple platforms and devices. However, this is the exact opposite of what Apple wants. They want to tie developers down to their platform, and restrict their options to make it difficult for developers to target other platforms."

Believe or not, Apple actually responded to this. "Someone has it backwards," spokeswoman Trudy Muller said in her statement to Cnet. "It is HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, and H.264 (all supported by the iPhone and iPad) that are open and standard, while Adobe's Flash is closed and proprietary."

You may support Apple's decision to ban Flash from the iPhone and the iPad. You may agree with Steve Jobs when he calls it "buggy," littered with security holes, and a "CPU hog". You may favor a web built on open standards. But surely only Apple can convince itself that such open standards include H.264.

Not to mention the fact that its statement doesn't address Adobe's issue. But it actually released a statement. Really. ®

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