Feeds

Apple reels as Steve Jobs Flashturbates

Inside the HTML5 traveling roadshow

High performance access to file storage

Open ain't what it used to be

The Showcase looked good, but there was a disconnect: it only worked with Apple's Safari browser — but not because those browsers don't support HTML5. Most of the demos would work just fine in Chrome and Firefox, but the Showcase won't let them. It instead checks to see what browser you're using, and if it's not Safari, it pops up an error message telling you to download Safari.

Also, Apple had cherry-picked the parts of HTML5 that suited it — namely the video and audio tags and Cascading Style Sheets — in addition to using JavaScript.

The event riled browser rivals Mozilla and Opera Software that use the same HTML5 media tags. No big deal — they are, after all, the competition — but their entry into the argument was nonetheless a significant escalation, given that this street fight had only been between Apple and Adobe until that point.

Further, the site caused confusion in the market. Opera's Haavard Moen posted a counter blog saying he'd been bombarded by queries from Opera users "and others".

It's not just browser rivals who are miffed. Ordinary coders are also becoming increasingly alarmed at Jobs' boosting of HTML5, saying that he's damaging the yet-unfinished spec by focusing on just its media tags and CSS.

JavaScript specialist Ext JS said before the Showcase appeared that HTML5 was becoming increasingly "unhinged from reality" because of statements by Jobs — and by fellow HTML5 evangelist Google. Ext JS products vice president Michael Mullany reckoned that just as AJAX and Web 2.0 became widely misused shorthand for "next generation" web development in the mid-2000s, "HTML5 is now becoming the next overloaded term."

By riding HTML5 so hard, and by publicly mischaracterizing HTML5 to win a war he initiated, Apple's chief executive is on thinning ice among coding practitioners.

For decades, Apple produced advances that such people couldn't — religion aside — really argue with: the reliability and ease of the Mac, the convenience of the iPod and iTunes, and the breakthrough of touch on the iPhone. People overlooked the closed nature of these systems, or at least forgave them, especially if the alternative was an unreliable PC or standards-loner Microsoft.

Mischaracterizing technologies to prove a point is a fast track to losing credibility among coders and other experts in the biz. There are plenty of marketing people who can obfuscate and inflate, and whose words technologists have to pick apart to understand what's really being said.

The man behind the Mac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad is held to a higher standard, and is risking his credibility by deliberately muddying the message on a spec that everybody has access to and theoretically "owns" simply in order to win a personal fight of his making.

Blowback

The focus on open technologies will also backfire on Apple. Jobs' escalation of the HTML5 versus closed and proprietary Flash battle, and his crudely partisan claims about Safari's support for "open" standards are forcing a debate on open and closed systems.

Part of that means looking at the closed and proprietary nature of Apple and whether it's something developers can benefit from and live with, or whether it's bad for them and the web because it means building different versions of their software for Apple's walled garden and for the rest of the web.

There's a group in our industry that is already familiar with this kind of fragmentation and whose members know that it means they'll be forced to build different versions of the same application: the people who build applications for mobile phones.

Jobs might be right to damn Flash, but his Ahab-like pursuit of Flash player and his stretching of the truth on HTML5 to win a personal war will ensure that Flash publisher Adobe is not the only company that will lose supporters. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.