Flash on the iPhone?

Rumours have it that the iPhone SDK due to be launched today will not support Flash. Steve Jobs is being quite rude about Flash. But perhaps this is all part of some complex 3 way face-off between Adobe with its well entrenched position on PDF, Acrobat and Flash; Microsoft with its new and promising Silverlight; and Apple which has its own good reasons for not being beholden to anyone for a plug-in.

Who knows? Well it matters to us, perhaps indirectly benefiting us, because quite a number of the semi-plausible way of rendering documents in browsers use Flash (most of the plausible ways of rendering video in browsers also use Flash). But the Exact Editions system doesn’t work that way. We only have a modest requirement for Flash in our ‘Clipper’. So these problems for Flash are mostly problems for someone else.

On the other hand the urge to use Flash (0r PDF) is the result of a deeper ‘missed turn’. Browser plug-ins, however nifty, are seductive short cuts which may encourage content owners/creators to miss the potential of web development. If content has to go into proprietary wrappers that may be a headache for us all. The content may be lifeless rather than fully engaged.

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