updated 02:10 pm EDT, Wed May 5, 2010
Adobe says won't ignore HTML5 for Flash
Adobe isn't going to avoid HTML5 development to drive Flash, company CTO Kevin Lynch said in a brief talk today. He argued that Adobe didn't see the universal standard as a threat and would make "great" tools to produce for HTML5. Whether that would involve Flash-to-HTML5 conversion, a more advanced Dreamweaver or other tools wasn't part of the discussion.
"It's not about HTML5 versus Flash," he told TechCrunch. "They're mutually beneficial. The more important question is the freedom of choice on the web."
Adobe has been a part of HTML5 development and has repeatedly said it supports the web standards, although it has also trumpeted Flash as the dominant container for Internet video.
Lynch went on to criticize Apple's restriction against developing iPhone with apps but argued that the company was somehow blocking companies from developing third-party apps. In the case of a remote-controlled helicopter steered by an iPhone app, he asserted that Apple was preventing companies from creating equivalent code for Android or other platforms.
"If you look at what's going on now, it's like railroads in the 1800s," Lynch said. "People were using different gauged rails. Your cars would literally not run on those rails. That's counter to the web. The rails now are forcing people to write for a particular OS, which has a high cost to switch."
The stance is partly guided by Adobe's interest in making Flash the centerpiece of mobile app development but does also reflect concerns about the cost of cross-developing when the iPhone is included. Writing apps for both the iPhone and another platform is potentially costly as it would now require producing at least two main versions, with one made using Flash and the other Xcode or another native Objective C tool.
Adobe may feel the matter is a legal issue and is rumored to have prompted an FTC investigation into possible antitrust violations by limiting platform development to its own software, although critics have argued that Apple should be free to control its own platform.