Gruber: ‘Adobe Flash is almost as open as Microsoft Office’

invisibleSHIELD case for iPad“‘Open’ is one of those terms that means a lot of different things to different people. Most should be able to agree, though, that open-vs.-closed is a continuum — shades of gray, not just black and white,” John Gruber writes for Daring Fireball. “A light enough shade of gray is ‘open,’ dark enough is ‘closed.’ The arguments are over where those thresholds lie.”

“Microsoft published the OOXML file format specs for its Office apps,” Gruber explains. “And not only did they publish the specs, they submitted them to a widely-respected industry standards organization, and now they’re ISO standards.”

Gruber writes, “Adobe’s Flash specs have never been submitted to a standards body, let alone accepted, thus, anyone who argues that Adobe Flash is open would agree that Microsoft Office is even more open.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “jax44” for the heads up.]

30 Comments

  1. Wow, if that’s the way Diaz responds, it puts the reputation of Gizmodo even further down the ladder. They try to claim journalistic protection but show no respect for the profession.

  2. “And not only did they publish the specs, they submitted them to a widely-respected industry standards organization, and now they’re ISO standards”

    but they stacked the iso committee with their business partners, bribed officials, and locked out opposing viewpoints, including IBM, and severely twisting the operating principles of the ISO in the process. Thus it’s a “standard” by corruption, and the ISO is a *former* widely respected industry standards organization. It’s still a benchmark by which bureaucrats and technical illiterates compare things, but MS demonstrated how easily corrupted it is. OOXML is a standard in name only; not even Microsoft implements it properly.

  3. anyone who argues that Adobe Flash is open would agree that Microsoft Office is even more open.

    …which is pretty damning when you consider the fact that Microsoft rammed their OOXML “standard” through the ISO with blatant committee-stuffing to stave off OpenDocument adoption. And in the two years since then, [url=”http://www.adjb.net/post/Microsoft-Fails-the-Standards-Test.aspx”]have made little progress in actually implementing the ISO-approved version of their OOXML format</i>:

    In its pre-release form Office 2010 supports not the approved Strict variant of OOXML, but the very format the global community rejected in September 2007, and subsequently marked as not for use in new documents – the Transitional variant. Microsoft are behaving as if the JTC 1 standardisation process never happened […]

    “What Microsoft really wanted was that ISO stamp of approval to use as a marketing tool. And just like your mother told you, when they get what they want and have their way with you, they’re probably not gonna call you in the morning.” – <a href=’http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/200x/2008/04/15/OOXML’>Tim Bray, 2008[/url]

  4. Although Gruber is trying to be ironic, just casting the image of a microsoft with higher relative morality is discomforting. Mossman’s example of of how msft got their crap made the standard is but one example of corruption, cheating, and predation in every aspect of their business. Yes, Adobe, et al, once arrogantly thought they could starve out OSX, but there’s nothing to equal the pure evil of “knife the baby,” “cut off their air supply,” the hypocrisy of the early Gates Foundation and on and on and on.

  5. Retarded article. If you want Flash on your new whiz-bang browser, you cross your fingers and pray that Adobe will create a plug-in for it.

    If you are an advertiser or content creator, you buy Adobe’s software (that’s how they make money).

    HTML 5 is an open standard that anyone can create content for, that anyone can make their browser work with. If you are—say—Apple and you don’t like how a certain aspect of Safari handles a certain kind of HTML 5 animation feature, you tell your programmers to fix it by the end of the week. But…

    With Flash, you pick up the phone, make a golf date with the big wigs at Adobe, and wait two damned years for them to address the issue.

    Jobs could not have been clearer as to what the issues are. John Gruber (MacGruber) has an article that reminds me of Abraham Lincoln’s comment: “It is better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

  6. Gruber’s take is rather satirical, but not quite there. It actually gives Adobe a way forward – submit their specs to some anti-Apple industry consortium in a bid to become a *standard*.

    Adobe feels their technology ought to be the de facto standard, since they won the desktop plug-in war like Microsoft won the desktop war. But if that is the case, then the company that ought to be investigated by the government for monopoly practice is Adobe.

    The bottom line is, Flash specs are and always will be controlled entirely by Adobe alone. That should not be part of the open web user experience.

    Furthermore, Flash is proven malware, if not trojan by design, and on top of that, mobile Flash is vaporware. It is only right for a company to exclude it.

    The only hope for Adobe is to give up the control, and hope enough industry buddies will get on board.

  7. I note that the author did not claim MS Office IS Open Source, just that it met those two “standards” that are the bare minimum for the claim. And that Adobe Flash does not. As nobody is claiming that Office is “Open”, it would seem mistaken for Adobe to claim Flash is “Open”. All right, <u>absurd</u> !
    OS X is not precisely Open Source, either. Though it is partly based on an Open framework. But … Apple does not claim OS X is Open. Nor does MSFT claim Office is Open. Even though both are provably more Open than Flash.
    It may be easy for us to envision using HTML5 to replace the video codec needed to play YouTube videos, but what about the games on FaceBook? Can HTML5 replace those? Easily? Just curious.

  8. @ Facto

    Wonderful!

    @ DLMeyer

    I note that the author did not claim MS Office IS Open Source

    No one mentioned Open Source, just plain <b>Open</b?, as in Open file standards. The iTunes database is an open standard – Apple has published how the iTunes data files are structured, and other companies have developed software that access the iTunes database without being sued by Apple. When Pre went and misused the iTunes software, that was totally different.

  9. @Thib
    “Wow, if that’s the way Diaz responds, it puts the reputation of Gizmodo even further down the ladder. They try to claim journalistic protection but show no respect for the profession.”

    Errr, wrong thread?

  10. @Greg L
    Flash is a dog, but developing Flash content is a walk in the park compared to developing HTML5. So your idea that ANYBODY can develop HTML5 is kind of disingenuous. That is like saying, anybody can pilot an F-16. Well sure, with the proper training and perseverance, I am sure of that.

  11. Sadly, Office is a better and more open standard than flash is. Office at least has some compatible source (creation) and client software available.
    Flash is a completely closed (in almost every definition of the word) with no alternatives to Adobe for creation or client.
    That it is also buggy, bloated, inefficient, unstable and huge security problem makes me wonder, is there really any one but Adobe and their captive developers supporting it?

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.