An open letter to Apple and Adobe

Guys, this bickering has got to stop. The problem you're having is that you're both as good and bad as each other. This could go on forever, but I detect that you're also both equally stubborn and have reached an impasse. This is why I have decided to try and make a couple of things plain to you. I really hope it helps.

Apple; you make amazing computers. Your hardware is sturdy and reliable, and when it's not reliable you have great customer services to back it up. Your operating system is Unix-compliant, attractive, relatively stable and easy to use. Your phones are well-made and have a pretty decent OS, which is improving at an acceptable rate. You as an entity are the only weak link in the chain. You are the overbearing mother of the technology world; you refuse to ever let your products truly go to their new owners.

Without the indie software scene, OSX would be nothing. Sadly, some parts of the OS are so frustratingly closed that some things become almost prohibitive. The software you build and sell is fit for purpose (on-par with industry in some cases, below in most), but not nearly adequately varied to rival Windows or Linux.

When you released your phone, it was like the popular girl in school - looked so good in every way, but forced to spend more than 10 minutes with it and you wanted to smash it against a rock. Then came the App Store, and things were good for a while. You still, however, refused to let go control and some trivial things became impossible. This prompted an incredibly talented and generous group of people to start hacking the device so that people were free to use it as they wished. This was, after all, their right (regardless of terms and licensing - you part with outrageous amounts of cash, the right is yours!). You struggled for a while, but now you seem to have given up, which is nice. Thanks.

All of this meandering leads me to the crux of my point. You might be able to pull the wool over some people's eyes regarding Flash on your devices, but you don't fool me. I hope your hypocrisy left a horrible taste in your mouth when you wrote your letter to Adobe. If you think that any piece of Mac hardware or software is open, you must be kidding yourself as well as everyone else. How dare you preach openness whilst you supply us with phones and iPods that you can't even change the fucking battery in?! How dare you preach openness when I have to run the risk of rendering my phone useless just so I can install software I want on it?! How fucking dare you preach openness when you actively and vocally restrict Flash from being installed in any capacity on a device that I own?!

And another thing; HTML5 may well be relatively open compared to Flash, but if I want to use HTML5 video, I guess I'll be needing the H.264 codec (at time of writing). That famously open source codec. What's that? It's not open source? So Firefox (truly open) will never be able to support it? Sounds great.

Before you preach openness, maybe you should do some research into what that actually is! Give your devices to your customers and let them do what they wish. If I want to deplete my battery in 10 minutes using Flash and all my simultaneous processes, that's my prerogative. If I want to consequently complain, you've got leverage to tell me where to get off! Honestly, sometimes your smug sense of superiority makes me hate you and everyone who makes excuses for you.

I hope I've made my point.

Onto you now, Adobe. This will be shorter.

Hey, Adobe. I see you're getting all upset because Apple won't let Flash run on their mobile devices. That's pretty annoying for everyone involved. Whilst I disagree with their methods, I am totally with their justification. If you can't even write a Flash plugin for a device with 2.66Ghz Dual Core processor, 4GB RAM and 512MB graphics memory without resorting to slowdown, memory hunger and frequent crashing, then you shouldn't be writing plugins for devices with a fraction of that power. Seriously, Flash is the number one reason I scream at my laptop every day, and I'm almost certain that there's plenty you can do about it. I wonder why you don't.

I heard that Apple also now ban apps from being distributed using their nice, open App Store if they've been compiled using IDEs you wrote. Man, that sounds just like something they'd do, but have you ever actually used one of the apps compiled with your IDE? As a technical exercise to prove it's possible, you've nailed it. Go you. But try using one. My God, it borders on harrowing it's so terrible.

Your problem is really quite similar to Apple's when you think about it. You give developers all of these great tools that can theoretically do amazing things, then you totally screw them by making a horrendous platform for their use. This subsequently screws their users, too, because people just don't want to use apps that frustrate them. I'm now at the stage where I close any website that looks like it's full-Flash. It's that bad.

In case I haven't made it apparent what might help you - make Flash better. Make it not crash browsers and eat memory and slow computers down all the time. I know it's not as simple as that, but if anyone can do it it's you. Seriously, no-one else could because, well, they're not allowed!

And now, to my avid reader. There you have it; Apple and Adobe are just as bad as each other. So bad, in fact, that it's created a convenient little blind-spot to badness that both of them can live in until the mighty Google comes along and sells the world to aliens after America accidentally signed it over to them without reading small print.

If you really care about open, buy an Android phone. Wait, that's Google. Buy a Palm. Wait, that'd be a pointless waste of your time. Uhh. Sell all your stuff and go live in the woods with hippies and the squirrels so that none of this inane shit really even matters any more.

phone dump


There's no-one cooler than the guys playing a SNES emulator in the pub (and publicly failing at Mario!)


Even a lovely, white R8 doesn't proclude you from getting ticketed for parking like a twat.







Bought a moviepeg, very impressed with moviepeg. You should buy a moviepeg.

Look at that glorious black bubble-wrap.



This is totally random. Hate when cables tangle, love when they make punctuation at me! adium theme


Iconpaper is a great website. Relatively trustworthy source of customisation stuff for OSX. Browsing today, I came across a large-type Adium theme, Bloc, which suited me down to the ground. It's tracked on Macthemes; basically a goldmine for people who like to tinker with how OSX looks.

After having had a couple of small problems with the original, I sleuthed to try and get in touch with the author of the theme. Turns out, he's a very nice bloke who agreed to do me a theme in the same style as my website. Whilst it may be difficult to believe, I love the way this site looks, and I couldn't be happier with it (sad, right?)! I'm pretty sure that those of you who use Adium and aren't lame should give it a go. If you don't like my personalised variant, there are some other great colour schemes bundled with it.

No real reason for this post, other than a big thanks to krayon (the author) and to try and throw some more links his way.