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Old 02-18-2010, 05:43 PM   #1
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What Steve Jobs Said During His Wall Street Journal iPad Demo

From gawker.com, an account of Steve Jobs statements during his presentation at the WSJ:

"... At the Journal, Jobs claimed the iPad's battery performance would be degraded from 10 hours to 1.5 hours if it had to spend its CPU cycles decoding Flash, we're told. ...

But Jobs offered more than a thorough evisceration of Flash; he also used his Reality Distortion Field to sell the Journal on alternatives to the technology.

Ditching Flash would be "trivial," he suggested.
...

Jobs reportedly said the Journal would find "It's trivial to create video in H.264" instead of Flash. Depending on how the Journal handled the video conversion, that could be true, and for the moment H. 264 is a cheap and effective way to distribute Web video. But we assume Jobs didn't mention that H. 264 is patented, privately licensed and could get expensive fast.

Even setting that aside, H. 264 does not fully replace Flash. While it can handle video, it does not comprise a system for the rapid development of interactive graphics, as Flash does. Yet Jobs also reportedly said Flash would be "trivial" in this sense, as well — that it would be "trivial" to make an entire copy of the Journal website with the non-video Flash content also redone.

That's just not right; even assuming the Journal could duplicate its Flash slideshows, infographics and other news apps using iPad-friendly technologies like Javascript, it would take a decidedly nontrivial amount of time and effort to create or acquire such a system, hire staff who understand it as well as Flash, train staff on how to use it, and integrate it into the Journal's editorial workflow. ....

... shortly after the meeting, on Feb. 10, editorial board member Holman Jenkins issued a WSJ op-ed comparing Apple to Microsoft and saying the company "is in danger of becoming preoccupied with zero-sum maneuvering versus hated rivals." His primary and lead example of this sort of "maneuvering" was Jobs' decision to keep Flash off the iPad...."
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:59 PM   #2
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And here is Gizmodo's take on Jobs:

"...Jobs is picking and choosing here between hypothetical versions of Flash. If the iPad version of Flash were to have hardware acceleration, which Flash 10.1 offered up for desktops (though not OS X), that wouldn't be remotely the case. If Flash on the iPad were to support hardware video decoding where available, it wouldn't require nearly as much CPU. You'd lose battery life, sure, the same way you lose battery life watching any type of video on any system, but nothing near as dramatic as 85%.

Of course, that hardware acceleration isn't currently possible on Macs, because Adobe doesn't have access to the appropriate APIs. So Jobs can easily on a imaginary version of Flash that doesn't have hardware acceleration and come up with an imaginary battery life impact.

Jobs's bigger fib might be his description of ditching Flash as "trivial." It's not. While HTML5 is good, it's not great—yet. And even when it becomes great, it'll take major sites years to make the switch—however long it takes for the majority of internet users to stop using outmoded browsers. And that won't be for a very long time. Certainly longer than the first few generations of the iPad...."
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Old 02-19-2010, 04:38 AM   #3
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just one note, the hardware apis are available on the mac, just in a form that adobe doesn't like.
instead of using the quicktime apis that practically everyone else uses, adobe demands direct access to the gpu hardware. given their track record with crashes, that is a security right i'm glad adobe doesn't get.
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Old 02-19-2010, 07:28 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Sonist View Post

Jobs reportedly said the Journal would find "It's trivial to create video in H.264" instead of Flash. Depending on how the Journal handled the video conversion, that could be true, and for the moment H. 264 is a cheap and effective way to distribute Web video. But we assume Jobs didn't mention that H. 264 is patented, privately licensed and could get expensive fast.
What would the problem be with that? Licenses never stopped MP3 and divx.

And it "could" get expensive. It could also get cheap.

Quote:
That's just not right; even assuming the Journal could duplicate its Flash slideshows, infographics and other news apps using iPad-friendly technologies like Javascript, it would take a decidedly nontrivial amount of time and effort to create or acquire such a system, hire staff who understand it as well as Flash, train staff on how to use it, and integrate it into the Journal's editorial workflow. ....
If it isn't for video, flash would never stayed alive long. All the crusades online to ban flash usage as "design element in a website" are there for a reason.

90% of the flash-animations used, are perfectly replaceable by unobtrusive usage of javascript.

A professional (as in: wants to make lotsa money) website would do good to ditch flash as design element anyway. If getting bad SE-rankings due to bad indexing doesn't convince them, maybe a not working site on apple machines would.

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Jobs's bigger fib might be his description of ditching Flash as "trivial." It's not. While HTML5 is good, it's not great—yet. And even when it becomes great, it'll take major sites years to make the switch—however long it takes for the majority of internet users to stop using outmoded browsers. And that won't be for a very long time. Certainly longer than the first few generations of the iPad...."
The cry for HTML5 is mainly for embedding video. The other "fun" features of flash, doesn't need flash.

Not even games: http://www.webresourcesdepot.com/25-...d-inspiration/

Last edited by athlonkmf; 02-19-2010 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 02-19-2010, 07:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by athlonkmf View Post
...

A professional (as in: wants to make lotsa money) website would do good to ditch flash as design element anyway. If getting bad SE-rankings due to bad indexing doesn't convince them, maybe a not working site on apple machines would.
...
Perhaps you should tell this to all the major sportswear sites, like Nike and Adidas, or Disney, or even Pixar....

The Flash "haters" repeat the same mantra over and over, but the fact is, at this time, most of the cool stuff cannot be done easily, cost-effectively, or at all, without Flash. All the pathetic examples you guys keep showing, are at the level Flash animation was in the '90s.

Most of those "hating" Flash, are either backroom tech-support types, or search-optimization types. Both of these groups generally have the visual sense of a door knob, look funny, and just don't get anything other than sites selling mattresses or electronics....

But consumers like Flash. Large companies do a lot of consumer research, and they utilize Flash as appropriate (sometimes most of their sites are Flash). Even advertisers, who must target the widest possible spectrum of their audience, use Flash heavily. If Flash didn't work well, their research would have shown it, and they would have dropped it.

Why? Because Flash is robust, efficient to deploy, has an incredibly high adoption rate, and it can provide visual appeal.

So, in the larger world, you guys (Flash "haters") don't matter.

Jobs is just riling you up at the moment, because he is positioning Apple as the new 800lbs middleman between you and your media, and Flash and Silverlight are both gateways he wants to keep closed on the iPad.

Remember, Jobs also told you that "Nobody reads anymore...."

Last edited by Sonist; 02-19-2010 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 02-19-2010, 07:50 PM   #6
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What I really dislike is the use of flash where flash is not appropriate like adverts or menus on a website.
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Old 02-19-2010, 08:31 PM   #7
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IMO, Flash can be totally appropriate for both.

For menus, a company may wish to use a particular font, for branding or other purposes. Why exactly do you dislike it? In virtually all cases, it will function the same.

For ads, well, someone has to pay for all the content. Would you prefer to pay for each site you visit? If Flash disappeared tomorrow, the same ads will appear in other formats, just uglier....
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Old 02-19-2010, 09:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonist View Post
Jobs reportedly said the Journal would find "It's trivial to create video in H.264" instead of Flash. Depending on how the Journal handled the video conversion, that could be true, and for the moment H. 264 is a cheap and effective way to distribute Web video. But we assume Jobs didn't mention that H. 264 is patented, privately licensed and could get expensive fast.
It's funny how the term reality distortion field was used in the beginning of the article, since most Flash videos are encoded in H.264 as well – they are simply wrapped in the proprietary FLV format. So this problem stands for both HTML5 as well as Flash.

Quote:
Even setting that aside, H. 264 does not fully replace Flash. While it can handle video, it does not comprise a system for the rapid development of interactive graphics, as Flash does. Yet Jobs also reportedly said Flash would be "trivial" in this sense, as well — that it would be "trivial" to make an entire copy of the Journal website with the non-video Flash content also redone.
It may not be trivial in the short term, however it is possible with HTML5 and as development tools mature it will become equally efficient to develop in the long term. The bigger problems are that HTML5 is not finished yet and that some browsers – read: IE – do not support it yet.

Apple is known to switch to new promising technologies in very early stages and pushing developers and consumers in the cold water. It's harsh, but it's usually worth it.

Quote:
... shortly after the meeting, on Feb. 10, editorial board member Holman Jenkins issued a WSJ op-ed comparing Apple to Microsoft and saying the company "is in danger of becoming preoccupied with zero-sum maneuvering versus hated rivals." His primary and lead example of this sort of "maneuvering" was Jobs' decision to keep Flash off the iPad...."
Apple is pushing the use of open standards (HTML5, AJAX) to replace a proprietary technology. Does that sound like Microsoft? I don't think so.
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Old 02-20-2010, 03:18 AM   #9
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...

Apple is pushing the use of open standards (HTML5, AJAX) to replace a proprietary technology.....
You mean, like pushing to replace the proprietary Flash video with the proprietary H.264?

The only reason Apple is pushing, is so that you and I don't get access to media without Apple acting as middleman.

This is why no Flash, this is why FairPlay....
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Old 02-20-2010, 12:16 PM   #10
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Perhaps you should tell this to all the major sportswear sites, like Nike and Adidas, or Disney, or even Pixar....

Yeah, and those are exactly the sites that I visit daily and has it on my bookmarks bar...

Fact is, a site that is going for substantial value instead to lure and keep visitors/customers would/should spend more effort to make their accessible for all kinds of outlets.

If flash is something that would turn visitors away, their own stupid fault to use it then.

Flashy animations can't camouflage lack of content.
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Old 02-20-2010, 04:16 PM   #11
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Yeah, and those are exactly the sites that I visit daily and has it on my bookmarks bar......
That's fine, but you are then not the correct demographic for these sites, and very likely for other Flash sites. Just like some may be the wrong demographic for the Prada store.

It's presumptuous to extrapolate your individual preferences to the larger market, and call sites which are tailored to other tastes "stupid."

As I said, large companies generally do their research and the fact that YOU don't fall within a particular target audience, in no way means that Flash is bad, or that they don't know their business.

It's akin to someone who loves Flash games, calling OS X users "stupid," because they have chosen an OS which does not run Flash as well as Windows.

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Old 02-20-2010, 07:58 PM   #12
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That's fine, but you are then not the correct demographic for these sites, and very likely for other Flash sites. Just like some may be the wrong demographic for the Prada store.

It's presumptuous to extrapolate your individual preferences to the larger market, and call sites which are tailored to other tastes "stupid."

As I said, large companies generally do their research and the fact that YOU don't fall within a particular target audience, in no way means that Flash is bad, or that they don't know their business.

Nope, large companies generally will force their devvers to create something which would reach a as large as possible audience. And that's why the site of pixar, disney works fine without flash. Just tried, with my iphone. You get the info you need.

Only Nike doesn't provide an alternative version. Which is OK too, because they don't need a site anyway. They sell their products through other outlets, as long as THOSE stores has working sites, nike'd be fine.
Or they just want to concentrate on their other campaigns.
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Old 02-20-2010, 08:07 PM   #13
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Nope, large companies generally will force their devvers to create something which would reach a as large as possible audience. And that's why the site of pixar, disney works fine without flash. Just tried, with my iphone. You get the info you need.

Only Nike doesn't provide an alternative version. Which is OK too, because they don't need a site anyway. They sell their products through other outlets, as long as THOSE stores has working sites, nike'd be fine.
Or they just want to concentrate on their other campaigns.
Are you in IT, or something...?

For many, the presentation and improved interactivity are important, too. You did notice that on the iPhone you get Web-Lite version of these sites, right?

If you are happy with getting the "lite" versions of all these sites, good on you. But many of us are more discerning in our browsing....

This is really a silly argument. If you have some beef with Flash, turn your plugins off and enjoy your web-lite. But why harp on the rest of the world, which enjoys the Flash experience?

BTW, if you actually had Flash, you would have noticed that you can shop on the Nike site, and in a pretty cool way.
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Old 02-20-2010, 08:24 PM   #14
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Are you in IT, or something...?
Yup.

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For many, the presentation and improved interactivity are important, too. You did notice that on the iPhone you get Web-Lite version of these sites, right?
Sure, i noticed that I get the lite-version. But that wouldn't matter, because the goal of a site is to provide info. And I got my info about the newest pixar movie.

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If you are happy with getting the "lite" versions of all these sites, good on you. But many of us are more discerning in our browsing....

This is really a silly argument. If you have some beef with Flash, turn your plugins off and enjoy your web-lite. But why harp on the rest of the world, which enjoys the Flash experience?
Sure you can enjoy the flash experience if you want. Loading, hovering, sounds and all those things. Whatever rocks your bottle.

I guess it's the same thing as some people enjoys minuscule servings of food because it's some french cuisine kinda thing. Yet most would go for the largest steak.

If the restaurant only wants to serve one type of customers, it's their own right too.
And if flash indeed helps them get their customer's money, it's a good choice.
But for nike, using flash is like putting up a sign in front of your restaurant saying "Only stylish people allowed. Stylish by our standard. All other groups can go elsewhere."

Quote:
BTW, if you actually had Flash, you would have noticed that you can shop on the Nike site, and in a pretty cool way.
I know they have a webshop. But since they don't bother to create one that degrades nicely, I guessed they don't want my money.
But then again, who'd buy Nike directly from Nike themselves. Getting them from the stores would be cheaper.
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Old 02-20-2010, 10:06 PM   #15
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Yup.

Sure, i noticed that I get the lite-version. But that wouldn't matter, because the goal of a site is to provide info. And I got my info about the newest pixar movie.

Sure you can enjoy the flash experience if you want. Loading, hovering, sounds and all those things. Whatever rocks your bottle.

I guess it's the same thing as some people enjoys minuscule servings of food because it's some french cuisine kinda thing. Yet most would go for the largest steak.
......
You kind of prove my point. Thank the stars, IT guys don't run the world, or it will be a pretty dull place.

Anyway, you are obviously not the target audience for these sites, nor apparently for fusion restaurants. But others are, and that's all that counts at the end.
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... But for nike, using flash is like putting up a sign in front of your restaurant saying "Only stylish people allowed. Stylish by our standard. All other groups can go elsewhere."...
You seem to forget that virtually every computer in the world has Flash on it, so running a Flash site is anything but exclusionary. Plus, in a few months, all the major smartphones, except the iPhone, will have full Flash as well. The few out there, who actively block Flash, are inconsequential, really.

Last edited by Sonist; 02-20-2010 at 10:09 PM.
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