Here it goes – Apple officially locked itself out from majority of development community again. While people are trying to find justification for such move ( http://www.taoeffect.com/blog/2010/04/steve-jobs-response-on-section-3-3-1/ ) and while it came as a shock to some Adobe developers ( http://theflashblog.com/?p=1888 ) I actually have deja vu of 1991 / NeXT Computer fiasco. NeXT was the best PC of 1991. First browsers/servers were developed on NeXT platform. I took time to learn Objective-C and developed for that platform. But proprietary language and hardware lock drove the company in the ground. The truth being told, people make the same mistakes again and again, and Steve Jobs is no different. So the only question remains – will it will be fixed soon enough via Adobe/Apple negotiations and public outrage or Apple will win this battle and loose the war to Google, RIM and Microsoft.
Technically Apple’s terms and reasonings are absurd. The quality of the code is not related to the language. Specialized p-code languages sometimes outperform native ones by highly optimizing (even writing in assembly for specific CPUs) critical parts. In case of Flash/AIR a lot was done to support GPU that would take ages for regular C++ developers to even approach. P-code toolkit can include generation of C/C++ code – however it would be just a waste of developers time to do so.
I have been using Apple products exclusively for the last 3 years and I really enjoyed ability not to deal Windows problems during the development process and still reliably deploy (thanks to Adobe) on 100% of PCs regardless of OS. Performance was never an issue for our apps, and we had steady job helping others to achieve good/excellent performance.
Apple has 3 month to fix this mistake. After that developers will make choice – Adobe or Apple. It will mean significant boost for Google, RIM and Microsoft – and end of Apple growth. At that time, if not resolved, I will be selling my Apple stock. Reasons are simple : in the last 3 years I personally spent about $15K on Apple products, planning to spend at least the same amount over the next 3 years. I was planning to replace my development machine Mac Pro dual Xeon/20GB/10TB for faster one by the end of the summer – looks like it will be Linux server as without platform neutrality it will be easier to at least have development and deployment platforms the same. With developers fallout getting tools and new software for OSX will be even more difficult, so developers need to move toward growing platform. It is really a shame, as Apple really had a chance to become the biggest player in the new market.
In meanwhile, it is time to shop for Nexus phone and Linux development machine.