Apple’s 3.3.1 burns at Flash point

My real thoughts on the 3.3.1 clause of the iPhone Developer Program agreement, now confirmed by Steve Jobs of Apple as a clear attempt to block “intermediate layers between the platform”:

I’m not even close to siding with Apple. I’m the furthest from being an Apple fanboy from almost anyone I know. I wonder, from their perspective, how the outcry from the Flash and other communities looks. If anything, I don’t see them registering it as a negative complaint, rather confirmation that they have created a platform and opportunity that we all want a piece of — and we all appear frustrated we can’t get a piece of it on our own terms.

I have not been able to get my hands on the CS5 beta, nor have I installed any apps, that I know of, that were compiled with CS5 for the iPhone or iPod Touch. I can’t attest to the quality of apps created this way, so I can’t really argue whether “intermediate layers” really disrupt their platform experience. However, having been a longtime Adobe customer, I know the quality of most of their products usually gives me the results and quality apps I want.

Last June I set out to contribute an app just for the fun of it — just to see if I could do it — and to see if I could engage my then 2-year-old via a device he was clearly becoming glued to. It’s true. My 2-year-old became quite attached to our iPod Touch, much earlier and much more captivated than I was when I used to play the Nintendo Game Boy at a younger age. Coding in Xcode, learning ObjC, proved to be an incredibly positive and constructive experience for me. I didn’t feel forced at the time to learn the language, rather took it as a challenge to learn a completely new language for this first time in almost 6 years. The game I made posted in the app store in August. It was a personal triumph.

There’s no doubt it feels something evil is going on here, especially when we haven’t heard of customers of Apple’s openly complaining about poor quality from non-iPhone SDK produced apps. We are left to assume Apple’s moves are solely vindictive, and that’s where I don’t like it. If, however, Apple came out with a report of customer complaints on how Flash or other alternative language-based apps were performing badly on their devices, how could any of us argue?

Should section 3.3.1 be upheld by Apple, thus blocking all other alternative ways to product iPhone SDK content, my suggestion to the Flash and other communities is to embrace those platforms and devices that openly support your language. Assuming you wouldn’t want to live in a country where they don’t speak your language or go to the extent of outlawing it, find a platform where your skills, creativity and vision are welcome and supported.

The flash point of a volatile liquid is the lowest temperature at which it can vaporize to form an ignitable mixture in air.