VentureBeat published an analysis I did of Steve Jobs’s Thoughts on Flash. As one would expect, the comments have been lively. Since I used to work at Macromedia, the creator of Flash, now part of Adobe, I wanted to share my broader perspective and biases in this matter:
- I am a proponent of Web architectures and open standards. I was part of the founding team and chief architect of Allaire, the company that developed the first Web/HTML-centric application server, ColdFusion. ColdFusion ran on Windows, Solaris, HP/UX and Linux. I’ve worked on open standards at the W3C, OASIS and the Java Community Process, open-sourced WDDX and led a team that built key parts of the Apache Axis web services engine.
- I’m weary of anyone having too much control. I grew up in Communism. Need I say more? This applies to government regulation because it tends to be designed by consensus and far less flexible than the future requires.
- Eight years ago I was involved with Flash. After Allaire merged with Macromedia, I was chief architect at Macromedia and worked on initiatives that later became the MX platform and Flex, which is open-sourced under the Mozilla Public License.
- I am agnostic with respect to technology. I learned programming on an Apple ][ clone in Bulgaria but I’ve never owned a Mac. My Windows laptops have Linux VMs on them. I use both Flash/Flex and HTML/CSS/AJAX. I love my iPad, iPhones and iPods for what they are great at but am frustrated by their sometimes arbitrary limitations and use a Verizon Blackberry as my work phone and an Android phone when I travel in Europe.
- I know a bit about cross-platform mobile development, security and advertising. In addition to my work on programming models and runtime environments for the Web, I co-founded a mobile startup that built a cross-device runtime, which is how I learned about the core issues surrounding mobile platforms and mobile application performance. I also co-founded an advertising compliance company and helped start and invested in an application security company.
- I deeply appreciate and admire Apple’s focus on design and UX. I wish Apple bought Tesla and started making cars. I don’t yet care about my car being open and hackable.
- I don’t directly own AAPL, ADBE, GOOG or MSFT. I bet some of the funds I’m invested in have stakes in those companies.
Net of the friendships I have at Adobe, I have a reasonably educated and unbiased perspective.