Steve Jobs releases open letter with “thoughts” on Flash

You can find it here: Steve Jobs on Flash

An interesting excerpt(I guess Steve still doesn’t care for middleware).

“We know from painful experience that letting a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform. If developers grow dependent on third party development libraries and tools, they can only take advantage of platform enhancements if and when the third party chooses to adopt the new features. We cannot be at the mercy of a third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements available to our developers.”

Stop The Madness Steve Jobs!

Apple has recently changed their Terms Of Service to include, “3.3.1 — Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).”

These new terms will shut down many current developers, and disallow many popular game engines and other “middlewares.” This is a letter to Steve Jobs protesting these new terms.

Other developers please post comments to show your support as well as tell your stories. Now is the time for us to band together, spread the word, and help Stop The Madness.

Hello Steve,

To start off, I bought this domain for the sole purpose that you, Steve Jobs, the “almighty” would read this letter. I’m also going to start by saying that you used to be an idol of mine. No I’m not some Mac “fan boy”, just a programmer and entrepreneur that can appreciate the combination of fine art and technology, same as you did when you knew what it was like to run a small business.

Unfortunately that is no longer the case. Your decision to disallow middleware, and effectively shut down thousands of indie developers is unfair and unjust. It seems you have grown so power hungry that you forgot about the individual developers; many of whom are, in part, responsible for making your phone and App Store the successes they are today. I myself am a successful iPhone developer, and yet I am ready to end my entrepreneurial dream and go work for someone else because you are trying to make it impossible to develop quality indie games for the iPhone, iPod, and iPad.

I understand you want to protect your precious App Store, and being that it is my company’s main source of income, I also want as little competition as possible. In that sense I am all for stopping Flash apps. I still have to side with Adobe, however, because the manner in which you are trying to ban them lacks logical reasoning. In your attempt to try and stomp out Flash, you have ended up disallowing things like MonoTouch, effectively banning game engines like Unity3D. How can you shrug all that off as collateral damage?

I have to ask the question everyone is awaiting an answer to…ARE YOU MAD STEVE?

Many people, including myself have invested tens of thousands of dollars and months of time to bring indie titles to the App Store. For over a year you allowed these games without incident, furthering investments in such titles. Now, all of the sudden you want to effectively prevent any of those games from ever being created or updated again.

To quote you directly, “We’ve been there before, and intermediate layers between the platform and the developer ultimately produces sub-standard apps and hinders the progress of the platform.” (http://www.taoeffect.com/blog/)

Oh Steve, you create such superior hardware that you think people will overlook your inferior and anti-innovative policies. Some top selling apps have been made with Unity3D (Zombieville USA #1, Skeeball #1, Battle Bears #3) All of those high quality apps apparently don’t adhere to your new agreement. You really think you will improve app quality by banning such popular games?

With your new Terms of Service you want to get rid of indie devs who develop high quality products. Those same high quality products that make you money on app sales, increase the iPhone’s image, and in turn sell more iPhones. I think Greg Slepak said it best in his email to you.

“Crappy developers will make crappy apps regardless of how many layers there are, and it doesn’t make sense to limit source-to-source conversion tools like Unity3D and others.” (http://www.taoeffect.com/blog/)

If you are so concerned about quality Steve, why don’t you reject apps based on quality alone?

The way I see it, if you have to move a lot of dirt, and you have the choice between a shovel or a backhoe, which one will get the job done better and faster?

You are trying to take away our backhoes and make us use shovels to achieve the same task. Isn’t the end product the important thing? Does it really matter how the dirt was moved, as long as the hole was dug? Whether I use Unity3D, some other game engine, or Objective-C, isn’t the end result the important factor in determining if something is worthy of your “mighty” app store?

As far as I am concerned, you are trying to take us loyal and faithful developers back to the Stone Age so that you can be in charge of handing out the rocks. Your new policy will destroy us indie devs, and for that Steve Jobs, you should be ashamed.

-A Former Loyal Developer

Jack Freeman