Daring Fireball’s John Gruber has unexpectedly emerged as a central figure in the Apple-Adobe fiasco. It was his treatise on “Why Apple Changed Section 3.3.1” that launched a thousand tweets. And it was his post that Steve Jobs referenced when a developer requested comment (“We think John Gruber’s post is very insightful and not negative…Steve”). Whether you agree with Apple or not, it’s hard to argue with Gruber’s logic for Apple’s motivations.
Today, we talked to Gruber via Skype. When asked for his response to Steve’s shout-out, Gruber meekly grinned and said, “I just smiled.” Thankfully, he saved his verbosity for the rest of the interview. We’ve included two clips, one focusing on his personal opinion on Apple’s decision and the fate of Adobe (above) and the second on how the iPad will influence the computer market and Apple’s future strategy (below).
Some key highlights from the interview:
On his personal opinion on Apple’s SDK agreement:
I think that they’re right to disallow platforms, cross-platform, meta-platforms, to be built on top of the native iPhone touch and the app store. I think, just strategically looking out for the best interests of the company… the problem you could run into is, and a developer named…Louis Gerbarg posited it this morning: Imagine if Flash was allowed to do this and a year from now let’s say 10% of the apps in the app store are going through Flash rather than writing specifically through x-code to the native SDK and Apple wants to do something with iPhone OS 5 a year from now that isn’t compatible with the output right now of Adobe Flash CS5. Well all of a sudden 10% of the apps in the app store can’t be updated to the latest version until Adobe updates their developer tools. And we’ve seen this before…
On Adobe’s Fate:
The one thing to keep in mind, Adobe is a very big company, they have plenty of products. I think, and this isn’t going to happen, I don’t think it’s going to happen, but let’s just say that they just announce tomorrow, “You know what, white flag, we give up on Flash. Flash is done, we’re going to eliminate our Flash developer tools and we’re going to ask everybody to just throw their Flash away”…Adobe still has plenty of other.. the whole CS Suite does so many things other than Flash, they’ve got Lightroom, it’s my favorite tool for managing photos, has nothing to do with Flash. Flash is important to Adobe but it is not the majority of their business. And that’s not going to happen, no matter how badly the next few years go for Flash overall it’s not going to disappear it has tremendous market share already and that sort of thing dwindles overtime. But in terms of Adobe’s hopes to extend what Flash and tools like Flash (like Air which is sort of built on top of Flash)…to extend that sort of thing to mobile devices as a software platform…I think they’re in pretty bad shape.