Dilger's post cracks me up on several points, but I just want to pick apart a few, because he's wearing some seriously colored glasses to reach some of these conclusions:
This is curious (or perhaps hilarious) because Adobe’s support for Apple has long been just as money motivated as Macromedia and Microsoft. Back when Apple wanted its major developers to embrace NeXTSTEP and port their existing code to a modern new API that would solve a lot of the old problems with the Classic Mac OS, it got nothing but blank stares from all threes of those “partners.”
Had they invested in Apple’s plans, we’d have gotten a Mac OS X with the sophistication of the iPhone back in 1998, rather than living through a decade of Apple building Carbon and then weaning its developers off it. Adobe and Macromedia helped delay Apple’s plans for a decade just so they could safely make money selling Mac users less sophisticated software.
I'd argue the exact reverse. if others had supported the NeXTSTEP API, you wouldn't have OSX now ... at all. In fact, I'm not sure if Apple would be anywhere right now. The big problem with NeXTSTEP, if people don't remember, is that it had NO way to communicate in any form with the pre-press market. NO ONE launched in with the NeXTStep platform, because, quite frankly, in 1998, Apple's biggest buyers were in the graphics world. And the interest in a product that couldn't go out to a RIP was really low.. I mean, REALLY low.
I mean, this is revisionist history at the worst from people who seem to be johny-come-lately Mac fanboys, who don't remember what went on with anything but rosy glasses. I was at the University Seminars, in Los Angeles, in 1994, when Copland was first openly discussed. OS 7 was nearing the end, PPC was over, and the idea was to move forward. Motorola would develop true, next generation processors. Developers put their entire product lines on hold on the Mac side, because this was going to be the big thing. Microsoft was a joke, Windows 3.11 was not a real competitor. In 1995, after Windows 95 hit, the marketplace changed. OS 7 looked, and played, like s---. People realized the limitations were HUGE. Adobe had three major selling products flip the bit and begin real PC development. Even holdouts started thinking. Make no mistake, this was the lowpoint for apple, far lower then any point since. Copeland was scrapped in 1996, and developers had already poured a ton of money in.. including one I worked with then (and still sometimes do now). Nobody was at all happy. So, when Apple purchased NeXT, who was the one company they asked to provide statements to the NYT and WSJ?
"This partnership is the best possible fit. Both companies support strong, open industry standards. Combined with their rich media focus and a command of the Internet, these strengths will play well into Adobe's core markets", says John Warnock, Chairman and CEO, Adobe Systems, Inc. "NeXT's advanced operating system design, when combined with Apple's leadership in ease-of-use and multimedia, will provide Adobe and other developers with a robust, compelling platform on which to build great next-generation software solutions."
So what happened? Apple rolled out OS/7, and at the end of the year they announced that despite their thoughts, they couldn't merge NeXT into Copeland and Copeland was dead. Then you went through 2 years of just manic nothing, with developers rotating through being asked to develop for two platforms: OS8, which they knew they'd see, and were given advances on, and a future OS based on NeXT.. but considering how many laid out money and resources into Copeland, most took the sure bet. It was until nearly 3 years later that SDKs hit anyone's desks. At that point, there were people who questoned Apple's viability. This seems laughable now, but very true then. For those developers - especially Adobe, the biggest problem was that some of their biggest products looked at Openstep development with several big concerns, including money.. but one concern for them was that Apple had no real solid guidelines for key elements: Postscript Printing and Rendering. This was something that in OS7, OS8, OS9, Adobe had managed to handle and work into somewhat of a science, and managed to make work with RIPs. A big change in how this was done was something everyone needed to be on page with.. and let's not kid: Apple changed it's mind three freaking times before OS release, which burned some developers bad (See: Suitcase) and you can understand where they came from.
This isn't to beat up Apple, or Jobs. Most of this happened under different leadership. But it's laughable to say "if developers had got on board, we'd have an iPhone in 1998" Please. When OS/X 10.0.0 shipped, people forget the issues that were significant: tons of "sad" mac, thanks to a major error within the video system, and oh yeah, the postscript engine was still so messed up that you never got WYSIWYG. Not even close. So when 10.1 shipped (Puma) which was the first one totally under Jobs, they went to a printing conference, announced a major Mea Culpa, and the post script engine was fixed... and because of the problem and a need to stay on a roll, OS/X 10.1 was given away free to everyone.
I will give Apple tons of credit when it hits things right. But let's not make the past what it wasn't. 1994-1999 was a fairly dark time for Apple, tons of mis-steps, bad development, commitment to a bad product on some fronts. One of my favorite Jobs quotes is this one:
"The products suck! There's no sex in them anymore!"
-- On Gil Amelio's lackluster reign, in BusinessWeek, July 1997
In the end, Apple got it right. But it's hard to write an article and bag on developers and say "those idiots, how did they not know this was the future??" Well, because at that point, Apple was coming off a deplorable trackrecord and had two deadfish OS in the marketplace and were losing marketshare like crazy. Developers don't have crystal balls. I love the "but NeXTStep was the future" Yeah, developers were persuaded to some point to develop for NeXT. And, I'm one of those people who actually USED a NeXT cube and I know someone who stil has the one I used. Developers worked for that, and then, wham, it was all over. So, let's not say that developers could guess what was going to happen with Apple.
In regards to Flash, the biggest benefit to Flash has always been the way -macromedia- not adobe, managed to tie Flash to a product it purchase (Allaire) and Coldfusion. Macromedia had managed to setup a platform whereby Flash (now Adobe Flash) could draw readily from native SQL engines to form fluid front ends that were dynamically generated.
We've gone past that, and most of the Flash development now is at the direct application level. Adobe deserves criticism for it's slow turn around to 64 bit on Mac (it's offered a 64 bit on the PC side now since CS3, but CS5 will be the first on the Mac side). But again, part of that is money talking. Adobe simply sells a lot more copies on the PC side then the mac. I can imagine this happening other places, but it doesn't. I rarely see people come out and start dousing AutoCad, Dessault, or Mastercam for their failure to ever update a mac product or abandoning all support... (in the case of Autodesk, they have issued "Maya 2011" which will be one of the first native Mac 64 apps from them, but have at this time no plans to port AutoCad, AutoCad LT, etc)
Some products are what they are. Apple has no reason to bend to Adobe. In this case, Adobe also has no real incentive to bend to Apple. Adobe (and Unity 3D) both developed their products in full compliance with the legal guidelines as set forward in the previous SDK. That has now changed. Adobe's argument isn't a monopoly or any crap like that.. that's ludicris.
It's that they were allowed to develop a product "in bad faith" if Apple knew they would not allow for it, they could/should have given adobe a major heads up months ago, and they didn't. They also didn't provide Unity3d with that advice either.
Windows Mobile phones are junk. And likely always will be. I have no interest in that. I've played with Android and I find it junk. I'm not an iPhone fan, but have lots of clients who are, and it is easily the best mobile "entertainment" phone. It might never work for me, because I need a phone that is a great "phone" first, and can't live without a keyboard. But I get why it works for other people. Hell, because of a client, I can't own a phone that has any form of a camera on it, so that rules out basically every iPhone I have. (you can't walk into their building with any camera or it will get confiscated or you turn it in up front, and since I can't really leave a phone sitting in a basket for an hour or two..)
I think both sides have good arguments. But I had to correct the "would solve problems of Classic Mac OS" yeah, um, at that point, with all the crap that went on, there were a lot of developers who said no. Not because it might not be right, but because nobody was willing to bet money on Apple being right. And even the most die hard mac fan now may not remember how dark those years were for Apple, but go grab a Mac II