Thursday, December 9, 2010

The price of short term views

This Christmas I have been hearing about a lot of new devices from Google. With Google TV, Google Nexus S, and Google Chrome OS, it feels like a flood. I could not deprive myself from all of them, and I am now a happy owner of a Google TV. Despite my satisfaction, I do have to say that Google TV has a lot of flaws which have no excuse.
During the first half of the year I have been amused by the diatribe between Apple and Adobe over the Flash technology. Long story short, Apple concluded that Flash over Mac sucks, and as such, they decided to single it out from their technologies. As I despise both companies, I could not care less. I cannot blame Apple's choice though. As a faithful Linux user for the last ten years, I hate Flash more than any other technology ever invented, as on Linux Flash sucks even more and the internet ecosystem it promoted makes often things inefficient on Linux.
Recently I kept reading comparisons between Google products and Apple products praising Google choice to use Flash over their platforms. Again, as much as I hate Flash, I think you should always have the right to make your life miserable by installing it. Myself I do install Flash, but I always block it with the appropriate plugin and use it only when strictly necessary. Unfortunately, on Google TV you don't have the option to block it.
Google itself praises Google TV for being Flash enabled, but apparently they are oblivious to the obvious. That is, the thing that sucks the most on Google TV, is Flash. Adobe has been promising to people, and probably to Google as well, a Linux version of Flash (Google TV, Google Nexus S, and Google Chrome OS all run on Linux) but they have been unable to deliver. With Google Chrome OS the hypocrisy seems to reach a new height now. Adobe praises the product as a new opportunity for developers to deliver their Flash applications to customers, but at the same time reports tell that performances of Flash on Chrome OS make it "sluggish and often unusable for video".
Adobe had the last ten years to switch to a software development of Flash more platform agnostic and they have clearly failed to do so. Their short terms views have finally proved to not pay off and I am glad Adobe will pay the consequences. As much as I despise Apple and their control policies, I admire Steve Jobs for having had the guts to stop the hypocrisy, and say it out loud: Flash sucks, and evidence proves this is not going to change.
The tide has turned. Flash does not deserve a second chance. Internet will eventually get rid of Flash. We might as well lead the change and turn it off now.

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