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Comment: Re:multitasking is a lie (Score 2, Insightful) 253

by dhobbit (#32655216) Attached to: What iOS 4 Does (and Doesn't Do) For Business
It is "Multitasking done right" on a mobile platform. Apps that need to run in the background can provided they use a provided system service, audio, VoIP, launchd. The most important issue here is battery life and the second is memory which lead directly to the third which is performance. Developers always develop in a vacuum they didn't know what else will be running on the end users device and they have to assume that their app is the most important. Apple is just reenforcing that assumption If they want to play nice then they have to add a bunch of hacks and bloat in order to know when they should scale back CPU and memory usage to allow foreground apps to take over. This assumes a much more competent developer a lot more code. Apple is provided a shortcut, here's an API that can do all this work for you so you can solve the problem they're coding for not spend days writing glue and house keeping code. So to that end Apple provides a set of Legos for the devs to play with, the dev is not expected to build their own interlocking bricks and in actively discourage from doing so.

Comment: Re:A good criticism, but... (Score 1) 572

by dhobbit (#32062250) Attached to: FSF Response To Steve Jobs's Letter

I'm not involved in cutting video but I work with someone who is, and they tell me they like H.264 a lot better than Ogg Theora.

A writer may like PDF or FrameMaker ahead of html but if they want people to read their stuff its going to have to be published in html. Where would we be if you had to use a restricted format to read normal web pages?

PDF is an open standard. If I recall it's also royalty free.

But either way we'd be in just about the same place. Until recently (4 or 5 years) IE controlled 90+% of the browser market at which point MS could have just as easily switch from html to doc. What keep MS on html was critical mass and fact that html can do things doc can't.

Comment: Re:A good criticism, but... (Score 1) 572

by dhobbit (#32062242) Attached to: FSF Response To Steve Jobs's Letter

Remember what this is all about.

It's not about Adobe, Apple, FSF, Flash, iPads, etc. It's about money.

Where do you spend your money and how do the groups listed above get some share of that money. Apple doesn't want flash because they feel it hampers Apple's ability to deliver the best product to get your money. Adobe wants flash on everything so they get paid from everywhere for doing the least amount of work. FSF wants your money to help fight the evil corporations that are trying to steal your money while screwing you over. Once you get past that then you can look at this problem in 1 of 2 ways.

1) Which technology is the best?
2) Which makes my life better?

Open is great and the FSF crowd has produced some great stuff. But after 30 years they still haven't connected with the average grandma, they haven't simplified the UI enough so I don't have to think, and they wanted produced independent video codecs that compare to the commercial ones. And that's okay because the other thing in this argument is freedom. The freedom for you and I to choose which platform we want to use. And if everyone uses the open specs and standard it doesn't matter.

Comment: Re:People don't WANT free... (Score 3, Interesting) 572

by dhobbit (#32062188) Attached to: FSF Response To Steve Jobs's Letter

In the end the user wants to play his Facebook games and Apple says 'you can't on My iPhone or iPad' and they say 'okay' and play on their computer instead.
Do they ditch the iPhone or iPad? Nope..... They go buy another one!
When the general public actually decides to grow a pair things will change.

I wouldn't necessarily put it that way.

I paid $199 for my iPhone and I can't play Facebook games? Well, I guess that's just the way it is. At least until my best buddy starts doing it with his Android/WebOS/Symbian phone. When I see someone in my peer group doing that, that's when I'll say, "Wow! I know what my next phone is going to be!"

Kind of like the Mac and Windows--you'll see one person switch and show off what they can do. That'll inspire someone else. That'll inspire a few more people. And so on and so on.

There are several assumptions in that statement.

1) Adobe will actually deliver desktop flash on Android. This is still a huge question all the demos I've seen are flash video. Haven't seen a lot of demos of farmville.
2) Android manufactures will actually deliver the updates needs to use flash. Most of the currently shipping Android phones won't take the 2.2 update, of the ones that will OS updates are released by the hand manufacturer or the carrier which take weeks or month to get their customizations made and update images released.
3) Flash on Android won't suck. Adobe doesn't have a great record here and could easily get this wrong and cause all the OS to crash, run slowly, kill the battery and drive 1000s of Android users to the iPhone.
4) And all of that needs to happen before Facebook and others start releasing games in html5 or the AppStore.

Comment: Re:People don't WANT free... (Score 0) 572

by dhobbit (#32062154) Attached to: FSF Response To Steve Jobs's Letter

They want to be told what to do.
That is why people buy Apple shit... because their friends told them to.
The Adobe vs. Apple war... meh.

In the end the user wants to play his Facebook games and Apple says 'you can't on My iPhone or iPad' and they say 'okay' and play on their computer instead.
Do they ditch the iPhone or iPad? Nope..... They go buy another one!
When the general public actually decides to grow a pair things will change.
Whether it's the government or a corporation.... all they do is herd people and separate them from their money.
This is just a war over MONEY and who gets control over more of it.

It's called capitalism. It's the most productive economic system so far developed. Look it up its pretty cool.

Comment: Re:If it's that predictable, is it really news? (Score 2, Informative) 572

by dhobbit (#32062140) Attached to: FSF Response To Steve Jobs's Letter

I'm glad you pointed out something so oft-overlooked.

It wasn't just the kernel: they got a top-notch compiler (GCC) and toolchain (GNU bintuils) for free. And an HTML rendering engine (KHTML/WebKit). And garden-variety utilities like a decent shell and scripting languages and build tools and ...

In other words, stuff that would have delayed the first usable versions of OS X for years and years if Apple had to write them from scratch. Stuff that might have taken so long to re-write that Apple may not have survived its near-death experience.

Most of OS comes from NextStep which already used gcc and bsd binutils. Actually most the system utils are from bsd not gnu. Apple is also replacing gcc with llvm/clang which are also gpl and developed in house.

Apple took KHTML fixed, cleaned it up and released it as WebKit which ultimately replaced the core of KHTML.

It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that Apple survived and is prospering today at least partly because it had been able to fold so much free software into its codebase early on. For them to turn around afterward and build a closed software stack counter to the principles of openness that saved them really feels like a betrayal of sorts.

Actually the "openness" that saved them was bsd and the bsd definition of free software. And Apple is in true sprit of that legacy. The free/open source forms the foundation on which Apple is standing. Apple is a good open source citizen and contributes code back and in a lot of case have created new projects that it released into the open. I guess I don't see the betrayal.

Comment: Re:If it's that predictable, is it really news? (Score 1) 572

by dhobbit (#32062102) Attached to: FSF Response To Steve Jobs's Letter

That wasn't Jobs' argument. Jobs said a deployment of Flash without hardware acceleration quickly drains the battery.

Fine. Let the user decide whether or not to install a Flash player. Leave it uninstalled by default, but let users who know enough to go hunt it down to balance their battery with their web needs. Let them turn it off when they don't want to use it.

Turning flash off isn't that trivial even on the desktop. Making that possible on a mobile device is just that much more complicated. Better to just have it off by default and use the html 5 standard better for users, better for device manufactures, better for openness, the only one hurt here is Adobe.

He also said that Flash was designed for browser plus mouse.

So was the whole web. That argument applies to html as much as Flash. The argument fails.

Kinda true, but html is an open standard that can be changed and adapted. Apple has the ability to work through the standards body to make that happen which again helps everybody.

And he said that Apple believes that when developers arrive at a platform through cross-platform tools, customers get least common denominator functionality.

What?! Again, using Safari on the iPhone to view html from the web is exactly the same degree of "cross platform" as using an iPhone Flash viewer to view Flash content. The least common denominator functionality point applies equally. Again, the argument fails.

Again kinda true html, css and javascript while standard are also extensible and degrade nicely if a tag is not supported. This is part of the spec. So Apple can and does offer webkit specific css tags that can be tied directly into OSX or iPhoneOS features. These tags and functions are open source and be implemented by anyone. So in general this is true but not always.

Jobs did say, as a counter to Adobe's assertion that Flash was a standard, that HTML5, javascript, and CSS are standards, Flash is proprietary.Seems about right to me. Now we know Jobs is not concerned with customer freedom on the mobile devices because Apple's bread is buttered when it delivers simple consistent devices that are easy to operate and which do what they say they will.

Customers who prefer to exercise their freedom to tinker have other devices to choose from. That looks to me an excellent environment for maximum customer satisfaction.

It may be fair to say the EFF is using this as an opportunity to take some of spotlight, while the tech world is focused on these parties. That's fine, I believe in the EFF's fundamental philosophies and do not want GNU/GPL tools to disappear or be co-opted. I think it is a bit misguided and counter-productive to insist that everyone march to the same drummer.

And yet Apple insists that all iPhone users march to the same drummer. Maybe that's misguided and counter-productive, too. You're right that there are other devices to choose from, and Apple has the right to make a bad device if they so choose. But for those of us who are techies, for instance, everyone on Slashdot, doesn't this completely demolish the appeal of the iPhone? We can have a much more powerful, open experience with Android, for instance. We'll be able to choose whether or not to use Flash in Android 2.2, and we can choose to leave it off to save the battery 90% of the time but turn it on occasionally to fill out that dumb Flash form or see a stupid animation that really shouldn't be in Flash but is. Flexibility is a good thing, and in this case there's no reason giving the simple option of installing Flash would hurt users. Why must the users be protected from themselves?

I agree with you, Apple knows their market and techies are not the main focus. The focus in the 90% case the general user who doesn't want the computer getting in the way of their work or play. Removing flash or not providing an on/off isn't simply a matter of protection, its more a matter of simplification why add an on/off switch when 90% of the user base doesn't know it does, when to use it, or why its there. Just turn it off and move the technology forward. HTML 5 is the future and its a future we should all get behind. Technology that has out lived its usefulness needs to be abandoned to rot.

One failed assumption here is that you'll have an on/off switch for flash in Android.

Comment: Re:If it's that predictable, is it really news? (Score 1) 572

by dhobbit (#32061984) Attached to: FSF Response To Steve Jobs's Letter

funny thing is, if flash has access to a api for talking to the hardware decoder, its video playback drain is probably no worse then a html5 stream. This as in either case the rest of the interface is done in software anyways.

Jobs is basically using the flash issue to pull a smoke and mirrors on the larger issue, the choice of codec for html5.

This would be true if the codec was set in stone. The video tag works very much like the img tag and thus can support multiple codecs. On OSX the video tag is decoded through the quicktime playback system and any codec quicktime supports will work.

Comment: Re:To me, it's a question of mobility. (Score 1) 572

by dhobbit (#32061828) Attached to: FSF Response To Steve Jobs's Letter

Open standard doesn't mean free. H.264 is open in that the spec is open and available for anyone to implement. If you want to *use* that implementation then you have to pay the license. H.264 is standard in that a largish group of vendors and implementors got together and agreed to the same implementation details so there is compatibility between them.

I agree that open and free would be better but that's not the world we live in sorry.

Comment: Re:To me, it's a question of mobility. (Score 1) 572

by dhobbit (#32061796) Attached to: FSF Response To Steve Jobs's Letter

Are you being deliberately obtuse?

If you own a Windows computer, you are free to write, use, sell or give away applications with zero involvement from Microsoft other than your initial purchase.
If you own an iPod/iPad/iPhone, you are required to interact with Apple to do any of those things.

iPod/iPad/iPhone aren't computers. If I buy a Mac I am free to write, use, sell or give away applications with zero involvement from Apple.

This is the difference between a content creation device and content consumption device.

Comment: Re:To me, it's a question of mobility. (Score 4, Insightful) 572

by dhobbit (#32061754) Attached to: FSF Response To Steve Jobs's Letter

No, it's like people are complaining that they're not allowed to modify their refrigerator to fly them to the moon.

I've used linux since '94, I've used bsd since 2000, and purchased a Mac because of the bsd unix underpinnings and the ease of use. I own an iPhone and iPad, I've jail broken and unjail broken the iPhone and I'll probably jail break the iPad at least once. But at this point I've seen very little user impact of the restrictions imposed by Apple. Remember people (normal people not nerds) don't care about codecs, html5, flash, or anything of this. They care about farmville, AppStore games, and having to learn as little as possible to get their work done.

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming

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