Steve Jobs Just Murdered the Web

Why the web should be destroyed, by Steve Jobs:

“We’ve been there before, and intermediate layersbetween the platform and the developer ultimately producessub-standard apps and hinders the progress of theplatform.”

I tried to ignore the whole section 3.3.1 debacle, as I’ve already commented on Apple’smoves and motives too many times, and really this change is just anew wrinkle of existing restrictions: developers for the iPhone arealready subject to the capriciousness and fickle whim of Apple,with no recourse.

If Apple said that you have to wear a purple bow-tie whiledeveloping for the iPhone it would arguably be a change for thebetter. At least then you wouldn’t have uncertainty on the wholebow-tie color issue. From that perspective, Section 3.3.1 should bea welcomed clarifier.

While claims that it’s for the greater good of quality arediscountable as a ludicrous smoke-screen, if you were gullibleenough to believe that, and you accept the asinine notion thatdevelopment technology dictates app quality, is Applepromising to filter app submissions by quality?

Given what is already in their app store they have a lot ofpruning to do.

They could carpet-bomb out the crapulence, with acceptablecollateral damage, by banning any apps made by small developmentshops. This would be great for everyone, right?

Kudos to them for removing consumer choice: If someone liked anapp created via one of the targeted tools, clearly it’s becausethey don’t know what’s good for them. Personally I choose basedupon reviews and user ratings, but it’s a win if these sorts ofpersonal decisions are made for me.

Like I said, I’m not going to get drawn into this whole section3.3.1 debate.

So let’s get back to Steve Jobs’ statement above.

“We’ve been there before, and intermediate layersbetween the platform and the developer ultimately producessub-standard apps and hinders the progress of theplatform.”

Where do web standards fit into this equation, given that webstandards are almost perfectly defined as intermediate layersbetween the platform and the developer.

Stop. Pause. Seriously think about this. Imagine that SteveBallmer was saying this about SVG (just use GDI and DirectX or atworst VML) and JavaScript and the canvas element, while discussingbanning non-ActiveX controls from the Windows ecosystem.

Where does Steve Jobs think the web fits Is it just aconvenient stop gap?

We know that Apple’s existence through the lean years, and thenits resurgence, was made possible because of the cross-platformweb, and paradoxically because of the cross-platform Flashtechnology. iMacs sold to the general population only because theyknew they could still use the open web, consuming and interactingwith apps that could certainly have been built richer and better ifthey targeted just the Windows platform.

They could use the popular sites, read the news, do theirbanking, pay bills, and send eCards, despite being on a platformused by only the very few.

Yet now Jobs has made it plenty clear that the web is fortrivial, simple stuff. For richer apps you need to target theiPhone alone, using a process that in no way can allow you totarget other platforms as well.

Flash is a no go because it enriches the web – there’s a lot ofhate out there by people who know Flash only as a simple videoplayer, where it punted Apple’s QuickTime it’s worth noting, and asa platform for irritating ads, however as a parent of young kids Isee Flash as the enabler of an incredible array of rich andentertaining educational tools for kids (PBS Kids, TVO Kids, CBC Kids, Disney Kids, among countlessothers) – and Apple has done nothing in the mobile web space tomake up for the gap…because at that point you’re supposed to bridgeover to the iPhone market and embrace it with fervor and loyalty.Sorry, but no thanks.