Adobe holding up HTML5? If it quacks like a duck…

February 15, 2010

The last thing the graphic software giant needed right now was even the insinuation that the company was standing in the way of the HTML5 standard, which many view as a competitor and even a replacement for piczilla’s Flash. Now, they’ve got more than that, though it’s not entirely clear what the publicly available information is really telling us.

There’s one heckuva lot of heat and light being generated by this blog post from Ian Hixie, a member of the HTML5 working group and an employee of Google. This missive sketchily intimates an Adobe conspiracy to block the HTML5 standard or at least parts thereof.

Adobe Evangelist Dave McCallister, July 2009: For Adobe, “open” is all aspects of communications and technologies. For us, those are open source, standards, and community. […] We make sure that we talk to our communities, that we play with the standards groups, […] We are actually one of the most open companies that are active. (context)

Someone whom I can’t identify publicly, since he posted only on one of the secret W3C member lists, contributed to the following thread over the last few days: 1 2 3 [Ed””Log in required]

Larry Masinter, Adobe, quoted in the minutes of yesterday’s weekly phone status report for the HTML working group: do I need to repeat objections?

Net result: the latest publication of HTML5 is now blocked by Adobe, via an objection that has still not been made public (despite yesterday’s promise to make it so).

With friends like these…

Thereupon, John Gruber is offering the following bit o’ wisdom on the subject:

My understanding is that Adobe is trying to block the API spec for the canvas element. The canvas element hasn’t gotten as much attention as the video element, but clearly, 2D graphics in canvas is competitive with Flash, and it appears that Adobe’s plan is to sabotage it via W3C politics.

See also: Reporters’ Roundtable Podcast: HTML 5 vs. Flash (

W3C is widely known for the divisive nature of its internal politics and what a perfect for foil for either Adobe or its critics to push their respective agendas. Honestly, you needn’t doubt who I’m pulling for, but folks are reaching for conclusions (and their daggers) rather quickly.

Still, what began as a public pissing match between Apple and Adobe over the iPhone and now iPad’s “lack” of Flash support has taken on a life of its own. The attention is now squarely focussed on Adobe and, at the very least, they’ve got some explaining to do…

What’s your take?

via AppleInsider

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