Apple vs. Adobe
The friction between Apple and Adobe seems to be a key element of this whole subject of Apple, HTML5 and open source vs proprietary software situation. It was in the “Thoughts on Flash" letter (published as a blog post) that Steve Jobs declared Adobe Flash a “closed" source, proprietary system that was unsuitable for iPhones. Adobe’s contention was that the opposite was true, but Jobs’ argument that although 75% of video on the web was available in Flash it was also available H.264 format was seen as the key argument in a powerful letter (although one which since has been somewhat diluted by the subsequent success of Adobe Flash on mobile devices, namely Android).
However, this open letter also included the following:
"Apple even creates open standards for the web. For example, Apple began with a small open source project and created WebKit, a complete open-source HTML5 rendering engine that is the heart of the Safari web browser used in all our products. WebKit has been widely adopted… By making its WebKit technology open, Apple has set the standard for mobile web browsers."
It was really cool of Jobs to make the (self-congratulatory) point about Apple’s WebKit project and the big part it plays in HTML5.
This makes the whole situation concerning two patent filings by Apple for technologies that are required by the W3C for HTML5 all the more concerning.
After all, HTML5 is supposed to be open source, and by claiming these patents Apple is preventing the W3C from using these particular technologies.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons/Kyro