I mostly agree with most of the technical issues he raises and I think the lesson here is that it does, in fact, pay to use open standards. However, there are some things he says that I take issue with as a developer:
Jobs also has a disdain for 3rd party development tools. Here I see the motivation as business, not technical. We developers have only so much time-money and Jobs knows that making it difficult to support multiple platforms with the same source tree more or less will make a lot of developers chose to develop only for Apple’s products. Jobs knows this very well and I believe it was behind the decision not only to not allow Flash but also to not allow Java. Jobs even boldly chided Java as something no one uses anymore. No one? Well, except for their mobile devices’ biggest upcoming competitor, the Android platform. That’s all.
When developing C++ desktop applications, I don’t want to waste my investment. I use Qt. It doesn’t block me from using the latest innovations in Windows, Mac OS X or Linux’ desktops (KDE and Gnome), but it gets me most of the way easily. 90% of the time for 90% of the people making business apps (not games), OS specific GUI code shouldn’t be necessary. I believe the same is true for mobile devices. Without writing with the iphone in mind, I believe you can have your tool translate your menus, form items, etc. into the appropriate code for different platforms. Apple won’t allow this. My understanding is they won’t even allow this if such a tool (including the tool Adobe made earlier to translate Flash into Obj-C) even if you hand-edit the code after generation or make your own regexp to modify after generation (so at least minor edits won’t require a rewrite to remove wasteful routines, etc.) This is a shame. It’s bad for developers and consumers, but good for Apple. It also directly affects me as I was planning on making an XUL to iphone gui converter.
So again, I absolutely agree with Jobs’ assessment of Flash’s shortcomings. If he is serious about them, though, I trust that he will allow Flash once they are addressed? If Adobe fails to correct these issues and it may be impossible without breaking backwards compatibility, their prize platform may go the way of the Dodo, with or without Apple’s sabotage. At the very least, I believe something that creates obj-c from an AS3/Flex project should technically address the issues.