Adobe: get out of our infrastructure

Now don't get me wrong, they make a lovely photo editor and DVD burning package. Not so sure about Dreamweaver personally, but lots of companies depend on it and it sure always beat Frontpage. Where the niggle comes in is Flash and PDFs.

These serve a role that is totally fifferent to what Adobe does. They do the best software for creatives, but are worse than useless for infrastructure. How many Flash security vulnerabilities will it take to convince them they are in the wrong game? In all these years they have never taken a competent approach to security, adding unwanted features hand over fist and never checking to see if they had just given your credit card to the russian mafia along the way.

Back in the day, the early years, I knew PDFs by a common swearword. People would think a PDF was as good as a website. It wasn't, and still isn't. The damn things would freeze a machine solid for 2 minutes while the plugin loaded and a bloated file came down the slow link at a snail's pace. Then all you got was a fairly plain file that looked like it had been saved from a word processor template. I hated it. As time went by the internet got quicker, PCs got faster and the pain is less. Still, it is more dangerous now as it is full of security holes that I seem to have to patch every other week. They clearly wanted to extend PDF into full multimedia functionality. People only want to use it to save off forms for printing. Still, no one tells Adobe this so I am, here and now.

Flash was always a pain from day one. It never had a real purpose in the early days, so it just got used to put annoying animations in the front page of a site that you had to endure EVERY SINGLE TIME you visited the site. Then it got more and more functions, but the sites were a fixed size, so you would watch a 800x600 site play its annoying animations in a box in the middle of your screen, in tiny text you could barely read. Great. The only upside was that the code was impenetrable to search engines and you were therefore unlikely to encounter them unless a household name did something stupid. Like Disney. Oh the tears that little child cried when he tried to get to the Disney site and 5 minutes later a "loading..." sign was still going on. 5 minutes is eternity for a child, 5 seconds is too long for an adult to bother with a site.

Then along came the miracle of Flashblock, and I only see a small (f) logo on some sites, no link text, no explanation, and I know to go away and find a proper website instead. People think Flash is indispensable on the web, but that was only when Youtube needed it, and I think most browsers can cope happily without it these days.

The downside, yet again, is security. And closed source, meaning that Adobe decides how important it is that some hacker network owns your machine. Not that important, apparently. My wife is a creative type, and insists that she not be trusted with things like locking the doors at night. I think Adobe is the same, and we should take the keys off it and let it go play with the artists once more. It will never get its media domination plans off the ground because it has never been in tune with any of its efforts. They all missed the mark by a long way - PDF, Shockwave, Flash all asked too much and did things people didn't want until years later. A visionary company you say. Brilliant, do you want to hand your house keys and credit cards to the mad professor off Back To The Future?