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Apple's Flash policy is a breach of Postel's Law
By Dave Winer on Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 1:55 PM.

A picture named beetlejuice.jpgI was browsing the web today on my iPad looking for the lyrics to a song I heard yesterday on the Jonathan Schwartz show on WNYC.  permalink

It's a show tune, that started off not-too-interesting but by the end the lyrics had me choked up. It was a beautiful story, and I not only wanted to hear it again, but I wanted to share it with others.  permalink

I eventually found a rendition of it on YouTube, but during my exploration I came across a Flash thingie (what are they called) that promised to have some info about the song, but of course since Apple doesn't like Flash, my iPad can't "see into" it. permalink

Aside: The song I was looking for turned out to be Life Story sung by Lynne Wintersteller from the play Closer Than Ever.  permalink

Amazon has the soundtrack. permalink

It was at this point that it hit me that what Apple is doing with Flash is dangerous, for reasons I hadn't previously considered. permalink

Deliberately throwing out content that might have useful information in it, that's not too wise, imho. Better to keep as much as we can, and stop worrying too much about whether we like the format or not.  permalink

And what Apple is doing violates Postel's Law which says you should be liberal in what you accept. Another reason Postel was wise. It helps keep the web from breaking. permalink

A reminder that now that Apple's market cap is bigger than Microsoft's we have to think about what it does differently. If Microsoft had decided to outlaw a popular format, no matter how much we may not like it, we'd look at that as an anti-competitive move. Why should we look at it any differently if it's Apple? permalink

Update: You can view what Apple has done as linkrot, but on a massive scale, and it was deliberate. Linkrot is usually accidental, but this was deliberate. If Microsoft had done this, the very same people who are defending Apple so fiercely would be (virtually) marching on Redmond with torches threatening to burn it to the ground. permalink

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