Large hurdles for Adobe
Mike Lee, owner of United Lemur, also saw larger hurdles for Adobe, though he took a different tack. "It's not a matter of whether developers can write Safari plug-ins," Lee said. "There's no way to stop Adobe from writing anything they want."This security certificate, Lee explained, is key for ensuring securely "signed" applications. "Not only does my digital signature prove I wrote the application, it also proves that the application hasn't changed since I've sent it. If the operating system refuses to run any application that lacks a valid signature, the virus model of 'rogue code' would simply cease to work. It also means developers no longer have to worry about piracy, as [Apple's] App Store will apply DRM and the iPhone will enforce it," Lee said. He added, "If Apple gives Adobe a certificate, and Adobe uses that certificate to sign a Flash plug-in, they still have to submit it to Apple for approval. If Apple says no, it doesn't go in the App Store and there's no way to put it on the iPhone. If Adobe hacks the iPhone to install Flash anyway, Apple revokes Adobe's certificate, and all their iPhone software stops working immediately." Other sources suggested that Adobe would also like Apple to license its code for displaying PDFs, and that the public noise over Flash is a pawn in that game. But whether the issue is Flash or PDF rendering, whether the two companies are going to clash or collaborate is in question. When asked about these concerns, an Adobe representative said the company would not release any comments other than what was in its initial press release.
He continued, "If nothing else, WebKit is open-source software. ... Adobe could use Apple's own code to build a competing browser that looks just like Safari, but with Flash. The question is whether Apple will let them run it, because nobody, and I mean nobody, is going to be running anything on iPhone 2.0 without a remotely revocable security certificate from Apple."