An apology

Adobe’s John Dowdell posted a response to the Macalope’s Fools of the Year piece and it appears the horny one mischaracterized Dowdell’s rationale for his comment about Adobe being more ethical than Apple.

Dowdell says that was not, as the Macalope stated, about Flash but about Steve Jobs not publicly reporting his health condition in 2009.

So, the Macalope sincerely apologizes for that.

Of course, he doesn’t at all agree with his judgement that that somehow makes Apple unethical, but it’s certainly a more reasonable argument than the business decision not to allow Flash on iOS. As the Macalope has stated previously, he doesn’t think the public or even the individual Apple investor has a right to know the health conditions of any Apple executive. That’s what the board is for.

Two small corrections for Dowdell:

  1. The Macalope is pseudonymous, not anonymous.
  2. It’s “Macworld” not “MacWorld”.

As a side note about Dowdell’s claim that he couldn’t comment, the Macalope has had his own trouble with’s commenting system. There have been a number of times when the system’s initially said he was logged in but then wouldn’t let him comment. So he’s inclined to think Dowdell’s troubles are probably legitimate rather than from laziness or stupidity.

  • Glenn Fleishman:

    As I noted on Dowdell’s site, Dowdell ethical opinion relied on quotes from a dead man used after his death without permission with no method to confirm or deny the truth of the statements.

    • -hh:

      @Glenn, I agree with your assessement on the questionable ethics of having a story on *ethics* be based upon some borderline (at best) muckraking: the WSJ’s claimed quote would be far more credible had it been originally published in a more timely fashion, not postumously.

      Getting to the crux of the iOS/Flash dispute, there’s merely two basic dimensions: legal and technical. Adobe is free under the Developer’s Kit to go demo a viable and compelling product tomorrow (just as they just did with iPad Photoshop), so there’s no significant legal impediment to be concerned with.

      That just leaves the technical. All that Adobe needs to philisophically do is to deliver a demo version of Flash which satisfactorally addresses the key points of criticism.

      However, given the amount of time that Adobe has been publically working on Flash for mobile platforms … and we see iOS Photoshop first, it is quite reasonable to conclude that the longstanding technical shortcomings criticisms are not only valid, but that they still haven’t been satisfactorally resolved.

      The _ethical_ question is if the performer will come clean and be wililng to admit this, or if they will try to distract the public from the core issue with contrived irrelevant distractions…such as with claims as to how “Ethical” others consider them to be.


      PS: this same comment is being posted at John’s blog too. We’ll see if it passes moderation.

      • -hh:

        Well, it is now April 22nd .. and the above “Awaiting Moderation” from April 4th is still sitting there, unpublished, on Dowdell’s site.

        That pretty much gives us all the real answer to the underlying Ethics questions that were present here.


  • Ben Lawson:

    Interesting to see that critical comments at John’s blog aren’t being posted, but a link to and the analysis that “Steve Jobs should be fired for bringing the company into this mess but hey, no cult without guru right?” gets a thank you.

    Of course we’re all still waiting (four years?) for the clouds to part and reveal the mythical fast, stable, battery-friendly Flash. Any day now.

    • Nicholas:

      That same comment asked Fleishman, with a tone of incredulity, whether he really expected Adobe to demo Flash on the iPad, saying they’re too busy. First of all, Apple has absolutely no business demoing someone else’s technology on its product, and neither does anyone else but Adobe. Secondly, I’d be surprised if Adobe’s 9117 employees were all too occupied for one of them to demonstrate something that supposedly works perfectly. Maybe they’re actually working on making Photoshop usable, writing a real installer, removing the suck from Reader, and so on. But I doubt it.

  • Just picking up on the pseudonymous not anonymous reference. Well made point.

    Clearly I have an investment in that.

    Also, jam doodle is a cock.

  • DriverDan:

    Heh heh… pseudoapology!

  • The Macalope:

    Actually, the apology is sincere, even if it comes with some further commentary.

  • AdamC:

    ” So he’s inclined to think Dowdell’s troubles are probably legitimate rather than from laziness or stupidity.”

    A good one here…. but then what do you expect from a company of whiners.

  • fring:

    Aah… O Horned One, it’s always nice to have the last word – or three. ;/)

  • Jdt:

    Good apology. Direct. To the point. No dancing around it. No “I’m sorry my words were misunderstood”. No “mistakes were made”. None of that. You point out exactly what the mistake/confusion/error you personally made was and apologized. This is how an apology should. So refreshing to read. That’s part of what keeps me coming back every week. Thank you for having the guts (or antlers) to be sincere!

  • ViewRoyal:


    Before you apologize any further to Mr. Dowdell, you should ask him why he does not keep the public apprised of his own health condition.

    (Pot, meet kettle 😉

    • kenkins:

      In today’s social-content-heavy world, I’m glad for someone finally not keeping the public apprised of their health condition. Their lunch-time treats. Their cat’s litterbox schedule. How long they were passed out on the street. That their drive to work was boring. Etcetera, etcetera, and so forth,

  • nojo:

    Dowdell says that was not, as the Macalope stated, about Flash but about Steve Jobs not publicly reporting his health condition in 2009.

    If anything, that makes “I know that a number of good people work at Apple. If you’re seeking a more ethical company, Adobe is hiring:” sound even worse.

  • Mark:

    Flash is garbage. Jobs is right. Dragging a corpse around as a sock puppet to say Jobs is A Bad Man is unseemly. Adobe hasn’t been worth a warm bucket of spit for years.

    If there’s an apology anywhere in there, maybe you could say you’re sorry Dowdell is a twerp.

    I take that back, ask “more ethical Adobe” if they ever apologized to Sklyarov…

  • Sigivald:

    In fairness to him, I would have sworn that it used to be “MacWorld” some time in the 80s or 90s.

    But a quick search reveals the contrary!

    ViewRoyal: That’s easy. His health condition doesn’t affect his company’s future or stock prices.

    He’s being an ass about Steve Jobs, but at least his judgment that Jobs is important and that his health has – whether justified or not – an impact on Apple, Inc. and its investors is quite correct.

    The problem is what he thinks follows from it, but even granting his assumptions it’s not something that would apply to a columnist, pretty much ever.

  • jkdawson:

    And still more insightful commentary on smartphone market share. Apple is doomed, I say doomed!

    • Anne:

      There’s another way to look at the comScore data in this article.

      Google’s Android runs on 15 different phones (I looked it up), smartphone users total 33%. Hard to know from the data how much share mobile manufacturers have of the smartphone mobile market.

      Compare: 7.5% of the mobile subscribers use Apple products, 25.2% of the smartphone subscribers (all of Apple’s users are smartphone users).

  • skylark:

    Could Macalope literally be Pseudomononymous …

    I think I made that up, but hey it works and it sounds good.

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