I've felt torn watching the current spat between Apple and Adobe. On the one hand, it might move a few people away from building Flash sites. On the other hand, it bothers me to have people act like it's suddenly a game-changer - it means they just aren't paying attention.

As an aside it also bothers me to have Steve Jobs talking about open standards, because it's unsettling to have your agenda pushed by someone who most likely doesn't give a crap about it.

With any luck, he'll get away with it. Better that than standards-based development getting smeared if this blows up in Apple's face. But anyway...

none of this is actually new

It's important to remember the game hasn't changed just because Steve Said So. All he's done is bring some unusually mainstream attention to the nuts and bolts of the web.

One specific device's lack of Flash support does not change whether Flash is a good way to build something, no matter how magically-promoted that device might be.

To generalise: Flash is heavy, slow, reinvents-and-breaks interaction paradigms, requires a plugin and isn't accessible. Sure it's possible to create light, fast, accessible, usable Flash - but in the real world, almost nobody does. As an aside, I've seen some great Flash-based art; but precious little in the way of actually-good websites in Flash.

Regardless of the quality, choosing Flash has always meant choosing interoperability limits. Flash content has only ever been available to devices with the Flash plugin installed and enabled (that second one's important too).

Adobe say that's 99% coverage, although in my experience it's lower than that - usually 90-95% and currently down to 84% on one of my sites.

The iPad doesn't really change those stats, it's simply a very high-profile member of the "no flash" contingent that was always there. Interesting that people didn't seem to care as much when it was the iPhone.

as you were

The game hasn't changed: if you want a website that will work across the maximum number of devices, don't build it in Flash.

For years standardistas have said a standards-based frontend was a better option than Flash. More flexible, ready for cross-platform development and simpler for maintenance. It's no more or less true now than it was ten years ago.

It's still up to you whether you want to follow that advice, but you'll find standards-based sites don't look like a piece of blue lego on your iPad.