There's been a lot of ink spilled over the pros and cons of Adobe's Flash, and in particular whether its exclusion from Apple's almost-here iPad is a good or bad thing. Much of that discussion has looked at the changing relationship between Apple and Adobe, but ignored a much more fundamental issue: Flash on a touchscreen device is a bad idea, anyway.
As developer Morgan Adams points out in a post on the RoughlyDrafted blog, Flash often assumes that the device being used can distinguish between something being hovered over with a mouse and actually clicked on -- something that can't be done on the iPad or any other touch device:
Even if slow performance, battery drain and crashes weren’t problems with Flash (and they truly are), nothing can give users of any touchscreen, from any company, an acceptable experience with today’s Flash sites. The thing so many complainers want is simply an impossibility.
That doesn't mean that ceding control of the entire development environment to Apple is necessarily a good alternative, but it does remind us that some technologies will never work well together no matter how useful we think they might be.
An Adobe Flash developer on why the iPad can’t use Flash [Roughly Drafted via Mark Pesce]