Archive for March, 2008

Thoughts from Week 1 of Director 11

Here are a few thoughts from week 1 of the brand new Director 11. Most thoughts are from mailing lists (so I guess I can’t really call them mine)…I’ve been so busy this and last week I haven’t had time to think, and I’ve barely had time to play with it.

First, let me just say I’m very happy that Adobe is at least putting one foot forward by getting this running on MacIntel. It really would have been a sign of sure death if they’d gone with the Windows only approach. Director isn’t quite dead yet (as some of us have been saying for 5 to 8 years).

In the few minutes I’ve played with it I’ve found two “quirks.” Not sure that is so good.

The script browser is great, but as soon as I saw it I wanted more functionality. Why can’t I drag a behavior from it on to a sprite in the stage/score? Why is the only option when right/control clicking on a script icon delete? Why can’t I get a nice view of my cast like that where I could create folders and “group” things in to them (or just allow like media to show up in folders like that). This Director is like an iPhone. I see it, love the features, but I want far more.

On the Shockwave side, it took until Thursday evening (four days after release), but Adobe finally changed their redirect page that was preventing MacIntel users from grabbing Shockwave 11. As soon as they changed that our company changed ours as well. It took two years more than it should have, but Shockwave now runs on my gorgeous MacIntel at home.

Beatles are playing in the coffee shop I’m in right now. With the unbelievable amount of Apple/American Idol promotion, combined with two weeks where the Idolites were forced to destroy Beatles songs, you’d think Apple would have used all that to announce Beatles on iTunes. Alas, we’ve been waiting for that longer than Shockwave for MacIntel. [Note: this is not Director related, but hey…popped in to my mind.]

OK…now on to mailing list stuff.

The Xtra Development Kit and Xtra Packaging Kit (XDK/XPK) are available for download here.

A wealth of discussion over this release causing depression among developers. Others are happy that Director is finally moving forward once again. Future versions of Director continue to get mentioned by Allen P.

A very long post by Lutz W. on Direct-L did real world comparisons between Ageia Physics Xtra and the Havok Xtra. Ageia did rather well in some respects, needs work on other parts. It was a great read.

Adobe is trying to get the XDK mailing list reinstated. It died at some point during the Macromedia purchase. If you want to be on this list be sure to drop Allen P. a message.

Looking around for Xtras…these two sites are being updated: Dean’s Xtra Page and Mile High Table ‘o Products. Many updated Xtras were posted by Tabuleiro.

Good Things

MacIntel Director and Shockwave are here!!!!!!

Many from the Adobe Director engineering team are on the mailing lists trying to find out more about bugs.

Lots of Xtras have been updated. Other updates are on the way.

Bad Things

No publicity at all on the front page of the Adobe Site. And SW never seems worthy of a full icon. This still doesn’t seem to represent full blown support from Adobe.

Possible bugs I need to read more about: charPosToLoc, getNetText with unicode.

Text display of anti-aliasing/kerning seems to have a wealth of issues.

The documentation on new features is rather limited at this point. I think I caught a sentence that Adobe is working on getting together lots of sample stuff for a DVD (not positive where I saw that).

Most everything involved in text display/rendering is slow. In the message window if you
put the xtraList
it is very slow, but if you use
put string(the xtraList)
it is vastly faster. Putting strings is always faster in the message window. This issue is now being looked in to by Adobe.

Some Xtras will not be updated. Adobe is actually debating if they want to acquire some and include them with Director.

The GUI associated with the program has become so confusing. The first thing I do is choose the Window > Panel Sets > Director 8 option. A tremendous overhaul is needed.

7 comments March 31st, 2008

SocioTown Goes Beta

For those that are in to this sort of thing, drop by SocioTown. SocioTown is a 100% web-based 3D Social MMOG (Massive Multiplayer Online Game). It’s playable in a browser with no downloadable client required. It utilizes Adobe’s Shockwave Player.

SocioTown is the biggest and most sophisticated browser-based 3D virtual world to date. Players can enjoy a fully immersive and persistent 3D environment such that hasn’t been seen on the web yet. Player data is stored in database servers, so users can play anywhere from home, work, or school without skipping a beat.

The screenshots on the page look really sweet.

Add comment March 29th, 2008

After years of waiting…TUAW mentions Shockwave

I dropped TUAW a line about Shockwave the day it came out. They picked up on the story and made a post about it.

Interesting comments rolling in.

Add comment March 29th, 2008

Director 11…Bugs!

OK. Director 11 is here. I found my first bug in about five minutes of playing. Is this a quirk, bug, or “feature?” Guess that is up to interpretation. Anyway…I put a Flash Component Button on the stage. I gave the sprite a name in the Property Inspector window. In a startMovie handler I used:

sprite("aName").label = "Some text"

This used to work in startMovie, but no longer does. It also used to work in a prepareFrame in frame 1 (which occurs before startMovie). This now seems to consistently fail in both Shockwave and Authoring on MacIntel and PPCs.

Bug, feature, or quirk. Hard to say. I guess it might be good to start getting all of these bugs in one place. Suggestions? I think DOUG might have a wiki up, or maybe Dean’s new site, or Director Quirk List…will have to look around when I get a few spare moments. Massive deadline this week…and lots of QA to do with the new Shockwave.

11 comments March 25th, 2008

Shockwave 11 has arrived.

The links for Shockwave download are now live to Shockwave

Is that enough zeros?

Note: If you are on MacIntel you may have to go to the alternates page due to the redirect issues that MacIntels have had to deal with for the past 2 years.

8 comments March 25th, 2008

Director 11 Trial Edition

Is now available for download. Let the fun begin.

Director 11 Trial Edition email message
Screenshot of my email message from Adobe talking about my trial download.

11 comments March 24th, 2008

Shockwave 11 Links ‘R Up

As a reader pointed out, the Shockwave 11 links are now up. Currently they don’t lead to anything though. Looks like something will be out in the wild later tonight. Guess I’ll be doing a lot of testing of online content in the next week.

Currently the link just leads you to a lovely 404 page, “The requested URL /pub/shockwave/default/english/macosx/latest/Shockwave_Installer_Full.dmg was not found on this server.”

Visual evidence of SW11
Click on image to see Shockwave 11 links

2 comments March 24th, 2008

Director 11…this week??

So Director is supposed to be available for download tomorrow (or in the next few days). If Adobe is like Apple, they’ll release it on Tuesday. [Don’t get me started on the Adobe/Apple cage match that has been going on for a few years…ugh].

Guess we’ll have to wait and see. Will tomorrow be like Christmas in March?

As soon as I get it I’ll let you know. If anyone gets the “download now” message from Adobe let me know 🙂

5 comments March 23rd, 2008

Changes to site…

I had a few problems with the server this sits on during the past few days, so I’ve got to make a few changes to things. Unfortunately, I’m off in DC for a good chunk of this coming week.

This site should “mostly” function during the week, but a few things may be askew.

Since Director 11 is still rumored to be out around March 24th I’ll be sure things are nailed back in place by then 🙂

Add comment March 15th, 2008

What is the (system)Date? Year, Month, Day, and Second.

One thing about Director is that the help files are often missing things. One key thing is time (I heard it keeps on ticking). Think about all these different things (roughly grouped) – feel free to start typing in the message window.

the ticks

the milliseconds

the date
the long date

the time
the long time

the systemDate

What are all these things? Well…some are old, some are new, some are undocumented, and some are blue (ok…maybe not). Running a little script to show each of those items you get the following:

— “2861209 = the ticks”
— “2861210 = _movie.ticks()”

— “47686843 = the milliseconds”
— “47686848 = _system.milliseconds”

— “3/2/08 = the date”
— “Sunday, March 2, 2008 = the long date”
— “3/2/08 =”
— “3/2/08 =”

— “8:14 PM = the time”
— “8:14:21 PM = the long time”
— “8:14 PM = _movie.time()”
— “8:14 PM = _system.time()”

— “date( 2008, 3, 2 ) = the systemDate”
— “date( 2008, 3, 2 ) = _movie.systemDate()”
— “2008 = _movie.systemDate().year”
— “3 = _movie.systemDate().month”
— “2 = _movie.systemDate().day”
— “72861 = _movie.systemDate().seconds”

Here is the really quick explanation (as far as I know).

the ticks (or _movie.ticks) are divisions of time that are equal to approximately 1/60 of a second (slight variance on different platforms/computers). I’m not sure when they start counting (i.e. when would it show 0 ticks). the milliseconds (or _system.milliseconds) are the number of milliseconds (1/1000 of a second) that have passed since it started counting – and once again, I’m not sure when it starts counting. the date, and all return the same value (at least in my case). I believe that the format of these will vary based on your international settings on your computer.

the long date provides the name of the day and the month. This is older Lingo. I’m not aware of a modern way to get this value. Does anyone know of anything such as that might give the same information? The long date is rather unique (or should I say old?).

the time, _movie.time, and _system.time all provide the same value, but once again, there is the long time which includes the seconds and is unique and old. Does anyone know if there is a modern (dot syntax) version of that?

the systemDate (modern version is provides the date in the format of (year, month, day). This is supposed to be uniform across international systems. From this date you can easily get the year, month or day as was shown above. The most interesting part is that you can also get the seconds past midnight with the _movie.systemDate().seconds.

Between all those things you can usually come up with at least one time or date that seems interesting. Of course, if you want a bit more you could also use javascript or an actionscript object via lingo to get even more times and dates.

Some interesting resources related to this:

Director Online article
Mediamacros script

Using actionscript objects with date/time:
Director Dev Center Article
ActionScript dictionary for date objects

8 comments March 2nd, 2008

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