Thoughts from Week 1 of Director 11

March 31st, 2008

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.

Entry Filed under: Daily thoughts,Director 11

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Marcel  |  April 1st, 2008 at 4:37 am

    This release has been so bizarrely low key so far… not even a word mentioned about it yet on Adobe’s own Shockwaves blog (?). I do hope Director 11 proves to be a launching pad to better things and not a buggy last-ditch swan song release! So far it seems like calling it Director 10.5 would have been more apt than D11… I think 8.5 had more improvements over 8 than 11 does over 10…

  • 2. Normand Desjardins  |  April 2nd, 2008 at 12:20 am

    Having no Linux support – given the numbers of Ubuntu distribution and others (nearing Mac market share) Director can not be called multi-platform anymore.

    Even Flash has player support on Linux. It’s normal, the Mac OS is parent to Linux in many ways – meaning a not so difficult port.

    I’ll get back on the Director train when there will be an Adobe commitment to true multiplatform again. I am a long time Director developper – since Macromind! But there is no more Window$ or BlingBling Mac on my desktops, so…

  • 3. projectmanagement  |  April 2nd, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    they should advertise more about it!

  • 4. Marty Plumbo  |  April 3rd, 2008 at 7:05 am

    Yeah, we’re all using Linux now.

    All 1% of us.

  • 5. Normand Desjardins  |  April 4th, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    What’s your problem with Linux M. Plumbo?

    First, its users share is more like 4%, and growing. Did Macromedia abandonned Mac when its share had fallen to 3% in the late 90′? No. Because otherwise, Director would have not been a “multiplatform” product.

    Now the new reality is that there is 3 serious competing OS. If we can consider Window$ has a serious product. 😉

    Even Flash has its base in Linux with a player on par with the Mac/Windows version. Adobe AIR will be launch soon for various Linux distributions.

    So, I am asking : Why not Director, if it is still a “produce ONCE, publish EVERYWHERE” development tool? Museums, schools and kiosk producers would benefit greatly not having to pay for OS license on each machine running a Director multimedia application.

  • 6. Brennan Young  |  April 6th, 2008 at 8:53 am

    Mac OS X is not the parent of Linux. The open source core system (Darwin) is a variant of FreeBSD, which shares ‘inspirational’ lineage with Linux, but that’s all. The kernel is completely different.

    Even porting Director to one of the other BSDs would be a major headache, because Director, for good or evil, relies on the many closed/proprietary software layers Apple has built on top of Darwin, such as Aqua and Carbon. All this becomes screamingly obvious if you run Apple’s X11 environment for OS X.

    I would much rather Adobe focused on getting Director to work properly on the currently supported platforms (including Mac PPC, but I guess that’s already asking too much). A bit of promotion would also be tremendously helpful in getting the Director community to stay faithful.

    If you want to target Linux with multimedia content today, go with Flash, or perhaps Revolution (or its variants).

  • 7. Marty Plumbo  |  April 9th, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Wikipedia puts the combined Linux distributions on the desktop at a multiply-referenced 1%. I’d be willing to double it to be safe and call it 2%, but 4%? No way.

    I do like Linux, I am waiting for Ubuntu 8, and I dream of a day when OS’s are all open source. But for now, making a Publish to Linux option in Director makes about as much sense as a Publish to BeOS or Publish to AmigaOS option, IMHO. Director barely has the ability to Publish to MacOS, after all, at least in its current form.

    I say they should fix it. Fix it some more. Then fix it. Then promote it.

    Sadly, after the D11 launch, I don’t think they’ll do any of those.

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