Lack of Posts, New Blog.

April 9th, 2011

Hi all. If you’ve noticed, I haven’t done many posts lately. There are a few reasons for this. The number one reason is that Director remains in a delicate place in the development world. A large number of people need multiple delivery platforms, particularly mobile apps, and Director can’t do that at this time (other than Mac/PC of course). I have barely played with mobile development but like the look of LiveCode/RunRev. It had a very old Director feel, but publishes to my iPhone (and many other platforms). Cool. I played with the trial version and remembered the early days of the “english language” programming (which I still do a bit of in Director from force of habit… go to the frame).

Another reason I’ve been a slacker on this site is that I’m now doing most of my work using the FlexBuilder Plug-in with Eclipse. I’m doing all my coding in Actionscript using an in-house framework. I just can’t quite get it. The unbelievably complexity of doing something like adding a push button crushes me. Multiple text files need to be edited and linked to one anther with long strings that barely mean anything to me. Hundreds of lines of code to make relatively simple things work. Packages. Importing math classes so you can multiply numbers. Class extensions. Endless subfolders along the lines of com.yada.deeper.something.why. The list of terms that I see every day is like a set of encyclopedias written in Klingon (yes, a sad geeky statement).

I’ve always been a very visual person. I can code, but I’m not a programmer. I loved Director because I could put things on the stage and then simply drag a behavior on to it. People use lots of terms for OOP, but I simply say “drag a behavior on to a sprite,” and that is all I ever needed to know with Director. Others could do vastly superior programming using really fancy OOP in Director, but that was not my real cup of tea. I was an experimental physicist in grad school, not a theorist. I needed to touch and see things.

Now, at the end of the day I never want to boot up my computer to play with Director (at night) since I’ve been crushed by the AS/Eclipse beast. Instead I play with photography on my iPhone, read news on my iPad, browse the web on my iPad, and often watch shows on my iPad. The day of work makes me not want to look at code.

I hope my tone doesn’t show that I have a problem with Director. I still love Director. When a prototype needs to get made I’ll always use Director. You can put things together in almost no time at all. In case you missed my tweet (I see my tweet connection on this site is broken…hmm), there was a story about how Director was used to prototype OSX: How Mac OS X Came To Be [Exclusive 10th Anniversary Story] Love it.

Director can make a code-protected application with the push of a button that will run on modern computers. Yes, there are problems with Director if you are doing complex things that involve 3rd party Xtras, but I rarely had the need for those (which shows how simple my stuff was). At this point you always have to be aware of limitations on the Mac/PC as far as Xtras go.

If Director allowed me to create apps for my iOS device I would be back to using it on many spare evenings. But at this moment I’ve been having more fun with photography at night. I’ll still do posts when interesting things happen with Director, and even more if I start using it a lot, but other than that this blog will still stay relatively quiet. And on that note…

I’m starting up a new blog where I’ll just talk about photo apps for the iPhone and iPad. I have a feeling it will be far more active than this blog, since it is so much easier to do a blog that focuses on something I currently enjoy.

I actually forgot how much thought has to go in to a brand new blog! My biggest challenge was which URL to choose. I grabbed two and haven’t really decided yet. One is catchy, one is straight to the point. The two I went with are:

I keep flipping. Both domains currently work, but for the moment I’m using the more straightforward URL. Hmmm…

If you have an iPhone or an iPad and enjoy taking pictures, be sure to bookmark my new playground. Right now it looks a bit bland (other than my cool photos that make it on to the blog 🙂 That will slowly change over time, but I really do enjoy blogs where the theme is just in the “background” and the content is the important part. On the other hand, maybe I should use a lot of blink tags with big red text. So many decisions…

See you all on Direct-L. I’m still lurking, and even have something to say on rare occasions 🙂

Entry Filed under: Daily thoughts

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Patrice Mallette  |  April 10th, 2011 at 2:38 am

    I have just discovered LiveCode for iOS today and was considering giving it a try. Looking at their online documentation, I had flashbacks of my beginnings using hypercard and director. Do you know if the end result can look professional enough to consider developing serious apps with it? How solid/complete a solution can it be, compared with director or flash, for example?

  • 2. Raman  |  April 11th, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    I’m really not sure about how end products look – I did very basic testing. I really wish trial periods for products would be some number of hours, and not 30 days…I always end up getting so busy I can’t really try things out.

    Some of the case studies on their site look interesting. It would be nice to know which iPhone/iPad apps were developed with it.

  • 3. jrdixey  |  April 13th, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    I enjoyed reading this post. Just found out over on the Director forum on that a live webconference took place today with the dev team for Director – I missed it, by several hours, and came here looking for a rumored transcript.

    Even for those of us who did fairly sophisticated stuff with OOPish frameworks built in Director and relying on all kinds of 3rd party xtras, the basic simplicity of stage, sprites and scripts, along with all those stored OOP routines, was key to being able to rapidly pull together rich media applications.

    I worked on a simple little application using another tool not too long ago, and had to put it aside when I realized that they had made zero provision for delivering without a live web connection to download and install player software. I went back to using Director, because at least I knew I could reliably create an .exe that I could load on a USB stick and distribute to use on Windows systems where the user doesn’t have the rights to install anything.

    I sure wish Adobe “got it” about Director, but clearly they don’t. Even the “Developers” link on the Adobe site for Director 11.5 now goes to an archive page (one that doesn’t even mention Director).

  • 4. Raman  |  April 14th, 2011 at 12:13 am

    I’ll try to post a quick summary of the online meeting in the next day or so. Sounds like 3D is the primary focus at this time.

    Sprites, stage, and scripts = simplicity 🙂 I also wish Adobe had made different decisions over the years.

  • 5. K-Hartmut  |  April 19th, 2011 at 12:39 am

    I’ve also been looking with dismay at the shift in programming style, away from the style in Director, that is fairly open to talented amateurs. Director got sidelined (as well as vastly overpricing it for what most less-than professional users can reasonably justify, unless the employer pays for it). My guess is that Adobe simply wants to train the world to become fixated on Flash, and therefore avoid nurturing competition from the Director line. Somewhat similar to how the U.S. auto manufacturers bought up railway lines in the early 1900s for the single reason to shut them down – to sell more cars.

    At Adobe, the hardcore pros started to dominate the development of Flash, and they are those who scoff at the amateurish ways of less-than-Programming-God tinkerers, and have heart attacks about the proper religion of Object Orientations etc. For heaven’s sake, don’t mix with the programming rabble.

    Director can do a whole lot of things quite nicely, whether it fits the current programmers religion or not. For those of us who are the programming rabble, it’s been taken from our hands, and assigned as the exclusive realm of those who spend years learning the programmer’s trade.
    And that’s very disappointing

  • 6. Agustin Maria Rodriguez  |  April 19th, 2011 at 9:47 am

    I agree it’s sad how Adobe dropped Director… For what I’ve been hearing (from non-programmers) about Unity 3D, it has the visual intuitive interface you seem to like. cheers

  • 7. Dale  |  September 5th, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    I too would be back to Director in a heartbeat if they came out with and export to IOS feature. I’ve seen a demo from GDC of an IOS ported Directed driving game, so it looks like it’s in the works. I’m currently using Livecode, which is ok, but nowhere near as nice as Director for animation etc. Fingers crossed Director 12 comes out this year!

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