Posts filed under 'Daily thoughts'

Director 12, Publish to iOS

I made a very basic video showing the new Director 12 and the publish to iOS process. I don’t include all the details about getting your Apple Developer stuff all set up or what should go in the info.plist, so don’t expect this to answer all those sorts of questions.

The iOS part begins around the 2:45 mark. Best if viewed in a larger window 🙂

Update: I forgot to mention one thing that is very important. In Xcode be sure you choose Xcode > Preferences > Downloads and make sure you install the Command Line Tools. If you don’t do this Director looks like it publishes, but you won’t see any output file.

2 comments February 20th, 2013

Lack of Posts, New Blog.

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] http://bit.ly/hl0H7X. 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:

TapTapPhotoApps.com
iOSPhotoApps.com

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 🙂

7 comments April 9th, 2011

I’m still around…

Yes, it has been awhile since I posted. Maybe that is because I haven’t been doing a lot with Director lately, or maybe I’m just sick of the web in general 🙂

Be sure to follow me on twitter just in case I get around to doing short/sweet posts. I noticed the other day I have lots of comments awaiting approval that my WordPress never bothered to let me know about. I’ll get to that this weekend.

There was a rumor on Direct-L that an announcement related to Director may happen in a few weeks, so if anything happens I’ll be sure to let you know. I just wish they would get a version of Shockwave for OSX 10.6. Such is life.

Add comment April 1st, 2010

Director Sites Going, Going…

It was pointed out on Direct-L forums that another Director site has vanished from the web. The site titled Animation Math in Lingo by JM Harward now has an expired URL (http://www.jmckell.com/). Having sites go away is never good. You can still see an old version of the site on the Internet Archive.

In the meantime, I continue to hope that a version of Shockwave that runs on a Mac (without having to flip my bits) shows up one of these days. Please…pretty please.

7 comments February 22nd, 2010

First Director, Now Flash?

There was an interesting post on FanBoy.com the other day asking if Flash was nearing the end of its life. It starts out mentioning how Director used to be king.

During the CD-ROM era of the 90s the only real game in town was Macromind Director. The program first started life out as an animation program bit with the boom in multimedia Director gained a programming language called Lingo and had a loyal following. Then the damn web came along and ruined it all: There was a web version of Director called Shockwave, but due to the overhead of bitmap graphics another program called Flash started to build rapid momentum. Macromedia would acquire Flash and rumor has it that Director is still around but the notion of getting a Lingo gig is history. And now that it’s the year 2010 I’m seeing the same thing slowly start to happen to Flash all over again.

I continue to wonder if Director is dead. The total lack of support for Shockwave on OSX 10.6 is really starting to feel like a nail in the coffin. Expecting casual computer users to flip the browser to run in 32-bit mode is something that just won’t happen. Since I’ve devoted the past fifteen years of my career to creating educational content for Shockwave I’m starting to feel I need to give it up and let the software gods pull my old Director 4 CD from my cold dead fingers.

In a thread on the Adobe Director forum malcomvincent said this:

In the education community, cross platform is more than a nice-to-have, it’s beyond important. If Shockwave isn’t available on the standard Mac setup it’s useless. If the Director IDE isn’t being actively developed for the current OS it’s not a dependable thing to predicate a development programme on.

We had this for a while with Rosetta / Firefox / OSX and after a fraught period of fighting with clients using Safari native for everything else and Firefox with Shockwave in Rosetta, everyone just gave up and we had to drop Mac support.

Director 11 / Shockwave on Macs was the only chance we have of staying with Director at all. To find that we are left high and dry with no solution again after six months of usable time in 10.5 is criminal on Adobe’s part.

The shockwave install on PCs is bad enough … it’s only saved because of the MSI version.

When OS X first came out, Safari was the problem browser, at least Firefox / Rosetta / Shockwave was 90% dependable. Now Firefox / Shockwave is 100% undependable and all we have is Safari / Shockwave which is at best 90% dependable. To find that Adobe have taken that away is unbelievable.

Get your act together guys. Adobe appear to be killing Director as a product without admitting to it.

You can kill it by saying you are killing it, or you can kill it by starvation. At least owning up and saying you are stopping development would give us a clear path, we could cut our losses and make a decision on what to do next.

Giving a little bit of encouragement and then taking away all hope repeatedly is a very immoral thing to do.

*Furious*
Education Software Developer
UK

That sums it up. Every day I wonder if the End-Of-Life statement for Director will be released. I’ve been spending a lot of time learning ActionScript. I just haven’t been able to become a fan. I think Lingo ruined me. I didn’t have to worry about case. If I missed a little bracket I wouldn’t be presented with bizarre error statements. I could say ‘i = 1’ just by typing that. In AS3 it requires about fifty lines (maybe that is a minor exaggeration).

The reason Flash has become such a hot topic in the past week was the introduction of the iPad (please…no jokes about the name). The iPad does not support Flash. This has the web community rather split. Some say who cares, others think Flash is the only thing worth seeing on the web.

I’m somewhat neutral on the topic. I use FlashBlock on Firefox to avoid most everything, but there are some specific things I want to see (such as what I create). But on the iPad, I have an opinion. I want one. I plan to order one as soon as I can. It will be able to do all the typical things I do in the evening. Browsing, reading, catching up on email, an occasional game, etc.

I also played with GameSalad the other day. It took me about 25 minutes to make a small educational app for my iPhone (or iTouch or iPad). I found the interface simple and straightforward. I felt comfortable with the program. When I first started playing with Director back in 1994 I found that easy to use. It became my favorite toy, and then my career.

Will GameSalad become my next toy? Will my career turn towards the iPhone/Touch/Pad? I don’t know, but I can’t wait to get that iPad in my hands and see what I can do with it.

Or maybe Director will rise from the dead. What are the odds? What is Adobe thinking?

7 comments February 3rd, 2010

Number of Director Developers = ???

This past week a FOSE 2009 took place. I’m not sure what FOSE stands for but the event was a technology tradeshow and conference for government IT. Someone from Adobe was speaking and said that there are about 200,000 Director developers.

Is that number larger than you thought? Smaller? Needless to say, this sparked a bit of discussion on the Direct-L mailing list this week. Does the number indicate “active” developers? People that occasionally use Director to maintain old content? Hard to say.

Several people that run sites talked about their stats*, and that brought up more issues. I personally know that stats can “show” most anything you choose. Using Google stats you can at least be sure you have the same program doing the analysis. 🙂

German Directorforum
Absolute Unique Visitors: 290,512 (1 year)

International Directorforum
Absolute Unique Visitors: 22,195 (11 months since launch)

Dean’s Director Tutorials
Absolute Unique Visitors: almost 65,000 (1 year)

And here at Director @ Night
Absolute Unique Visitors: 18,484 (11 months, was down for 1 month)

So what does this mean? Hard to say. I do know that this site does very little, but I still get visitors. I’d love to see stats on the Adobe Forums. Personally I think the 200k number is a bit high, but I would be willing to go with 100k. The bigger item of interest (to us Director developers) will be what happens to this number in the next few years as the new versions of Director get released. Amazon still shows Director 11.5 for April 4th. Adobe has been at the Game Developers Conference the past two years, so marketing is increasing. I even saw an ad for Director on my gmail page.

So are there 200,000 Director developers out there? As a Magic 8-ball might say, “Ask again later.”

*Stats are from Martin and Dean on Direct-L

2 comments March 15th, 2009

How to “Fix” Shockwave

I had this comment come in the other day but figured I’d make it a post since this is a big issue that has been popping up for years at my workplace.

Is there anybody who can tell me how to fix shockwave 11 it says it is installed, however it is not on my program list and when I try to play games that require it, it pops up saying 1 or more shockwave files are missing! Is there anyone out there that actually knows how to fix this! I am beginning to hate windows vista!

thank you

Lori

I can’t say much about Vista, and I could go in to great detail about what could be happening in some cases, but the short answer is this: download the Shockwave uninstaller, run it on your computer, and then download the FULL INSTALLER and not the default “slim” installer.

If that does not work, then it could be due to the content you are viewing. Some people use Xtras in the content, and many of those Xtras have not been updated to work with Shockwave 11.

In any event, running the uninstaller, followed by a full installation solves this sort of problem for the vast number of users that have issues like the one you described. Hope that helps out.

Note: On the Mac version the uninstaller is bundled with the installer, but for Windows you’ll have to download the uninstaller separately.

Add comment January 15th, 2009

Long Lost Blog…is Back!

I’ve been rather silent on the web lately, but I’m back. Where have I been? Here is the quick story…just for fun 🙂

In November the site got hacked a bit. That caused a bit of downtime. In mid-November my site went down for almost two weeks when I was on the road at MAX. I’d been hosting the site in my house on a Mac Mini, but my internet provider decided to make a change to my DSL-modem at a very bad time. The good side is that I moved the site to a real provider so I don’t have to worry when the power goes out here in town (which happens a lot!).

As December rolled around life in my office was a bit stressful. We had a deadline that had to get done. I started dreaming about Lingo. Since I hadn’t taken a day off all year I was supposed to be done as of December 1, but I got called in for one bonus week to do one last Gizmo. It was close, but it got done.

A day later I headed off to Minneapolis to teach an Introduction to Director course (see…Director isn’t dead!) for a week. I got to enjoy a snowstorm that was going on the night I got in to town, and then some good sub-zero weather. I really loved the skywalk system they had in the downtown area. I also enjoyed getting a chance to teach, since I hadn’t done that in a few years.

After a week in Minneapolis I headed off to Boulder, Colorado. I was housesitting and got to take care of a few dogs, a few cats, and a few plants. Relaxing. Got to enjoy a few good hikes in the mountains, and a few good evenings at the local pubs.

While out at MAX I bought an iPhone. While in Minneapolis and in Boulder I found myself using various features constantly. I can’t believe I lived so long without buying one, and can’t picture not having one ever again. I barely use the actual “phone” part of the device, but the rest makes it worth it.

Some of the apps are amazing. I downloaded the iPhone SDK the other day and installed it. I wonder how long it takes to create a simple app in my spare moments…guess I’ll find out in the next few months.

Vacation is now over. I’m back at work. This year I’ll be learning far more Flash, still doing lots in Director, and maybe creating something for the iPhone. I’m also waiting for Adobe CS4 to show up in my office. Gotta love new toys at the start of the year. And with the new year, it is time to get this site back in shape after the hack/downtime. Stay tuned…

Director @ Night is back from vacation 🙂

2 comments January 13th, 2009

Keep COSI in Toledo

A lot of Director developers do work for museums ranging from creating kiosks to designing programs that would allow you to control robots that dig around in a big pile of sand (a virtual Mars).

When I lived in Michigan I would occasionally help out at COSI Science Museum in Toledo. It was always great to see kids learning a wealth of science in a true hands-on fashion. Unfortunately, COSI had to close its doors to the public at the end of 2007.

They are currently trying to get a levy passed in Toledo (Lucas County) this November so that the museum can be reopened. A number of people have been working nonstop for the past year in this effort. If you live in the area I hope you will help out and Keep COSI going with your vote.

Add comment October 5th, 2008

Survey: Director and its Users

If you have a half hour (or so) to take part in a very detailed survey about Director to help develop the Director roadmap then this is your lucky day. From the survey page:

“This survey attempts to take a snapshot of the Director userbase and look ahead to what would make for a stronger Director product.

The survey goes beyond a feature wish list. It investigates how features translate into real projects.

Estimated time required for survey: 25 – 45 minutes

This is the most detailed Director survey in history. The amount of time required will depend on how many feature categories you choose to focus on and how many examples you provide. I STRONGLY encourage you download the PDF version of the survey to review the questions and features covered. Once you have put your thoughts together, you can then enter your answers online. The PDF also contains web links in the Language Improvements question (section 3, question 24), which could also be explored before answering the question.”

Add comment September 9th, 2008

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