The intention of the meeting was to make it clear that the community expects and deserves information about Adobe's roadmap. The first question I put to Adobe was does Director have a roadmap and what's preventing Adobe from discussing it. That question wasn't really answered. The roadmap was put simply that Director is being developed as primarily a Shockwave games development tool. Anyway, will post more once I speak to Adobe which I hope will be tomorrow.
The meeting uncovered some of the features for Director Next - mainly in the area of 3D. That was actually the main substance of what was communicated. There was not much depth to other questions which covered Adobe's view on Xtra development, price, support for other platforms, new types of media...
Anyway, will post more once I speak to Adobe which I hope will be tomorrow.
Jesus, Dean - its already after meeting and normally It would be entirely published as audio on Tweeter or whatever but not in case of Director... It's damn magma - a saucerful of secrets - we do not know nothing. This only enhances the nasty athmospere around Director - muddy software, muddy peaple, muddy ground.
Honestly - I seriously doubt anybody is going to follow this nonsens...
Dean - you make a ridicule. Publish what you have asap and stop doing like Adobe's advocat. There is nothing to clarify. This software is dead. KAPUT. This is decision by Adobe - f.u.c.k them and their mysterious communications! Who cares...
>Dean - you make a ridicule.
First, it's important to realise that any frustrations you have with Adobe or Director should not equate to a negative perception of my effort.
The Director ecosystem does work differently to others. Twitter, publishing to audio, video, recording in general was just not possible. Not my decision.
As I mentioned, there was not a lot of substance to what was discussed. And because I was taking notes in the talk, I wanted to make sure I was getting things down accurately before posting.
To give you something to chew on, here's what was mentioned on the feature updates for the next release :
- Bump Map
- Parallax Mapping
- Cube Mapping
- Flash 10.2 Support
- Option for Additive Transparency to set as a global value
- Option for creating Mac-Intel-only projector to support Apple's code signing
- Import DAE files
- Bug fixes
- And more...
AS3 is already supported as of the last hotfix (11.5.8). If you have 11.5 already, just do the automatic update under Help inside of Director and it will get the latest version. I have been doing some pretty hardcore AS3 stuff lately with no problems. You also have much better communication between Flash sprites and Director, and you can use Flex components.
I just tried the update, abd it says I am up-to-date...
When I go to About Director, it does not show the update.
I went to the Director update page: http://www.adobe.com/support/director/downloads.html
It is not there...
My copy is legit, and registered. Any thoughts?
- Bump Map
- Parallax Mapping
- Cube Mapping
- Flash 10.2 Support
- Option for Additive Transparency to set as a global value
- Option for creating Mac-Intel-only projector to support Apple's code signing
- Import DAE files
IMHO - it's mostly bunch of pointless improvements Adobe will try to sell for yet another $1000... Parallax mapping is the only real value...
No basic code refactoring, no multithreating, no DX9 (or higher)... CRAP !!!
Dean - forgive me but - tell me - why the hell do you hung on Director's wire?
It is a bit confusing to see such a mouse born from mountain. After more than two years of silence Adobe delivered a smelling furt.. No joy to participate in such a game... It's so obvious their only real target is to get these several hundreds bucks last time from the old cow they already abandoned and left to die.
Bye Dean - I am totally disappointed!
If you still have trouble, then you should open a new thread for this problem since it really has nothing to do with the stated intention of this thread which is about the Director meeting... but, you can check the version you are using by entering this in the message window:
put the productVersion
If it comes up saying that you have "11.5.8", then that is the most recent version and you have what you need. If you are using a version lower than 11.5, then you would need to purchase the current 11.5 version and update it.
well, i'm agree that Adobe is not giving us support or informations ( except for Dean's Forum work ).
Btw i'm also very happy to use Director because i'm sure it still the best multimedia - game - prototype creator program.
Thanks to Director i still have very important clients and i can "shock" them with excellent products.
With the next new features i can improve the 3D quality of my products and i can't wait to receve the v.12 !
i'm just disappointed that Android will not be supported soon...
Thank you Dean for your great job!
OK, I said I'd post a summary. Was trying to get additional details from Adobe so could be accurate. Have got some new info. Will post what I have, starting with the questions I forwarded to Adobe. Please note that I what I cover below is simply what I understand Adobe as saying, not my view. I am saying this as there have been comments that I'm just a mouthpiece for Adobe.
Q1. Does Director have a roadmap and what is preventing Adobe from discussing it?
The answer was not very thorough or clear.
The roadmap was described as the current focus for Director being Games and in particular 3D. Part of this involves promoting Shockwave in games portals and taking a 'business model' approach, which is laying the groundwork for Shockwave business.
I spoke to Krishnan today and he said that the payload income is not the focus. They have chosen 3D features for online and offline as it was seen as the most critical area for updating at this stage. The intention is to address media support as the next key focus.
Krishnan mentioned that the Adobe team realise that Director has a lot to do to catch up. They want to get Director into a state with "robust functionality", which would be needed for attracting new users.
Q2. Does the Adobe Director team believe it is sufficiently resourced to meet its roadmap?
The short answer was yes.
Q3. Why is there minimal marketing of Director?
Answer seemed to be along the lines of this 'business model' approach in marketing Shockwave for portals and games. There was nothing to elaborate on why there isn't more marketing to new users, or why there is no dedicated Product Manager or Evangelist. I was told someone is coming on board in more of a marketing context, not sure the exact nature of this role.
Q4. Why does Adobe Director have no one to engage with the community?
No real answer - other Adobe staff will take on some community engagement roles but they appear to be spread pretty thin. Allen will do some Director evangelising but focus is on e-learning. Adobe realise they have been falling short in communication and use of social media and will said they will improve in this area.
Talking to Krishnan now, he has said there will be more discussions in the prerelease to start soon. He has also said Adobe would participate in more live discussions like the last one.
Q5. Does Adobe realise the value Xtra developers play to Director and have Adobe considered ways to maintain the life of this important business?
In the meeting, it sounded like Shockwave was the main priority to Adobe, although Krishnan has followed that up with me saying that projector development is just as important. It was mentioned in the meeting (by Adobe) that Xtras can have security issues. Adobe is open to suggestions on how to support Xtras, but is not an priority at this stage.
On the topic of Xtras, someone asked if Adobe would buy the OS Control Xtra. The answer was that Adobe is willing to buy this Xtra. The Xtra has already been sold and the speculation was that Adobe had made that purchase. Tridib said that Adobe have not bough OS Control Xtra.
Q6. How are the 3D capabilities of Director developing?
As mentioned, 3D is the main focus of the next update. Allen spoke about the features already mentioned.
Q7. Is there an intention for Director move to a 64 bit version?
Most Director libraries don't support 64 bit. 64 bit version is a high priority item for Adobe.
Q8. Is there an intention for support of new OS/Platforms? (android, ipad, iphone, symbian, windows 7 mobile, windows 7, the new mac os x version lion, linux, and others)
The intention is to support latest Windows and Mac OSs, nothing else at this stage. Adobe have an interest in mobiles but no immediate plans to move in this direction.
Q10. How is the Adobe team addressing the price of Director, which far exceeds that of other Adobe products, particularly for the education market?
The answer in the meeting suggested that a price change would not necessarily attract more users so the plan was not to make changes. However, further conversations with Krishnan suggests pricing is under review.
Well, that will be all for now.
Adobe shows some complete indolency in understanding Director's natural market.
It was never games. Games was... an incident. Now web games and gaming is Flash and Unity3D - both much better suited to needs of this market taking into account their server side environment, multiplatform suport, software integration and last but not least - user/community base.
Natural market for Director were always business multimedia applications and educational market. Online "serious games" market niche was also present but far from domination.
The reason for that was simple - wide media support, xtras extensibility and source code protection.
Rapid switching to 3D online games in case of Director/Shockwave must be a failure. What that special Director has to offer? Let's sum-up:
- poor, outdated 3D engine
- lack of integrated 3D editor
- poor integration with 3D content creation software
- crazy pricing (Director: $999 while Unity3D basic: FREE, and amazingly powerfull Unity3D Pro: $1500)
- lack of mobile platforms support
Consequently, yet another time we observe total neglect of actual Director developers needs while Adobe management tries to push Director into pointless cul-de-sac. They will loose already dimishing xtras developers, they will loose multimedia applications, they will finally kill Director for good. Idiots. And one must be an idiot too to bind his/her career with an application managed in such a barbaric way.
And last but not least...
Dean, while I understand you tried t do your best, actual body of information you were able to receive from Krishan is... microscopic. I would even say, all the information you have got "for sure" is bad news. The good news are always unclear, uncertain and foggy. No wonder if you noticed the actual situation of Director at Adobe's website. Is there any other application out there what brings you "page not found" error after clicking "Buy online" link? Try it yourself: http://www.adobe.com/go/buydirector !
Hmm - this is indeed somethng masochistic that I loose my time posting that here, but once upon a time I used to do a lot in Director. But that's over already. I was fed-up with Macromedia / Adobe's way of managing this program. I spent too much time on bloody workarounds to get the simplest, most natural functionality. Fully functional LDM were never delivered, fully functional OS GUI widgets were never delivered, fully functional bug-free text engine was never delivered, and finally they have blocked FlashXtra HTTP movie streaming what was really kind of knee-shot. Somebody at Adobe's management had thought really hard to invent this - buhahaha !
The worst aspect of Director, and the one keeping away new users is this .w3d requirement for doing 3D. Director should import more standard 3D formats. The fact that you need to convert to w3d is terrible. There are almost no exporters for this format. The converters are bad, you lose the animation, etc..
This .w3d thing should be extinguished. By the way, the future of 3D on the web is WebGL.
>> The worst aspect of Director, and the one keeping away new users is this .w3d requirement for doing 3D.
This is only one of a few "worst aspects" of Director actualy :-)
>> the future of 3D on the web is WebGL
Probably it is, but it is a long perspective... For the time being WebGL delievers 2005-like graphics quality. Complete crap...
Incidentally, one thing that they said at the meeting that Dean did not add in his summary, is that they are looking at adding a collada importer so users would not be constrained by the fact that most new 3d software does not come with a w3d exporter.
Hi guys. Dean, thanks for taking the initiative here and getting some information out.
I've got a simple question, which probably has a simple answer, but I don't know anything about software architecture or programming beyond Lingo, so I'll bounce it off you folks.
As FlashPlayer is unable to process Director files - consequently is AIR. The reason for that is simple: Director objects and classes do not match Flash objects and classes.
For the time being maximum what was possible with Director was "export as Java" feature what used an Xtra to translate Director-specific classes into appropriate JavaBeans. That also had it's limitations as Java - by nature is platform neutral environment, while Director actually is not. There were also additional limitation related to the Java code processing slightly different to what Director does.
I'm understanding your question to be simply - why can't AIR support Shockwave (Director published content).
Next, Director differs from other content supported in AIR in that it allows for Xtras - plugins/add-ons to the software.
So, making AIR communicate with Shockwave would involve one set of functionality to just read the Shockwave specific content, then the other would be to how to deal with Xtras.
As I'm writing this, I see Ziggizag has provided an answer too. In essense eitehr Director would have to be translated into a format more suited to AIR, or AIR would have had to be designe dto have the functionality to understand Dierctor content. Either was too big a job for Adobe. Many Director developers think that Adobe would have been smarter to make Director the AIR type tool. In other words, develop up director to a greater degree to do what AIR does now. But Alas, Adobe created a new tool for this role.
Thanks for the clear explanations, Ziggizag and Dean. As my primary concern is 2D sort of stuff, and there doesn't seem to be much of a Director roadmap for functionality of interest to a lot of us, I guess I might have to look into Live Code.
I was really excited when I found Dean's initial thread about the meeting with the Director folks. I've been working on a Director project for about 3 years and have just been sitting on it for the last year, waiting to see if Director is going to be supported into the future. Kind of a point of no return for me, as I don't want to start over from scratch, finding out down the road that any new platform I pursue doesn't have the functionality I need. Director was perfect, but now seems limited on account of the noncommittal development approach.
Any other options for "Director like" 2D capabilities/simplicity which are being actively developed? I guess that depends on what I'm trying to do with it, doesn't it. How complex can I get with the current edition of Flash?
I know some people following this don't want to see this thread take this sort of tangent, but I think a lot of us are wondering anew "where to now?".
Director's sprite engine is a disaster. Slow like hell (missing hardware acceleration), no nested movies - just single timeline (ok - you may try to use LDMs but they are pretty buggy), you can only get real speed working directly on the Image object but then you have to manage all interactivity yourself in Lingo) and there is no basic collision tests natively implemented, so you need to script them in Lingo again - with all the performance punishment.
Really - besides handling a bunch of media formats there is nothing sexy in Director any more...
Sincerely the best approach is from Microsoft with Expression Blend but they are a bit behind with adoption of standards for various operating systems and browsers. I saw some presentations about it and I love the workflow. I think it`s the fastest tool for UI prototyping (SketchFlow - http://www.microsoft.com/expression/products/SketchFlow_Overview.aspx).
Both Macromedia and Adobe took a strange development decision. They thought Flash will replace Director. The time proved they were wrong, but Director it`s showing the age.
By the way Flash Molehill it`s a bit late at the 3D table. Maybe it will have a chance with Unity decision to publish to Flash.
By the way – Microsoft and Autodesk learned (maybe in the hard way) that a good relation with clients in development stages and good feedback (public surveys, webinars, forum activity) it`s the best way to make a good product.
I have to agree. It's time to move on.
What are the choices? I've listed some. What are others doing?
Flash - also Adobe
AIR - also Adobe
I know some of these are not for the web. I develop Kiosk apps so in Director I use a projector. I really have no interest in staying with Adobe. They suffer (or rather we suffer) from customer no-service.
Dean, Tks in advance for you actitude. Im Pablo, from Latin America community, and sorry for my bad english. Some words to some frustrated members: We have a hugue repository of software tools in market that can give us answers to our frustrations, if we dont find what we need on Director, and we have the intelligence to decide. Here we are a lot of old Macromedia users, that remember -almost in a romantic way- that period when Director, Havok, Shockwave 3D and Multiplayer. But! the world didnt stop, only see the smile of Flash / ActionScript 3 programmers in this days when multitouch, AR, mobile devices, and hundreds of etcs are in the top of the needs of market. Anyway, Adobe let Director too much time forgotten, and after that will be difficult to dream with that rich and not confrontational community that existed years ago. And about me, Director has given me to live, so I have more appreciation than criticism.
>Dean, Tks in advance for you actitude.
Thanks Pablo, You are right. People who are unhappy with Director can move to other applications rather than venting their frustrations on here and towards people that are not responsible for the state of affairs. And yes, a lot of existing users are people that have a romantic / nostalgic connection to Director. Regardless of what happens with Director, the community is amazing and I’ve enjoyed being part of it and contributing in ways I can. Hopefully, that will continue for while longer.
Honestly speaking, I am rather friendly and helpful guy, whose experience with Director is not negectable, so when somebody deserves help I try to help.
I am a part of Director community as you are. I started with Director 5 - long long time ago.... I remember this particulary open, friendly atmosphere on macromedia.director Usenet group. Consequenty, my attitude towards Director's users is very positive But this is not the case when we are talking about Adobe. I hope you can distinguish these two things and understand. I have nothing against you and I appreciate your efforts, but I do not believe in their results. If I am wrong - beter to all of us, but please, do not ask me to be enthusiastic here. Adobe remains as snotty as it used to be and I have no single reason to think anything has changed recently. So - I remain sceptical and even sardonic sometimes. And yes, I do not use Director any more (or I use it VERY rarely). I did not uninstall it for the time being - it's still a program I can very quickly do many simple things with, so I find it useful. But I do not go into serious projects with Director any more. Good days of this application have gone and it's really hardly possible anytime they will come back.
>Honestly speaking, I am rather friendly and helpful guy…
Ziggi – your last post was friendly and polite. This has not been the case with many of your others. While you say you’re just angry at Adobe, you have taken that out on me. For example:
- Dean - you make a ridicule.
- Bye Dean - I am totally disappointed!
- And giving me the finger in the other thread. OK, that may have been for Adobe, but Adobe staff don’t read these forums and so your message is directed to me.
I don’t expect you to be enthusiastic and positive about Director, Adobe, or even me for that matter. What I don’t appreciate is confrontational responses clearly directed at me when all I’m doing is trying to support the community.
"Dean - you make a ridicule" - that was indeed to you and that was about the slow and IMHO too careful way you published the chat summary. Not that offence anyway...
"Bye Dean - I am totally disappointed" - that was about Adobe. I am totally disappointed with the outcome of this chat. Adobe's guys were as usual, snotty, ignoring voice of the community, providing little or no information. Definitely it was not about you. Sorry if you did not get his.
The finger was to let everybody what I think about Adobe. You say Adobe staff do not read this thread - that only confirms what is Adobe attitude to Director community... All of us should show them the finger, IMHO...
My confrontational style is directed ONLY at Adobe not at you, Dean. Sorry once again if I hurted you incidentally.
As a long term Director developer I have been following this thread with great interest.
To say that Director has been good to me is a huge understatement. I have made my living from Director applications for business for about 14 years... and at this moment have nearly 1,200 customers around the world running my Director digital sign applications. Some of the customers include Proctor and Gamble, Nestle, Purina, Ratheon, all four branches of the U.S. military, Disney, the Bank of Greece, Coca Cola, etc etc etc. I have even produced 3D games and animations for Disney, and my kiosk applications are being used in their theme parks today.
Although Director has shortcomings that need work, it has allowed me to create applications at a lower cost than other companies could, giving me a competetive edge. The applications are solid, and work reliably for years and years, helping me earn a reputation for quality.
What is wrong with Director is the ownership. Adobe has, for years, "been going in a different direction" making Director the red-headed step child in their product lineup. They wish they could just kill it off, but it keeps generating revenue (damn!), and it has a faithful community of developers that love it.
Clearly, they do not understand the product and its uses. I believe the best synopsis was written in this forum, where someone said, "it is the Swiss Army Knife of Application Development." That is exactly it. It is awesome for putting together a solid application that runs on PC or Mac very quickly. It is really a business-to-business tool. Yes, it can be used for 3D development, but few (that I know) would use it primarily for game development.
Given the overall situation, I believe the real storyline here should be that Adobe sell Director to someone who gets it, is willing to continue its development, and is willing to promote its use. Maybe a user-community buy-out might make sense... ridding Director of the immense Adobe overhead and lack of focus would do wonders to free it up, and make it viable in the marketplace.
I would like to see these discussions with Adobe take a different tack. It looks like what has transpired so far is resulting in more of the same. A new direction is really needed.
You make valid points. I relate to a lot of what you’ve said. Director has been very good to me too.
The topic of Director’s sale has come up before by the community (i.e. developers that appreciate its value and realise its potential).
Here’s my take on things.
The problem for Director was Flash and the direction of Macromedia when it took off. I was looking at a video interview with Marc Canter (creator of Director and founder of Macromind-Macromedia) where he talks about the history of multimedia, Director and beyond:
Marc Canter: The master of multimedia speaks
Is interesting that he says he was an advocate for Director having the full vector output capability prior to the emergence of Flash. Marc was passionate about Director. He created it from scratch and saw it become the flagship product of Macromedia.
A few years on, Burgess becomes CEO of Macromedia, sees the web as the big thing and decides to ditch almost everything non-web related. Macromedia had a 3D program that was discontinued. Sound Edit, which was seen as the best sound tool of the time, ceased development. Macromedia even developed a video editing software that was sold to Apple and became Final Cut Pro.
So Burgess’s focus (which seemed very narrow) was to put all energy and resources to a web focus. Director was an odd product. It could do web stuff but was so much more. But, Flash was in the limelight and imitated more and more of what Director could do. Microsoft is a company that has used its dominance in one area to try dominate another, to maintain all their products to maintain highest possible status. So, I think that type of approach could have allowed Flash to soar but still bring Director along with it. Macromedia seemed to allow the competition between Director and Flash and really let Director slide.
Then comes Adobe. It has a history of buying other companies and products to expand. It bought Macromedia for Flash. At that time, Director was a neglected product and Adobe didn’t quite know what to do with it. It was bringing in revenue (from deals with Google in the toolbar addon with the Shockwave install), so they continued development, perhaps not quite appreciating what it needed.
To the question about selling Director to a company that cares. Well, perhaps Burgess did consider selling it but not for the good of the product. Am sure when he sold the initial version of Final Cut, he did not realise what it would become. Today, companies would more likely buy products simply to kill them off and prevent potential competition. Director seems a good fit in Adobe – a company that covers all areas of digital media. However, its swiss army-knife classification is not working in its favour. It does too many things so is hard to maintain all of them – the 3D side, the application development side, the multimedia authoring. Would Adobe sell it? I would not think so as they would not want to risk it actually succeeding and competing with other Adobe products.
>> It is really a business-to-business tool. Yes, it can be used for 3D
>> development, but few (that I know) would use it primarily for game development.
Unless Adobe understands its basic fit (B2B) - Director is "living dead". Point.
I would like to fall onto the bandwagon here. I support Ziggizag 100%.
I have been using Director since it was owned by Macromedia and way back then Director was the way to go (I believe). Since then it has lost ground and speed in terms of development, support and keeping up with the times. Flash has definitely surpassed Director.
We, like puddin'head have created almost all of our content in Director and every year we hang in their hoping for some miracle to happen, the hype builds up towards an new release, which was/is long overdue, and then the upgrades are minimal compared to what one has to pay for the upgrade. We have this year made the call to move on, only after having tried to talk to somebody at Director (which is virtually impossible). It sounds like an easy decision but the implications are far reaching BUT hanging on like this is really not worth it.
Thinking back to the conversation, there were simple things that I suggested e.g. almost all of Adobe products have training available on Adobe TV. I asked why Director was not on there? The answer.... "it will not happen". Nothing more. Negative and a sign that there is no life left in Director.
Dean I thank you for all your effort but I must say the feedback to me looks so negative, life tapping and hanging onto something that will linger on like cancer (eating away slowly at the human body).
I personally wish that Adobe could make a stand and give us clear cut direction. All this up in the air stuff is going to cost my company a lot of money and I would like to point a finger in their direction.
To me this is sad!
You know what - I believe it's a little bit cultural issue how people perceive the faith of Director.
For most of the people of anglosaxon/american culture (let's call them the "yes-men") - the principal life strategy is optimistic. If there is a Director team within Adobe, if there is some Director-related development plan - wow - they tend to believe it's a sign of progress and they try (desperately) to keep optimism about the issue.
In a contrary - the (european) continental menatality is much more pessimistic - we do not trust corporate "wisdom". This is too dependent on unknown factors what we do not know. We observe facts. And what are the facts in case of Director? - You have already answered. We are coming to mid 2011 and what has happened? Besides this pointless "teleconference" - nothing actually! We can see Flash platform steady developing into all areas and the only difference between Director and Flash is... Adobe controlls all aspects of Flash while Director is extensible with xtras. This is the only difference. This is the true reason they decided to kill Director. They mimic the paradigm of Steve Jobs - "the ultimate controll". Point.