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Director's Future Meeting - Summary and Evaluation

Apr 14, 2011 6:41 AM

Hi all,

I plan to give a summary of Wednesday's meeting but wanted to clarify a few things with Adobe before posting. For now, I'll give a brief summary.

 

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.


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.

 

regards
Dean

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 14, 2011 7:03 AM   in reply to Dean Utian

    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...

     
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    Apr 14, 2011 9:36 AM   in reply to Dean Utian

    Hi Dean!

     

    Thanks for your efforts here!

     

    I see Flash 10.2 support... Can I interpret this to mean that AS3 is also supported?

     

    Best wishes,

    ShovelRider

     
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    Apr 14, 2011 9:49 AM   in reply to ShovelRider

    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.

     
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    Apr 14, 2011 11:14 AM   in reply to Mike Blaustein

    Thanks Mike!

     

    Appreciated...

     

    C-

     
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    Apr 14, 2011 11:25 AM   in reply to Mike Blaustein

    Mike,

     

    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?

     

    Thanks,

    ShovelRider

     
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    Apr 14, 2011 11:30 AM   in reply to Dean Utian

    Dean wrote:

     

    - Bump Map
    - Parallax Mapping
    - Cube Mapping
    - Flash 10.2 Support
    - RenderToTexture
    - 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!

     
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    Apr 14, 2011 11:39 AM   in reply to ShovelRider

    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.

     
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    Apr 14, 2011 11:51 AM   in reply to Mike Blaustein

    Thanks again Mike...

     

    Will do.

     

    C-

     
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    Apr 14, 2011 4:05 PM   in reply to Mike Blaustein

    Mike

     

    Thanks for the 11.5.8 update thread.  I just did the auto update, which installed Hotfix 2

    and everything worked.  Now, my application plays Flash 10 perfectly!

     
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    Apr 14, 2011 11:29 PM   in reply to Ziggizag

    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!

     

    Mauro

     
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    Apr 15, 2011 1:21 AM   in reply to Dean Utian

    Hehe,

     

    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 !

     
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    Apr 15, 2011 1:29 AM   in reply to Dean Utian

    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.

     
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    Apr 15, 2011 1:41 AM   in reply to mdmoser

    >> 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...

     
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    Apr 15, 2011 3:31 AM   in reply to mdmoser

    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.

     
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    Apr 15, 2011 5:07 AM   in reply to Dean Utian

    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.

     

    Since AIR is able to publish apps written in Javascript from any of, what seem to me to be a loose mess of AJAX developer frameworks, why can't Adobe simply allow for AIR publishing of Director projects which are also written in javascript?  It would give publishing capabilities for browser and standalone apps on desktop and mobile platforms, which I would think would be a priority for most of us.  Given their ownership of Shockwave, Flash, and AIR, I would think working in all of the needed functionality would be a matter of some cutting and pasting (OK, probably an oversimplification).  What is the downside of several developer tools publishing through a single standard (AIR)?  If they have all the technology, why does mobile publishing appear to be such a back-burner issue for Director?  Is there a large technical chasm that makes this a lot more difficult than it would appear to someone like me who doesn't understand how any of this stuff works? 

     

    Thanks

     

    Puddin'

     
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    Apr 15, 2011 6:13 AM   in reply to puddin\'head

    Hi Puddin'Head,

     

    Adobe Integrated Runtime, also known as Adobe AIR, is a cross-platform runtime environment developed by Adobe Systems for building Rich Internet Applications (RIA) using Adobe Flash, Adobe Flex, HTML, Javascript and Ajax, that can be run as desktop applications.That means the base runtime engine propelling AIR applications is actually FlashPlayer enhanced with several AIR-only classes.

     

    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.

     

    Please notice - the thing you can use JavaScript in Director to manipulate Director objects does not mean these objects are written in JavaScript or that they can be easily converted into JavaScript objects. Actually, core Director classes were witten in plain unmanaged C++.

     
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    Apr 15, 2011 7:04 AM   in reply to Dean Utian

    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?".

     
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    Apr 15, 2011 8:24 AM   in reply to puddin\'head

    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...

     
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    Apr 15, 2011 10:35 AM   in reply to puddin\'head

     

    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.

     
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    Apr 15, 2011 9:09 AM   in reply to puddin\'head

     

    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.

     
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    Apr 17, 2011 11:36 AM   in reply to Dean Utian

    In short - that is not what i waited from this meeting.

    Moving my project to Flash Platform.

     
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    Apr 17, 2011 1:12 PM   in reply to srihards

    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

    Silverlight

    Unity 3D

    Torque Engine

    WPF

     

    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.

     
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    Apr 17, 2011 10:16 PM   in reply to CAnuszczyk

    LiveCode (was RunRev) has been getting a plug on Direct-L lately.

     
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    Apr 21, 2011 10:41 AM   in reply to Dean Utian

    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.

     
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    Apr 22, 2011 12:18 PM   in reply to Dean Utian

    Dean,

     

    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.

     

    Rgs,

    Ziggi

     
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    Apr 23, 2011 3:56 AM   in reply to Dean Utian

    Hi,

     

    "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.

     
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    Apr 24, 2011 5:30 AM   in reply to Dean Utian

    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.

     
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    Apr 24, 2011 5:39 AM   in reply to bestwave

    Well said...

     
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    Apr 25, 2011 4:52 AM   in reply to bestwave

    >> 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.

     

    EXACTLY !!!

     

    Unless Adobe understands its basic fit (B2B) - Director is "living dead". Point.

     
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    May 26, 2011 1:04 AM   in reply to Dean Utian

     

    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!

     

     
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    May 26, 2011 3:20 PM   in reply to DHMerritt

    Hi DHMerritt,

     

    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.

     
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