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Assuming this is a Windows only application, I'd definitely recommend the creation of an ActiveX control. I've had great success with Director and ActiveX for similar custom projects. The developers should be familiar with ActiveX creation (if they haven't done it for their project already). I often used the trick of having the ActiveX sprite "off-stage", so it would get cleanly initiated there, and move the sprite on-stage when ready, for a clean transition.
If the built-in ActiveX xtra isn't enough, you can always try the 3rd-party VBScript/ActiveXcompanion xtra for more control and flexibility.
it is a luxury to know that the road ahead is not a dead end.
as to my last point:
- the "mapping app" needs to send to the "director interface container app" some very basic geo-coordinate info about what it is looking at
would this be done through some kind of pre-established shared gloabal variables
something more like localConnection/multiuserXtra
these geo-coordinate will be changing constantly as one moves through the map space, so i cannot quite imagine the second scenario.
Simply get the ActiveX developer guys to fire an ActiveX event. Director will pick it up and it will be handled by a Lingo "on eventName(me,param1,param2,etc...)" handler placed in your ActiveX sprite script.
You also have access to the ActiveX control's properties and methods straight from Director, so it really is flexible and straightforward. e.g. "myCurrentXCoord=sprite(SpriteNum).xCoord "to retrieve the xCoord property of the ActiveX control; or "sprite(SpriteNum).navigateTo(myCurrentXCoord+10,myCurrentYCoord+10)" to tell the ActiveX GIS component to scroll a bit.
my hat's off to you
the project won't start till mid october, so i have some time to fool around and see how all this works.
would you know of some activex app out there that has properties exposed, that i could use it for experimenting. digging around in the x controls and entrails of msword seems a bit daunting to me.
maybe acrobat is a good candidate?