15 Replies Latest reply on Jun 1, 2009 8:23 AM by liveoak

    Is there a marker limit in Director MX 2004?

    miche_r

      I'm using Director MX 2004, and I have a very large project with lots of markers. Markers have quite long names too. Now I'm having some weird behavior when inputting new markers and naming them... I have tried many times to add new markers, but for some reason as soon as I move a newly added marker the name of the marker goes empty, and the name is added to the previous marker. For example, if I have a marker called "Markername 1" and I add a new marker with a name "Markername 2" and then move the marker with "Markername 2", it loses its name and the first marker is called "Markername 1Markername 2"... is there some limits in markers or what could cause this weird behavior?

        • 1. Re: Is there a marker limit in Director MX 2004?
          miche_r Level 1

          I counted the markers with a script and I currently have 640 markers.

          • 2. Re: Is there a marker limit in Director MX 2004?
            Mark A. Boyd Level 4

            I don't have that version of Director, but can you do something like:

             

            go to (the markerList[the markerList.count])

            go the frame + 5

            the frameLabel = "Some New Marker Name"

             

            I just created a simple test movie with 1000 markers spanning 5000 frames in D8.5.1 using a script.

             

            But I wonder if this might be more manageable if you use separate movies?

             

            --
            Mark A. Boyd
            Keep-On-Learnin' :-)
            If you are reading this via email, be aware that it may not be an accurate representation of my message. Login to read the actual message and/or to reply.

            • 3. Re: Is there a marker limit in Director MX 2004?
              miche_r Level 1

              I tried that and it did create 1000 markers correctly. However, when I tried the same test with longer marker name "This is an example of the really long marker name of this director movie", the script began to insert markers without framelabel text after 450 markers.

              • 4. Re: Is there a marker limit in Director MX 2004?
                Chunick Level 3

                one consolation: you've discovered something I don't think anyone else has... at least not since I've been monitoring the forums for the last 7-9 years incl. searches going back to 1997-98...

                 

                anyways, not knowing anything about your project, it just seems like there's probably a better way to do things - but since you're already on this path I'd suggest that armed with this new knowledge of the limits in label length you go back and start shortening them... they just need to be different enough to reference and maybe know where you are in the score... but not so descriptive that you're hitting this limit that nobody else has ever hit... and if you still cannot shorten them then maybe we can further discuss in this thread why not and find an alternate solution for you that will satisfy your requirements.

                • 5. Re: Is there a marker limit in Director MX 2004?
                  miche_r Level 1

                  Thanks for your replies. I need to have long framelabels, because user has an option to add "bookmarks" to pages and the framelabel is then saved to database. User also has an option to edit the list of bookmarked pages (change order or delete bookmarks), and the framelabels have to be descriptive so that user can identify pages on the list. User can then start "own presentation" based on that bookmark list, and navigate through pages with buttons.

                   

                  I decided to split the project to two different director files. It complicated a project a little bit, but not too much.

                  • 6. Re: Is there a marker limit in Director MX 2004?
                    Chunick Level 3

                    I see... just for completeness if anyone else does a search here and reads this thread - had this issue come up sooner in your project to change how it's structured, I would have suggested using a list or property list to save a reference of what the user typed with a shortened version of the framelabel. Lists and property lists are used extensively in Director because they're powerful and very versatile, allowing developers to save variable data and make associations with them... Here's an example of what I mean:

                     

                    labelList = [#label0001: "This is my first frame label", #label0002: "This is my second frame label which is even longer", #label0003: "This is my third frame label which is the most descriptive in the list so far."]

                     

                    now, let's say we keep track of where the user is in the list instead of on the score.. currently, our variable, intPosition = 2, and I want to move one position ahead:

                     

                    intPosition = intPosition + 1

                    put labelList[intPosition]

                    -- "This is my third frame label which is the most descriptive in the list so far."

                     

                    .. or, if we use the marker commands to move one ahead:

                    _movie.go(_movie.marker(1))

                    symLabel = symbol(movie.frameLabel)

                    sectionTitle = labelList[symLabel]

                    put sectionTitle

                    -- "This is my third frame label which is the most descriptive in the list so far."

                     

                    as well, if you're building a system where a user can create their own presentation, then lists can be used in such a way to be much more powerful... containing any amount of information about a section or slide or whatever metaphore you are using.

                    • 7. Re: Is there a marker limit in Director MX 2004?
                      Mark A. Boyd Level 4

                      Wow, I though I was using long labels in my test, but not that long. I just ran a test with that label plus a 4-digit increment. The markerlist was created with 1000 items, but the last one to actually contain a label was #485. All others items in the list had an empty string. Sure enough, although I can add new markers manually and otherwise, I cannot label them.

                       

                      The length of the label strings in the markerList was 32010, so it's not exactly a 32K limit - unless the limit includes the properties names themselves (frame numbers)? Just a WAG, but 32K might be it. I didn't test for that.

                       

                      Again, tested in D8.5.1

                       

                      if you're building a system where a user can create their own presentation, then lists can be used in such a way to be much more powerful... containing any amount of information about a section or slide or whatever metaphore you are using.

                       

                      Indeed! I use a system very much like that in many of my projects where the end-user creates their own presentations. The marker names would not make much sense to the end user, but with the list they get the title and sometimes a small blurb about that "slide", video, or section. Video is a perfect example where there is only one marker in one dir movie where I play the videos, but the end user isn't aware of it at all.

                       

                      It even allows for categorizing or grouping of "slides". Had a client who had requirements like "if they select this slide, then these slides MUST appear immediately following it and they cannot remove the required slides".

                       

                      Also, various presentation methods, such as narration on/off, automatic advance (if narration on), looping presentation (for trade shows or whatever), etc...

                       

                      Lists are very powerful for this type of thing. And the vList or propList Xtras make saving/loading end-user presentation playlists a breeze.

                       

                      --
                      Mark A. Boyd
                      Keep-On-Learnin' :-)
                      If you are reading this via email, be aware that it may not be an accurate representation of my message. Login to read the actual message and/or to reply.

                       

                      Message was edited by: Mark A. Boyd

                      • 8. Re: Is there a marker limit in Director MX 2004?
                        liveoak

                        I currently have numerous 10.1 projects, each with about 3000-4000 markers (though only averaging about 4 characters long). So the issue may be more about marker length, rather than the number.

                         

                        I have ALWAYS found the placing of new markers to be a bit frustrating, however. This might be due to the number I use in these large projects. The solution I finally arrived at, and have been using for quite a few years, is to use three separate clicks to place new markers.

                         

                        The first click, in the marker channel. places the marker and SEEMS to highlight the new marker text "New Marker" in blue (for editing). But the marker usualy loses the edit focus after a second and becomes uneditable. I then do a second click on the marker text, to re-establish focus and let me type in the text. I then have to do a third click on the triangle (rather than a return, etc) to let the new name "catch". I can then drag the marker, if I wish.

                         

                        You might give that a try, and see if it solves the problem you are having.

                         

                        --------

                        edit - just did an actual count using the labellist on one of the projects (the one currently open on my other computer).

                        2884 labels

                        11,620 character

                         

                        BTW, the issue for the script failing to write names to new markers, as noted above in some tests, could also be this initial loss of edit focus.

                         

                        Message was edited by: liveoak

                        • 9. Re: Is there a marker limit in Director MX 2004?
                          Chunick Level 3

                          Director is so much more powerful than laying stuff out on the timeline over and over, project after project. I would challenge you to explore Lingo a bit more and learn what possibilities it opens up to make your projects of 3000-4000 labels much easier. We, as humans are natural pattern seekers, and that's where programming can help the most. If we can see the pattern - the repetition - then there's usually code that we can write that gets rid of the manual layout of something of that scale that you describe so that you'd just have to create a few markers and have the code dynamically generate the layout from the data/assets.

                           

                          So, have fun with Director and explore... to steal from Mark, "Keep on Learnin'".

                          • 10. Re: Is there a marker limit in Director MX 2004?
                            liveoak Level 1

                            Chunick wrote:

                             

                            Director is so much more powerful than laying stuff out on the timeline over and over, project after project. I would challenge you to explore Lingo a bit more and learn what possibilities it opens up to make your projects of 3000-4000 labels much easier. We, as humans are natural pattern seekers, and that's where programming can help the most. If we can see the pattern - the repetition - then there's usually code that we can write that gets rid of the manual layout of something of that scale that you describe so that you'd just have to create a few markers and have the code dynamically generate the layout from the data/assets.

                             

                            So, have fun with Director and explore... to steal from Mark, "Keep on Learnin'".

                            WOW. This sort of reply is a perfect example of why so many long-time Director users like myself rarely post, but instead just roll our eyes and walk away. The hubris in this last comment is amazing.

                             

                            Let's review the thread. Someone posts that they are having problems adding new markers. You and both Mark responded. FWIW, I also would recommend the list solution that substitutes the actual name for a more systematic labeling method, so that's a great and helpful idea. But your first post, that noboby has ever experienced this over the last nine years, is incorrect. I've complained about the "marker bug" on numerous occasions over the years, probably dating back to MX, though I guess everyone just ignored the comment. So I chime in on this thread that I have, in fact, numerous large movies that exhibit the erratic label issues.Then comes your amazing reply to my comment about the unpredictable bug, which could be summarized as "My vision for Director involves templates, and anyone who deviates from my vision must be a moron who is completely ignorant of the complexity of Director."

                             

                            LOL

                             

                            So if you get your wish, will the stage of D12 would be locked down at 10 frames for the rest of us? Just because you can't step outside of the box you've put yourself in and EVER see the need for a movie with more than a handful of frames, does that imply that every other serious Director user has to limit themsleves with those same constraints?

                             

                            I don't disagree with you that the power of Director is in creating an underlying architecture that allows sophisticated interactions to be used over and over with minimal fuss at the individual screen level. I haven't written a "go to" command in years! Why do you assume that I spend all my time "laying stuff on the timeline"? What is amazing is that you make these sweeping generalizations about every other user, based only on your initial programming biases, even when you have no idea of the complexity of my project or its intended use.

                             

                            Like you, the bulk of my plumbing when setting up this large number of screens involves submitting (and cleaning up) large, complex data arrays (AKA - lists of lists). I have over 30,000 lines of Lingo for these input lists alone, which reference the 150,000 lines of lingo for my generic interactions. And of course this all ties in to a huge local DB, where I have over 500,000 fields, and the user generates another 10,000 new entries in the DB during their 100+ hours spent in the application.

                             

                            But what does this "plumbing" have to do with markers? My vision for reusable code is to handle the hard stuff out of sight, and allow me to quickly create unique screen markers that have a "hand crafted" feel to every screen. I do this not because templates are beyond my conceptual grasp, but rather because I have rejected the idea of templates, for my projects, as creative "laziness". Easy to implement, but boring, tedious, and visually unappealing, Sure, templates may work for many other applications, especially those where the user experience is not so important. But in my case, where each projects involves about 40,000 hours of work gathering unique materials and constructing them into an interactive, it flies in the face of the very nature of the project itself. My users will spend 2-3 hours per week in my application, for an entire year. Why should I bore them more than necessary, just because I want to save 200 hours of layout on a 40,000 hour project? Each of my projects, over their lifetime, will have over 5 million hours of user time spent inside them. I'm currrently working on one that will have 10 times that amount. Since many labels will have users spending over 10,000 hours looking / interacting with it, my question is not "how can I save 5 minutes of layout/programming time per screen', but rather "is this screen visually, technically, and pedagogically worth thousands of user hours?"

                             

                            So I use markers, in combination with my code, to reject the template mold, allowing me to quickly lay a few simple elements on each screen and create a customized, hand crafted look and feel to the entire experience. It is a very different approach than yours, and I'm glad you are happy with your view of the interactive world. But as for me, I use Director precisely because itt is possible to mix a powerful scripting environment, that reaches deep into the OS, with the ability to quickly customize each screen/label and provide an appealing visual experience for the user.

                             

                            While you think I should "explore Lingo a bit more and learn what possibilities it opens up", I'd suggest you learn to put aside your predetermined solutions to problems that you have not even encountered yet. Who knows where new creative ideas will take you...

                            • 11. Re: Is there a marker limit in Director MX 2004?
                              Sean_Wilson Adobe Community Professional

                              Is it possible you took more offence from Chunick's post than he intended?

                              • 12. Re: Is there a marker limit in Director MX 2004?
                                Chunick Level 3

                                liveoak,

                                 

                                Yeah, I probably would have responded the same way on a bad day too... however, I very honestly and innocently thought your post was from the original poster to whom I thought my post was in response to. No offence was meant. My apologies.

                                 

                                ... and for the record, I'm perfectly fine with using the stage to lay out sections to a projector. I just believe that the original poster was doing a heck of a lot more work than he/she needed to due to lack of experience in programming.

                                 

                                I'm quite confident that if we did a pole we would find that the majority of people who come here to post are beginner to intermediate users of Director who have been exposed to it from a design perspective with a casual exposure to programming or some scripting experience in other languages such as javascript. It's my believe that people who miss ways to simplifysomething repetitive and labourous with code fall under the category mentioned.

                                 

                                Your second post in response to my 'mistaken identity' blurb indicates you are an experienced programmer.

                                 

                                Chunick.

                                • 13. Re: Is there a marker limit in Director MX 2004?
                                  miche_r Level 1

                                  Thanks for your tips. I didn't get offended by anything, so no need to worry about that. About that instruction to do a list: at first I thought about doing a list and getting the page names from there, but this project gets updated twice a year and page titles change, and I thought it was easier and more sure to keep marker names up-to-date instead of keeping the list up-to-date... maybe because framelabels are easier to see when I edit the project and I don't have to worry about if the list includes all the framelabels and correct title names for them. But yeah, maybe next time I have to think again.

                                  • 14. Re: Is there a marker limit in Director MX 2004?
                                    liveoak Level 1

                                    Chunick wrote:

                                     

                                    however, I very honestly and innocently thought your post was from the original poster to whom I thought my post was in response to. No offence was meant. My apologies.

                                    Chunick,

                                     

                                     

                                    Thanks for your gracious response to my tirade. I can understand taking a glance at a thread a shooting off a quick reply to some random poster.

                                     

                                     

                                    And sorry for your being "caught in the cross-fire". Those of us who try to dig deep into the rich feature set of Lingo sometimes encounter those frustrating bugs, where you spend hours working your way around misbehaving lingo code - hence all the "fix the bugs" requests whenever a wish list for the next version thread comes up!

                                     

                                     

                                    This marker bug, though seemingly insignificant, is my particular "pebble in my shoe", a minor irritant which bugs the heck out of me. Since I encounter this marker bug several times each day, it has come, to me, to represent the love-hate relationship we all have with Director.

                                     

                                     

                                    So when you seemed to imply from your quick posting that large numbers of markers were irrelevant to any Director project, I channeled my ongoing frustration at Director's QA team issues. They seemed to be telling me the exactly the same thing, in their failure to resolve the ongoing marker bug. After all, here we are in version 10 of a product, and it STILL cannot create a freaking marker without making me jump through hoops. So I apologize that you caught the fury of my wrath towards the neglect shown to Director by Macromedia over the years!

                                    • 15. Re: Is there a marker limit in Director MX 2004?
                                      liveoak Level 1

                                      miche_r wrote:

                                       

                                      Thanks for your tips. I didn't get offended by anything, so no need to worry about that. About that instruction to do a list: at first I thought about doing a list and getting the page names from there, but this project gets updated twice a year and page titles change, and I thought it was easier and more sure to keep marker names up-to-date instead of keeping the list up-to-date... maybe because framelabels are easier to see when I edit the project and I don't have to worry about if the list includes all the framelabels and correct title names for them. But yeah, maybe next time I have to think again.

                                      miche_r

                                       

                                      While you may have begun the process of splitting the movie into parts, I'm curious whether my "3-click" work-around to placing my own markers has solved your problem.