5 Replies Latest reply on Jun 23, 2009 3:01 PM by Mark A. Boyd

    Critical Xtras we need to support...

    liveoak

      I'm beginning a new thread to try to identify, as a group of Director users, the critical Xtras that have not made the transition from Director 2004 MX to the new Adobe 11/11.5 product line.

       

      The powerful concept of Xtras, namely that we can extent the program in any way that someone can program an Xtra to perform, has enabled Macromedia, and now Adobe, to not support some critical functions, but force us to look outside the program to accomplish these tasks. The problem, as we all know, is that Xtra developers have been leaving their products behind and moving on to work that actually pays the bills!

       

      So hopefully this thread will let us take a look at the Xtra options, some 15 months after D11 was released, and openly discuss where the critical areas of concern are. I should note that this stems from a thread regarding Printomatic, where Applied CD wrote: "Has anyone found a better alternative?" This is the key question - what other printing option do we have in Director?

       

      I think we need to identify these critical Xtras, for which no other options exist, and then try to form a common strategy to keep these particular Xtra developers in business. While I am loath to force us to pick one option, when many currently exist, we need to be realistic about our future platform. Of course I have seen Xtras I use disappear - INM databse Xtras, and some OS controls from DirectXtras, in my case, but I can shift over to Arca DB and BuddyAPI for those. A hassle, but not a deal breaker as far as my interactives go.

       

      Printomatic is different, however. I just don't see any other options, and unless Adobe decides to support this in the future, we are in deep trouble. Dean's survey, from last year, identified that a large number of us were using Director as a cross-platform applications environment - what will we do without the option to PRINT from the applicaiton? Further, if we will need to win over new users in the future (assuming that D12 comes and builds on the D11/D11.5 releases), how will potential users react when hearing there is no way to generate printouts from Director?

       

      What other critical Xtra's are missing from the D11 transition? And what can we do to save those on the edge of extinction?

        • 1. Re: Critical Xtras we need to support...
          Mark A. Boyd Level 4

          I had been contemplating purchasing my own Director license (not the work license), but this problem with the Xtras was the final factor in my decision against it.

           

          I definitely need PrintOMatic!

           

          Another critical Xtra to me is the OSControl Xtra by Pimz (now from OpenSpark) http://xtras.openspark.com/index.php?page=OSC_home

           

          No idea how to keep that one from extinction...James?

           

          --
          Mark A. Boyd
          Keep-On-Learnin' :-)
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          It shall not be considered an accurate representation of my words.

          • 2. Re: Critical Xtras we need to support...
            liveoak Level 1

            Mark A. Boyd wrote:

             

             

            Another critical Xtra to me is the OSControl Xtra by Pimz (now from OpenSpark) http://xtras.openspark.com/index.php?page=OSC_home

             

            No idea how to keep that one from extinction...James?

            This is exactly my point. Go check for the OSCOntrol D11 update, and you see the following:

             

            "The OSControl Xtra is not compatible with version 11 or higher of Director. The amount of work required to make the xtra Unicode-compliant is too great compared with the expected return on investment. We are really sorry for this. We still offer support for customers that use the xtra in previous versions of Director."

             

            We, as Xtra users, are "free-riding" off of the develper's hard work - and limited sales. If it looks like Director 12 finally gets people on board and reachs a new critical mass, THEN we will upgrade to the new Xtras. Until then, wait and see.

             

            That's what I did with PrintOMatic. As the excitment mounted that we were finally going to get a new version of Director (possibly called v 11!) in late 2007, I wrote off an email to PrintoMatic asking about their development. Here's what Peter wrote back:

             

            There's not much I can actually talk about at the moment, but you can rest assured that we continue development of PrintOMatic and plan to support any upcoming releases of Director with timely updates to our Xtras.

             

            Of course D11 came out, turned out to be a disaster for me, and I kept using MX 2004 for development. I bought a couple of D11 licenses, not to use but instead to keep some revenue flowing to Adobe so they would keep going with develoipment. Spent $1000 on that, but I kick myself that I did not do the same with PrintOMatic...

             

            So once we determine a list of these critical Xtras. then we need to see how WE, as developers, can change the equation for these critical Xtras. If we can round up 50 key users, willing to pay $500 each for an upgrade, will $25,000 make an update profitable (combined with the potential for future Xtra sales for the developer from new users)? How about 200 users willing to pay $100 each?

            • 3. Re: Critical Xtras we need to support...
              Sean_Wilson Adobe Community Professional

              You're re-inventing the wheel starting a thread here about this. It's been covered, to a degree, on Martin Schaefer's directorforum and on Direct-L

              I don't see there's much that we, the developer community, can do about this. Rather it's up to Adobe to prove to xtra developers that Director remains a viable market for them, and to resurrect the XDK mailing list (currently xtra developers have nowhere to go for help, and this is critical)

              • 4. Re: Critical Xtras we need to support...
                Mark A. Boyd Level 4

                It's kind of a catch 22 in my case. I would like a copy of Director so I can continue using it either as a hobby or for commercial use if I choose to go back to work. But without these critical Xtras, I don't really want to get into it.

                 

                I would certainly purchase all the Xtras again that I want to use, but I can't see paying mucho extra bucks for them. Is that what you're suggesting? I could easily be misreading your post.

                 

                --
                Mark A. Boyd
                Keep-On-Learnin' :-)
                This message was processed and edited by Jive.
                It shall not be considered an accurate representation of my words.

                • 5. Re: Critical Xtras we need to support...
                  Mark A. Boyd Level 4

                  You're re-inventing the wheel starting a thread here about this. It's been covered, to a degree, on Martin Schaefer's directorforum and on Direct-L

                   

                  I knew I'd seen it somewhere else before. I'm only skimming Direct-L these days. Thanks for reminding me to d/l those messages again. I don't want Mailbox full bounces hitting the list

                   

                  --
                  Mark A. Boyd
                  Keep-On-Learnin' :-)
                  This message was processed and edited by Jive.
                  It shall not be considered an accurate representation of my words.