33 Replies Latest reply on Jun 18, 2010 2:06 PM by Production Monkey

    Will Adobe continue Director development ?

    Albatros22

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        • 1. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
          James Newton, ACP Level 3

          Yes.

           

          Tridib Roy Chowdhury http://in.linkedin.com/pub/tridib-roy-chowdhury/3/489/b74 is Director Of Products at Adobe, responsible for Director-Shockwave, Captivate and Contribute. I have been in regular contact with him over the last couple of months.  He has made it very clear to me that Adobe is continuing to invest in the development of Director.

           

          I do not have access to any specific information concerning new features or delivery dates, but I have no doubt that work on Director continues.

           

          Does that answer your question?

           

          James

          • 2. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
            Albatros22 Level 1

            Very clear - thanks for answering. I'm glad to hear this.

             

            Ralf

             

             

            openspark wrote:

             

            Yes.

             

            Tridib Roy Chowdhury http://in.linkedin.com/pub/tridib-roy-chowdhury/3/489/b74 is Director Of Products at Adobe, responsible for Director-Shockwave, Captivate and Contribute. I have been in regular contact with him over the last couple of months.  He has made it very clear to me that Adobe is continuing to invest in the development of Director.

             

             

            I do not have access to any specific information concerning new features or delivery dates, but I have no doubt that work on Director continues.

             

            Does that answer your question?

             

            James

            • 3. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
              Dignified_Dude Level 1

              Great question!

               

              I too have been concerned about this. I am returning to Director from being away from multimedia development for some time and was surprised to see all my old web links dead or dying. Finding resources for help with this application are becoming scare and frankly as a developer that just got my client to shell out the money to buy this product I'm beginning to wonder if I should be looking for other applications to develop with.

               

              One thing that really concerns me is the very evident lack of Director markerting support on the Adobe forums. If you click their product list Director isn't even an option. It's as if they do not aknowledge it as a part of their product line.

               

              Does anyone know if Adobe plans to further marketing of this product or letting is slowly die out? I see that Openspark has had some communication with  the lead developer at Adobe, however I'm not seeing the support from Adobe Corporate in their attempts to promote this product.

               

              Even this support forum isn't easily found via the Adobe website I actually stumbled on it through google searches for Director support.

               

              Why isn't Adobe promoting this product on their web site? Do they have a replacement product or line of products that do everything Director can and more? Are they porting functionality from Director to other applications they currently promote?

               

              If anyone at Adobe is monitoring these forums, please do something to ensure to those of us developers using Adobe Director that you'll be here for us and continue to provide new releases and a support community.

               

              Just my two cents

               

              Dignified

              • 4. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                Robert Crowe Level 1

                Believe me, I feel your pain.  I've spent a lot of time, money, and effort coming up to speed in Director and Shockwave, but this question is constantly in the back of my mind.  What drove me to Shockwave is the fact that there simply isn't anything better, or even close, for 3D web development.

                 

                Anything can happen, and any product can disappear tomorrow.  Look at Microsoft's surprise decision to discontinue its Small Business Accounting product.

                 

                I've had conversations with Adobe people, including Tridib, trying to lobby for the idea that Shockwave3D should be rebranded and re-thought as Flash3D.  For me, that's really what it is - a 3D layer on top of Flash's 2D that adds unique capabilities to the long list of what Flash provides.  I compare it to Flex, or AIR.  I think if is was seen as part of the Flash suite, instead of a completely separate stack, it would be a lot easier for Adobe to market it both internally and externally.  I also think closer integration with Flash would benefit both products technically.  Ok, I've just decided to post this last bit as a separate thread, because I'd like to see what kind of reaction the rest of the community has to this idea.

                 

                Robert

                • 5. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                  mythicwave

                  James,

                   

                  The profile you linked to does not exist.  Try clicking it.  Perhaps Tridib has left the company or has gone underground.  I can't imagine that work on Director continues - other than busy work.  Maybe they're trying to keep busy while waiting to be reassigned to another department or for official cancellation.  If work continues, they better damn well say so publicly.  Allen Partridge (Director "evangelist") should be fired.  He does not communicate at all, and when he does it is equivalent to monosyllabic utterances.  The Director "team" and Adobe itself have no use for Director or for their customers.

                   

                  -- Brian

                  • 6. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                    James Newton, ACP Level 3

                    mythicwave wrote:

                     

                    The profile you linked to does not exist.  Try clicking it.  Perhaps Tridib has left the company or has gone underground.

                     

                    Hi Brian,

                     

                    I'm sorry for posting a bad link.  I've corrected it both in my original message and where Albatross22 quoted my message.  Here's a working link: http://in.linkedin.com/pub/tridib-roy-chowdhury/3/489/b74.  Tridib was still at Adobe the last time I spoke to him.  Here's an extract from his full profile, in case you cannot access it:

                     

                    Tridib Roy Chowdhury

                    Director Of Products at Adobe

                    2006 – Present (4 years)

                    I currently have W/W P/L responsibility of three products Director-Shockwave, Captivate and Contribute.

                     

                     

                    I have good hopes that I will be able to post more encouraging information fairly soon.  (I have been hearing a chicken hatching, but I can't quite count it yet.)

                     

                    Stay tuned...

                     

                    James

                    • 7. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                      mythicwave Level 1

                      Thanks James.  I guess only people in the know are aware of what "W/W" and "P/L" mean.  I don't have a clue and have been programming for over 20 years.

                       

                      -- Brian

                      • 8. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                        James Newton, ACP Level 3

                        My guess is that W/W is "worldwide" and P/L is "product line" ... but I don't speak Acronym any better than I can speak Whale.

                        • 9. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                          GoldenHistoryBooks

                          Coming more from the business side I'd think P/L is profit

                          and loss. But who knows.

                           

                          I share the same concerns about Director -- no marketing support is not a good sign that this is a lasting product. We've been battling to find a good, reliable product to publish in, and as many other people, came looking at Director after not being in the multimedia game for 12 years or so. There are a number of other products out there and we've tried a few with little satisfaction. So, what is a good, viable alternative? We're publishing educational multimedia for schools. A lot is pretty straight forward stuff, but drew me back to Director is that they tout "full screen HD movie" capabilities. Anybody try that?

                           

                          But, back to the basic question. What alternative products are there that have 1) been around long enough so we don't have to constantly guess what will work or find workarounds for everything, and 2) that it provides fast playback of content. Right now it takes 20-30 seconds for menu navigation to become "hot." That's totally unacceptable.

                           

                          If the Director team is monitoring... please give us the straignt scoop. I don't want to waste my time if you're not serious about this product and serious about supporting your users.

                          • 10. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                            Robert Crowe Level 1

                            Unless you need 3D or Xtras for some reason, I'd recommend looking at Flash or Flex.

                             

                            Xtras give you the ability to extend your Director movies by adding additional capabilities.  Xtras are compiled code, so they're fast.  There is a long list of Xtras that you can pull off the shelf, and an SDK so you can write your own.

                             

                            For 3D, Director is still your best choice unless the 3D you're doing is very simple, or very high quality.  If it's very simple you might be able to get away with Flash and one of the Actionscript 3D toolkits, such as Away3D.  But performance with those is much slower than Shockwave3D, and their 3D rendering is klunky.  For very high quality you can look at Unity3D, but there is a tiny plugin installed base and it tends to be slow and bloated.  Still, Unity3D can do some very nice high-end stuff that Shockwave3D can't do.

                             

                            Are you doing this in a browser, or are you creating projectors?

                             

                            Full screen in Director?  That's news to me, but maybe it's a projector thing?  I only do Shockwave3D.

                            • 11. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                              mythicwave Level 1

                              We just did rewrote version 3 of a really popular teacher tool in Director. It is a really nice product - uses Impressario to create custom worksheets on the fly.  It is the first rewrite in a suite of tools originally written cross platform Win / Mac in C++.  We're now putting it online.  Luckily we wrote it so the back end stuff is platform agnostic - and our subscription system part of the suite has been written in Flex.  We'll do a bit of work writing the database interface to put it online in Shockwave.  But the next rewrite in the suite will likely be done in Flex, unless Adobe makes some major announcements and progress, especially on 64 bit Shockwave for Snow Leopard.

                               

                              -- Brian

                              • 14. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                                Production Monkey Level 3

                                The only thing Flash can not do that Director can is real-time 3D. With the next official release of AIR in probably two or three months you will be able to create native executables and run native DLLs which in Director lingo means scripting extras.


                                On top of that, Flash has moved far beyond the capabilities of Director. It would be foolish to invest in Director as a development tool at this time or any time in the past few years. 


                                Here are some links people should be aware of before making any decisions.


                                AIR 2.0  http://blogs.adobe.com/cantrell/archives/2009/10/everything_new_in_air_2.html


                                Flash 10.0  http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/features/all_features/


                                A tour of what the Flex framework provides. http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flex/tourdeflex/

                                • 15. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                                  mythicwave Level 1

                                  I'm well aware of what AIR 2, Flex, Flash, etc. can do.  My problem is that we have a huge Director code base and don't want to rewrite. Since most of our products are sold to schools, we have a problem with schools usually refusing to install anything.  Their computers are usually wiped every few days.  Some exceptions are well known plug-ins such as Shockwave and Flash.  So AIR is non-starter for us unless it is widely accepted in schools.

                                   

                                  What I think is foolish is for Adobe to have developed AIR at all.  I still can't fathom the stupidity of this.  After all, Director had most of the AIR capabilities 10 years ago.  Adobe could have easily taken their programming resources devoted to AIR and assigned them to a Director A team based in the U.S.  The Bangalore Director is obviously incompetent, young, fading, moving on, or just doesn't care - along with the Director "evangelist", Allen Partridge.  I'm not sure what he actually does other than collect a paycheck.  Surely this A team would have been able to resolve all the legacy code issues, etc.  Director already supports javascript and can host Flash.  What would be the huge stretch to have it support native AS3 coding, PHP, etc. as well?

                                   

                                  -- Brian

                                  • 16. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                                    Production Monkey Level 3

                                    Brian,

                                     

                                    My comments were directed towards the original poster, Robert, and any one thinking about starting from scratch with Director. If you have a history with Director and a code base, I agree - milk that experience and code for all the cash you can. That is all Adobe is doing - squeezing the last few dollars out of the tit that is Director and taking advantage of people with false hope. Although, they don't even bother with false hope anymore.

                                     

                                    I agree that Adobe could have done amazing things with Director. But, it looks like they made a decision about four years ago to keep Director alive to occupy a hole in the market place, to give them time to develop a replacement using that precious baby - Flash - they had just bought. Do you think it is a coincidence that Allen no longer talks to the Director community and they are about to release Air 2.0 ?

                                    • 17. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                                      mythicwave Level 1

                                      Understood.  We do have a back end in Flex and are planning to rewrite our next in our suite of teacher tools in Flex.  But who knew?  In 2008 with the "Director Education Summit" in Puerto Rico, it seemed like things were going full steam ahead, and new Director development didn't seem so foolish.  I was going to present at the Education Summit but decided against it. I think all of those who did go should group together and demand their substantial travel expenses to be reimbursed by Adobe.

                                       

                                      It was 2008 when I decided to write the next version of a cross platform C++ app in Director.  It was expensive, but is a really nice product.  It was generalized to make it suitable as a framework for the remaining apps in the suite.  It is released now, but needs a bit more work to put it online.  It's worth doing that than rewriting in Flash at this point.  Such a damn shame.  Now we have to redo our framework in Flex / Flash.  Well maybe Director won't be canceled at all.  The next month or two should tell.  Adobe's attitude and behavior are close to criminal...

                                       

                                      -- Brian

                                      • 18. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                                        Robert Crowe Level 1

                                        Monkey Boy,

                                         

                                        I'm not a long time Director user.  We chose Shockwave3D for Digparty in 2008 for the sole reason that it was the only viable option for doing a web 3D application.  For a mass market, it still is.  Unity3D is great, but it's really hard to convince casual users to install a browser plugin from some company they've never heard of.  Some will, but most won't.  Flash based 3D such as Away3D requires much more CPU to do anything interesting, although Moore's law is starting to make that a viable option.  The fact is that Shockwave3D still works and still basically leads the market, which is an amazing testament to the original development team, but I'm just as concerned as you are about its future.

                                         

                                        What I'd really like to see is for Director to become like Flex or AIR, an advanced layer on top of Flash.  Since it wraps Flash already, it's not so much of a stretch but it would greatly benefit from much better integration with Flash, like eliminating all the 2D overlap.  Director doesn't need 2D, Flash does that well, so just leverage the Flash code base for that stuff.  Price it similarly to Flex and AIR too.

                                         

                                        I keep hearing rumors that something is coming.  I hope so.

                                         

                                        Robert

                                        • 19. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                                          mythicwave Level 1

                                          Robert,

                                          Director doesn't need 2D, Flash does that well, so just leverage the Flash code base for that stuff.  Price it similarly to Flex and AIR too.

                                           

                                          This may be true for new Director development, but don't tell that to someone who spent much of 2008 - 2009 funding development of a 2D UI Interface Manager in Director.  It works great - something like the UI interface components in Flash, and more.  I've done both 2D and 3D work in Director, actually mostly 2D until the last couple of projects.

                                           

                                          -- Brian

                                          • 20. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                                            Production Monkey Level 3

                                            Robert,

                                             

                                            It's Mr. Monkey to you. respect your elders. ;-)

                                             

                                            I was just trying let you know that you can create native executables and call DLLs/xtras with Flash and AIR. I didn't mention problems with 3D so I guess you are trying to explain why you choose Director back in 2008. Perhaps, based off Adobe's apparent deception I could see where someone would choose Director as a development platform, but for me there were so many signs that it had no future.  If something has no future why invest time in it?

                                             

                                            You have hope that something is coming soon. Why?   Adobe has never published a new article on Director. They have never made a video tutorial for Adobe TV. They have never published a book on Director. They never added new tutorials to the development center. They did not mention Director last fall at the Adobe max conference. They did not take Director to GDC last week. The "Evangelist" is deaf, blind, and mute. They have never provided a road map or any information at all about their plans other than rumors. So why? Why would you think some new version is going to come out and change everything?

                                             

                                            And, your idea of combining Director-Flash-Flex-whatever. Not going to happen.

                                            • 21. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                                              Production Monkey Level 3

                                               

                                              Brian,

                                               

                                              The whole Puerto Rico thing gave me a small amount of hope, but not enough to buy into Director having a future. I had moved to Flex by then and I was enjoying being on the winning side for once. I took a wait and see approach.  Painfully, we all know nothing came out of Puerto Rico - never an article published. Sadly things have gotten far worse since then.

                                               

                                              I know how it feels to spend many months developing a great piece of software and see it go nowhere. I would guess that about 40% of the software I wrote in the last 15 years went into the ether: it was never used. 

                                               

                                              Apologies for using the "foolish" comment. My goal here is to scare new comers away from Director. It ticks me off when people like James provide encouragement.  Investing time and energy into Director at this point in time is a complete waste for someone new to multimedia.

                                               

                                              I'm not anti-Director. I'm anti what Adobe is doing.  If they ever get behind it, I'll be there. If tomorrow Adobe places a Beta version of Director on Adobe Labs, and Allen asks for experienced developers to submit tutorial proposals, I'll be there. Until then, I will try to love what Adobe loves - Flash.

                                               

                                              • 22. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                                                oldschoolmx Level 1

                                                As a 10 year + veteran of Director AND as a 5 year veteran of Flash AND as a new Unity3D guy...permit me to share my opinion.

                                                 

                                                I think Adobe's approach to Director makes complete sense when you think about it.

                                                 

                                                Adobe Director is not the future. There are not many Director developers still around. There are not many Director projects still around. Director is a very fine but dying technology. So it would be *unfair* for Adobe to make a big marketing push to collect new customers. They would be marketing a lie. Adobe is perhaps more to be commended for *not* pitching Director.

                                                 

                                                I never expected to get two new Director projects in the past year. But I've done exactly that. For a kiosk it's still the best tool around--in my opinion. I have been able to do full-screen video on a 30inch Cinema. This is beyond 1080 HD, here folks. It's fast. It's easy. It handles lots of media quickly and easily.

                                                 

                                                But it's still a niche product and in another year or two Flash will fill in the few remaining holes and there simply won't be a place for Director.

                                                 

                                                But there are still legacy projects, and will be for years!

                                                 

                                                I will be updating my two Director kiosks every year. Hopefully Director will continue to be compatible with the Mac and Windows Operating Systems. I'm sure there are others like me: we don't need to see the platform evolve...but simply maintained because we have no interest or budget for rewrites/ports.

                                                 

                                                Adobe can make $200-$300 every two years from people like me if they just keep Director afloat. Nudge the feature set a tiny bit forward and keep it compatible with current Mac/Win OSs.

                                                 

                                                So Adobe is continuing to throw people like me a lifeline...the product is still viable. I'm grateful for that. But I know that Director is not the future. I don't invest time learning new Director techniques. I invest in learning about Flash and Unity3d.

                                                 

                                                Adobe is doing the right thing: keeping Director alive for niche and legacy development, but not promoting it as a vital forward technology.

                                                • 23. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                                                  Robert Crowe Level 1

                                                  Old School,

                                                   

                                                  Well as you might imagine I beg to differ.  Actually I just differ, I don't beg.  Well not often anyway.

                                                   

                                                  I was impressed recently with Adobe's responsiveness to some issues in the Flash Xtra that were making life difficult for us, and were fixed in build 609.  When I first reported those I thought there was a slim chance that they would listen, but they surprised me.  I have a feeling now that they might be getting the love for Director, and realizing some of the potential of Shockwave3D as a tool in Adobe's RIA toolbox.  My spidey senses tell me that the next release may be a significant bump in several areas.

                                                   

                                                  Since you're the rare breed with experience with Director, Flash, and Unity I'm wondering what your experience has been like trying to integrate Flash content into a Unity scene?  I lead development of Digparty (http://apps.facebook.com/digparty) and we texture Youtube videos into a Shockwave3D scene.  Could we do that with Unity instead?

                                                   

                                                  thanks,

                                                   

                                                  Robert

                                                  • 24. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                                                    oldschoolmx Level 1

                                                    Robert,

                                                     

                                                    Your hypothesis might be correct about Director's future. I'm skeptical. I suspect that a lot of Directors' code is now relic old. Migrating it to a 64-bit modern architecture would only be warranted if there was a much larger user base. How is that ever going to happen? I think it's more likely that the next version of Flash might expand into 3d. Flash is besieged enough with Steve Jobs going all Atilla the Hun this past year. The Shockwave plugin just becomes unnecessary traveling weight for Adobe.

                                                     

                                                    I've never attempted to integrate Flash into Unity3d, and I'm quite dubious about the notion of bringing a swf into Unity.

                                                     

                                                    You can certainly import video and use it as a texture in 3D, but the interactive programming would all need to be done in Unity. But don't take my word for it. I don't want to overstate the degree of my experience. I am a registered owner of Unity3D pro and I've spent maybe 100 hours dabbling. No projects so far.

                                                     

                                                    Best of luck!

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    Cheers,

                                                    Craig

                                                    • 25. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                                                      Sean_Wilson Adobe Community Professional

                                                      While I agree with your summary of neglect, one minor correction:

                                                      And, your idea of combining Director-Flash-Flex-whatever. Not going to happen.

                                                      Director already "combines" Flash content via the Flash Asset xtra, and the next dot release will see support for Flash Player 10 and Flex content.

                                                      • 26. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                                                        oldschoolmx Level 1

                                                        Sean,

                                                         

                                                        I don't mean "combining" in that sense.

                                                         

                                                        Look at the feature overlap between two programs:

                                                        Text engine. Check.

                                                        Scripting engine. Check.

                                                        Import video. Check

                                                        Etc. Etc.

                                                         

                                                        Though I like the way Director handles somethings better (native Quicktime or Windows Media versus .FLV)....there is really only one thing that Director has that Flash doesn't: the 3D stuff.

                                                         

                                                        I see it as *inevitable* that the Flash engine will support more true 3d in upcoming versions...and I doubt very much this is achieved by some awkward synthesis of Flash and Shockwave. They will build it ground up using the latest and greatest.

                                                        • 27. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                                                          Robert Crowe Level 1

                                                          (Shhhh!  That's on the QT)

                                                          • 28. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                                                            OlandoCR Level 1

                                                            For me the future of Director, if there is a future, is as a 2D/3D game engine. I know with flash you can make games but not those performance demanding, that is why now I am with Unity too. 

                                                            • 29. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                                                              Sean_Wilson Adobe Community Professional

                                                              Since Krishnan posted this to Direct-L I don't see that it's so secret

                                                              • 30. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                                                                Sean_Wilson Adobe Community Professional

                                                                Sorry - I was responding to ProductionMonkey (Randal?). Are you one-and-the-same?

                                                                 

                                                                You may be right in your interpretation of 'combination' - who knows? It's been speculated about for years, as has Flash killing off Director. FWIW I'm currently still using Director.

                                                                • 31. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                                                                  Robert Crowe Level 1

                                                                  Oh, well then nevermind.  I didn't realize it was public, so I guess that means I can talk about it now!

                                                                  • 32. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                                                                    Sean_Wilson Adobe Community Professional

                                                                    I wouldn't go shooting my mouth off , but I can't see any harm in disseminating what has already been stated publicly.

                                                                    • 33. Re: Will Adobe continue Director development ?
                                                                      Production Monkey Level 3

                                                                      I guess I was talking about integrating the Flex framework into Director. That would mean having a panel with icons for various Flex UI components that one could drag onto the stage. From there you could set the Flex component properties in the property inspector. In addition, you would have access to all of the Flex libraries via Lingo. The Flex framework would come as part of the Director install.

                                                                       

                                                                      If the guys in India do all of that then I will be incorrect in my assessment and gladly so.

                                                                       

                                                                      However, if the next version of Director does not run the Flash 10.1 player then I will be shaking my head in disbelief once again.

                                                                       

                                                                      Randal.