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1) What are the very most MAJOR changes in this recent version? Not the ones on the website, but the ones that will alter my day to day use of the app?
2) Has Lingo changed much?
No - except for the point above.
4) Is there a list anywhere of the kinds of video codecs 11.5 supports? Which is best?
Not that I'm aware of. Codec support is largely provided by xtras. For example, anything QuickTime Player can manage will probably be supported by the xtra and therefore useable in Director.
FLV is a good option since there are no external player dependencies.
5) Can I use PNG files with alpha channels as sprites?
6) Can I purchase the Mac version and export Mac and Win projectors? (GOD I hope they made this the case!!)
Yes. You'll need to fiddle with custon icons on a Windows box, though.
7) Are there any major known bugs I'll run into?
Almost a given.
There's no way you should be starting a new project in Director now until Adobe releases a new version, provides a roadmap, posts an update for
Shockwave 64 bit on Mac Snow Leopard, etc. You should use Flash or another solution. Rumors of vague conversations with the Director India team don't cut it for me. We need some iron clad information we can depend on, direct from Adobe management. Until then, don't touch Director or you could quite probably get burned.
There have been a lot of posts talking about how word came directly from Adobe that they are committed to Director as a product. I'm not sure what else you are looking for.
God, I hate Flash. I really hate it.
You have evidently not been reading the other newsgroups. I quote Production Monkey from another thread in this newsgroup:
"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 think think some new version is going to come out and change everything?"
Adobe is putting all of their attention into Flash, Flex, and Air. I'm sad about this as I have a huge Director code base and investment. I believed Adobe after the Puerto Rico conference in 2008, so went ahead with major Director development. I'm hoping it is not a mistake. If more clarity comes from Adobe about the future of Director tomorrow, I'll be happy. Until then, I won't start any new Director projects. Director could be deep-sixed at any time like Authorware, Flash Paper, etc. It's all a matter of the bottom line. Unity has far surpassed Director as a game development platform.
Don't hate Flash. Embrace it. AS3 is far beyond Lingo, and Flash itself has surpassed Director in just about every way except for realtime 3D.
If you want to change this situation, help me change it. I'm planning a noisy letter writing campaign to Adobe execs.
I don't want to get into a flamewar here, or yet another Director Is Dead thread (they have been pretty popular since about Director 6
or so... and somehow Director is still kicking...) but you simply do not know what the OP is trying to do. There are plenty of niches that Director is still the most appropriate tool for. I use it quite extensively for kiosks where we have control of the hardware. In that case, it doesn't matter if a projector doesn't work on OS x, y, or z. If I know it does work on XP, then I make it for XP. Etc. The OP said that Director was perfect for the job he is doing. Working from that assumption, we could try to be helpful...
You will not find too many problems moving from old versions of Director to the more modern ones. Some Lingo has changed, but in almost all cases, the old syntax still works. Modern lingoists will be using the nice and pretty dot syntax and new DOM. But the old verbose syntax still works fine. The only major changes are to MIAWs and timeout objects.
This board is good for asking beginner questions, and more advanced questions can be addressed to Direct-L (google it).
Director supports pretty much any video codec that the client machine can play. Additionally, Director 11.5 has native support for flv and mp4 media. Quicktime works great for cross-platform movie playing (assuming that QT is installed on the client machine). For PC only projects, there is a avi member type or digital video media type that will play basically anything that Media Player can play. With xtras, like Mpeg Advance, most movie types can be played cross-platform easily.
If you import a PNG as 32-bit then the alpha will be transparent and you can use it as you would anticipate.
Mac versions can create Windows projectores and vice versa. The only problem is that custom icons don't always work, so you may need to tool around with a (free) resource editor like resedit to get the icon you want.
There are quite a few bugs in the newest version (11.5), but nothing that causes too much difficulty once you know the workarounds. If you find something that doesn't work as expected, post it here and someone will probably tell you how to make it work.
I don't want a flame war either, and yes, I should concentrate on being helpful. But anyone new to Director should seriously consider other solutions. There are other solutions which allow hardware control. Vague rumors from Adobe just don't cut it for me. Why not help me start a letter writing campaign to Adobe execs, buttonhole them at conferences, petition for Allen Partridge's replacement, etc? Why should we be 2nd class citizens? This is still a big part of my livelihood and coporate protocol be damned.
I think I'll stick with Director. This is a very simple CD-ROM project that will require minimal engineering and that may never need to be
thanks for the replies! I appreciate the responses.