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I was a long time heavy Director developer for CD work. But after the web application arena really took off I had to start ditching Director and thankfully Lingo in favor of Flash and ActionScript. That and the way Director was always one version behind the Flash player.

My hope is they have done some amazing things since the last release (which I purchased and never even used). But I really feel they are beating the dead horse on this one and should just give up on it. The 3D engine could of been great, but it’s missed the boat of technologies that people (read users) will embrace now. And I do not see developers wanting to go back and re-learn something that they were pushed away from by Macromedia’s lack of commitment and marketing of the product.

I look forward eagerly to what they have to show us and have done, but don’t expect to start back-peddling my skills to that horrible language (yes I know they added JavaScript as an option in the last version). And how will they overcome the biggest problem Director always had….getting users to install that huge Shockwave plug-in? Flash has moved too far forward and Shockwave has been left behind, let it die Adobe.

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16 Comments

  1. Yes Flash has won the web battle in term of user base. Greatly due to marketing efforts and not because of better features. Still today, the old Director offers features and performance far ahead of Flash.

    Let’s wait to see Adobe Director’s strategy before getting rid of it for good. I’m actually crossing my fingers hoping that Adobe would wake up and put a real Flash competitor or at least a very good complementary big brother to Flash.

  2. I agree, many projects I wrote used Flash content with Director as the wrapper so I would have IO access to the local file system and (at the time) far better printing and compression options to the end user.

    If they could take the feature set of director and replace Lingo with ActionScript the product would be killer, just imagine Flash content with access to the local system, boy that would be somthing.

    • eon
    • Posted October 17, 2007 at 6:36 pm
    • Permalink

    I have pretty much retrained into flash/as2/3 in last 12mths because I simply couldn’t find steady work in director. I realised when i typed actionscript into a job search engine things looked better. I don’t regret the move as as3.0 is fantastic.

    I’ve still been doing a few freelance jobs using the realtime 3d for architectural visualisations where clients want to make choices/time differences in realtime. Other than that, i cant find a decent use for director.

    Unfortunately, ‘standalone’ 3D doesn’t work on Vista until the new version is released (vista doesnt support directx7 which director 10 uses). I’ve had an aweful time trying to persuade clients that the delay in getting it working on vista is not a problem…. theres been very little news and support, and the release date of director 11 is still unknown / unconfirmed. Adobe have made me look a bit of an idiot over last 6 mths due to their poor inaccurate information.

    With regard to wrappers, I have used Director, but tend to use Zinc now. the e4x xml in as3.0 an excellent improvement. The AIR product will enable local system access too, so Director as a wrapper is becoming limited although it does have the power of xtras when accessing DBs and strange file formats.

  3. Director will have to move to a gamedevelopment tool. Then I see a great future!

  4. Just to be clear up front. I am the Technology Evangelist at Adobe for Director. So my opinion is entirely biased. I love Director! You really need Director and Flash if you are serious about total multimedia solutions.

    That old argument that you don’t need Director when you have Flash just doesn’t hold water. Sure Flash is a great product, but I see more and more often that it isn’t enough alone to meet every need of the up and coming multimedia developer. For serious application development, you need access to system files, registry and run time extensibility. And to overlook completely real-time 3D media in an environment of rapid adoption by the masses of 3D virtual worlds is just plain crazy.

    Director is the foundation on which Macromedia was built, and it remains a powerful alternative for multimedia developers who want to author it for Mac and PC and who want to be able to deliver online or off. Add to that tremendous breadth of support for various media, including support for embedded Flash, and it doesn’t take much to realize that it would be crazy to drop Director. So of course we are seeing a new version of Director.

    I marvel that after 20 or more years of insanely rapid developments in computer software, people seem always to imagine that the state of things is somehow ‘stagnant.’ All good software must evolve and grow. It should be responsive to the needs of the community and work constantly to grow into a more and more useful solution. Director has been doing just that for 20 years. It remains the best solution for online 3D with a web plugin at better than 60% and still will cut the time of development ten-fold for most multimedia applications.

    As long as people want to easily create powerful software, there is a role for Director. Director remains the dominant tool for offline development (yes people really do still make actual software that isn’t delivered exclusively online) and it affords new users as well as experienced developers tremendous inroads as it is at once easy to access / learn and supports Javascript for programmers who already are familiar with an ECMA language like Actionscript. Perhaps more importantly there is very little barrier to entry for new users – who just want to make applications without programming. Support for drag and drop behaviors can mean easy generation of even complex interactions so that the average person can combine media and create interactive applications with minimal programming.

    I’d encourage anyone interested in working with Shockwave content to learn more about Director. The new version is expected for announcement by February 08 – that’s just a few weeks away. I’m thrilled to see Adobe pick up the torch. After all, don’t people need a way to easily create software that can be extended to meet virtually any need and that makes combining virtually any media into interactive applications a quick and realizable goal?

  5. Thank you Allen for taking the time to address my post.

    I will agree that Director remains the dominant tool for offline development, and have seen many great applications created with it. However the offline world is shrinking fast, and clearly Adobe has addressed it with Flash and not Director (so far).

    I certainly will be very interested in the new version as I am sure many developers out there will be, but the fact remains it is going to suffer from the ‘Oh I remember Director, is it still around?’ comments from today’s generation of developers.

    And now with Flex, Flash and Thermo supporting the soon to be Adobe desktop platform AIR. I have to wonder if Director is going to find a home for any great length of time in the overall picture by Adobe or developers.

    And I would also argue that if new developers are looking for an easy entry into application programming (as you suggest) they certainly would not choose Director unless the new version has made some stunning in-roads on the dreadful language problems it suffers from. And experienced developers for the most part moved on a long time ago when Director disappeared into the shadows for many years now.

    Regards,
    Peter Witham

  6. I should of added that if AS3.0 support has been put in Director and the ability to author to the SWF format (something that must be a given surely due to penetration rate alone of the plug-in). Then that might just be a game changer for Director.

  7. I would like to see what the new director brings. Till then, I can see why Mr. Witham thinks its a dead horse. 🙂

    • Ian Davies
    • Posted February 1, 2008 at 9:53 am
    • Permalink

    I too will wait to see what Adobe has brought to the new Director before deciding whether to bother with it or not. The biggest improvement that I need is in the graphics engine. I’ve been a long-time user since VideoWorks, but the crufty graphics capabilities have barely progressed in 20 years. I need to be able to rotate and distort cast members *smoothly* and with proper anti-aliasing; I need proper image mixing of 24 bit images, not the mickey-mouse 256 colour nonsense that I still have to put up with; I need proper support for alpha channels; I need fractional or resolution independent positioning of castmembers; I need OpenGL/DirectX9 support!

    • Justin Wylie
    • Posted February 5, 2008 at 10:45 pm
    • Permalink

    Allen, is there any more info you can post on the Director update? We are firing up Director again to update a project after not touching it for a couple of years. I went for a quick look as I reinstalled to see if there was a new version available but didnt come across anything. Maybe I didn’t look hard enough. Any info would be welcome.

    • Sandra Deschamps
    • Posted February 18, 2008 at 11:44 am
    • Permalink

    Yes, there are developers who use Director for off-line purposes. I make presentations and “leave behind” DVDs for market research. Flash really doesn’t do what I need, so I’ve been getting worried.

    I was actually doing a web search to see if adobe was planning to kill Director and what they planned to replace it with when I stumbled across this page. I’m a “dinosaur” in multi-media and have been using Director for almost it’s entire life. After not seeing an upgrade of any kind after 4 years I was pretty sure I’d have to learn whatever Adobe’s new baby application is.

    Allen Partridge’s comment has really given me hope. Bring it on! There are still faithful users of Director who really rely on it!!! But this app needs an upgrade worse than Britney needs rehab! 😉

  8. What I am finding interesting is over the past few days I have come a cross a lot hinting at 3D gaming development and Director. I guess we will wait and see, should only be a couple of weeks.

    • Sandra Deschamps
    • Posted April 2, 2008 at 12:25 pm
    • Permalink

    We’re all still waiting!

    Anyone hear anything yet?

  9. I have not gotten around to downloading and trying any trial version. But I have heard of people finding some pretty bad bugs, and that’s about all I’ve come across on the feeds out there.

  10. Just wanted to update everyone that we are now out with Adobe Director 11.5. This is the second major release of Director from Adobe and adds H.264 video, Flv and f4v support (yes streaming via rtmp too) and we are proud to be the first prominent online plugin to support 5.1 surround sound. 😉

    The audio engine is completely updated, including ground up amazing controls for great responsiveness – far more simultaneous sounds than ever before with a dynamic mixing system and real-time audio effects and filters.

    Added Leopard support for authoring and updated the Firefox 3 support. We have tons of additional goodies in there as well – enhancements to text, including great optimizations that really speed up the scripting and text engines. This is a very solid update that I enthusiastically recommend people look at for all their offline, prototyping and online 3D needs.

    What’s next? We’ve set our sites on an updated 3D engine and of course we anticipate a Flash 10 compatible xtra along with the usual surprises. Director is growing again and starting to get some serious momentum as Shockwave plugin penetration reaches an estimated half a billion making Shockwave 3D by far the single most universal way to do 3d in a web browser. Its been an amazing 18 months so far and i’m thrilled with Director’s return. I hope you all will get a chance to take a look at it – trial download of 11.5 is free as usual.

    –Allen

  11. Allen,

    Thanks for the update, very much appreciated. And yes 5.1 Surround Sound, H264 and f4v is a big deal and congratulations to the team.

    Once you finally get current Flash player support I’d love to look at Director again, any plans to support ActionScript language as a choice along with Lingo and JavaScript or will that remain Flash & Flex territory only?

    Also, is the planned 3D engine progression going to be based on the current version meaning a new deal with Intel is in place / in the works?

    Thanks again, this is good news indeed.

    Peter.


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