Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Director 11 : Coming Soon

When Adobe and Macromedia "merged" there was a lot of talk about which apps would hit the waste bin of history.  High on that list were Freehand, Authorware and Director.  Freehand was the first to go.  But at a Q&A session at webDu 2007 one of the panel members (I think it was Mike Downey) surprised most attendees when he confirmed that work on the next version of Director was advancing.  Well this morning on c|net there is an article about a March release of Director 11.  The article doesn't have much detail but it mentions improved 3D, using Ageia PhysX engine, inclusion of the Flash 9 Player and an improved pricing model (with a $99 student edition).  It seems that Director really does live to see another year.

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Chris said...

I teach this program --still-- at a high school and I find it's easy to learn and able to create useful content. I prefer it over Flash--I'll take lingo over actionscript any day and so will novice programmers.

geekglue said...

Hi Chris,

Director was the first multimedia program I was taught and even though that was a few years ago I still think they should have moved away from teaching Director back then. Lingo is an older styled scripting language and learning it doesn't prepare you for a world dominated by ECMA based scripting. Learning Actionscript provides a very easy stepping stone to javascript, PHP and even Java. The other thing is that there are very few employers looking for Director developers but there are many jobs around for Flash developers. I'll be surprised if Director reaches a v12 release and the next few years will see it's influence continue to dwindle. Do yourself and your students a favor and keep step with the world. Sorry if this sounds harsh Chris (this is definitely the strongest response I've ever made to a comment) but I've taught and been taught Director, been employed as a Director developer (past tense) and I'm now in a position where I'm making hiring decisions. Having Director experience on your CV is only a good thing if you were alive when The Beatles were big.

Esa said...

Hi Geek
"Learning Actionscript provides a very easy stepping stone to javascript, PHP and even Java."

Have you ever tried switching "Lingo" tab with "Javascript" in Director?

geekglue said...

Hi esa,

I'm aware of that option. But I'd deserted Director prior to it's introduction and it was hardly an inducement to return. I'm sticking with my core argument that it's unlikely that a student will find a Director job post-study and it is best to prepare them with the tools the industry is using rather than the tools their old school teachers grew up with.

infocyde said...

Director is much more suited for game development. Most of the web based games that kids play online are still made with the aging Director 2004 MX package. Sure, you can right games in Flash, but not true 3D engine games, and not on any sort of complex level. So, I'd say if you are looking to develop a web based MMO Director beats Flash any day. For most jobs, which are web work, I would agree that learning Flash or Flex is a much better way to go. Director vs Flash is more of a decision based on what you are trying to do rather then one is always superior to the other. The question now is how big is Adobe's long term commitment to Director, and if newer programs like Unity 3D make learning or relearning Director worth while.

geekglue said...

Thanks for the comment Infocyde. I'm a bit surprised by your comment that most online games are built with Director. Looking at sites like Kongregate and MySpace's games portal I get a very different impresssion. Kongregate currently has over 3500 games available all built with Flash. Obviously this figure will be dramatically different if you start looking at 3D games. But there seem to be a number of vastly better engines than Director for building 3D games (thinking here of things like World of Warcraft). From a jobs perspective I have seen a number of jobs advertised this year looking for Actionscript developers with games experience. But I haven't seen any equivalent ads for Director. I'd be keen to see any solid evidence to the contrary.