Director anyone?

Douglas Edric Stanley


Thanks to Marius Watz’s post over at Generator.x (The Company Formerly Known as Macromedia), I noticed that Macromedia has finally been swallowed whole by Adobe. That I didn’t get to this information about 30 seconds afer-the-fact, but rather several days afterwards, is testimony to how far I’ve travelled on this subject. The first time I had wandered off like this was during the terror and agony of waiting for Director to be ported to Mac OS X. It was probably the best thing that could have happened to me, as I learned several languages and environments in the hiatus. But now, this time around, I’ve more or less nailed the coffin shut as far as Director’s future is concerned.

Macromedia Director MX Logo

It’s also been fun to explore other means of playing with code artistically, which I probably wouldn’t have done if I was still trapped in the magical world of sprites.

That doesn’t mean I couldn’t eventually turn around the hammer if Adobe pulled out some magic rabbit. But until Macromedia Adobe actually comes to my bedside and tells me the contrary, Director is a lame duck. Sure, it’ll probably drag on, and who knows, it might even get a new life (cough). But I’ve already switched all my workshops and teaching over to Processing. Any responsible artist teaching code to the next generation should do the same. Processing is open, easy to learn, expanable, and most importantly built and used by artists. Macromedia originally built their company off Director, and it was built as a demo tool, as a training tool, but also as an artistic tool. It was sound and motion, along with code. And until Flash came along to spoil the party, it was kick-ass. It was pretty much a platform, but over the last few years turned more and more into a multimedia tool.

I’ve been using Director since version 3.0, so I’ve seen this thing evolve. It’s currently traversing dark days. And now with Apple’s switch to Intel, I’m not only going to have to wait for Adobe to update Director — should be painful, if they decide to do it at all — but also all the third-party xtras, including some pretty obscure xtras that are absolutely key to my success. So it’s looking pretty grim for me right now. I was planning on releasing a DVD-Rom of my last algorithmic film using my Concrescence platform, for example. Well, guess that’ll have to wait another… year? two years? never? I have no idea, as Abobe won’t tell.

Anyway, I’m not going to risk sacrificing my students over this. At least they’ll have more options until Adobe comes clean on its intentions. Meanwhile I’ll be over here agonizing on the future of several of my works.

Oh, did I mention that Shockwave 3d still sucks?

Here’s Marc Canter’s original reaction to the whole affair.