Director 12 Publishes to iOS and Adobe’s Wallet

The new release of Director 12 publishes to iOS, which is big news to old Director hands like me. I believed that Adobe had let Director starve to death in the basement while Flash and Co. gobbled up the company’s resources. Now that Flash is dead on Android and, of course, never made it to iOS, this is some news indeed. But with a sting in the tail.

Mac4Ever pointed out (article in French) that Adobe revised its end-user license agreement to include a clause demanding, “10% of the revenue paid by Apple inc. and / or its affiliate(s) to customer in relation to such paid iOS app in a quarter.” So that’s 10% of whatever you get after Apple’s 30% cut. This only applies to revenues of over $20,000, which might not affect that many developers, but there is some noise going on in Adobe’s (probably unread by Adobe) user forums about this. With just eight comments, however, you can see how small that community has become, sadly.

Bear in mind that this an application Adobe have let languish for years and costs €1,188 for the boxed version and, weirdly, €1,228 to download (can someone explain the economics of that to me?). With Flash’s mobile demise, this could have actually seen some take up. I suspect there are quite a few ex-Director fans out there – its interface was always much more pleasant than Flash – but this feels like Adobe are actively discouraging people to use it for anything other than some small, hobby projects.

It would probably be useful for me for some quick prototyping interactive research projects, but only because I can still code in Lingo and it beats the learning curve of Objective-C for me.

Given there are so many other methods of prototyping for iOS out there that are either cheap or free, Adobe’s pricing strategy remains, as ever, an enigma. This enigma looks like it might have some light shed on it by Australia’s House of Representatives Committee on Infrastructure and Communications who have summoned Apple, Adobe and Microsoft to a public hearing in order to explain their price gouging in Australia. Director 12 costs AU$1,671, which is US$1,721. It’s US$999 in the USA store. The same massive markup happens on all Adobe software.

(If you want to see it in action with a classic “bouncing ball” exercise, Raman Pfaff has made a short screencast of publishing Director 12 to iOS if you want to see it in action.)

Director 11 Released – R.I.P. Director


Director 11 was released a couple of months ago apparently, though I hadn’t seen the press release. If this was a new version of Flash, the web would be going crazy right now, which just goes to show what’s happened to Director over the years. It was only Douglas Edric Stanley’s rant on how unstable it is that alerted me to the fact.

The good news is that Adobe have finally got around to releasing an Intel version of the Shockwave plug-in, so all that old stuff we made can be viewed online again, and Director is now Intel and Vista compatible.

The bad news is that it’s about three years too late. Macromedia and then Adobe pretty much let Director gather dust whilst they polished Flash. Though I’m sad to say it, there seems to be little point in Director anymore.

I’m sad because it could have been a contender in the multi-touch prototyping arena and because Macromedia and Adobe really just let a good application die. It’s also depressing because all that Lingo I know is pretty much redundant – I think I’ll learn Fortran next.

Director used to be (and probably still is) great for rapid prototyping, had a great set of plug-ins with its Xtras and its handling of bitmaps, video and audio was far superior to Flash. Now the likes of OpenFrameworks and Processing are there for funky stuff and Flash can handle pixels and video brilliantly for the day-to-day work.

I still think Director has a much, much better interface and conceptual paradigm than Flash, though the next version of Flash, ‘Diesel’, steals quite a few elements from Director to finally make keyframes usable. I also think that Lingo is a great way to get non-coders into programming because it’s very forgiving, although I know many ‘real’ coders find it too sloppy because of that.


Adobe’s ‘Extreme Mountain Bike Race’ – about as extreme as a fluffy kitten.

Adobe appear to be staking Director’s future on 3D games online, but I can’t help thinking that in these days of online PS3 and XBox games – not to mention PC-based games – that the market isn’t huge for people wanting play 3D games that look and play like they’re from the Playstation 1. Simple 2D games like Line Rider are brilliant. If you want 3D, get a giant graphics card or a console.

Although there is talk of Director 12 and even 13, they’ll be too late to be of any use even if they do arrive. Director is effectively dead.

A great deal of the early discoveries and experiments with interactive media were created in Director (and Hypercard) and a lot of what we now take for granted online and offline wouldn’t have been the same without it.

So long, Director, been nice knowing you.

I know some of you out there reading this are of have been Director developers – I’ve even taught a few of you – what do you think?

Fix for Modifier Keys not working in Adobe CS2 Applications

It’s not really on-topic for Playpen, but I’m hoping this might help others out there who have had the same problem with modifier keys suddenly not working in Adobe’s CS2 applications like Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. I haven’t had a chance to try this with CS3 yet.

It’s pretty dull unless you’ve been bugged with this problem, in which case it’s really useful to know. So hit the “Read More” link for the a solution.

Continue reading “Fix for Modifier Keys not working in Adobe CS2 Applications”

Interactive Banner Ad from Adobe


I interacted with a banner ad today, and actually enjoyed it. Adobe’s Creative License campaign is currently on display at Coudal Partners’ Layer Tennis page and is a clever bit of unobtrusive and playful banner advertising – I’m shocked to even write that sentence.


It’s a good integration of the message and a decent pun, but it’s also a sweetly made tiny little interactive experience. Basically the slider reveals more or less ‘crazy creative stuff’ with a little audio. I must have slid the slider back and forh, oh, at least four or five times and I even clicked on it to go an visit the predictably over-glossy microsite, which I soon bored of.

If that sounds like it isn’t much of a triumph, have a think about the last banner that engaged you. I can’t think of any. It’s nice to see people thinking a bit more creatively (appropriately for the brand) about these things.

The campaign was developed by Oops, CS3 conference conference development by Trekk Cross-Media, but the banner was by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.

[tags]adobe, banner, interactivity, trekk[/tags]