Over the past couple of months, I’ve updated a number of Macromedia products: Flash, Fireworks, Dreamweaver, Freehand — and now Director — to the MX 2004 level. In addition, I’ve gotten ColdFusion, JRun and Flash Communication Server developer editions and copies of Contribute for both platforms, as well as a year’s worth of Developer Resource Kits.
What’s annoying is that the Director upgrade cost me $399 per platform, while everything else cost only $599 as part of a DevNet Professional upgrade.
Flash underwent some major changes in MX 2004. The other applications in the DevNet upgrade didn’t change as much (at least not in ways I cared about, apart from the greater incorporation of CSS in Dreamweaver), but Macromedia’s push is definitely behind Flash in a way that you just don’t see there for Director. It’s clear that Macromedia sees a future in Flash.
That’s not so obvious for Director. Yes, much has changed in DMX2004, but it’s not getting the kind of overhauling that it needs for long-term development. We’re still missing standard controls. Compare the text display engine in Director with the inlined graphics and style sheets text in Flash. Shockwave 3D, the thing that was supposed to save Director and which siphoned off development resources four years ago has been relatively stagnant for two versions; nobody’s shipping new SW3D exporters.
I wish my Director dollars went as far as my Flash dollars do.