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Worried Lingo Programmer seeks advise

Over the last few years, I have gained tons of skills and experience in developing multimedia applications using Macromedia Director and it's programming language, Lingo. I have recently been struggling with two concerns:

1. There's TONS of buzz about the new MX line and everyone has an opinion on the usefulness of those tools, which is neither here nor there to me. What worries me is the very lack of mention on anything relating to Director. I can't say this for sure but it seems to me that Director has one of Macromedia's largest and most loyal user bases for any of their products. In my opinion, it's still Flash's big brother as far as CD development goes. They say they're working on it... but that could be like saying "The check is in the mail".

2. My second concern grows from my first one... The product that I've been developing over the last few years is starting to *way* out-strip what Director can offer as a software development tool, and since there is no news about Director or any of it's up-coming features, I'm leaning towards learning a new language. The question is... WHICH ONE?!

There are SO many to choose from and everyone has their own preference. C++, C#, Java#, VB, etc... Where do I begin my deliberations for choosing one?

Susi Sloan
Friday, October 25, 2002

The whole point of Director was that it was developed for non-programmers.

So really it's not a question of learing another programming language but of learning programming.

The best is to find what other people are doing. Most games are written in C++ (I think) but you are talking about big multi-person development teams, not I believe what you had in mind at all.

For single player games it might be worth having a look at DarkBasic, but much depends on what you want to do.

The general purpose programming languages (C, C++, C#, Java, Python, Delphi) not only require a steep learning curve but do not have the shortcuts other more tailored languages do.

Stephen Jones
Friday, October 25, 2002

How about Flash?

pb
Friday, October 25, 2002

Macromedia is poised to release Director MX soon. The article doesn't mention any new features, however.

http://www.thinksecret.com/news/directormx2.html

Zwarm Monkey
Friday, October 25, 2002

Maybe I wasn't really clear in my explaination... I AM a programmer. I use all the most modern techniques of programming including OOP, I just happen to do it in Director. I know all about patterns, classes, information hiding, abstract data types, etc. etc... What I mean is that I'm getting to a point where Director can't really do as much as I need it to, so I'm looking for another language to adopt (and yes, Lingo is a language in my book).

What I created in Director isn't what most would consider a "typical" Director app. If you're curious, look here: http://www.sundayplus.com
And here is an article I wrote about the development of the product: http://www.director-online.com/accessArticle.cfm?id=1098

I guess what I'm really asking is, which language should I learn? I seem to have narrowed it down to C++ or VB. Obviously, being a lower level language, C++ is the more powerful... so what are the biggest (generally speaking) limitations to VB when compaired to C++? What does VB NOT do well?

Susi Sloan
Friday, October 25, 2002

"What does VB NOT do well?"

Among many other things... computer graphics. Your main interest seems to be multimedia, think about how much you rely on graphics, what kind of graphics, what kinds of graphics APIs are exposed to VB. Does your job require portability? Another strong point of Director is that from the same piece of work you can release an interactive CD for both, Windows and MacOS.

Beka Pantone
Saturday, October 26, 2002

Blitz Basic...

http://www.blitzbasic.com

...is a very powerful language that unlike most other in the genre compiles fully...

Eric DeBois
Saturday, October 26, 2002

Congratualtions on a superb tutorial! And I normally hate Flash animations!

Stephen Jones
Saturday, October 26, 2002

If you want to create more desktop apps, I would recommend learning VB.NET or sticking with Director (you will be most productive using what you already know). If you want to create graphical web apps, I would recommend Flash.

Zwarm Monkey
Saturday, October 26, 2002

What hooks does Director offer? Does it interface with any other languages than Lingo? You allready have a code base for Director - ok, so you have reached its limits... Does that mean you have to abandon Director? I think not!

You'll probably find there is an interface to C (and any other language capable of calling C functions, like C++ or VB or Pascal) that you can use to overcome Lingos shortcommings.

With this approach you can start to do things in other languages and still know where to start (Director)

I found the easiest way to start programming in C was to use Win32 API functions from VB, then write my own and so forth.

Daren Thomas
Monday, October 28, 2002

As for hooks, yes there are a few. For example, we're experimenting with using BuddyAPI (which is an Xtra - like an extensibility module) to send messages directly to a C++ program that's being developed to help expand functionality. It seems to be working fairly well, but if more and more parts of the program start being converted to C++ (or whatever language), then I'll eventually need to learn it. We also have some issues with memory and performance which are inherent to Director (it's a hog).

It never hurts to add more "tools" to the "tool box" by learning a new language, which I don't mind doing. I just keep waffling back and forth between VB and C++. VB or C++, VB or C++? If VB is limited in how low it can go, then C++ is probably the way to go, even if the development time is somewhat longer, right?

Susi Sloan
Monday, October 28, 2002

you know, i'm a VB programmer, and I find that there's an awful lot you can do with VB, provided you use Win32 API calls.  If your platform is gonna be windows, I'd say learn VB.  But since SundayPlus is a Windows/Mac app, then maybe you should go for the C++...

good luck.

nathan
Monday, October 28, 2002

Oh! You said Lingo...I thought you meant "Logo".. I was gonna say "Time to learn a new language!"

Mark Hoffman
Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Please,  I am a student at the departmente of Cultural Informatics, I am trying to write a behavior, that will play mp3 songs, Please, help me, I have write a behavior, but doesn;t operate, could you help me?
The error that show me is : Handler definition expected, temp5=sound(theChan).

I can't understand it, I will be lunatic with that!!

The code is:

global gfiler, gSongsList, gTempFolder
global gsounds1, gsounds2
global gsound1, gsound2, gCounter, gFlag1, gFlag2
global gSerial

on beginSprite me
 
  gFlag1=1
  gFlag2=1
end


on mouseUp
  gCounter=1
  TEMPNAME1=gTempFolder&gSongslist[gCounter]
 
  the filename of gsound1=tempname1
  the filename of gsound1=the filename of gsound1
 
  sound1(1).queue(member(gsound1))
 
  sound(1).play()
  gFlag1=0
  --  gSerial=1
end

on exitFrame me
  if gFlag1=0 then
    if sound(1).isBusy() then
      if sound(1).currentTime>(sound(1).endTime-30000) then
        gcounter=gCounter+1
        TEMPNAME1=gTempFolder&gSongsList[gCounter]
        put "1 changing to 2"
       
        the filename of gsound2=tempname1
        the filename of gsound2=the filename of gsound2
       
        sound(2).queue(member(gsound2))
        sound(2).play()
        sound(1).fadeOut(10000)
        gFlag1=1
        gFlag2=0
      end if
    end if
  end if
 
  if gFlag2=0 then
    if sound(2).isBusy() then
      if sound(2).currentTime>(sound(2).endTime-30000) then
        gcounter=gCounter+1
       
--if gcounter>gSongsList count then
--gcounter=1
--end if


TEMPNAME1=gTempFolder&gSongsList[gCounter]
put "2 changing to 1"
--        put tempname1
the filename of gsound1=tempname1
the filename of gsound1=the filename of gsound1

sound(1).queue(member(gsound1))
sound(1).play()
sound(2).fadeOut(10000)
gFlag2=1
gFlag1=0
end if
end if
end if
end

elen panagou
Friday, January 23, 2004

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