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Macromedia Director related posts

Hacking around the Eolas patch the ugly-as-sin way

The Eolas vs Internet Explorer case has been getting a lot of attention lately, since it is almost time the patch is released in the wild. To make a long story short: Internet Explorer 6 and the upcoming version 7 will display plugin content differently from the 'seamless' experience we're used to. Whereas most plugins (Flash, Windows Media) will 'only' require an additional click to enabled interactivity, some plugins such as Quicktime and Shockwave result in an ugly dialog box when they are found on a page. The official workaround has authors rewrite each HTML page containing the 'offending' tags substantially.

Loading images into Shockwave from PHP or a database

Director has a bit of a bad habbit of ignoring the mime-type, or even the filename in the header of a file when you import it through importFileInto or setting the fileName property of a member in Shockwave. This means that it is not possible to load eg an image through a php script; Shockwave/Director only sees the .php extension it requested, and does not recognise that as an image format. As a result the image will not import. Since php is often used to 'glue' Shockwave movies to a database, this inability can be quite a problem. Personally, I am using PHP scripts to digest complex files into chunks that Shockwave can handle (ie: load embedded jpg frames from quicktime vr files).


Firefox 1.5 / Shockwave float() workaround

While waiting from a fix from either 'formerly Macromedia' or the Firefox team, here's what I use to work around the float() deficiency on European systems with Firefox 1.5:

Instead of using float() to convert a string to a float, I am now using myFloat(). myFloat() first checks if the current system is affected (seeing if a float is actually a float), and if so changes periods to commas.


Firefox 1.5 breaks Shockwave content on non-us systems

With all my complaining about Safari and Shockwave, you'ld almost forget there are other browsers with issues regarding Shockwave. Firefox 1.5 has been released recently, and many people are complaining about the new browser having issues with plugins in general; they just won't 'play'.

It's official, Macromedia is now 'formerly Macromedia'

The deal was finalised last week, but starting today the website has been slightly restyled(*) and heads 'Adobe, formerly macromedia'

What this means for Director, Shockwave, and ultimately SPi-V is unclear, but I have no reason to believe things will change dramatically in the near future. Director is still Macromedia Director, so SPi-V 1.3 will probably still launch 'powered by Macromedia Shockwave'...

(*) As a tribute to macromedia, I am going to stick with the original Macromedia gradient I ripped for the Director subtheme on ;-)

Spark conference panoramas

Today's the first conference day of Spark, Europe's Premier Flash Event. I am looking forward to being inspired, and learning about where Flash is heading. Panorama-wise, I am ofcourse more of a Shockwave person, but for my new job at Avinity I am doing more and more flash work...

I took two pano's this morning, at Guy Watson's session about Actionscript 3, and Mike Chambers' talk about Flash/javascript interaction. Neither of them are up to my normal standards, but I wanted to make a point of getting panoramas posted within at least a couple of hours of shooting them. So there will probably be some stitcherrors in these panos...

Safari offset redux...

Oh dear... Seems there may be more to the Safari offset problem/fix. After playing Shockwave 3d content (any hardware accellerated content, not just SPi-V), Quicktime VR file display with an offset.

To repro, first open this link on showing Times Square. Notice how it displays where it should, horizontally centered in the frame.

Now open a Shockwave 3d piece in the same window (such as's Cooper Mini). Hurray! Using the latest version of Safari, that displays as it should as well.

OS X 10.4.3: 3d offset bug FIXED!

Thomas Higgins picks up on my note on dir3d-l (after Iwan Baan told me) that OS X 10.4.3 has just been released and it finally fixes the 3d offset bug that has been paguing Shockwave 3d (and SPi-V) on Safari since version 1 (and the betas before).

Webkit nightly build(2)

The webkit nightly builds are pretty sweet in combination with SPi-V. The fieldOfView fullscreen panorama gallery now contains an experimental build that detects the nightly build and disables the fixes that were necessary before. SPi-V goodness in Safari at last!

To celebrate, I updated the panoramas to include the screensaver behavior scriptlet from SPi-V dev, through a nice new feature of the upcoming SPi-V 1.3. Leave the panorama alone for a good couple of seconds, and it will start to automatically show you around...

Webkit nightly build with Shockwave 3d fix available!

The latest, publically available nightly build of Webkit finally fixes the Shockwave 3d offset bug!

So, the good news is that SPi-V will run better in Safari in the foreseeable future, when this version of Webkit makes it to an official release of Safari. If you use the current version of SPi-V (eg the fullscreen panoramas gallery) with the new nightly build, you will see a black bar at the top of the window, whereas there used to be a black bar at the bottom.



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