OT: Need advice from anyone who's worked with Director

Subject: OT: Need advice from anyone who's worked with Director
From: "Geoff Hart" <Geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 1999 16:29:15 -0400

Please respond off-list, as this is off-topic and a somewhat
sensitive issue. Here's the story:

One of our managers hired a whiz kid nominally experienced in
MacroMedia Director to develop the software on a training CD we're
working on. (Some of you may recall my original question on this
issue... we originally proposed developing the software in HTML,
but the next thing we knew, we had a programmer working full guns
in Director.) The programmer seems reasonably knowledgable, and
he's a nice guy to work with, but I'm wondering just how productive
he is. He spends a lot of time pounding away on the keyboard, and
the results are certainly satisfactory, but the time it's taking to
build the prototype of our presentation seems inordinate.

A typical symptom of the problem is his claim that if we have to
add a new screen between two existing screens, he'll have to
rebuild the entire presentation from the ground up because the
code that basically says "go to the next page" is hardwired rather
than preprogrammed (e.g., on page 4, you have to code "go to
page 5" rather than "go to next page"). My guess is that he's doing
all the internal plumbing using Lingo, Director's built-in
programming language, rather than using the menu system to
select preprogrammed behaviors (such as "go to next page"): this
would be akin to building a long MSWord document using one file
per page, and using hardwired hyperlinks to connect the files in the
right sequence. If I'm right, this would certainly account for all the
rapidfire typing.

So here's the question: Is Director, which is supposed to be a fast,
efficient, production tool, really the program from hell, in which
everything has to be hardcoded by hand, or does it provide built-in
shortcuts that let you automate transitions from page to page? Can
you drag screens around like sorting slides in PowerPoint's slide
sorter, or do you do this only through Lingo coding? While we're at
it, does the software let you wrap text around graphics? He claims
it doesn't, and that all the wraps have to be done outside the
program in Flash.

Suspiciously and confusedly yours...

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca (Pointe-Claire, Quebec)
"Perhaps there is something deep and profound behind all those sevens, something just calling out for us to discover it. But I
that it is only a pernicious, Pythagorean coincidence." George Miller, "The Magical Number Seven" (1956)

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