Director shortcomings; Rev/altBrowser the solution?

Terry Judd tsj at
Mon Sep 20 18:02:49 EDT 2004

On Tuesday, September 21, 2004, at 01:36  AM, 
use-revolution-request at wrote:

> From: "Van Esch, Stephen (Bolton)" <svanesch at>
> Date: Mon Sep 20, 2004  10:24:22  PM Australia/Melbourne
> To: "'use-revolution at'" 
> <use-revolution at>
> Subject: Director shortcomings; Rev/altBrowser the solution?
> Reply-To: How to use Revolution <use-revolution at>
> Folks:
> Here (according to our Director developer) is the rundown on where 
> Director
> is apparently falling short when it comes to developing the product we 
> need.
> Can anyone tell me if Rev can solve these problems or if we're 
> overlooking
> something in Director?

Sounds like Rev/altBrowser could meet all the requirements with the 
exception of the 3D stuff. Director can obviously handle that side of 
things but should also be able to cope with the other stuff using a 
combination of the XMLParser (Macromedia) and WebViewer (3rd-party) 
Xtras. The XMLParser Xtra is pretty basic  but at least it's reliable.  
PDFs aren't as easy as you suggest as there is no Acrobat plugin for 
OSX - they will be launched in preview when linked to in an embedded 
browser. There's a cross-platform 3rd-party Xtra called Impressario 
that allows you to embed PDF within Director - but it's pretty costly - 
$US 439 - ouch!


> ------
> Dynamic population of drop down boxes with multiple language types.
> For example, I would like to have an external (maybe XML) list of 
> language
> names, all using their appropriate font set. I would like to have a 
> drop
> down box that's on the stage to gather all elements from the external 
> file
> to populate the drop down. Each element in the drop down would be a
> separately executable when selected.
> Browser Interaction-
> Embedding a browser within a Director window. The purpose of this 
> browser,
> would be to seamlessly integrate into the Director stage and interpret 
> an
> HTML file properly (including multiple language support).
> This embedded browser could have external Director controls that would
> print, navigate this HTML file.
> Also, a director search box could be embedded into the Director 
> environment
> and allow for user searching of web pages...
> 3 D model control
> To be able to have full control over a 3 D model (rotate, pan, zoom), 
> and
> embed hotspots on particular sections of the model. I would like to be 
> able
> to click on a spot to navigate to another area of the score within the
> Director environment, and/or launch an external browser or an embedded
> browser.
> ------
> Just to recap the complexity of this project:
> The project will deal with very large amounts of text. The text needs 
> to be
> formatted with many different styles and includes detailed tables and
> graphics with captions. The text will originate from an XML file, 
> needs to
> be searchable, and be displayed in multiple languages. All languages 
> will be
> included in the project and users should be able to switch from one to 
> the
> other seamlessly. All drop-down boxes and interface elements will need 
> to
> change on the fly when the user selects a new language. Dynamic text 
> based
> on user search strings must be generated. Users must be able to print 
> the
> content of windows (even windows holding dynamic content.) To cap it, 
> the
> project must interact with the user's system for base technology 
> checks and
> a few other things.
> We've looked at many different solutions. From what we can tell, the 
> best
> way to do this consistently and effectively is through an embedded 
> browser
> window and use XHTML/HTML to handle the formatting and unicode. An
> additional benefit is that we will be able to handle pdfs if we use a
> browser.
> For this project, Director may not work because of the problems 
> mentioned
> above. Flash will not work because it's inability to handle large 
> amounts of
> formatted text. iShell may work but it's ability to work with the 
> operating
> system seems limited.
> So, can anyone tell me if the Rev/altBrowser combination is the best 
> way to
> go with this? Are we missing something in Director? Ideally, we'd like 
> to
> have absolutely everything handled from within the app but I don't 
> think
> this is possible.
> Any help would be really appreciated. I've been banging my head 
> against the
> wall looking for decent solution for some time now.
> Steve
Dr Terry Judd
Lecturer in Educational Technology (Design)
Biomedical Multimedia Unit
Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health Sciences
The University of Melbourne
Parkville VIC 3052

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