Disclaimer: this is somewhat of an anti-Macromedia rant, but it is not meant as a communication to stop using such products. Macromedia tools are useful for rapid prototyping, and a lot of automated, day-to-day tasks.

For example, Director's Vector object has a list of vertices inside the sprite - which need to be controlled through Lingo. Often times, it is extremely hard for a Lingo beginner to get straight in their heads that a member is quite different from a sprite and that the two terms should not be interchangable in either oral conversation or written code. It is also quite hard for a Flash beginner to differenciate between a library symbol, and its instance. This complex metaphor system is only confusing. The Director team surrenders to the difficult task of trying to integrate 3D vector graphics into the stage-sprite system, and currently provides a 3D sprite wherein everything 3D can occur. Years before that, people were creating all kinds of 3D work-arounds with complex code controlling sprites that were not originally intended for the purpose. This only proves that the Lingo scripting language was strong enough to whiz the numbers around, but display techniques are a black art. In Director, there was a very complex work-around for being able to draw a line from one point to another. This technique pre-dates Macromedia's Vector asset, as well as Image Lingo by several years, and had to be posted to websites and emailed around as a not-so-obvious set of steps to take, invented by someone who was able to understand the system from the outside. It has taken Macromedia years to finally catch up with us - only in that respect. Since early versions of Flash, the global location of the mouse has very important to a lot of people. A very complex work-around was devised within the community of developers who needed it the most - which was then posted to source sharing sites like FlashKit.com. A movieclip would be forcefully "dragged" throughout the entire movie's existence - picking up the mouse events and broadcasting them to the rest of the Flash movie. Debates existed about what the best or most efficient way to hide this movieclip would be. This underground technique changes with each new version of Flash.

And so although the sprite/movieclip system was intended to make things more simple, the future is now - and this old metaphor is only a burden to many. It is no wonder that people throw large parties when a new plugin or new software version is released by a far away company. A new version or plugin symbolizes the promise of freedom. The worst part about it is that most people who come from Macromedia products find it too hard to envision using any system that does not contain those interface metaphors. They are brainwashed into that template of thought. Let us now break out of this jail cell, and bend its iron bars into beautiful expressive sculpture. back