We recently posted a tech note to help people on Mac 10.3.x (Panther) with a problem where the 10.1 installer didn’t update the pre-installed v9 player properly.
This issue has come up more and more frequently — maybe because people are hitting new Shockwave 10 content out there — in the past few months. Basically, if you run the installer, it will appear to complete correctly. But when you view Shockwave content, the area will be blank and/or you will see a “shockwave failed to load” error dialog.
We originally had a hard time reproducing it, so the fix was unclear. Well, we’ve got it figured out now. Some Panther builds had incorrectly set the plug-in so it couldn’t be overwritten (which Apple seems to have fixed for later builds after we reported the issue, thus the mixed bag of results.) We updated the installer to use the “always overwrite the file” option so that it overwrites the existing plug-in every time.
It’s fixed now, and the right bits are on the player download center. If you have customers who have reported issues with Shockwave Player on Panther, send them to download the latest installer from macromedia.com.
Another useful tidbit: the Mac installer is also the uninstaller. If you click on the “Easy Install” drop-down in the upper left corner, the drop-down will show the “Uninstall” option.
Karl Sigiscar has a new article on the Director Developer Center that describes five simple techniques to create alpha channles for your Flash and Director applications.
Creating Bitmaps with Alpha Channels for Transparent Flash Applications, Director Bitmap Sprites, and Shockwave 3D Overlays
The technote for the Macromix Xtra bug fix is live, and contains the downloads for authoring.
Last week we made a few minor tweaks to the installation process, and released an updated Macromix Xtra to fix a crashing bug. Sorry to hold the info for so long, but I was waiting for the tech note for the bugfix to go live … and am still waiting …
Installer: The final step/dialog, that asks users if they want to use the “highly recommended” auto-update notification service has been removed from the registration process. Our research shows that most people elect to leave the service on during the registration process. We felt the additional dialog could be removed, further reducing the number of dialogs in the process. The player auto-update service continues to be optional, and is on by default upon installation. As before, users who do not wish to use the service can change the setting in the player context menu.
Tech note describing how to disable the auto-update service : http://www.macromedia.com/go/tn_16683
Macromix: There was a bug in the Macromix sound device code that would cause intermittent crashes when stopping sound files using sound().stop(), and typically problems occurred when rapidly starting and stopping a number of short sounds. This issue was exposed on some older Windows systems. The Macromix Xtra was updated to properly handle latency issues and prevent crashes in these situations.
I’ll post the link to the tech note for this issue, with a link to download the updated Xtra for authoring as soon as it is available. Should be next week.
We gave the Director product pages a mini-facelift, which just went live on the site. Because this is often the starting point for people looking for information about Director, we wanted to update the page with a focus on attracting new customers, encouraging upgrades, and providing a better “portal” to customers for indexing the Director-related information.
Some of the little tweaks off the top of my head (now that I don’t have the old site to compare to…):
– New links to “Xtras Extensions” and “Shockwave Player Home” in the right hand nav
– Aligned the “Why Upgrade” section to call out the features we discovered were the key drivers for upgrades through customer surveys
– Added a case study to start the Director in Action section, which will be swapped out as new ones come in
– Added a better call-out for Shockwave Player at the end
The tech note about the 3D offset in Safari has been posted. FYI, the note at the bottom will be updated to read “Note: This issue does not occur in other supported Mac OS X browsers, only Safari.”
Apple OS X Tiger, which has a ton of interesting new features, is coming out today. Before you upgrade, be sure to check the Macromedia & Tiger Compatibility tech note to understand all the known issues with Macromedia products on Tiger so there aren’t any surprises that interrupt your daily workflow. We are working with Apple to resolve these issues.
There aren’t many new issues with Director or Shockwave Player compatibility with the Tiger release. But before you pounce all over us with your claws out, *yes* the 3D offset bug still exists in the new version of Safari. Note that in the new Safari, the offset is made worse by an additional 30 pixels or so. If you hide the address bar, you get the old 20 pixel bug behavior. Tom and our QA team have diligently tracked and babysat this bug through the process, and Apple knows this is the bug the product team cares most about getting fixed in the updates. We also highlighted that this new version of Safari exacerbated the problem. Obviously, we can’t promise anything about what the resolution will be, but the right people know about it.
We are working on a tech note about the 3D offset bug to be posted later today, which will let users know that the workaround is to either use Software Rendering in Safari, or use a different browser. You might want to consider detecting Safari and letting users know what their options are for viewing your content properly. Our system requirements for Mac only list Netscape and IE, but it does work in Firefox. Actually, I believe 3D works fine in pretty much any browser *except* Safari (and I believe we’ve seen issues in Camino as well.)
You can view the Director Emerging Issues tech note here.