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..And I don't blame them:
However, when I thought and thoroughly researched over it, I found a lot of differences - mainly minor ones which a joe user would not know about. So lets sort them out:
Now that Flash has really geared up Actionscript, included video, and moved past just tweening vector shapes, it has matured into a program that is hard to differentiate from Director. Actionscript is quite similiar to Lingo.
Now the last Director I worked with was 9 and at that time there was talk of killing it and moving it into Flash. Unless I intend on creating a full fledge video game, although flash can do this too, or I need to make a compiled program for desktops, I don't have need for Director or shockwave anymore. The last time I downloaded the shockwave plugin was 2 years ago. It is just not that common anymore.
I don't believe Macromedia will keep it going. Flash has become a nice cash cow at half the price. So many other programs have really started to take directors place for interactive movies. It will probably hang out for a while, but unless somebody finds a real good use for it, I don't see them investing the development time.
Because shockwave was before Flash, and Flash took it over so quickly, people will associate the two.
A little off topic but I personally think Flash is overused and abused, especially when it comes to adding sound to pop-up adverts, damn I hate those!
Exactly. Therefore you often hear a thing called "Shockwave Flash" which any experienced Flash designer would know it doesn't exist.
I think Flash vs Shockwave is like Visual Basic vs C++. When scripting in VB, you get a WYSIWYG-like view of your program which makes it easier on the GUI side, and plus it provides you with wizards etc to help you create your applications.
However, in C++, a lot of technical knowledge is required, no wizards, it doesn't have a graphical scripting interface, but it can achieve amazing things - leaving it all upon to its developer.
I still think though if Director was a little cheaper, many of us would be using it for sure.
> What % of browsers are shock & flash enabled?
Although there are no real statistics I could find, many say (including Macromedia themselves) that Flash is much more enabled/installed on web browsers than Shockwave, therefore I had the statement, "Is much more widespread".
Originally, Shockwave was built for the purpose of distributing visual presentations in CD-ROMs. However, as the web grew by, it was turned into a web browser plugin.
Shockwave files can be bigger - and usually are - because most Shockwave developers choose it due to its possibilities. If it is not possible with Flash, it is possible with Shockwave, and if it is possible with Shockwave, it's something big because it is not possible with Flash. ;)
Confusing I guess, but the bottom-line is Shockwave can do things which Flash can't - mostly scripting ones, and Flash can do things which Shockwave can't - mostly visual ones. Both can be bigger depending on the project size and the amount of optimization the developer has applied.
# More on the "looking good" side.
Depends what you want to do with it - it's a judgement call, not a fact.
# Loads faster
Depends. using a Flash executable locally on a desktop takes a lot of time to load. A Shockwave file is better suited to load locally. On the Net, it's a different story.
# Is used by many designers/developers.
Judgement call. Anyone can use both programs.
# Is cheaper to master (Macromedia Flash costs near $400).
Entry level work is easier, but to go beyond simple Flash require as much commitement as Director.
# Requires you to draw each frame by hand (unless you duplicate a frame into another key-frame).
Definitely false. You can program animations with ActionScript. In fact you can create frame animations in both programs. The animation capabilities of the programs are very similar.
# Doesn't require much technical knowledge.
Judgement call - depends about what you do with the program.
# Is on the 'simple' scripting level.
Judgement call. AS is simple in some ways, but isn't Lingo supposed to be as easy to grasp - hence its early popularity with developers?
Director does work well with cd roms and cd rom business cards, but with the proliferation of browsers it may not be the best solution. Director was created in a none connected world. Now Flash can be the same as Director since every computer usually has a browser. As I said before Actionscript is quite robust now.
Not sure, but I read this (and some of the stuff I said above) on the Macromedia Website.
"(Sometimes you might hear someone refer to "Shockwave Flash", but these are actually two different multimedia players.)"
Thanks for the clearification, Harry and Korkus.
SWF stands for Small Web Files. Its interesting to know that most people think that SWF means Shockwave Flash. A company called Future Splash created a product that created files that allowed for vector file format playback through a web browser. Macromedia purchased Future Splash and the rights to the SWF format and created a product all their own: Flash.