Macromedia Director

Summary: How to transfer Director files between Macintosh and PC. What you should know to master such data and file exchanges.


Macromedia Director had a long time a special position amongst applications which are cross-platform compatible. As a matter of fact, if you programmed on one platform, you had nevertheless to compile the projector on the other side of the famous fence.
This period is now over with the last mx 10 version (see below).
One could say that, in the multimedia sector, there are many subtle differences between both environments, and that it is better to test the projector on the other machine before distributing it. On the other hand, see below for a trick.

Director Projector Files

It is now possible, as with Flash, to produce on one platform the executables for Windows and for Mac OS.
The Windows executable is an *.EXE file. This is a straight monolithic file, which should not bring any problem.
The Macintosh executable is a *.HQX file (BinHex Container) containing both Forks.
Such a file will be recognized correctly by MacDisk and MacImage and managed adequately when copying to a real Macintosh medium or to a hybrid CD-ROM project.

How to Transfer a Projector File to PC?

(Only applies to former versions)
You recompiled the projector on the Mac and got an application which runs fine. You would now like to transfer it to the PC to include the projector in a CD-ROM project you made with MacImage. The common error is to transfer the file with a MS-DOS medium, an ISO CD-ROM or even a network. Most of the time, you only get the data fork and not the resource fork. The application can't run (error -39). You must have both of them, and together, or your application can't run.
If the file is stored on a physical medium or a NTFS server running SFM (we have no experience with other networks), you can use our MacDisk to copy the file correctly, as a MacBinary container. See the description given about Installing Macintosh Applications.
This solution works also with so-called Xtras.

Character mapping on the Mac and on the PC

A file named FONTMAP.TXT in the Director folder allows you to specify the mapping of the characters when converting from Windows to Macintosh and back.

A trick to avoid recompiling

On a newsgroup, a 'trick' was proposed to avoid recompiling the whole projector on the other platform. The solution is to always name the first movie as 'movie1.dir' (for an example). The projector you need is then very simple (just a 'go to movie1.dir'). You would then compile it only once on the other platform.
Let me stress that it doesn't mean that you should not test on the other platform. You are only freed from the necessity to recompile and thence to own a license.

Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X

Director handles as two distinct platforms Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. You have therefore to produce two executables for the Macintosh platform, one to run under OS 9 and one to run under OS X.
Since it is not possible to hide a folder for Mac OS X under Mac OS 9, or conversely, and since developers wanted nevertheless to have a single projector, Macromedia published a technote about how to bundle both projectors in a single container.
The main idea is to produce a Mac OS X bundle, buit keeping it compatible with the package introduced under Mac OS 9.
First observation, the projector bundle will not run under older versions of Mac OS.
The principle of bundles/packages is to let folders appear as the application (the user clicks on the folder and the application is launched). Underneath, a strict organization of the data files, resource files and applications allows to manage everything correctly.

Pierre Duhem (ex-Logiciels & Services Duhem)
3, rue Pierre Haret - F-75009 Paris (France) - Tel. (+33) [0]149 700 455