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Cross-Platform Publishing in Director MX 2004, Part 2

Sweeping the wee bit o' Xtra trickiness under the rug By Kevin Schmitt

(Ed. note: Part one of this tutorial is available here).

When we last left off, we were knee-deep in the creation of our masterpiece cross-platform Projector in Director MX 2004, one that consists of a single button that launches a PDF file. Exciting stuff, to be sure, but we're only halfway there. Join me as we continue our journey, this time as we venture outside the cozy confines of DMX04 and into the equally exciting world of moving files and manipulating text documents. And with a buildup like that, how could you not be breathless with anticipation?

Step 3: Take a little trip outside Director

As I've more than likely mentioned already, where things really start to get interesting (as it were) in Director MX 2004 is the ability to output cross-platform Projectors from a single authoring platform. Indeed, the title of this article would seem to back up that assertion, so I really should stop wasting valuable words on that particular tangent. Anyway, while cross-platform publishing is definitely something to cheer about, It's not patently obvious how to successfully publish this way when Xtras are involved. As you know from last time, the mini-project we're doing involves launching a PDF file through the use of the Buddy API Xtra (available at http://www.mods.com.au/budapi/), and while it's been possible for a while to include a dedicated Xtras folder alongside your Projector as a means of distributing Xtras, it's always a cleaner user experience to embed the Xtra directly into the Projector itself. But in MX04, doing so requires a little field trip.

The first thing we need to do here is to grab the Buddy API Xtra. Regardless of the platform you plan to author on, you will need to download both the Mac and the Windows versions (as of this writing, the Mac version is at 1.51, and the Windows version is 3.60). Once you've got those (and, if you're on Windows, a utility such as Stuffit Expander to decode the .hqx archive the Mac Xtra comes packaged up in), we're ready to put the Xtras where they need to go.

On both platforms, Director's application folder houses a directory called Configuration, and it is here that the three items we are interested in reside (fig. 1).

Figure 1

Figure 1: The three parts of Director's Configuration directory that shall concern us today.

The first is the Xtras directory, where you will stash the platform-native version of whichever Xtra you want to install:

Mac users:

  • Unarchive the "bm151.hqx" file you downloaded from the Buddy API site.
  • Open the resulting "Buddy API 1.51" folder that the archive created.
  • Choose the correct folder for your OS (Classic or X), and move the Xtra ("Buddy API Xtra" for Classic, "Buddy API OSX Xtra" for X) into your Director Xtras folder. Considering that Director MX 2004 doesn't even run in Classic, I suspect most of you will be needing the X version.
  • If you're on OS X, which, again, you probably are, rename "Buddy API OSX Xtra" to simply "Buddy API Xtra." Why you're doing this will become clear a little later.

Windows users:

  • Unarchive the "bx360.zip" file you downloaded from the Buddy API site.
  • Open the resulting "bx360" folder that the archive created.
  • Move the Xtra ("budapi.x32") into your Director Xtras folder.

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Related Keywords:director, director mx 2004, macromedia director, xtra, xtras, buddy api

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