Director's Place in the MX Family
In 2002, Macromedia began to release new versions of its products with the designation MX in place of a version number. (In case you're wondering, the initials don't stand for anything; Macromedia's marketing department just thought "MX" sounded cool.) Macromedia Flash MX came first, followed by Dreamweaver MX, ColdFusion MX, and Fireworks MX. Macromedia bundled all four MX products (along with FreeHand, not yet upgraded to MX status) into a single package called Macromedia Studio MX, intended to serve as a tightly integrated set of tools for the creation of media-rich, data-driven Web sites and Web applications.
It therefore surprised many observers when, months after the release of Studio MX, Macromedia unveiled an MX version of Director. Though largely unchanged from the previous version, Director MX does sport the hallmarks of an MX product: a new, screen-friendly interface and integration with other MX products. If nothing else, the release of Director MX reaffirmed Macromedia's commitment to Director. It also reflected Macromedia's acknowledgment ”despite its having positioned itself as the prophet of "what the Web can be" ”that not all multimedia development is intended exclusively for the Internet.
Director has not been bundled into Studio MX, and it's unlikely that it will be. The Studio MX applications are designed to work together seamlessly, almost as though they're a single application. Director has close operational ties to Flash, and it offers round-trip editing capability with Fireworks as well, but its relationships with Dreamweaver and ColdFusion are strictly arm's-length. For the most part, Director remains what it always was: a stand-alone application that works well with all kinds of media and all kinds of hardware. Though officially a member of the MX family, Director might best be considered a distant cousin, continuing to do its own thing in its own way.