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Lingo in a Nutshell & Director in a Nutshell

If the following FAQ is missing your question, let me know.

[End of Page]Availability:

Lingo in a Nutshell was released in November 1998. The ISBN# for Lingo in a Nutshell is 1-56592-493-2.

Director in a Nutshell was released on March 29, 1999. It may take a few weeks to make its way into your local retail channel. The ISBN# for Director in a Nutshell is1-56592-382-0.

Both books should be available in all major bookstores, including on-line bookstores and directly from O'Reilly & Associates. Refer to the Ordering Page for complete details on obtaining the book from a variety of sources.

The books are currenly available in English only. For information about O'Reilly's international distributors or translation queries write to

[End of Page]Pricing, Format, and Page Count:

Lingo in a Nutshell and Director in a Nutshell each have a suggested retail price of $24.95 US. This is an unprecedented price for a Director book, but don't be fooled--these books contain many times the information found in other Director books.

Each of the two books is approximately 600 pages. The form factor of the books is the same as for other, "In a Nutshell" books, namely compact and comfortable and appropriate for your desktop, not just your bookshelf.

The books are paperbacks. If you'd like to see a hard cover version, click here.

[End of Page]Why is the book so cheap? (we prefer the world "inexpensive")

These books are priced at $24.95 US like other books in the "In a Nutshell" series, but the books are more like O'Reilly's higher priced "Definitive Guides" series. These books are helf the price of other Director books but contain at least twice the information (they are truly packed to the gills with great technical details).

The books were supposed to be about 300 pages each, so you are getting twice the page count that O'Reilly had anticipated. If I had known in advance how much I would have to say about Director, you'd probably be paying twice the price for it. O'Reilly held the line on price because they made the commitment to sell them at that price and they always keep their word.

We would really like to sell a lot of them to justify the price point, so tell your friends. If we sell a lot we can keep the price down, do revisions, do more Director-related books, etc.

Please reward O'Reilly by checking out their full line of books at, including their new books aimed at the multimedia and graphics market, such as Photoshop in a Nutshell.

[End of Page]Do the books cover D7?

Director in a Nutshell is completely updated for D7. Lingo in a Nutshell was released prior to D7 and covers up through Director 6.5, but the vast majority of the material also applies to Director 7. Many of the "new" features in D7 appeared first in D6.5, and I cover those in great detail in both books. Director in a Nutshell also covers a lot of Lingo, including most of the new Lingo in D7. See here for more details on D7 coverage.

A D7 update to Lingo in a Nutshell may take some time. However, I will provide substantial on-line updates to the book to address D7-related issues. When a D7 version of Lingo in a Nutshell comes out, O'Reilly has a book upgrade policy.

If you want me to write a separate book covering just the new features in D7, please let me know.

[End of Page]How does the new "dot syntax" affect the Lingo book? Is Lingo now like javaScript?

The new "dot syntax" s just a shorthand notation. It has no effect on the final compiled Lingo code. It allows you to rewrite this:

  set the member of sprite 5 = member "newThang"


  sprite(5).member = member "newThang"

For beginners, dot syntax is probably more confusing. For skilled programmers, or those coming from other languages, it can be much less verbose than traditional syntax.

The Director 6 syntax continues to be valid in D7, and operates at the same speed as the newer dot syntax. To maintain backward compatability, I probably won't change any of the examples in the Lingo book. Likewise, if a table lists various properties, they can be accessed using either the dot syntax or traditional syntax.

Dot syntax has a number of quirks and caveats, especially when accessing lists. I will post a detailed technote on the new dot syntax once the dust settles around the time D7 ships.

[End of Page]Does the book cover the ActiveX control.

Click here for a detailed response.

[End of Page]Do the books include a CD?

The books do not include a CD, but the example code will be available from my the Nutshell download page. If you are interested in a future version of the book with a CD, send me an e-mail and I'll pass word onto O'Reilly.

[End of Page]Review copies for instructors, user groups, and reviewers

O'Reilly has an special deals for instructors, reviewers, and User Groups. Click here for details.

If you are a reviewer and you want to get in touch with Macromedia PR, write to Jane Chuey of Macromedia or

[End of Page]Screen Shots and Examples for Reviews

Lingo in a Nutshell focuses on programming, and as such, none of its screen shots would really be much interest for a review. You can obtain a GIF of the book's cover from You can obtain cover art in a higher resolution from Lisa Mann.

See the ShockZone shocked site of the day, and Shockrave for examples of how people have used Director to create Shockwave animations.

[End of Page]Where do I send comments, suggestions, errata, etc.?

Please help us to improve future editions of both Lingo in a Nutshell and Director in a Nutshell by reporting any errors, inaccuracies, bugs, misleading or confusing statements, and typographical errors to See our Contact Info page for more info.
Also check the errata lists posted at:

You can enter your reviews of the books at the above sites as well.

If you liked the book (or even if you didn't) please send me the postcard that you can tear out from the back of the book. Send it to:

Bruce Epstein
PO Box 223
Franklin Park, NJ 08223 USA

[End of Page]How can I prevent the highlighter ink from bleeding through the page?

Avery Denison puts out a highlighter called "Hi-Liter GlideStik." It's wax-based, and sits on top of the page instead of soaking through. No bleedthrough! This product, or something similar to it, should be available at your local office supply store. Read O'Reilly's full answer.

[End of Page]Are the books available in foreign languages or in some form appropriate for the blind?

The books are currently available in English only. Refer to O'Reilly's site to obtain a version in a form appropriate for someone who is blind.

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Copyright © 1996-1999. Bruce A. Epstein. All Rights Reserved.

(The page last revised March 30, 1999)