Paperback: 588 pages
Publisher: Adobe Developer Library; 1 edition (October 21, 2006)
Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #596,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #18 in Books > Computers & Technology > Digital Audio, Video & Photography > Adobe > Adobe Flash #209 in Books > Textbooks > Computer Science > Object-Oriented Software Design #242 in Books > Computers & Technology > Digital Audio, Video & Photography > Video Production
This book is in the style of the classic O'Reilly Cookbook series format, in which each recipe presents the problem, the solution, and a discussion of the solution. Each section pretty much stands alone, although you should understand chapter one on the basics before moving on. The Discussion sections of each recipe offer a good analysis of how the solution works and different design choices and their various ramifications. Thus you get the best of both worlds - quick and easy access to the answers you want and deeper insights into the nature of both the problem and the solution. This book is helping me develop my understanding of ActionScript concepts by applying them in real situations and I highly recommend it.All of the code examples in this book are based on ActionScript 3.0 and only compatible with products that support ActionScript 3.0. Flex 2.0 and Flash 9 allow you to author ActionScript 3.0 content. Flash Player 9 supports ActionScript 3.0. If you are using a product that does not support ActionScript 3.0, then the code in this book is not likely to work.The following is the table of contents:Chapter 1. ActionScript BasicsRecipe 1.1. Creating an ActionScript ProjectRecipe 1.2. Customizing the Properties of an ApplicationRecipe 1.3. Where to Place ActionScript CodeRecipe 1.4. How to Trace a MessageRecipe 1.5. Handling EventsRecipe 1.6. Responding to Mouse and Key EventsRecipe 1.7. Using Mathematical OperatorsRecipe 1.8. Checking Equality or Comparing ValuesRecipe 1.9. Performing Actions ConditionallyRecipe 1.10. Performing Complex Conditional TestingRecipe 1.11. Repeating an Operation Many TimesRecipe 1.12. Repeating a Task over TimeRecipe 1.13.
This is an excellent book. I'd recommend it to anyone using Flex 2 (and eventually Flash 9) -- especially now with the limited resources available for ActionScript 3 (AS3). There are a lot of useful examples along with coherent explanations of why the authors are programming the way they are.The chapter on XML (chapter 20) is a must-read. It includes concise summaries of dealing with XML in AS3, which has changed significantly from AS2. Generally, XML handling is much easier in AS3, but there are some areas that can be really confusing when making the switch from AS2. This book explains most things you'll need to do with XML in AS3.The chapter titled "Display List" (chapter 6) also contains critical information for developers coming from AS2. The rendering model in Flash Player 9 is completely re-designed -- a move away from the MovieClip class (although it's still in there) to the new DisplayObject class. The examples provided here give some important guidance on working with the various elements in rendering your project's interface.I particularly like some of the custom classes available as a free download (of course, you should buy the book for those!). For instance, recursive arrays can be a hassle to deal with, but very useful in many projects. One of the classes includes several Array utilities -- one, in particular, that makes dealing with recursive arrays easier.Of course, there's a lot of other great stuff in this book. I won't touch on all its greatness, but, again, I do recommend it highly.That said, I do have a few complaints.They are not to dissuade you from buying the book, but to give the authors some feedback, in hopes that they can improve the next edition.
The authors for this book are all well-known, top-notch ActionScript developers and experienced authors. They've collected a nice set of tasks that are common enough that you are likely to want to know how to do them in ActionScript, but involved enough or cross-topic enough that you won't be likely to find them in the in-product documentation.The book also has a very nice supplemental code library. This is sort of a mixed blessing; it's a download, so anyone can get it (not just people who pay for the book) and in several recipes the authors' solution is just to "use class X and method Y from the book's code library," without any explanation as to why the code works, or what it does under the covers. Depending on your coding style, you may or may not want that level of detail, but I'm the sort of person who does want it so it left me a little disappointed.However, there's also a lot in this book that doesn't fit with my idea of what should be in the "cookbook" format book. In my mind, a "cookbook" is a book whose topics are more "edgy" or involved than what you might find in the core documentation. It should cover how to accomplish specific tasks that aren't easily figured out and aren't found elsewhere (again, especially not in the main documentation). It should also include "hacks" or workarounds to accomplishing things that aren't readily available using the built-in functionality of the language.This book has plenty of those topics, but it also has a lot of topics that are covered well and in sufficient detail in the in-product help. To make things worse, often those topics are not just given a one-page-or-less "cookbook" treatment (which would be useful for those "I know I've seen it before but I can't quite remember what the syntax is" moments).