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ActionScript 3.0 Cookbook: Solutions for Flash Platform and Flex Application Developers Paperback – October 18, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0596526955 ISBN-10: 0596526954 Edition: 1st

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ActionScript 3.0 Cookbook: Solutions for Flash Platform and Flex Application Developers + Essential ActionScript 3.0 + The ActionScript 3.0 Quick Reference Guide: For Developers and Designers Using Flash: For Developers and Designers Using Flash CS4 Professional (Adobe Developer Library)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 588 pages
  • Publisher: Adobe Developer Library; 1 edition (October 18, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596526954
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596526955
  • 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)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,038,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joey Lott is the author of several O'Reilly books on Macromedia technology, including Flash 8 Cookbook, Programming Flash Communication Server, and the ActionScript Cookbook. He is also the author of Flash 8 ActionScript Bible (Wiley) and Advanced ActionScript with Design Patterns (Adobe Press, October 2006). Joey has been teaching Flash and ActionScript since 1999. His professional experience in the Internet industry includes co-founding RightSpring, Inc., as well as consulting for YourMobile/Premium Wireless Services (J2EE B2C application) and (leading the development of a J2EE B2B application).

Darron Schall is an independent consultant specializing in the Flash Platform, with a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from Lehigh University. He has been using ActionScript since the early days and is a prominent voice in the Flash and Flex communities. He is actively involved in the Open Source Flash movement with projects ranging from software development tools to a Commodore 64 emulator. Darron has spoken at various conferences about ActionScript, and has contributed to books and magazines. You can find his Flash Platform related weblog at

Keith Peters is a Flash developer in the Boston area. He has been working with Flash since 1999 and is currently a Senior Flash Developer at Brightcove ( Keith has been a contributing author to nine other books on Flash and ActionScript. His personal website,, features an active blog, over 700 open source Flash experiments, and lots of other random Flash-related stuff.

Customer Reviews

Novice to Advanced users may think otherwise.
Darren S. Eiswirth
Very clear, well organized, easy to understand - you name it!
SD Critic
The "ActionScript 3.0 Cookbook" was a great read.
Father of Clark

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By C. Cowherd on April 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book was exactly what I was looking for: a reference-style book to quickly look up how to do something specific with ActionScript 3. It is for generally experienced developers that already know what they want to do and just need to see how it's done in with AS3 in the classic cookbook style.

There is no coverage of Flex or Flex Builder (perfect!). This is also not a tutorial book so you may need to look elsewhere if that is what you need.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By attackAnt on January 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
Despite numerous typographical errors and several sections that reference outdated ActionScript 2 information, the ActionScript 3.0 Cookbook remains a very handy reference for developers who want quick, ready to implement solutions to common programming tasks and challenges.

This book is more of a desk reference for common tasks than an overall guide to the newest installment of Adobe's ECMA-based programming language. The sections devoted to the new features of ActionScript 3 are very useful and have thorough explanations with well documented code samples. I found the chapter on the new model for adding visual elements to a SWF via ActionScript using the Display List to be particularly helpful in my study of AS3.'

To sum up my thoughts on the ActionScript 3.0 Cookbook: Definitely a worth the cover price for experienced ActionScript developers but maybe not the ideal resource for those developers that are just learning programming for the Flash Platform.
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80 of 105 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
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 Basics
Recipe 1.1. Creating an ActionScript Project
Recipe 1.2. Customizing the Properties of an Application
Recipe 1.3. Where to Place ActionScript Code
Recipe 1.4. How to Trace a Message
Recipe 1.5. Handling Events
Recipe 1.6. Responding to Mouse and Key Events
Recipe 1.7. Using Mathematical Operators
Recipe 1.8. Checking Equality or Comparing Values
Recipe 1.9. Performing Actions Conditionally
Recipe 1.10. Performing Complex Conditional Testing
Recipe 1.11. Repeating an Operation Many Times
Recipe 1.12. Repeating a Task over Time
Recipe 1.13.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kirk Holbrook on November 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
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.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By H. Paul Robertson on April 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
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).
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