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Adobe Flex 3: Training from the Source Paperback – April 6, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0321529183 ISBN-10: 0321529189 Edition: 2nd
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jeff Tapper has been developing Internet-based applications since 1995, and is a certified master Instructor for all of Adobe's Flex, ColdFusion, and Flash courses. Michael Labriola is a Senior Consultant and Project Lead for Digital Primates, Inc., where he has been working with Flex since the 1.0 beta. Matthew Boles is the Technical Lead for the Adobe Customer Training group and has been developing and teaching courses on Flex since the 1.0 release. James Talbot has been with Adobe for 6 years and has extensive experience developing Flex authorized courseware as well as the certification exams.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 696 pages
  • Publisher: Adobe Press; 2 edition (April 6, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321529189
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321529183
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,609,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Turner on May 20, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just finished the book from cover to cover. It took me about 3 weeks with some evenings and a couple of full days.

To grasp everything, I commented all the code as I was going. I mean, comments that explain in detail my perception of what was happening. I thought that this allowed me to actually think about what I was doing rather than just taking a typing test.

Indeed, that is the trouble with this book, it is easy to not "pay attention" as everything you learn is by example with little up front theory. You could find yourself typing 100 lines of code and not actually realizing what you were typing.

If you get this book for learning Flex rather than looking up quick examples, you'll be happy.

There were a few code example problems (errors) that were easy to figure out and correct in lieu of any errata that I could find. There are times when they are a little short on explanation as well.

I still find myself having just a couple of basic questions about some of the examples.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Cerveny on June 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is the perfect option for those curious about Flex and in need of an engaging hand holding session. While completion of this book will not ready the reader for the growing market of high paying flex gigs, it will provide the occasional developer with enough knowledge to start tinkering, and most importantly, feel comfortable in the development environment.

My best advice to the reader completing this course, is to ease through the exercises and realize that with the breadth of flex, there are concepts that you won't understand till later lessons. Simply read, follow instructions, and enjoy the hands on in depth tour of this product.

It would be impossible to cover all of Flex, MXML, and ActionScript in one text, let alone attempt to teach best practices and application design. Given broad subject matter though, it does a great job tapping into many areas. While the book lacks in depth, it gives a good enough overview for doors to open for the curious.

Most of the text is accurate providing clean examples that take the watchful reader from code to compile with no errors. Halfway into the book (starting around Chapter 11), small glitches creep into the material from missing semi-colons to missing starter lesson files. For the apt student, these are overcome with a little active thinking.

I would recommend this book to any entry level RIA developers and would even consider it as a text for intern programs and in-house training.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S. Brown on May 21, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a programmer who has been tasked with learning ActionScript and Flex for a new project. I first picked up Foundation ActionScript 3.0 with Flash CS3 and Flex (Foundation) in an effort to learn both. I found that book difficult to digest as someone who didn't have previous experience w/ Flash. I then purchased this book, and it has been immensely helpful. It has lots of concrete examples to aid your understanding of the concepts being taught.

The book is upfront about it not being an intro to ActionScript, however some understanding of ActionScript is helpful. ActionScript and Flex more even more closely linked then ActionScript and Flash, and I don't know that the book would be as helpful to me if I hadn't picked up AS before picking up this book. All of the examples require some use of AS, so if you don't have clue 1 regarding AS, you might be in the dark.

The book can move a bit slow at times, as there is a lot of material to cover. Personally, I didn't mind this because everything that is covered is absolutely relevant to developing Flex applications. The book also indirectly teaches good design methodologies as a result of the order in which the lessons run. This book is an excellent tool.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Charles McGuinness on January 4, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My goal in reading this book was to get up to speed as quickly as possible in building Flex applications. Sadly, the book did meet this goal.

As I worked through this book, three big flaws were very apparent:

First, although FlexBuilder has a nice WYSIWYG IDE, almost all of the exercise work is simply typing in source code directly. Why? Do the authors feel the "Design Mode" (graphical GUI builder) is useless? If so, it would be nice of them to explain why. Or did the authors build the tutorials before the IDE was available? If so, the book should be thoroughly overhauled. At best, the authors seem to treat the IDE as notepad with preview mode.

Second, although the authors work though many critical features, they never really explain them, expecting us, I suppose, to generalize from a few specific examples. Data binding is used throughout the tutorial, but there is hardly any attempt to explain how it works. Are there any best practices around it? Any design patterns involving transforming data? The authors are mute.

Third, a good tutorial is something that you can turn into a sort of reference book, as you look back upon how you built various things. Good tutorials have things like sidebars and foot notes that enrich the raw tutorial with detailed discussion. Not this book; it is basically a giant "diff" file that starts from scratch. You walk through an interminable series of incremental edits, and end up with a finished application.

The other reviews you see that rate this book with 2 or 1 stars are spot on. Trying to use this book to learn Flex is like assembling an Ikea bookcase and hoping to learn carpentry as a result.
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