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Advanced ActionScript 3 with Design Patterns [Paperback]

by Joey Lott, Danny Patterson
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 12, 2006 0321426568 978-0321426567 1
Today's ActionScript-based applications require increasingly sophisticated architectures and code. This book aids intermediate and advanced ActionScript developers in  learning how to plan and build applications more effectively. You'll learn how to apply design patterns as solutions to common programming scenarios. Beyond a reference, Advanced ActionScript with Design Patterns is a practical guide complete with sample mini-applications illustrating each design pattern.

Table of Contents:

Part I - Successful Projects
1. How to Design Applications
2. Programming to Interfaces
Part II - Patterns

3. MVC
4. Singleton
5. Factory (Abstract Factory and Factory Method)
6. Proxy
7. Iterator
8. Composite
9. Decorator
10. Command
11. Memento
12. State
Part III - Advanced ActionScript Topics

13. Working with Events
14. Sending and Loading Data
15. E4X (XML)
16. Regular Expressions

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joey Lott works with ActionScript during the day and by night he's a super-secret international man of mystery, rescuing animals and children from harms way, righting wrongs, and working for global peace, the rights of all living beings, and environmental responsibility. Joey is the author (or co-author) of a veritable arsenal of ActionScript and Flash-related titles, including the ActionScript Cookbook, Programming Flash Communication Server, and the Flash 8 Cookbook. In his free time he likes to write poetry, pursue competitive origami, and train in the art of aikido. Danny Patterson is a Consultant specializing in Flash and Web technologies. He also works with Schematic as a Senior Flash Architect. He is an Adobe Community Expert and has contributed over 40 articles to Community MX and the MX Developers Journal. He is also the co-author of the Flash 8 ActionScript: Training from the Source book by Adobe Press. He has spoken at many conferences and user groups including Flash in the Can and Flash Belt. Danny is certified in both Flash and ColdFusion and has worked on web projects for many large companies including Microsoft, IBM, Dell, Adobe and Starz. You can check out his blog at

Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Adobe Press; 1 edition (November 12, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321426568
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321426567
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real deal March 19, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The design patterns movement, the beginnings of which can be traced to Gamma, Helm, Johnson and Vlissides famous Design Patterns book, has informed and changed software development, and spawned a raft of books and study groups.

That's right, people actually get together, read these books one chapter at a time, and talk about software design patterns - for fun! (I admit to being one of them). So, Joey Lott and Danny Patterson are taking on a real challenge in writing a book on this topic, and the term "advanced" in the title is well-advised.

The first chapter is not about patterns but pretty basic object oriented stuff: inheritance vs. composition, polymorphism, code conventions, design first then write unit tests first. These topics are standard fare for a book of this type, and the chapter is blessedly succinct.

The second chapter is on programming to interfaces, a fundamental idea of great importance. Lott and Patterson give one of the clearest explanations I have read of the advantages, and give a convincing argument for always programming to interfaces even when you are using inheritance. Dude! Actionscript3 has interfaces!

Then you get the chapters on patterns: Model/View/Controller, Singleton, Factory/Template, Proxy, Iterator, Composite, Decorator, Command, Memento, and State. I guarantee that after you have read these chapters and studied the code, you will understand these patterns a lot better than before, and will have ideas on how to use them.

The book is rounded out with entire chapters on Events (everything you always wanted to know but were afraid you wouldn't understand why), sending and loading data, E4X, and RegEx.

I have only a couple of minor cavils about the book.
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69 of 87 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, but... December 27, 2006
This is a book that I would classify as a "should have" for any Flash/Flex developer that uses ActionScript 3 and for whom OOD/OOP is important. If you could care less about incorporating OOD/OOP into your web applications, then you can pass on this one.

There is, in my opinion, a major shortcoming in this book. In presenting the MVC (Model, View, Controller), the "View" classes are presented as classes that extend the Sprite class, in which the author draws the objects via ActionScript. Unfortunately, the author seems to ignore the fact that most developers, who employ Flex to build their web apps, will use MXML to layout the view. In such cases, there are no examples of how the author would design the view and controller classes so as to follow a proper MVC design pattern. The same would be true for Flash developers as most are not going to draw the entire screen of their web apps via ActionScript. As a consequence, I feel that most people who read this book will not successfully implement these design patterns into their Flex web apps unless they have prior OOD/OOP experience. In either case (with or without OOD/OOP experience), only the most determined web developers will be able to translate the design patterns of this book in a meaningful way within their applications. This above-mentioned shortcoming is carried throughout the book.

While I realize the title of the book is "Advanced ActionScript 3...", and the argument can be made that the content was only meant to address pure ActionScript 3 concepts, it still ignores the fact that most developers will not develop their web applications with "only" ActionScript 3 and absent any MXML document to define their screen layout. As such, this becomes all but useless in promoting the increase use of the design patterns being presented.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good, but too many typos July 8, 2009
This book presents may interesting design approaches for OOP programming.

Two pitfalls - too many typos (including throughout the code excerpts), and not enough examples. The novice or intermediate programmer may not be able to debug the code printed in the book.

Otherwise, this book is good for programmers looking for more flexibility and fresh approaches for their code.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent concise info on AS3 June 5, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I realize the book title (and the focus and organization) is about design patterns, but I thought it was worth adding the fact that--for me at least--it's the one book I keep coming back to for great lucent coverage of really key AS3 concepts including event dispatching (and using IEventDispatcher instead). I mean, Colin's Essential AS3 is one to turn to for definitive answers on sub-atomic (and important) details... but I still keep coming back to Danny and Joey's book because it's so direct and to the point. To really learn a subject you need more than a book--but to go back over things... to get a good skeleton starter script (which doesn't have extra baggage)... and for brief clear explanations, this book really does it. It's by no means a dated book either. I just think some people might pass over this book because the title makes it sound like it just covers design patterns when, in fact, it's just a great AS3 book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars code download just a scam March 24, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
you can't get the sample code for this book; just try it. get ready to type everything in. also, there are numerous mistakes, and no errata page. here is one:

if you may get a null object reference error after you add controller ("") code:

if so put this in the class dec:
private var bolThisFunctionNotInitialized:Boolean = true;

then add this code to the beginning of the onModelUpdate function:
if ( bolThisFunctionNotInitialized ) {
bolThisFunctionNotInitialized = false;
_hours.text = _clockData.time.hour.toString();
_minutes.text = _clockData.time.minute.toString();
_seconds.text = _clockData.time.second.toString();

the code is critical. i would hope most of us don't have time to type it all in, and debug it. if you have time or inclination to be a typist, and a debugger, go for it.

this is not a mistake per se, but since the class extends sprite, why not use a sprite button instead of the basicButton (whatever that is), so i put this in the dec of the Clock class:
private var _toggleView:Sprite = new Sprite();

then changed the drawButton function to this:
private function drawButton():void
var textLabel:TextField = new TextField();; // grey color, 0, 80, 25, 10, 10); // x, y,
width, height, ellipseW, ellipseH;
textLabel.text = "Click Me!";
textLabel.x = 10;
textLabel.y = 5;
textLabel.selectable = false;
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not necessary and ultimately not enough information.
If you're learning to program games, don't get this book. It will only confuse you. However, if you are learning how design patterns work, this book could be pretty useful. Read more
Published 16 months ago by J. Maines
3.0 out of 5 stars Design patterns MISSING URL !!!
"You can find additional information and updates at the official Web site for this book:" - INVALID URL !!! Read more
Published on December 9, 2011 by George
2.0 out of 5 stars Not great
ActionScript does not really support most of the design patterns in this book. That's not the fault of the authors, just the nature of ActionScript. Read more
Published on May 26, 2011 by Mark on Amazon
5.0 out of 5 stars My TOP recommendation for learning design patterns
This book is very easy to read and understand. I was able to read it in my spare time in a week. The authors do a great job of taking design pattern concepts, no matter how... Read more
Published on March 7, 2009 by M. Mickelson
5.0 out of 5 stars Gem amongst coal...
One of the best out there on ActionScript. You do need to know the basics and have worked with Flash/AS for quite some time though, before picking up this esteemed novel. Read more
Published on February 25, 2009 by Edward L. Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars Muy bueno
Es un muy buen libro, pero si necesitas tener conocimientos basicos de AS3, asi como de POO, ya que el libro va dirigo a gente ya con algo de experiencia programando, porque el... Read more
Published on January 15, 2009 by Roberto A. Ortiz Hernandez
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just an actionscript book
I am not a programmer. I simply wanted to learn more about OOP using actionscript 3. I thought that with these principles, I can apply it to any project whether it be a little... Read more
Published on December 19, 2008 by Scott L. Petrovic
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for understanding advanced OO concepts
A great book for understanding advanced OO concepts. My only complaint is that it deals only with AS. Read more
Published on December 10, 2008 by T. Saffell
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Readable, Lots of Examples
This is a very accessible and friendly book. I found it much more manageable than Joey Lott's Actionscript 3.0 Cookbook. Read more
Published on October 19, 2008 by margot
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Introduction to Design Patterns
If you are interested in improving your code to be more maintainable, flexible and gaining a better understanding of Object Oriented Programming (OOP) this is a good book to have. Read more
Published on February 19, 2008 by Alan C. Bryant
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