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Essential ActionScript 3.0 1st Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 063-6920526940
ISBN-10: 0596526946
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Editorial Reviews


Adobe Developer Library is a co-publishing partnership between O'Reilly Media and Adobe Systems, Inc. and is designed to produce the number one information resources for developers who use Adobe technologies. Created in 2006, the Adobe Developer Library is the official source for comprehensive learning solutions to help developers create expressive and interactive web applications that can reach virtually anyone on any platform. With top-notch books and innovative online resources covering the latest in rich Internet application development, the Adobe Developer Library offers expert training and in-depth resources, straight from the source. --From book resources websites

About the Author

Colin Moock is an independent ActionScript expert whose world-renowned books have educated Flash programmers since 1999. He is the author of the canonical "Essential ActionScript 2.0" (O'Reilly, 2004) and "ActionScript for Flash MX: The Definitive Guide" (O'Reilly, 2003, 2001). Moock runs one of the web's oldest Flash developer sites, www.moock.org and is the co-creator of Unity, a client/server framework for creating multiuser applications.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 948 pages
  • Publisher: Adobe Developer Library; 1 edition (July 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596526946
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596526948
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Craig Coffman on October 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
This review is more of a 'heads-up' for any beginners considering this book. There are many reviews here telling about the book's contents, so I am going to talk about the level of the book instead.

I think it is important to state that this book is in NO WAY aimed or intended for beginners. None of the books in this series are, for that matter. Being fair, and I think this information is important for people even though a bit off topic: O'Reilly RARELY makes beginner level books. What they do make is insanely useful technical books which will tell you more than you probably ever wanted to know about a subject. But they are done, IMHO, very well. Still, when looking at books to buy I think it is important to keep this in mind, particularly if you are a beginner in any topic. Especially because most programming books are rather spendy.

When I bought Moock's first book, I had been using AS for a couple years (starting from Flash 4) and was still a beginner. However, I could manage my way through the very limited scripting options. When Flash 5 opened up the AS language to a full-blown environment, I was excited to get his book. Once it arrived, I was completely overwhelmed and immediately put it away. For about a year. During that time, I found other materials and boned up on my AS, THEN revisited the book. I found it much more useful.

When AS 2 came out, I thought the same thing. Ah-ha! I already know AS, so his book will get me up to speed. Wrong. The stuff which was pretty much lifted from the previous AS 1 book made sense, but I could not grasp what he was saying about the updates and new features in AS 2. Again, I put the book away for a year, found other resources to familiarize myself with, and revisited the book.
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First off, I agree with previous reviews that said its overwhelming for a LOT of people. That first chapter is a doozy.

Where I also have a problem with this book is how it instructs. I've been able to follow along with the coding but the author's explanation and instruction are lacking. Its obvious that he is very knowledgeable but he doesn't do a good job of passing that knowledge on. He's all over the place, explaining some things in depth, but not touching on other things you'll have questions about. At times it will feel like he is totally scatter-brained or ADD because he'll be going on about something inconsequential, while ignoring something else that you really want the answer to. Despite it being 900+ pages, I've had to go online to find answers to fill holes in his teaching. But also it feels at times like he's trying to talk over your head and give you the official-to-the-letter-Help-menu definition. I know there's a better way to teach people this stuff, and I've read books that do that.

I give it 3 stars just for the shear quantity, and I appreciate the effort. I just wish this book was not only packed with information but also taught it well.
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This is not just an upgrade to Moock's earlier book on ActionScript 2.0. If you have that book, getting this one will not be a waste of time as this book is a complete rewrite. This book covers ActionScript programming fundamentals in exhaustive detail with clarity and precision. It explores ActionScript from a programmer's perspective, but assumes no prior programming knowledge. If you have never programmed before, start with Chapter 1. It will guide you through the very basics of ActionScript, and explain terms like variable, method, class, and object. Then continue through the book sequentially. Each chapter builds on the previous chapter's concepts, introducing new topics in a single, prolonged narrative that will gradually build your ActionScript skills and understanding.

If you are a designer who simply wants to learn how to control animations in the Flash authoring tool, you probably don't need this book, and Adobe's documentation should be sufficient. Come back to this book when you want to learn how to add logic and programmatic behavior to your content. If you already have existing ActionScript experience, this book will help you fill in gaps in your knowledge, rethink important concepts in formal terms, and understand difficult subjects through plain language. This book is divided into three parts.

Part I, ActionScript From the Ground Up, provides exhaustive coverage of the core ActionScript language, covering object-oriented programming, classes, objects, variables, methods, functions, inheritance, datatypes, arrays, events, exceptions, scope, namespaces, and XML. Part I closes with a look at Flash Player's security architecture. This section consists of chapters 1 through 19.
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Format: Paperback
With this third edition, "Essential ActionScript" has evolved into THE authoritative ActionScript resource. As one indication, this edition as over 900 pages while the last edition had about 500. There are over 15 technical reviewers, including chief Adobe engineers. This book is the one you want.

This review is short since the other reviews contain a good description of the contents. I just want to point out for those coming from a conventional browser JavaScript background that this book is a real education -- and does it with seamless ease. Chapter 1 explains key concepts that differentiate the ActionScript context from the conventional browser scripting environment. In this and following chapters, Colin Moock assumes you are *not* familiar with detailed knowledge of object oriented programming concepts. Accordingly, he discusses these topics when they become most relevant to learning ActionScript.

This concrete approach is something most of us will appreciate.
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