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Essential ActionScript 3.0 Paperback – July 2, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0596526948 ISBN-10: 0596526946 Edition: 1st

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Essential ActionScript 3.0 + ActionScript 3.0 Cookbook: Solutions for Flash Platform and Flex Application Developers + Foundation Actionscript 3.0 Animation: Making Things Move!
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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 (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #318,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book to fellow developers out there.
W. Chadwick
If you have come from various other programming languages like Java, C++ or any object oriented programing language you will understand the first 5 chapters easily.
Rhys Tague
If you have that book, getting this one will not be a waste of time as this book is a complete rewrite.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 80 people found the following review helpful 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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46 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Running Bill on December 9, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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79 of 97 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
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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64 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Louis Lazaris on September 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
I just received my copy of Essential ActionScript 3.0 by Colin Moock, and I am extremely disappointed. Not because the book has no value and will not be able to one day assist me as a Web Developer; I am disappointed because the book itself, (and amazingly, at least one reviewer on Amazon), claims that this book is suitable for readers that have "no prior programming knowledge" (1st page of the preface). That is the biggest marketing deception I have ever read in a computer book.

These are the topics discussed in Chapter 1 alone (after a 14 page preface that will leave you gasping for breath!): Runtime Environments, Compilation, Just-in-time Compilation, Classes, Objects, Packages, Access Control Modifiers for Classes, Constructor Methods, Variables and Values, Constructor Parameters and Arguments, Expressions, Instance Methods, Method Parameters and Arguments, Method Return Values, Method Signatures, Members and Properties.

And those are just *some* of the large bold sub headings in Chapter 1!

I repeat: THAT'S CHAPTER ONE ONLY. 43 pages of absolute gibberish if you are a beginner. Not to mention that the author is using ridiculously complex language. He tries to give the impression that he is properly explaining himself to new programmers, but he hasn't got a clue how to speak to beginners. For example, on page 9 he explains what the word "character" means (?). Everyone that has ever owned any device that has a keyboard knows what a "character" is! Yet on the same page, he uses the word "delimit" without a hint of an explanation. I know what delimit means; I've been coding websites for 7 years. But is he sure that a beginner knows?

While I did not yet officially read past the 1st chapter (I'm planning on reading ch.1 about 14 times before I move on!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Colin Moock is an independent web guru with a passion for networked creativity and expression. He has been researching, designing, and developing for the Web since 1995. His award-winning Flash work and his renowned support site for Flash developers (http://www.Moock.org) have made him a well-known personality in Flash developer community.

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