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Flex 4 in Action: Revised Edition of Flex 3 in Action Paperback – November 25, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-1935182429 ISBN-10: 1935182420 Edition: 1st

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Flex 4 in Action: Revised Edition of Flex 3 in Action + Adobe Flex 4.5 Fundamentals: Training from the Source + Flex 4 Cookbook: Real-world recipes for developing Rich Internet Applications (Cookbooks (O'Reilly))
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications; 1 edition (November 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935182420
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935182429
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 7.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,500,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tariq Ahmed is a web application pioneer with over 15 years of experience. Hewas first to introduce eBay to Adobe Flex which then later proliferated to otherteams. As an Adobe Flex Community Expert, Tariq is particularly known for hisCommunity Flex (CFLEX.Net) site. Heis currently the Manager of ProductDevelopment at Amcom Technology, managing a team of RIA Engineers andBusiness Intelligence Analysts.

Daniel Orlando is a recognized RIA Architect, specializing in enterprise class Flex and AIR applications. Dan is often called on as a resource for information on top-ics involving bleeding edge technology platforms for radio interviews and printpublications, which include: PHP Architect magazine, Flex and Flash DeveloperMagazine, Amazon Web Services Developer Connection, Adobe DeveloperConnection, IBM developerWorks, PHPBuilder.com, and many others.

Joel Hooks is a Flash Platform developer with experience in Actionscript 3, Flex, and Python. With the introduction of Actionscript 3, Joel finally found a platform that allows him to architect useful tools while fully leveraging his experience as a visual artist. Joel is passionate about technology and enjoys exploring the landscape of frameworks, libraries, and tools that make his work constantly fun and challenging.


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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If you are looking for any guidance on Flex, I would highly recommend this book!
Adam A.
Flex 3 and Flex 4 are very different, so you'll definitely need to refresh your Flex resource if you've got the older version.
Zareen Zaffar, Software Developer
The book is easy to read, has a natural flow to it, and all of the examples are very small and easy to digest.
K. Horigan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By David Ham on February 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the main features of Flex 4 is the new Spark component architecture, with its new layouts and skinning features. The book has only cursory discussion about Spark layouts, and almost nothing on skinning.

Skinning is the whole point! The new system is advertised to be the most flexible yet, giving the most power to designers, but I've found more information on it in blog posts and videos on Adobe.com.

I bought this book based on the high reviews, and that it was specifically about Flex 4. But I learned a lot more about Flex from Chafic Kazoun and Joey Lott's "Programming Flex 2" by O'Reilly.

The other material seems rushed as well; if I didn't already know Flex I think I'd be very confused.

Avoid this book if you're looking for an explanation of how Spark works.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ac on March 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
I read the custom components chapter in this book to beef up my knowledge, having completed a few tutorials on creating Spark components already (thank goodness I had!) The author, rather than building up a single simple example has decided to show 'component code' for one component, but 'skin code' from some other component (actually he refers back to an earlier code example, as if creating a single cohesive example for this chapter was too much trouble).

Furthermore the skin code example has been unnecessarily imported from Adobe Illustrator (there is no actual end-component example to accompany this chapter, so why do that?)- all it means is that the example code contains additional Illustrator-specific information which in most circumstances is not needed, and it is not even explained here despite this supposedly being an introduction to Flex4 and Spark components.

The example also seems incomplete as there is no specific discussion about declaring the states-node in the skin-part to correspond with the component code. The first part of the chapter ends with the words "You now know how to make a simple custom component. Next up are composite components". Trust me, if all you have read is this chapter you won't know how, and you probably shouldn't proceed.

This book gets STUNNING reviews on Amazon.com but look deeper and almost all reviewers have either only reviewed this book, or have largely only reviewed other Manning publications - apart from someone who only gives it a 2 star review and says that the Spark info in this book is sadly lacking - possibly the only honest review there!

Having said that, a few chapters in this book are good - if you want to learn RobotLegs then Joel Hook's chapter is a great read, but otherwise I would steer clear.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Evan Smith on May 4, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hello,

I expect more out of my computer books then errors in the simple examples! We should all have higher standards.

Here are some examples, and note there is no Errata published to date. Thus, you will want this list if you are reading the book.

Page 204 mx:Script is incorrect, use fx:Script
Page 91: spark.skins.default.DefaultItemRenderer, use spark.skins.spark.DefaultItemRender
(there are two instances both in listing 4.18 and 4.19
Page 176: dg.selectedItem.email, use contactDataGrid.selectedItem.email
Page 200: Listing 10.6 first note that you need to save this as HListIRExample, having first
done a "file/new/Item Render" and filling in the listing for 10.6 (and yes rename to Canvas). Then you can try out Listing 10.7.
Page 201: Notice that Listing 10.7 is missing </s:layout>
Page 188 and 189: almost hopeless in the number of errors but here goes
- change mx.events.IndexChangedEvent to spark.events.IndexChangeEvent
- change s:SimpleText to s:Label
- change selectionChanging to changing
- change s:BitmapImage to mx:Image
images are not provided (naturally). Just create an "images" directory under your src directory. Then copy over some of your own jpgs and rename as needed.
Page 174: rename evt to Event
Page 175 rename evt.currentTarget to event.currentTarget
Page 53: the "don't wrap case blocks in curly braces - incorrect. You may wish to do this based on the scope of the variables you are using.

Many of these errors indicate that someone did not test the examples in the book. One should NEVER just retype code. Thus the design of this book is poor! What should have occurred is the code that must run somewhere (I hope) was linked directly into the text and thus the code at least in syntax correct.

Only half way through and am wondering if I am wasting my time and should just try a new book now that Flex 4.5 is out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BookReviewer on November 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
Over all this book is worth your time. You'll get a lot out of it when developing Flex applications. It provides in depth information on the topics it covers and it covers a lot of them. There are however some shortcomings when it comes to developing big entrprise applications.
In short:
Good book providing a strong foundation of knowledge. Missing topics addressing enterprise scale applications.
Target audience: beginners to intermediate.
Target applications: Small to medium (< 2 man year effort, < 40 screens) sized.
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By gbdcool on October 11, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm very glad with the quality product and the good service. I found the book was brand new even I purchased the used one. Thanks a lot.
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Format: Paperback
I've been researching Flex for awhile now, and my team was looking to introduce a more fluid experience for our web based product - and at the time of research Flex 4 was in beta. So deciding to hold off for awhile, we spent our time scoping out the Flex landscape and read up on the many Flex 3 books that were out there, but didn't want to pursue Flex 3 if Flex 4 was just around the corner.

The Flex 3 In Action version of this book look pretty promising based on the free chapters that were made available, so I pre-ordered the Flex 4 version and tinkered around with Flex to get a bit of a feel for it.

Having the book has made a huge difference. It gave me and my team a good foundation for getting started. This is a pretty heavy weight book at around 650 pages, it goes really into depth on a lot of topics. It seemed overwhelming at first, but it's actually structured in a way that makes it easy to progressively learn. For example it starts off with a very high level overview of what Flex is, what it's strengths and weaknesses are, and as each chapter progresses it builds upon the last.

As you get near the end you're learning stuff like Flex architecture, using the RobotLegs MVC framework, and how to add in unit testing.

Overall, a really great resource if you're looking to get into Flex - and a good tool if you're upgrading from Flex 3 to Flex 4 and want to learn all the stuff that's new.
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