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Learning Flex 3: Getting up to Speed with Rich Internet Applications (Adobe Developer Library) Paperback – June 26, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0596517328 ISBN-10: 0596517327 Edition: 1st
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About the Author

Alaric Cole has been working with Flash technologies since the introduction of ActionScript. Once it came on the scene, he's been focused primarily on Flex development, creating enterprise applications with rich data visualization, interactive media, and advanced user interface components. Pushing Flex beyond its comfort zone, he has worked with Adobe to discover ways to improve the technology.

A leader in the industry, Alaric has spoken at conferences such as Adobe MAX and 360|Flex, and has contributed a number of open-source components to the Flex community. He uses Flex in his daily work at Yahoo!, leading development and consulting on projects across the company.

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Product Details

  • Series: Adobe Developer Library
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Adobe Developer Library; 1st edition (June 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596517327
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596517328
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,581,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Tariq Ahmed on September 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
The first thing that stood out is that it's in color! I love color, especially for technical material it adds a whole extra dimension to the medium and another vehicle by which to communicate. Obviously in code listings it makes the code easier to visually digest and mentally break down what you're seeing, and with screen caps color is so much more appealing.

The dimension of the book is wider that normal, which gives the book an extra wide gutter that the publisher is able to leverage. And leverage they do by making use of it for an assortment of side bars, notes, tips, and blurbs.

So aside from the aesthetics, content of course is the key. The book is aimed at beginners who don't necessarily have any sort of programming background - so the audience that this book would appeal to includes anyone interested in learning more about Flex and if it's the right fit for them; as a quick read (only 304 pages) you can blast through this book in a short amount of time.

Who might those people be? Developers wanting to test the waters with Flex because they had heard good things about it, Flash or Web media designers thinking about getting into the development side of things with Flex, and management level folks looking to explore new opportunities and want to get a barometer reading on what it would take to get into Flex, etc...

The writing style is fairly casual, and you feel like the author is talking to you (as opposed to the feeling of a manual). I think the author does a pretty good job at keeping things high level with enough meat to make the reader feel they're actually being productive as they work through the examples.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ed_7 on August 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
I've worked with Flash and ActionScript for a few years, but I'm new to Flex so I purchased three Flex books and I found this one to be the best one. I like how the author has you build smaller applications that work by themselves but also adds more features to them as the book progresses.

There are some minor code issues, but he answered my questions on his website which is one of the best book websites I've seen [...]. All of the source files and the working applications can be viewed on his site.

I also really enjoy the layout of the new Learning series that O'Reilly has been putting out (similar to the Learning ActionScript 3 book). The color coding and pictures are a nice change from the majority of black and white technical books.

Since the focus of this book is Flex and MXML, newer programmers will need to supplement this book with an ActionScript book once they start to build more advanced applications.

Highly recommended for those who are new to Flex.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By JT on September 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
I have started to read several Flex books in the past. I say "started", because I quickly lost interest. Many times I found myself scratching my head saying "Why would anyone ever do that?"

This book has been an amazing adventure. The examples are relevant, the writing is entertaining without being off topic, and best of all, within the first 5 chapters I knew enough to make a basic Flex website.

If you have some web design experience with html, and css, then I highly recommend this book!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert K. Tribit on March 23, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Let me start off by saying I hate web coding. I hate it. I hate the browser issues, I hate the "hacks" to do something, I hate the whole thing. And as for Flash? Why am I putting action script into a frame, on a time line, to do what now? Things were great and simple when it was HTML 1.0 and CGI. I prefer C, assembly, and Perl, because it just works. Humbug.

However, this book gives me hope that it is worth while to get back in. This is what javascript should have been, this is what java applets should have been. This is Christmas morning for Web 2.0.

This book walks you through an explanation of the syntax of mxml and gives an adequate tool chest of techniques on how to go further and more importantly where you should begin looking. I find just knowing what vocabulary to use when I google will often lead me to other code examples, etc. This book gives you the lingo to start doing that and Mr. Cole seems to know what he is doing and acts and talks in a way that Flex documentation expects him to act and talk, all the while communicating clearly to someone who hasn't the foggiest idea what's the difference between a transition, state, filter or effect...and more importantly how do I use those to make awesome rockin' flash apps already.

I'm not an expert after reading this book. Neither will you be. But, Bravo to Mr. Cole for giving a crash course/overview on action script- assignment, classes, objects, methods, functions, etc. You'll be thirsting for more, and he breaks it down enough to let you know that there is somewhat of a serious programming language behind it.

Also, almost all of the examples are done completely within mxml but with the slightest hint of actionscript.
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