- Paperback: 696 pages
- Publisher: Adobe Press; 2 edition (April 6, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321529189
- ISBN-13: 978-0321529183
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.4 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 36 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,508,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Adobe Flex 3: Training from the Source 2nd Edition
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About the Author
Jeff Tapper has been developing Internet-based applications since 1995, and is a certified master Instructor for all of Adobe's Flex, ColdFusion, and Flash courses. Michael Labriola is a Senior Consultant and Project Lead for Digital Primates, Inc., where he has been working with Flex since the 1.0 beta. Matthew Boles is the Technical Lead for the Adobe Customer Training group and has been developing and teaching courses on Flex since the 1.0 release. James Talbot has been with Adobe for 6 years and has extensive experience developing Flex authorized courseware as well as the certification exams.
Top customer reviews
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Half of the book consists of instructions on what to key in and where, all for the purpose of building this ecommerce application. That's a lot of pages which could've been used for teaching more Flex rather than building an application that the reader may or may not care about. Having said that, the advantage of this approach is that because the application is bigger in size and complexity than the usual tidbit-sized examples typical of other texts, the reader gets to see examples more representative of real world coding.
Going to my actual experience, I had to occasionally step away from this book for a few days, sometimes a week or so. Trying to continue where I left off wasn't as easy because I found myself forgetting the "trend of thought" of the ecommerce application. This was especially true when I reached the middle of the book. Because I didn't have the time to reread much of the earlier chapters, I just plodded along; I have to say I began to feel the drudgery of typing in code that I'm no longer sure how it fit in the overall, and it all began to feel like a price I had to pay just to see the effect of Flex features being discussed.
Despite all that, I still did learn from this book, and the articulation of the Flex features was pretty clear. I like the way the authors explained the concepts, and if it were based wholly on that, I'd give this book 5-stars. Unfortunately, the format picked, that of building one application throughout the entire book did not serve me that well. Perhaps if I had straight time to read the book from beginning to end, I would've felt differently.
Unlike a lot of GUI step-by-steppers it manages to pack a fair bit of information in its 500 odd pages because it doesn't pack itself with just screenshots. You don't have to do the lessons systematically - I didn't. But if you want to fire up Eclipse and look at some particular aspect of their code or work through a chapter, they have, very thoughtfully, included the before and after code of _each_ lesson on the CD. Despite being stripped down to the essentials I found the examples to be informative and good showcases for Flex capabilities - they are neither trivial, nor needlessly complex.
It's not very strong on ActionScript theory as it concentrates mostly on Flex. And it doesn't talk about databases. So you may want to pick up another book to supplement it.
FWIW I am quite impressed with Flex and its Eclipse designer.
The book is upfront about it not being an intro to ActionScript, however some understanding of ActionScript is helpful. ActionScript and Flex more even more closely linked then ActionScript and Flash, and I don't know that the book would be as helpful to me if I hadn't picked up AS before picking up this book. All of the examples require some use of AS, so if you don't have clue 1 regarding AS, you might be in the dark.
The book can move a bit slow at times, as there is a lot of material to cover. Personally, I didn't mind this because everything that is covered is absolutely relevant to developing Flex applications. The book also indirectly teaches good design methodologies as a result of the order in which the lessons run. This book is an excellent tool.
When you have questions, google "adobe livedocs flex 3 help" (sorry amazon won't let me post a link), pick the first hit and poke around. You'll find everything the authors didn't feel like explaining, ie basic definitions, explanations of concepts, video tutorials and more.
I found the book to be a bit frustrating. Suffice it to say the book is written for experienced programmers already familiar with OOP/Java/XML/etc.
In my search for a book for beginners, I've seen this one strongly recommended: "The Essential Guide to Flex 2 with ActionScript 3.0". I like it so far.
Update: Better yet, try the new book The Essential Guide to Flex 3 (Essential Guide)