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Flex 4 in Action: Revised Edition of Flex 3 in Action 1st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1935182429
ISBN-10: 1935182420
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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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications; 1 edition (November 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935182420
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935182429
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.2 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: #2,387,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Paperback
This is a very practical book for learning Flex and ActionScript together based on useful examples. It covers all the key topics needed by someone interested in learning Flex 4. I consider it an essential handbook for any developer interested in understanding and applying Flex 4 in their projects.

This book enables developers to become proficient with Flex 4, overcoming typical challenges experienced after learning the basics; it helps them understand how to design their Flex applications effectively, using appropriate design patterns, frameworks, and tools. The authors really clarified throughout the book how to put various techniques together for practical solutions that are not obvious by typical reference-oriented documentation that only describes features without the context offered here.

I really liked the comprehensive coverage of all the key Flex 4 features, which effectively demonstrated these capabilities with great examples. The code examples were extremely useful, and can be easily applied to most projects. Even more importantly, the examples all worked well, with just minor errors (easily corrected).

The examples make it very easy to learn Flex technologies and understand how to utilize its broad features. They also provide a great foundation for experimenting beyond those offered in the book since they cover the wide range of capabilities offered in Flex. I liked the thorough and focusing explanations that accompanied the examples, as well as the appropriate discussions about relevant properties, methods, and events related to each tag/class.

I strongly recommend this as a book to anyone interested in learning Flex 4. It's also a key foundation for the other complementary Flex books from Manning, such as Hello Flex 4!, Flex on Java, Flexible Rails, and AIR in Action.
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