- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly/Adobe Developer Library; 1st edition (January 4, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 059652787X
- ISBN-13: 978-0596527877
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 1 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 101 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,269,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Learning ActionScript 3.0: A Beginner's Guide 1st Edition
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In this book, authors Rich Shupe and Zevan Rosser share the knowledge they've gained from their years as multimedia developers/designers and teachers. Learning ActionScript 3.0 gives you a solid foundation in the language of Flash and demonstrates how you can use it for practical, everyday projects. The authors do more than just give you a collection of sample scripts. Written for those of you new to ActionScript 3.0, the book describes how ActionScript and Flash work, giving you a clear look into essential topics such as logic, event handling, displaying content, migrating legacy projects to ActionScript 3.0, classes, and much more. You will learn important techniques through hands-on exercises, and then build on those skills as chapters progress. ActionScript 3.0 represents a significant change for many Flash users, and a steeper learning curve for the uninitiated. This book will help guide you through a variety of scripting scenarios. Rather than relying heavily on prior knowledge of object-oriented programming (OOP), topics are explained in focused examples that originate in the timeline, with optional companion classes for those already comfortable with their use. As chapters progress, the book introduces more and more OOP techniques, allowing you to choose which scripting approach you prefer. Learning ActionScript 3.0 reveals: New ways to harness the power and performance of AS3 Common mistakes that people make with the language Essential coverage of text, sound, video, XML, drawing with code, and more Migration issues from AS1 and AS2 to AS3 Simultaneous development of procedural and object-oriented techniques Tips that go beyond simple script collections, including how toapproach a project and which resources can help you along the way The companion web site contains material for all the exercises in the book, as well as short quizzes to make sure you're up to speed with key concepts. ActionScript 3.0 is a different animal from previous versions, and Learning ActionScript 3.0 teaches everything that web designers, GUI-based Flash developers, and those new to ActionScript need to start using the language.
"The best ActionScript book ever written."
-Lee Brimelow, Creator of The Flash Blog
About the Author
Rich Shupe has been designing and developing with Flash since it was called FutureSplash, and has been teaching ActionScript programming to all levels of students since ActionScript became available.He founded his own training and development company, FMA, in 1995, and has been its president and technical director ever since. He is a recognized authority on several technologies, including Flash, Director and QuickTime. In addition to his production experience, Rich has been teaching professionally for 10 years, and is a full-time faculty member at New York's School of Visual Arts' Computer Art Dept. in both the Bachelors and Masters programs. He has also taught or lectured internationally for such organizations as London's Royal Academy of Art, Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry, New York University, and United Digital Artists, as well as trade shows such as MacWorld, QuickTime Live, FlashForward, Macromedia DevCon, and more. In a previous life, he worked with rock band/performance-art pioneers The Residents.
Zevan Rosser is a freelance designer/programmer/consultant and computer artist. He teaches ActionScript and Flash animation at New York's School of Visual Arts and FMA. When he's not working on commercial projects he works on his personal site, http://www.shapevent.com.
Top customer reviews
I found this book to be very frustrating and lacking. The authors do not present information in a manner that is geared towards someone new to ActionScript 3, programming, and Flash Pro. I found the information presented to be confusing. At times key points required to find the details of a topic being discussed are missing. Other times key information needed to make commands work were left out. I found the book ActionScript 3 Bible to be a better resource.
I did find Chapter 2 "Core Language Fundamentals" to be helpful, but for those not familiar with logic tables some additional guidance on how these tables are setup would be nice.
Examples of where I found Learning ActionScript 3 to be particularly frustrating...
Chapter 1 includes a discussion about the difference between Procedural versus Object Oriented Programming. The authors state that they will try to begin with Procedural syntax as much as possible to keep things simple, and that in Chapter 6 they present Object Oriented Programming. Then they move into a short discussion on aspects of Object Oriented Programming. The discussion is not necessary at this point, and drowns out several of the simple but key programming concepts they introduce.
In Chapter 4 the authors discuss the new "Display List" in ActionScript 3 and share how important and vital it is to understand this new feature. The chapter created more confusion than clarity. The authors talk about parent/child relationships for objects, how to manage data stored in the Display List, and provide various commands to find at what level that data is stored. However when the commands provided are incorporated into the sample code provided, the code errors out. The sample code provided for this chapter begins to work with a more advanced way of incorporating images into Flash projects. Using this method at this point in time makes it more difficult to understand the concepts of how to work with, and manage, displayed objects. The chapter lacks clear instruction and guidance on how to use and integrate the concepts being presented.
In Chapter 5 the authors discuss the Timeline and Timeline control. One of the example scripts they discuss and provide has Timeline details embedded within a picture object. They do not tell the reader this is the case, or explain how to access and view the detail. If you are new to Flash Pro and do not have previous experience with the Timeline you won't be able to find, or see, what they are talking about in the book. This is not a good approach for a chapter that is supposed to explain how to work with, and control, the Timeline.
There are better resources available for both the beginner and the experienced ActionScript 3 programmer than this book.
I first dabbled in Flash quite a while ago with Flash 5 (AS 1.0), and have found myself recently back into the web content game. I updated to the most recent Flash available without really understanding that Adobe had 'rebuilt (Flash) from the ground up'. Imagine my surprise to find that I was essentially starting at 'ground zero' with AS 3.0! (Where's my 'tellTarget'?!).
Luckily for me, the first book that I bought after combing the web for recommendations in learning AS 3 was 'Learning Actionscript 3.0 -A Beginner's Guide'. The author does an excellent job right from the beginning in explaining 'who this book is for'. If you have even a small amount of familiarity with OOP, you'll follow the content of this book without problem. If you have no OOP experience at all, you're STILL covered with this book; it does an excellent job of explaining the basics in a simple, easy to understand language. The book also comes with helpful 'hands on' practices/examples/tutorials, and even web-based and tutorial (book) updates.
Keep in mind that this book is not intended to bring an advanced level of AS 3 programming to it's reader, but it will most definitely give the reader whom possesses at least average intelligence and diligence a darn good start in that direction. Succinctly written - If I can get usable information from this book, I guarantee anyone reading this review can as well.
Kudos to the authors; I can hardly wait to see what written gems you'll be offering in the future.
Even with this book, however, the ActionScript 3.0 learning curve was still very steep. I think the book does a decent job explaining concepts when it introduces them.
If you have never worked in ActionScript 2.0 before, or don't understand 2.0, the first three chapters will be the most agonizing part to read. The first section gives a background and abstract on ActionScript and 3.0 concepts and I suggest new readers go over and over the first section until they understand it before moving on. The authors must teach classroom lectures on this subject, and the tangents of explanations and analogies in the book seem like they would work better in a classroom setting.
The book does pick up pace and gets easier to read after the first section. The descriptions can become lengthy, so the book is a little clumsy to navigate as a reference book. If you need a quick reference guide, I'd suggest getting a book that is written as a reference guide (like The ActionScript 3.0 Quick Reference Guide: For Developers and Designers Using Flash CS4 Professional (Adobe Developer Library)).
This is a difficult topic to write (and read) about. I can't imagine a better way to thoroughly cover this difficult topic than the way this book does.
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