|Like most of the friends of ED books on FlashR and ActionScript, this book by Steve Webster, Todd Yard and Sean McSharry is a good book for the novice. Most beginner's books on ActionScript cover just the basics such as variables, loops and functions and don't go much further. However in this book, the authors go one step further and help the readers to extend their ActionScript skills for both Flash and Flex. |
The authors first discuss the development process for building an ActionScript project and dissect a simple bouncing ball example. The next chapter covers ActionScript fundamentals including variables, data types and constants. As you move on to objects, classes, inheritance and other aspects of OOP, you take a look at a sample iPod project.
The most interesting topics for me are the visual aspects of Flash. The authors cover everything from the Display list to movie playback. But they don't stop there. Next, they delve into the Graphics class and the drawing API. As you build a drawing application, you learn the essentials such as how to use ActionScript to draw line strokes and shape fills.
Next, you learn the aspects necessary for building interactivity in Flash including events, listeners and the event flow. You apply this knowledge of event handling to build a video player and along the way learn about displaying and controlling video in Flash. Moving on to audio, you build an MP3 audio player.
One of the most important aspects of any programming language is the ability to streamline a project or projects with reusable code. In Flash, that means components. The authors cover components starting with building a framework for UI and video components to skinning the finished components.
Now you are ready for advanced topics such as regular expressions, XML and E4X parsing. Over the last few chapters, you build an RSS reader application in both the Flex 2 SDK and Flex Builder 2. Then, you expand the functionality of this RSS reader with ActionScript.
Steve Webster works as a developer at Yahoo and has contributed to several Flash-related books. Todd Yard is a software architect at Brightcove in Cambridge, Massachusetts and has contributed to several Flash-related books. Sean McSharry is an Adobe Certified Flash Developer and Designer and a prerelease tester for many Adobe products.