I have never before encountered a physically published book from a respected technical publisher (Wiley, in this case) that appears to have never once been glanced at by an editor with any technical knowledge - or, for that matter, any editor at all. I purchased the book this afternoon and having slogged my way through chapter 1 I can assure you that you will spend more time attempting to decipher this gentleman's code and words than you will actually learning anything. At first, I was concerned that the publisher alone was to blame for the fashion in which the examples are presented, but then I downloaded the source from the book's website, and behold: the entire thing appears to have been executed by a beginning coder. I teach programming, and have seen better code formatting from completely rookies. Indentation is used haphazardly; comments appear on the same line as the code; variable and function naming conventions are not completely ignored, but something much worse: they're only ignored half the time. Anyone who knows AS3 will be cringing within minutes of reading this book, and anyone trying to learn it will be completely and totally confused before they type character one. As an example, let's take the naming conventions. In a SINGLE FILE, the author has variables named numOfParticles, particles_ary, and CenterX. In what universe do those conform to any standard? Some functions are indented, some aren't, some use cuddly braces, some don't, spacing seems to be completely at the whim of some die rolling in the authors head - he rolls for each line, and whatever pips come up, that's how far he indents. And problems with the presented code aren't all! The book's intro claims there is an errata website via the publisher that as near as I can tell doesn't at all exist (nor does a forum for the book, as advertised therein). The book's OWN WEBSITE has "Page Under Construction" written brazenly upon it and is one of the most half-baked things I've ever laid eyes upon (For ultimate fun, try clicking the errata link thereon). The author's understanding of math, while certainly impressive, doesn't seem consistent - on several occasions in Chapter 1 alone he refers to an item in the denominator as being in the numerator. While I was able to discern his meaning from looking at the presented formulae and not his words, it's still confusing and should not have passed the first editor's review.
I have been writing ActionScript (both 2 and 3) for nearly 7 years now, and I can assure you that while some of the ideas found herein are novel and are interesting and would be worth your money if executed properly, it appears nothing at all has been. Wiley and Wrox, you should be absolutely ashamed of yourselves for allowing this abortion to be printed. Mr. Lively, if you wish to be a technical author, please get your game together and write code so that other people can read it, and try to follow the conventions that the entire remainder of the Flash and ActionScript communities follow. Potential purchasers, go elsewhere. I wish I could recommend another book to you regarding the same subject, but I cannot. I can only tell you that you don't want this one. Professional Papervision 3D? Professional my foot. This is amateur hour.