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The ActionScript 3.0 Quick Reference Guide: For Developers and Designers Using Flash: For Developers and Designers Using Flash CS4 Professional [Paperback]

David Stiller , Rich Shupe , Jen deHaan , Darren Richardson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Oct. 27 2008 0596517351 978-0596517359 1

"No matter what your background, the pages that follow will provide you with some excellent knowledge, insight, and even a little bit of wisdom in the realm of Flash and ActionScript. Happy learning!" -- Branden Hall, from the Foreword

Written by Flash insiders with extensive knowledge of the technology, this guide is designed specifically to help Flash designers and developers make the leap from ActionScript 2.0 to the new object-oriented ActionScript 3.0 quickly and painlessly. Formatted so you can find any topic easily, ActionScript 3.0 Quick Reference Guide explains:

  • Object-oriented programming (OOP) concepts, such as packages and classes
  • ActionScript 3.0 features and player enhancements that improve performance
  • Workflow differences between ActionScript 2.0 and ActionScript 3.0 including tools, code editing, component sets, and image and font rendering
  • Where did it go? A guide to help you find familiar features in ActionScript 3.0, such as global functions, operators, properties, and statements
  • How do I? Step-by-step solutions for performing tasks with ActionScript 3.0, including input, sound, video, display, events, text, and more

Also included are overviews of Flash and ActionScript features and workflows. ActionScript 3.0 is a huge upgrade to Flash's programming language -- and this guide helps you upgrade your skills to match it.


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Product Description

About the Author

David Stiller is a resident author at CommunityMX.com (over 50 articles), co-author of Foundation Flash CS3 for Designers (friends of ED) and contributor to How to Cheat in Adobe Flash CS3 (Focal Press). He blogs regularly at quip.net/blog/ and is a longtime regular on the Adobe Flash and ActionScript support forums.

Rich Shupe is the co-author of Learning ActionScript 3.0 (O'Reilly) and has been teaching ActionScript programming to students of all levels since the language became available. He founded his own training and development company, FMA, in 1995 and is a faculty member of New York's School of Visual Arts' Computer Art Dept. He writes about ActionScript at http://www.LearningActionScript3.com.

Jen deHaan is a software quality engineer on the Flash authoring team at Adobe Systems, Inc. She is an author and co-author of 17 books (and tech editor for several others) over the past five versions of Flash. Jen's latest blog is at www.flashthusiast.com.

Darren Richardson is a technical editor for O'Reilly Media. He gained high visibility among Flash and ActionScript developers by writing over 50 articles for Web Designer Magazine and community-related sites. He can be found on a nearly daily basis blogging at www.playfool.com/blog/


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! Feb. 20 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has it all! Ok, start with the thought that it's a Quick Reference, so it's not complete...

This book is first meant for those migrating from AS 2.0 to AS 3.0, but it can also be used as a quickstart on ActionScript 3.0 if you're new to AS.

It covers all the essential and is certainly quicker and lighter to read than other bricks like Essential ActionScript 3.0 or ActionScript 3.0 Bible...

It's divided in 4 sections, mainly an intro that tells all the basic, a section on how to use Flash CS4 with AS, a third excellent part in a cookbook style (Problem --> Solution --> Discussion) and a third specially on migrating from AS 2.0.

A must have!
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Readable, Fun, Good Code, a Must-Have Dec 21 2008
By margot - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I was browsing at Borders at Park Ave and 57th, where they had exactly one copy of this. I'd heard of this book but hadn't seen it yet--it was announced over the summer but O'Reilly kept delaying publication so the book could be current with Flash CS4. I looked up a few items in the ToC and index, and went straight to the checkout queue. I had to have this book right away! even if Amazon could sell it to me cheaper!

Okay, why is the book good? I've spent more time with it now. I'll give you my three biggest reasons:

1) It's readable. It really is. It's friendly and accessible. Did you ever enjoy those juvenile histories and biographies and How-and-Why science books that started out with something like, "Hi! This is a fun book, and we're going to take you on a fun journey, step-by-step. This is a great subject to be interested in! Aren't you happy? Well, we are!!!"?

Well, did you like books like that? I did, and I've always resented scholarly and technical books that didn't introduce themselves along those lines. So many of them are written like resentful documentation: "Go away. We hate you. This is only for ugly, squirrelly, socially backward people like US."

This book is overtly addressed to users of ActionScript 1.0 and 2.0, and those already using 3.0; to artists, designers, and developers of all stripes. It's all-inclusive. Like Rich Shupe's Learning ActionScript 3.0, it has a friendly, hand-holding attitude that goes through the length of the book.

2) A personal obsession: this book has a good section on how to write XML loaders that use HTML. This is a very poorly documented area of Flash. The ActionScript 3.0 Cookbook had a little bit on it, but the explanation was hard to follow and the code was buggy.

3) Another personal interest: SWF loaders and unloaders. This is the first book I've seen that tells you how to unload both the thing loaded and the "event listener" that keeps sitting there, using up processor time and space.

The book is also current with the less traditional Flash-related technologies, such as FlashDevelop and Flex.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transitioning to AS3 Nov. 19 2008
By Paul Elwood - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Rich Shupe & crew have made a terrific guide for transitioning from AS2 to AS3. Their examples are clearly written, typically showing code written in both versions and pointing out the advantages of AS3 by comparison. Speaking as someone who uses flash as a designer primarily, his book as gone a great way towards making AS3 a lot less intimidating. Great job, highly recommend it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The title doesn't do justice to this amazing book July 23 2010
By Alex Kiriako - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Flash/Actionscript has been in a constant change of flux, not only with new versions of the Flash IDE every year or two, but with a complete revamp into ActionScript 3.0. Even accomplished programmers first attempting to work with ActionScript 3.0 will face daunting roadblocks with mediocre IDEs, awful debuggers and disorganized documentation - all varying across multiple versions.

Also very discouraging is the vast amount of garbage on the web for Flash and AS3 programming. With approximately 3 million flash programmers (according to Adobe) the internet has tons of worthless and very confusing material to wade through to find useful answers. Which means if you're like most developers, and expect to use the internet to find answers to complex language and IDE issues you're frequently going to find yourself out of luck with respect to Flash and AS3.

That's where this book comes in. The authors have explained the history and structure of not only ActionScript but the various IDEs and available editors - clearly and simply. Frankly its been a god send towards my becoming effective as an ActionScript programmer. That's why I believe anyone working on their own to learn ActionScript for Flash and Flex will find no better alternative for navigating the extremely noisy legacy of Flash and ActionScript. For example, the Adobe migration guide from AS2 to AS3 doesn't hold a candle to the work of these authors for comprehensive clarity.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone learning AS3 after they've read something like "Learning ActionScript 3.0" by Rich Shupe and Zevan Roosser. The same goes for anyone transitioning from AS2 to AS3. In my opinion, this book sets new conceptual standards Adobe should be using for all their future language documentation. If you're past the first stages of trying to learn AS3 spare yourself ongoing grief and read this book cover to cover. It's that good.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The one book to finally help me understand migrating to AS3 March 17 2011
By Antonio - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Let me start by saying that I've been using Flash for about 7 years, and most of them as a graphic artist. I was originally drawn to Flash because of its ease to make animations and its vector capabilities for the web. Over time, I kept experimenting with ActionScript 2 and though it was a struggle for a while as I come from a purely print oriented graphic design background, I eventually became very proficient at developing ActionScript 2 movies, using it to simulate some complex pharmaceutical packaging and manufacturing machines,their interfaces, and other procedures for training modules. Thus, I was extremely excited when I learned about the revamped ActionScript 3, which was to bring much better performance to the Flash Player and allow more creativity and give us better tools to develop Flash content. And then I got CS3, bought my first CS3 book (the Flash ActionScript 3.0 Bible), and I hit the wall. Suddenly, rather than just assign an action to a button using the onPress event for it, I had to learn the new Event Listener model. Suddenly, every book and resource I read about AS3 went on and on about Packages, Public vs Private variables, Class files, and all sorts of very intimidating terms. I decided that AS3 wasn't for me and kept publishing AS2 movies.

So, I recently got into a situation that I had to deliver an AS3 Flash movie and I was panicking. I decided to buy this book out on a hunch and wow it's been the best investment in a development book that I've ever done! Right off the bat, the author starts explaining why AS3 works the way it does, how AS2 was a stepping stone into the realm of AS3, and best of all, he explains how to transfer accumulated AS2 knowledge and experience to AS3 development. That is probably the most valuable detail about this book; not just that the author can teach the user AS3, but that he can teach AS2 veterans that have been avoiding AS3 like the plague how to transfer all of their know-how into AS3 magic.

So yea, I had avoided AS3 like a plague since the release of CS3. This book taught me how to handle it, and now I'm very excited at all the possibilities that AS3 brings; something no other book or web tutotial ever did for me.

Oh, and for what it's worth, even though the author constantly mentions Flash CS4, all of his examples (and the files at the book's website for the examples) work great with CS3.
3.0 out of 5 stars Havn't read the whole thing yet Sept. 1 2013
By Christopher Vance - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It seems to be a good book, but it dwells to much on migration from AS 2.0 as well as the flex developement parts of the story. I was looking for more of a straight reference guide that lists the commands and what they do. I havn't finished the book yet, and so far its a pretty good read. If your just starting in AS 3.0 though it doesn't walk you through document classes, and snippets, and how to set up your programing work. Its more of an example book in the first half, and in the second half it has a bunch of "How do I..." situations. The problem is with the types of issues it addresses. I'm a designer and animation person, so I was looking for more physics and logistics of setting up your AS files. The book was cheep! it took a long time to get here but I'm glad to have it on the shelf if I ever ask "How do I..." The one good thing about this book is it is for Flash CS4 proffesional in particular, and it does walk you through some of the settings for linkage and so forth. All in all I would give it a three out of five as above.
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