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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 – Oct 27 2008
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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.
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