on December 15, 2003
Let me start off by saying that I knew before buying this book that the overwhelming majority of the material was a regurgitation of the online help information within Flash MX 2004 itself. Indeed, my main reason for buying was to have a hard copy of this information that I could plonk on my desk and refer to when necessary.
The biggest issue with this book is that the reference section seems not to be indexed at all, and neither do these pages have tabbed edges. In addition, the version of the documentation this is based on is full of errors and has some gaping holes that have since been fixed in the online help documentation. All these combine to make the book completely unusable as a reference.
Secondly, the articles are a complete waste fo time if you've done any basic reading up on the subject matter on the internet. You can find more helpful information on Flash MX 2004 and ActionScript 2.0 on the major Flash community sites, written by real community leaders that actually know what they're talking about. Admittedly I didn't buy the book for the articles, but had I done so I would have been severely disappointed.
At such a low price, I didn't expect a lot from this book and was prepared to forgive a few minor niggles. What I've now got is a moderately expensive door stop, and I would recommend heartily that anyone thinking about buying this book think again. If I could have given this book zero stars, I would have done, so I'm now waiting for the Moock/O'Reilly book on ActionScript 2.0 and OOP, which is what I should have done in the first place.
on December 12, 2003
I bought this book because it was cheap and large, but it really doesn't have much in it worth the dollars I spent for it and the shipping. I've been though a lot of the reference, and realize it's just the same as the help, but worse because it isn't updated and still has the mistakes like some other people here mention.
The articles are pretty good though, they're well written. I will give it that. But how useful they are is really quite questionable - a different book that told me how to do things I'm sure would have been more worth the cash. Plus I've never heard of these "community leaders" - where are they in the community? I make my way around, and I've only see one of these guys.
So I'm really not happy, because most of this book just gives me a headache. Nothing was checked before they printed it - I'm sure that's why it was the first in the stores. All I do is continually enter their examples, test it in Flash, and then get errors. Then I have to go to the forums and lists and check and sure enough - yeah, it was an error in this book. What a waste of time!! That's why I give it a single star because so much of this book just wastes my time. Unless you already understand everything and can work out these erratas on your own, this isn't worth it.
on December 6, 2003
The minute Flash MX Pro 2004 was released, I began looking for reference books that would cover ActionScript 2.0. It's unusual to find a book that covers new software immediately after its release. That's why I was surprised to see that Macromedia Press had already released ActionScript 2.0 Dictionary. The equivalent of an unabridged English-language dictionary for ActionScript programmers, this book covers virtually everything you'll need to know about the language, including informative articles on not only how to use AS, but how the dramatic changes in the language and the structure of components will change the way you work. If you need an all-encompassing desk reference for ActionScript (and if you're serious about Flash, you do) you need the ActionScript 2.0 Dictionary. It is an essential part of my technical library. Learning the ins and outs of AS 2.0 is a daunting task without documentation. This is the book that should come with every copy of Flash MX 2004 Professional. Check it out.
on November 17, 2003
Over 1,000 pages for less than $20. I like it. This book has just about everything I need for cranking with ActionScript 2.0. The first 200 pages are brand new materials written by a number of Flash hotshots, and the remaining 800 pages are the printed docs that Flash MX 2004 provides on PDF files.
I for one am not about to burn up half of a $70 toner cartridge to print out all of the docs on the PDF files, and then put close to 1,000 pages into a half dozen loose leaf binders and consider myself ahead of the game. So, I like the dictionary nice and printed out with an index and good table of contents. Don't expect to get something other than what's on the PDF files in the last 800 pages of this book other than the index and TOC.
This big fat tome will no doubt receive my multiple stick-em tags, and I've put it to good use. It's a look-up book and read-what-you-need book, and it's dirt cheap! I've learned a lot already, and that's all I care about.
My advise is to look at this book in a book store. I think if you see it, you'll see why it's well worth it.
on November 14, 2003
If you own Flash MX 2004 or Pro, you already have this book. This book is, word for word in most cases, the documentation that is incuded right in the Flash software. So really, there isn't too much point talking about the book because... you probably already have it. And as most of us know from the heartache it induces, it ain't too great. Now I've had to pay for it... twice.
The thing I was hoping, upon this discovery, is that some tech editor went through and fixed it. Nope. The errata is still in there too. And I thought maybe some of the gaping holes in the docs were rectified. Nope! Not that either. So, based on all the mistakes and incomplete nature of the docs I really have to give this book a poor review. This book is incredibly disappointing.
If you want the documentation you already own and have paid for printed out - then this is the book for you. If you, like me, think this is a waste of money despite being so cheap - save your cash for another book and don't repeat my mistake.
on April 2, 2004
First of all, I am not that much of a review writer, but feel I have to add to the reviews above. I bought this book before the reviews above were written. If only I had waited. Anyway: why is this a ripp off?
1. it should have come with the software in the first place as the new help function within flash is totally unusable, and the documentation was far from complete.
2. it is full of mistakes, and the only erratum is the updated helpfunction with the software.
3. it was published at the time that even Macromedia knew that the documentation with their software was far from complete AND full of errors. Never could understand why they would repeat that unforgivable error in a book and dare ask money for it.
As a sidenote: the docs with the software are updated in the meantime, so you might as well put your printer to work if you need a printed copy. Don't waste your money on this book.
on November 23, 2003
I bought this book at the Macworld show, and am very disappointed to read that its full of errors, searched every forum I could find, and found that Peachpit DON'T even have an errata for this. I'm tired of trying to learn ActionScript only to discover that half the stuff written is full of sloppy mistakes. Having thumbed through it, the last 600 pages are a reproduction of the Flash Help Panel, which should have come with the software, the second 200 pages repeat the Reference book that came with Flash MX, and so we are left with 200 pages, of 6 articles by "Community Leaders" who few of the community seem to have heard of. There is no accompanying website for downloads or errata, and this book doesn't seem worth the investment.
on February 25, 2004
This tome is basically two books mashed together. The first being a set of Flash articles while the second is THE actual Actionscript 2.0 dictionary. While seemingly through, when you actually need to use it the index will fail you and you will need to look either at the dictionary table of contents (starting on page 411) or thumb through the second half of the book.
Note: You won't find much information on any of the various components that come with Flash. This is a purely Actionscript 2.0 dictionary. Another area that is missing is any details concerning the professional features of Flash MX 2004 like slides and forms.
The two good things about this book are that it is relatively inexpensive and there are numerous examples.
on November 23, 2003
Really nicely priced, for being a 1000 pages tome, this book is definitively more than merely the printed version of the Macromedia "ActionScript Reference Guide" documentation that ships with Flash MX 2004 or Flash MX Professional 2004, and that is, for the sake of truth, freely available from the Macromedia website as PDF file too. In fact, in addition to the ActionScript reference, this book contains six extra and very helpful chapters that, alone, well worth the cover price. Complete with code samples, these additional chapters discuss topics such as coding best practice, OOP, Design Patterns and many others, which all come in handy when converting from ActionScript 1 to ActionScript 2.
on March 24, 2005
As its name states this is an ActionScript dictionary. It is devided in several parts being the last one the dictionary. The other parts will help you know what for is ActionScript and Flash and how to make AcitonScript work in your animations. You should have a good knowledge of Flash in order to understand and implement the contents of the book. Do not expect to find complete examples to run in Flash directly. Instead you will find short ones that help you understand and feel the power of ActionScript. If you work with ActionScript this dictionary must be on your desk at any time to know exactly what you are doing and how it is made.
It is not very expensive and very helpful.