on July 14, 2004
What a relief! I thought my project was a death march. Between:
-- the enormous changes from AS 1.0,
-- the bugs (perhaps not all that many, but occuring in critical spots), and
-- the overly terse (to say the least) documentation from MM,
I was ready to give up and become a greeter at Wal-mart.
That's not to say that THIS book is verbose, because it's not. It is extremely terse, but not OVERLY terse: I read it with a highlighter in one hand, just to mark the sentences that would have been paragraphs if word-count were directly proportional to importance. Colin Moock says it once, and you'd better get it on the first pass. That's not a complaint, just an observation; a heads-up for those who skim. Pay attention!
However, if you do pay attention, the essentials are all there, as advertised. They are in a logical order, they are well presented, and (hallmark of an experienced teacher) the consequences of mistakes are included. Just as good street directions include an "if you see _____, you need to turn around" clause, this book tells what will happen if you ignore an "essential" (or, for that matter, if you just choose a different way to skin a given cat.)
In the same way, Moock is aware that this is an imperfect world; that object-orientation is a tool that makes sense in some situations, but not in all; and that sometimes good-enough is perfect. Not an OOP absolutist approach, at any rate.
MM's implementation of ECMA script may be lacking in some of the finer points, and in some of the grosser points as well, but AS 2.0 is coming in, and AS 1.0 is going out -- at least for OOP. If you have any intention of adopting OOP practices in your Flash programming, you need this book.
on July 12, 2004
Yes, great book and no its not just a rewrite of his previous book. These are great points. There is alot missing from this book. There is nothing aboout mediaDisplay,controller and Slide classes, I could just go on. I have all of Collin's books and yes I have become a better programmer...I can build coin converters(yeah cause thats a real world example). Where is the beef Collin do you not know how to program a flash web site like [...] Maybe Collin Should take a look a flashmxpro.com and see what what people are doing with flash. How do you build a OOP flash website? I mean every book gives you great way to layout code but using what you learn from these books becomes hard. I just wish some book taught how to really build a website in flash. I dont mean a timeline based...I mean true OOP flash website from preloader to the programmed effects when going section to section. I know what these other rewiews are seeing that i'm not. I guess just drawn in because it is Collin Moock's book. Now i like to ask them to build a web site in just in OOP. I bet they couldn't. A coin converter yes, a web site no.
on July 10, 2004
This is the third Moock book I've read, and once again, cannot recommend it strongly enough.
As usual, he writes with a clean, readable style. Complex topics are made accesible via authoritative knowledge and clear examples.
The differences between ActionScript 1.0 (Flash MX Actionscript) and ActionScript 2.0 are explained. It's nice to know, and a little elss intimidating than I expected, that relatively little has changed with the language. His earlier work, the seminal "ActionScript for Flash MX: The Definitive Guide" is as indispensable as ever.
Moock explains that less has changed with the actual language than has changed with "how" one writes an ActionScript application.
He then explains Object Orient Programming as it relates to ActionScript 2.0 and provides a primer of best practices the budding (or established) programmer should follow.
The book concludes with sample applications highlight various design patterns.
After reading this masterpiece, you'll be less intimidated and more prepared to upgrade your coding efforts.
on July 3, 2004
You know ActionScript has come of age when a book like this comes out. Colin Moock had already written arguably the bible on ActionScript 1.0, and though I was worried at the decision that this book was to be a supplement to ActionScript for Flash MX, rather than a sequel, I now couldn't agree more with the logic. The resultant book would have been too big for its binding!!!
Technically perfect, this book reminds me of why I fell in love with O'Reilly books in the first place. It reminds me of my first read of Larry Wall's Programming Perl book: concise, authoritative, and not without a bit of humor! And let me tell you, nowhere is humor more difficult than in a computer book, am I right?
Mr. Moock leads us down a path that teaches how to actually write an application in Flash. And you didn't think it was possible! Believe me, I had my doubts too, but the fact that the book applies several design patterns to Flash programming by the end speaks for itself. When you're ready to write mature, object-oriented applications in ActionScript 2.0, you're ready to pick this one up.