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Professional Adobe Flex 2 Paperback – May 29 2007
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From the Back Cover
If you want to learn how to create robust, scalable applications using the power of Flex 2, then this is the book for you. This book walks you through all aspects of this powerful software and shows you how to build your own custom components. You'll gain a thorough understanding of the Software Development Kit (SDK), Flex Data Services (FDS), Flex Builder 2 Integrated Development Environment (IDE), Flex Charting, and much more.
Integrated throughout the pages, you'll find best practices that will enable you to begin developing and deploying applications in Flex 2 that meet your requirements. You'll also discover the most effective ways to use frameworks, MXML, and ActionScript 3. And with the help of numerous practical examples that you can tweak and apply in your own environment, this hands-on guide will quickly get you quickly up and running.
What you will learn from this book
- Steps for developing an application using Flex Builder
How to build customized user interfaces with Flex controls and containers
Ways to access data and chart components
Tips for creating and extending Flex components
Methods for programming and data typing ActionScript classes
All about integrating Flex 2 with rich media and external applications
How to use the Cairngorm framework, the Flex-Ajax bridge, ActionScript 3.0 libraries, and more
Who this book is for
This book is for programmers and Web developers who want to create Internet applications using Flex 2. You should have prior experience with Flash, ActionScript, and an XML-based language.
Flex apps you'll develop in this book
- Learn to leverage Flex Builder 2 for RIA development
- Discover how you can use Flex Charting to visualize data
- Integrate your Flex applications with data from web applications like Flicker
- Learn to use rich media in Flex apps
Wrox Professional guides are crafted to make learning programming languages and technologies easier than you think, providing a structured, tutorial format that will guide you through all the techniques involved.
About the Author
Rich Tretola (Indianapolis, IN) is a programmer who specializes in developing rich internet applications using Flash and Flex with Java (Hibernate) for data persistence and the Cairngorm framework. He has written a number of articles on Flex, and his most recent thoughts can be found on his Flex website, EverythingFlex.com.
Simon Barber (Cape Town, South Africa) is a web developer and founder of ThoughtFaqtory, where they develop rich internet applications for clients large and small. Simon is well-known in the Flex community and has been working with the technology since its earliest alphas.
Renaun Erickson (Las Vegas, NV) is a RIA developer specializing in Flex, ColdFusion and PHP. He is an Adobe Community Expert and active in the community through his popular blog and the Las Vegas Adobe User Group.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This book has what is lacking in O'Reilly's Programming Flex 2.
There is much more info on Flex 2.0.1. It give you a competent example on creating a YouTube viewer w/ Cairngorm. That is something I've wanted to know but most blog post are convoluted about the subject. The examples on flex-ajax bridge are nice and give also a practical app.
Their is detailed info on component life cycle, building modular app, component extension and dynamic app build. No to mention great ways to use the command line and/or Flex Builder. It allows you to have vision not just direction. You see the examples and think, "That gives me an idea".
OH, LOTS OF ACTIONSCRIPT USE!!!! for all of you low-level lovers.
This books is a all around good book. It balances reference and examples well. It has pictures to see what you are making. The flow is just right not to fast not to slow. They didn't glaze over on any subject that was written. Everything is detailed
Buy it and if you need anything else just go to the flex documentation
All of the books I've read so far have been great, and having 8 yrs of experience in the Knowledge Management industry, if the content is relevant and accurate, it's valuable. Each of the books have different approaches, breadth, and depth of subject matter. So I wouldn't say one book is better than another - more important is to find the book that best matches how you learn, where you're at learning curve wise, and how committed you are (do you want to just know enough to make some cool CRUDs, or become an extreme RIA ninja).
One of the things I've found with Flex is it's very difficult to talk purely about one subject without having to reference surrounding topics to make examples have some kind of context. E.g. it's hard to talk about Effects without mentioning Events. Do you cover all of ActionScript up front, or try to integrate AS understanding as you go along piggy backing on other subjects?
So there's two ways to tackle this - introduce a lot of things at once, and as the book goes along you progressively increase on depth; or topic by topic you lay it all down, so that once that topic is covered you can utilize that info in subsequent topics if you need to.
Both are valid approaches, and all I would say is consider what kind of learner you are. Do you like knowing a little about a lot upfront to get a big picture, or do you find that too overwhelming and just want very focused topics and know all that there is to know about that topic.
At the same time, if you wanted a lot of width and breadth, you'd end up with a 3000 page book. So look at the chapter listing of all the books you're considering and see how many topics they cover, if it's A LOT of subjects and roughly the same amount of pages of another book, you're going to get more breadth and depth. And vice versa, fewer topics over the same amount of pages is usually indicative of depth.
Recently I finished Professional Adobe Flex 2, by Rich Tretola, Simon Barber, and Renaun Erickson. I've actually had the pleasure of knowing both Rich and Renaun for awhile and met them in person at Adobe MAX 06, and hope to meet Simon at some point. I know from first hand knowledge that these guys are extremely knowledgeable at Flex, and what I would classify as extreme experts.
Though that doesn't necessarily translate into the ability to write well - but fortunately they have the skill, and you can see from their blogs that they're passionate about teaching and sharing knowledge.
This is a good sized book weighing in at 687 pages - and the approach they take is cover a lot of things at once, and progressively ramp up in complexity. The content leans towards the breadth side of things, but they quickly jump straight into deep territory in the sense that they reveal the low level details of how Flex works. With that being said, although a useful book to have as a beginner, they don't spend too much time on "newbie" stuff, and focus more on real world issues you'll encounter. One highlight of the book is the examples; they're very practical and universal, and you get some useful nuggets of code you can use in your real world applications.
I'd recommend this book to anyone, but those that will get the most out of it are intermediate level users who've conquered the rudimentary basics Flex and want to take their game further, and need that next level of understanding. It's also a decent reference book if you want to quickly brush up on a certain topic, or if you're struggling with and issue and need further understanding on the subject to conquer it.
* I found the learning curve was too erratic. I have a background in Actionscript so I wasn't phased when they showed lots of code in the early chapters, but it would certainly scare others away. At other times it went into tedious detail about something that was really obvious...
* The tone of the book is dry and dull. I'm normally someone who reads books from cover to cover, but I'll admit I started skimming through a lot of the material.
* The book covers a lot of topics, but in relatively little depth.
* Commits the cardinal sin of having non-compilable code.
* The chapter on Flex Data Services was just criminal - it only talked about *configuring* the server, not actually *using it*!
* At no point do you ever BUILD A PROPER FLEX DATA-DRIVEN APPLICATION!!!
Having said all that, the book does make quite a good reference book as it touches on virtually ever part of the Flex ecosystem.
No structure at all. Full of errors.
It seems like the authors forgot to agree on who is gonna cover what.
The third chapter is just rephrasing of the previous chapter.
There is some useful information hidden in the book but it's really a pain to read.
I suspect the authors are designers that have by accident started programming.
And worse: they wrote a book.