ActionScript: The Definitive Guide: Mastering Flash Programming

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9781565928527: ActionScript: The Definitive Guide: Mastering Flash Programming

Given its ability to deliver high-impact experiences even over low-bandwidth connections, Flash has become the de facto standard for hundreds of thousands of multimedia web developers worldwide.

Flash 5 now includes a new full-fledged programming language called "ActionScript" for controlling animation and multimedia. It's a quantum leap from the bare-bones "Actions" supported in Flash 4, and ActionScript: The Definitive Guide is the first book dedicated entirely to documenting and demonstrating this new language.

ActionScript includes all fundamental programming constructs (variables, loops, conditionals, functions, etc.), and is inextricably fused with Flash's authoring behaviors and animation timelines. Because ActionScript is based heavily on the ECMAScript Language Specification (ECMA-262) and is syntactically nearly identical to JavaScript, Macromedia expects thousands of existing JavaScript programmers to migrate to ActionScript.

This book is divided into three sections.

  • "ActionScript Fundamentals" introduces both programmers and non-programmers to the new language by first describing fundamental programming concepts and then delineating in detail the components, syntax, and usage of ActionScript.
  • "Applied ActionScript Code Depot" shows you how to use common applications, such as processing online forms.
  • "Language Reference" is a concise and detailed reference that makes all ActionScript globals, properties, and objects, including extensive implementation samples, easy to find quickly.

Code samples are also available from the "Code Depot" on the author's web site devoted to Flash developers.

Topics covered in this book include:

  • Step-by-step tutorials of the most common ActionScript behaviors
  • Object-oriented programming in Flash
  • Intelligent interface development
  • Server communication
  • Dynamic content generation
  • Password protection
  • String handling
  • Message boards
  • Basic physics
  • Games

ActionScript: The Definitive Guide is structured so both programmers and non-programmers can learn how to use ActionScript. This book will take you well beyond simple Flash animations so you can create your own enhanced Flash-driven sites.

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Review:

Macromedia Flash is the obvious choice for delivering multimedia over the Web. At the heart of Flash's power is ActionScript, the product's powerful object-oriented scripting language. ActionScript is based on JavaScript, making it easy for Web developers new to Flash to get up to speed. ActionScript: The Definitive Guide is a tutorial and reference to ActionScript that meets the needs of both new Flash developers learning the language and experienced coders who need a daily reference.

Author Colin Moock starts off with a primer to Flash terminology and a quick example application--an interactive quiz. Following that, the book quickly gets down to ActionScript nuts and bolts. The first part covers the basics of the language, such as operators, variable scope, and conditional logic, in a traditional presentation. A few lines of example code illustrate each concept.

Critical topics like arrays, movie clips, and object-oriented programming are covered well at the detail level, though a more extensive example application would really have come in handy to illustrate the big picture. The back of the book contains an excellent reference to the ActionScript language, complete with inline example code. ActionScript is an important tool to master, and ActionScript: The Definitive Guide is a fine means to that end. --Stephen W. Plain

About the Author:

is an independent web guru with a passion for networked creativity and expression. He has been researching, designing, and developing for the Web since 1995. Colin served as webmaster for SoftQuad, Inc. (makers of HoTMetaL PRO) until 1997, and then as web evangelist for ICE (one of Canada's leading interactive agencies) until 2001. He has created interactive content for Sony, Levi's, Nortel, Air Canada, Procter & Gamble, and Hewlett-Packard. Colin now divides his time between writing, speaking at conferences, and researching emerging web technology. His award-winning Flash work and his renowned support site for Flash developers (http://www.moock.org) have made him a well-known personality in the Flash developer community. He is a contributor to macromedia.com's Flash developer center, a tutorialist in the Flash MX Bible (2002, Wiley Publishing Inc.), and regularly appears in industry magazines such as cre@te! online. Colin's latest personal undertaking is Unity (http://www.moock.org/unity/), a Flash socket server for multi-user content.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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