Foundation ActionScript 3.0 with Flash CS3 and Flex

From the Back Cover

If you want to create exciting dynamic web sites that will amaze your online audience, then the Flash platform is a great way to go, with it's many features, including powerful graphical and sound and video capabilities. To really harness the power of Flash though, you need to make use of ActionScript to provide dynamic effects, enable user interaction, and manipulate data.

ActionScript 3.0, the latest version of the Flash Platform's scripting language, offers a lot of new and powerful features. ActionScript is now a full-fledged programming language, with complete object-oriented capabilities, improved event handling, sound and video support, drawing capabilities, support for regular expressions, and much more.

This book covers all the essential techniques from the ground up, allowing you to get up and running quickly and easily. Starting with the fundamentals, you’ll learn about using ActionScript objects, manipulating sound and video, and harnessing the power of regular expressions and XML.

The book concludes with two case studies to consolidate what you've learned and to introduce some more advanced techniques. This will give you a good grounding in the new and exciting world of ActionScript 3.0 and show you how it all fits together in larger applications, allowing you to go on and build your own professional sites.

The sensible layout of the book makes it easy to find information about specific techniques. It doesn’t aim to be an exhaustive reference, but rather focuses on the essential skills that will enable you to get up and running quicker. With this book as your guide, you’ll be creating killer Flash applications before you know it.

In this book you'll

  • Use the fundamentals of ActionScript 3.0 with both the Flash IDE and Flex
  • Take advantage of ActionScript 3.0's object-oriented features
  • Manipulate sound and video to produce exciting modern web applications
  • Work with XML as your data source
  • Witness the power of ActionScript 3.0 in two complete case studies

Summary of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Getting Started with ActionScript 3.0
  • Chapter 2: ActionScript 3.0 Fundamentals
  • Chapter 3: Objects and classes
  • Chapter 4: Working with the Display
  • Chapter 5: Creating Vector Graphics with the Drawing API
  • Chapter 6: User Interaction and More with Events
  • Chapter 7: Working with Video
  • Chapter 8: Using Audio
  • Chapter 9: Working with Components
  • Chapter 10: Regular Expressions
  • Chapter 11: Using XML
  • Chapter 12: Case Study: Creating a Dynamic Image Viewer
  • Chapter 13: Getting Started with Flex 2
  • Chapter 14: Flex by Example

Who is this book for?

Whether you are a Flash designer wishing to add to your skill set or an experienced ActionScript developer who wants to get up to speed with the latest version, you'll find all you need to know in Foundation ActionScript 3.0 with Flash CS3 and Flex.

Conclusion

Like most of the friends of ED books on Flash and ActionScript, this book by Steve Webster, Todd Yard and Sean McSharry is a good book for the novice. Most beginner's books on ActionScript cover just the basics such as variables, loops and functions and don't go much further. However in this book, the authors go one step further and help the readers to extend their ActionScript skills for both Flash and Flex.

The authors first discuss the development process for building an ActionScript project and dissect a simple bouncing ball example. The next chapter covers ActionScript fundamentals including variables, data types and constants. As you move on to objects, classes, inheritance and other aspects of OOP, you take a look at a sample iPod project.

The authors cover the visual aspects of Flash from the Display list to movie playback. Next, they delve into the Graphics class and the drawing API. As you build a drawing application, you learn the essentials such as how to use ActionScript to draw line strokes and shape fills. Then, you learn the aspects necessary for building interactivity in Flash including events, listeners and the event flow. You apply this knowledge of event handling to build a video player and along the way learn about displaying and controlling video in Flash. Moving on to audio, you build an MP3 audio player.

One of the most important aspects of any programming language is the ability to streamline a project or projects with reusable code. In Flash, that means components. The authors cover components starting with building a framework for UI and video components to skinning the finished components.

Now you are ready for advanced topics such as regular expressions, XML and E4X parsing. Over the last few chapters, you build an RSS reader application in both the Flex 2 SDK and Flex Builder 2. Then, you expand the functionality of this RSS reader with ActionScript. 

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