Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Review: Learning ActionScript 3.0, A Beginner's Guide

This book is aimed at Flash designers and developers coming to ActionScript 3.0 for the first time, as well as beginner programmers looking to brush up on their ActionScript 3.0 knowledge. Although we feel this volume covers the basics fairly well, both a familiarity with the Flash interface and a small amount of scripting experience is assumed.

What’s In

Part I: Getting Started

Part I begins with Chapter 1, discussing ActionScript 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0, and how the different versions are used in the Flash CS3 Professional application and Flash Player. It concludes with Chapter 2 looking at the building blocks that are ActionScript’s language-neutral core fundamentals.

Part II: Graphics and Interaction

Chapter 3 leads off Part II, the largest section of the book, with explanations of the basic vocabulary of ActionScript: properties, methods, and events (including ActionScript 3.0’s significantly different event model). Chapter 4 focuses on displaying content dynamically, Chapter 5 covers timeline control, and Chapter 6 introduces OOP. Chapter 7 discusses animating objects using ActionScript, and Chapters 8 and 9 explain drawing with code.

Part III: Text

Chapter 10 is the only chapter in Part III and focuses on text formatting, HTML support, and the use of cascading style sheets.

Part IV: Sound and Video

Chapter 11 opens Part IV with a discussion about sound. In addition to manipulating internal and external sounds, it touches on parsing of ID3 metadata and culminates with a sound visualization exercise, drawing a
sound’s waveform during live playback. Chapter 12 wraps up Part IV by demonstrating how to play video both with and without components, as well as how to subtitle your videos for accessibility and multilingual support.

Part V: Input/Output

Part V focuses on loading assets into Flash and sending data out to a server or another client. Chapter 13 covers loading SWF files, images, and URL-encoded data, as well as communicating between ActionScript 3.0 and ActionScript 1.0/2.0 loaded SWFs, and a brief discussion of security issues. Chapter 14 covers XML and the new standard for working with XML that makes the task as easy as working with other ActionScript objects, methods, and properties.

Part VI: Programming Design and Resources

We wrap up the book with Part VI. Chapter 15 takes a short look at programming methodologies, object-oriented design patterns, and resources for further learning.