Essential ActionScript 2.0
Object-Oriented Development with ActionScript 2.0
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: June 2004
Pages: 532

In September 2003, Macromedia released Flash MX 2004, and with it, ActionScript 2.0, a dramatically improved version of Flash's programming language. ActionScript 2.0 introduces a formal object-oriented programming syntax and methodology for creating Flash applications. From a developer's perspective, the new OOP-based techniques in ActionScript 2.0 make applications more natural to plan and conceptualize, more stable, more reusable across projects, easier to maintain, change, and expand upon, and much more. In short, they enhance the entire development process.

In Essential ActionScript 2.0, bestselling author Colin Moock--one of the most universally respected developers in the Flash community--covers everything you'll need to know about the new ActionScript language and its methodologies for producing movies, animation, and applications on the web. Moock guides readers through this important new territory with his trademark easy-to-understand style and expertise. Moock's goal throughout the book is not just to get you to use object-oriented programming in your daily Flash work: he wants you to reap the benefits of OOP; he wants you to understand ActionScript 2.0 completely. And without question, Moock is the author who can make this happen.

Essential ActionScript 2.0 begins with a tour of the language, including the fundamentals of object-oriented concepts, syntax, and usage. Those who are new to OOP will learn the basics and how to apply their understanding. Those who are familiar with OOP will leverage their prior experience to learn about Flash-based OOP. The next part of the book shows how to structure entire applications with ActionScript 2.0, teaching you best practices and techniques to build scalable, extensible, stable apps. Next, you'll explore a variety of approaches to various programming situations by applying object-oriented programming strategies, known as design patterns, to Flash.

Experienced Flash developers and programmers coming from other languages will enjoy the sheer depth of Moocks's coverage and expertise in Essential ActionScript 2.0. Novice programmers will appreciate the frequent, low-jargon explanations that are often glossed over by advanced programming books. As usual, Moock guarantees quality and accuracy by working closely with Macromedia Flash engineers, including Rebecca Sun, lead developer of ActionScript 2.0.
Whether you're ready to make the move to ActionScript 2.0 now or simply assessing it for the future, you'll find everything you need to know within this book. Essential ActionScript 2.0 is the one book every ActionScript coder must own.

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oreillyEssential ActionScript 2.0
 
4.6

(based on 7 reviews)

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(0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

ok

By venkatesh

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Essential ActionScript 2.0:

Object-Oriented programming can be applied within the Flash environment.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A Must Have!

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Essential ActionScript 2.0:

So you're ready to take Flash to the next level and start diving into Actionscripting then this book is for you! Colin Moock is one of the masters of Actionscript and his book Essential Actionscript 2.0 by O'Reilly publishing is one worth having.

Not only is Colin Moock a master of Actionscript , he also has a heart of a teacher and it show throughout this book. The way he teaches Actionscript makes the concepts very easy to grasp as he relates the various concepts to real world situations.

Moock starts out with defining the Actionscript language covering things such as feature sets, components and how Object-Oriented programming can be applied within the Flash environment. He then moves into Application development where he teaches you the basic structures of an Object-Oriented programming application framework starting with setting up working directories. Under the same topic, he then moves on to cover the document timeline, classes, more components, movieclips and closes the chapter dealing with libraries. Finally, Moock wraps up this book by discussing a variety of approaches to programming situations called design patterns. Design patterns are various ways to analyze a flash project and develop a solution for some aspects of the programming.

Moock is also careful to point out that "a design pattern does not describe the entire structure of an application, nor does it describe a specific algorithm in an application" Moock says these design patterns describe how an object relates to a class in a generalized situation.

To me this section on design patterns was a little tough to follow, I am a designer slowly turning programmer and I found these ideas very new and difficult to get my head around. All in all, I thought this book was an excellent primer for getting into Flash Actionscripting and I would strongly recommend this book or any others by Colin Moock to anyone who is serious about learning Actionscript for Flash.

David

Pittsburgh Adobe User Group Manager

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

A Review of Essential ActionScript 2""

By G. Roush

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Essential ActionScript 2.0:

A key to understanding this book is noting that it's title is "Essential ActionScript 2," not "ActionScript 2: The Definitive Guide." If you're looking for a complete treatment of the language, look elsewhere. If, however, you have a good working knowledge of ActionScript 1 (AS1) and are considering a move to ActionScript 2 (AS2), then get this book.

Also note that the title of this book is not "Essential Flash MX 2004." I agree with some reviewers who would have liked to see more coverage of topics such as data connectivity. That said, I like how the author kept his focus on the ActionScript language. Many topics, such as the new components, have much more to do with updates to the Flash Player than to the scripting language. They are certainly related, but a developer can utilize most of the new components without writing a single line of ActionScript, and can realize the benefits of AS2 without ever using one of the new components. A discussion of these components would have been welcome, but I can see why he left them out. This book is primarily about understanding and using AS2.

To say that this book covers the "essentials" does not mean that this is a primer on the ActionScript language, nor that it is written for beginners. The author's explanations often draw on comparisons to AS1 and other languages, especially Java. If you are unfamiliar with AS1 or Java, you will probably find such explanations less than satisfying. If, however, you are at least somewhat familiar with these other languages, you will find most of these explanations interesting and informative.

Among the features I found most useful in this book were the discussion about new features and benefits of AS2, especially with regards to continuing to develop for Flash Player 6. It answers very well the questions of why I would want to switch to AS2 and when I can use it. His examples do a good job of demonstrating new features of the language and how AS2 opens the door to more functional Object-Oriented Programming using external class files. He does an excellent job of pointing out not just what to do and how to do it, but _why_ you should care or take the extra time to do it. He demonstrates, for example, how classes and datatyping can take some of the headache out of Flash debugging.

The best thing I can say about the book is that I was able to apply it immediately to my code, which I suppose is really the only thing that matters. The book answered my practical questions about switching and I was able to begin using AS2 immediately and know why I was doing it. AS2 has its problems as a language, but if you develop for Flash you need to know it and use it. If you need to know and use AS2, I would definitely recommend adding this title to your library.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Thank the Programming Gods for Colin Moock

By John Attebury

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Essential ActionScript 2.0:

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.

 
5.0

Moock does it again

By Keith Peters

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Essential ActionScript 2.0:

There's not a whole lot that needs to be said here. If you've been around in Flash for a while, you know who Colin Moock is, and you have a copy of ASDG within arm's reach. As has been mentioned, this is a very different book, but deserves to be within your other arm's reach.

 
5.0

Another masterpiece

By Chafic Kazoun

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Essential ActionScript 2.0:

I had the pleasure of technical editing this book and can honestly say this is another masterpiece produced by Colin Moock. His attention to content organization, technical accuracy and completeness is unmatched.

ActionScript 2.0 is an object oriented programming language that any serious developer will want to learn. Essential ActionScript 2.0 covers the language in depth, including best practices for Flash application development and design patterns. Like "ActionScript The Definitive Guide", This will become required reading for all Flash developers at my company.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Essential ActionScript 2.0 Review

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Essential ActionScript 2.0:

This book is a definite must have for every ActionScript 2 programmer. As a technical reviewer for this book, I've had the opportunity to read and study it from cover to cover several times. Colin has done an excellent job at covering the much needed details of the core language structure of ActionScript 2 with heavy emphasis on the OOP architecture model of AS2.

This book is not an updated version of ActionScript The Definitive Guide, it does not contain an AS2 dictionary. What it contains is a detailed coverage of OOP architecture and AS2 language structure.

Prior to reviewing the manuscript, I felt I had a fairly decent grasp of AS2. As I worked through the manuscript, reading the text and testing the examples I was amazed at how clear Colin's explainations were. His writing, filled in many of the missing gaps in my grasp of AS2 and solidified my programming skills with AS2.

I strongly recommend this book to any serious AS2 programmer who wants to gain a solid grasp of OOP architecture in AS2.

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