Essential ActionScript 3.0
Publisher: O'Reilly Media / Adobe Developer Library
Final Release Date: June 2007
Pages: 948

ActionScript 3.0 is a huge upgrade to Flash's programming language. The enhancements to ActionScript's performance, feature set, ease of use, cleanliness, and sophistication are considerable. Essential ActionScript 3.0 focuses on the core language and object-oriented programming, along with the Flash Player API.Essential ActionScript has become the #1 resource for the Flash and ActionScript development community, and the reason is the author, Colin Moock. Many people even refer to it simply as "The Colin Moock book."

And for good reason: No one is better at turning ActionScript inside out, learning its nuances and capabilities, and then explaining everything in such an accessible way. Colin Moock is not just a talented programmer and technologist; he's also a gifted teacher.

Essential ActionScript 3.0 is a radically overhauled update to Essential ActionScript 2.0. True to its roots, the book once again focuses on the core language and object-oriented programming, but also adds a deep look at the centerpiece of Flash Player's new API: display programming. Enjoy hundreds of brand new pages covering exciting new language features, such as the DOM-based event architecture, E4X, and namespaces--all brimming with real-world sample code.

The ActionScript 3.0 revolution is here, and Essential ActionScript 3.0's steady hand is waiting to guide you through it.

Adobe Developer Library is a co-publishing partnership between O'Reilly Media and Adobe Systems, Inc. and is designed to produce the number one information resources for developers who use Adobe technologies. Created in 2006, the Adobe Developer Library is the official source for comprehensive learning solutions to help developers create expressive and interactive web applications that can reach virtually anyone on any platform. With top-notch books and innovative online resources covering the latest in rich Internet application development, the Adobe Developer Library offers expert training and in-depth resources, straight from the source.

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oreillyEssential ActionScript 3.0
 
4.1

(based on 19 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (11)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

75%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Accurate (4)
  • Easy to understand (3)
  • Helpful examples (3)
  • Well-written (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Developer (4)

    Reviewed by 19 customers

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    5.0

    Classic O'Reilly!

    By Steve TheDogBoy

    from Aurora, CO

    About Me Developer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly Essential ActionScript 3.0:

      This book is an O'Reilly classic, in the tradition of the great Java-related books by Hans Bergsten (JSP, JSF) and Richard Monson-Haefel (4th edition of Enterprise JavaBeans). It's not only extremely thorough, with good coverage and great insights, but it's written extremely well, in the most general English-language sense. And the downloadable examples (1) work, (2) cover just the right concepts and issues, and (3) are extremely well-commented. If only all programming books were this good; I've loved reading this book!

       
      5.0

      Absolutely necessary!

      By kubarium

      from Toronto, ON

      About Me Developer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Accurate
      • Concise
      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Expert
        • Intermediate
        • Novice

        Comments about oreilly Essential ActionScript 3.0:

        What is great about this book is that like its title claims, it's essential. It starts off with simple programming logic and how we can apply these notions in Actionscript. It clearly separates what is Flash and Flex vs. Actionscript so you also learn what is what.

        It requires some patience to walk through the book because it's thick but again that's all essential. So, if you are looking for a cookbook style book, this is not your book.

        I liked it so much I wish there would be sequels to it!

         
        5.0

        Excellent Book!!!

        By ns_holmes

        from St. Louis Mo

        About Me Developer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Concise
        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples
        • Well-written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Intermediate
          • Novice
          • Student

          Comments about oreilly Essential ActionScript 3.0:

          This book is great for beginning Actionscript 3.0 programmers. Flash Designers, this will be a tough read but it's worth every penny. Awesome reference book I've used mine so much both front and back covers are taped on.

          (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

           
          3.0

          Too Extensive Details

          By jaafarNaddaf

          from Jordan

          About Me Developer

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Accurate
          • Comprehensive

          Cons

          • Bad explanation
          • Boring
          • Difficult to understand
          • For experts only

          Best Uses

          • Expert

          Comments about oreilly Essential ActionScript 3.0:

          A book that has everything in it, it explains every little detail in ActionScript 3 although sometimes it leaves some of the trivial stuff for the reader to look in other resources.

          I think that there are 2 problems in this book:
          1- Getting bored while reading because it doesn't provide the best way to approach the reader's mind.
          2- Too extensive details about stuffs where the reader doesn't have to be bothering about them.

          (2 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          Great if you're a genius

          By nongenius

          from Undisclosed

          Comments about oreilly Essential ActionScript 3.0:

          I already owned Applescript, the Definitive Guide, and decided to get this new version for new and updated commands. There are none! That entire section with alphabetical listing of the commands and their use is entirely missing.

          OK. Now I am trying to open a second browser window from the first one which probably uses the getURL command. Guess what? There is NO listing for getURL in the new version, even though it's there in the older one.

          I have been using Flash daily since 1999. I find virtually everything I want to do other than plain vanilla things to be incredibly tedious. Flash has got to change, and we need a better book to explain it.

          (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          3.0

          Good and Bad

          By WhidbeyTomas

          from Undisclosed

          Comments about oreilly Essential ActionScript 3.0:

          There is a lot of excellent material here. Colin has always been my first choice for deep discussion on a subject. Others tend to cover a subject very superficially, leaving more questions than providing answers. Still, Colin could use an instructional designer to help him though. This book all too often suffers the usual disconnect between a subject matter expert and the learner.

          The first practical improvement would be to fix the index. Far, far too many common subjects (capture, event capture, capturing phase?) cannot be accessed through the index. To be really essential, this book needs to allow the user to find answers quickly.

          I like and appreciate Colin's work. This is a valuable book. It could be more complete, it could include more information about the drawing API, for example. And it could be just a little more concrete before it loses us in the abstract. I would have preferred to have some visual aspects to his first and most important example (VirtualZoo).

          I find that the more I know, the more I appreciate this book. That's because when I know a little, I can return to this book to learn more. It is not much help as a starter though.

          (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Excellent !

          By Anonymous

          from Undisclosed

          Comments about oreilly Essential ActionScript 3.0:

          This book is a masterpiece, to my mind.

          It doesn't cover all possible topics, but is quite definitive and very user friendly on core concepts, with a lot of practical exemples, and, last but not least, is very nice to read.

          (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Good book, not for absolute beginners

          By rani

          from Undisclosed

          Comments about oreilly Essential ActionScript 3.0:

          This book is not for absolute beginners. I have some basic Java, have played around with Javascript and Lingo back in the day. I found it was perfect for me -- walking me through Javascript via an example.

          Is it definitive - not sure yet. Is it essential - yes, if you're new to ActionScript. Is it for people completely new to programming? Absolutely not.

          There are also some minor technical errata which make it a little frustrating to implement the code examples.

          No book is perfect. This book is good.

          (4 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          Essential? Not really.

          By Richard 23

          from Undisclosed

          Comments about oreilly Essential ActionScript 3.0:

          While this book will likely be very useful for those new to programming, a Learning Actionscript 3.0 Part II if you will, it is not at all what I've come to expect from an O'Reilly technical reference: invaluability. Missing from Essential ActionScript 3.0 is a reference section which would have made this book a constant companion during development of a project in Flash/ActionScript.

          See David Flanagan's JavaScript: the Definitive Guide, any edition, for a near perfect example of "Essential." See Tom Christiansen and Nathan Torkington's Perl Cookbook for an astonishing example of a book that contains the exact snippet of code one needs to keep project development moving forward. And if it's in there, that snippet is easily found within minutes. Those two books are right here next to me because eight years later I still use them. That's "essential."

          On the other hand, see Colin Moock's Essential ActionScript 3.0 for implementation of a virtual zoo class, extending a virtual pet class, if that suits your needs.

          The author repeatedly instructs his readers to consult the online ActionScript 3.0 reference or Flash IDE Help Viewer for information about specific object properties and methods, so I have taken his advice and abandoned the book, consulting Adobe's online material instead. If only that was in book form!

          To summarize, if one is already comfortable with ECMAScript, upon which both JavaScript and ActionScript are based, Essential ActionScript 3.0 will not seem all that essential. And lacking an always necessary reference section, a must for any object oriented language, the book will gather dust.

          But those who are unfamiliar with JavaScript and would benefit from a general overview of ActionScript rather than a specific reference may find this book instructive. But after that, you're going to need an ActionScript object reference. It's not here.

          As for me, using Flash and ActionScript for the first time for a specific project, I found this book entirely useless and an incredible disappointment. This is a first for me. I've got about 30 or 40 well worn O'Reilly books that I continue to get good use out of.

          My copy of Essential ActionScript 3.0 will probably end up on co-worker's desk or in a box of disused books. Nevertheless, O'Reilly is still the first place I look when I need a reference.

          (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Important place in library

          By Anonymous

          from Undisclosed

          Comments about oreilly Essential ActionScript 3.0:

          Colin Moock's book entitled "Essential ActionScript 3.0" pretend to be one of the most important positions in ActionScript developer library. It contains a lot of informations from core concept of object oriented programing to details about garbage collection or topics connected with optimalization of ActionScript code. Many additional annotations provide unique ActionScript knowledge. The book is divided into three parts.

          First part contains most basic and most important information about object oriented programming and syntax of Actionscript 3.0. This section is useful especially for beginners. You can find a lot of well described samples. Thanks to many information about internal mechanisms working in Flash, sections can by very useful for advanced programers.

          Second Part of the book covers a lot of interestig information related to visual part of ActionScript application. It shows how to build GUI and let it play with user gestures. You can learn about tools to build rich and interactive interface in the best and the most flexible way.

          Third part contain applied ActionScript topics. It should be very interesting for person who want to find out how to create content in Flash authoring environment and bring it to life with code written in ActionScript. This section covers basic Flex MXML concept also.

          Summing up this book contains most important concepts of ActionScript language. Nowadays, when internet becoming more and more, interactive, useful and eye-candy this book will help you understand how to build amazing content using one of most powerful environment dedicated to internet solutions.

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