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ActionScript 3.0: Visual QuickStart Guide (Visual QuickStart Guides) Paperback – 9 Sep 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 1 edition (9 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321564251
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321564252
  • Product Dimensions: 17.9 x 1.7 x 22.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 415,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

ActionScript is the programming language integral to the Adobe Technology Platform. It began as a simple scripting language for creating interactivity and animation in Flash, but is now used to create full-featured Web applications, not only in Flash but in Flex. ActionScript 3, introduced with Flex 2, is now a full-fledged object-oriented programming language, and the need for teaching materials, for both newcomers and veterans, is great. This task-based tutorial is for students with no programming experience as well as those programmers who have learned earlier versions of the programming language and now need to learn the new version. The book walks a reader through all the fundamentals, then moves on to creating interactivity, working with data, looping and decision making, programming visualizations, and working with multimedia. It's a complete end-to-end tutorial.

About the Author

Derrick Ypenburg is a recognized industry expert in design and development

for the Flash Platform and creation of rich multimedia applications. Derrick

started his Flash career in Flash 3, when Flash had just changed over from

Future Splash. Derrick has over 10 years of design, ActionScript, video

streaming and motion graphic experience in Flash.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By N. DINNEN on 16 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
As a Flash Animator rather than a Flash Developer I've found this quickstart guide to Actionscript 3.0 great to get to grips with the programming concepts and syntax of Actionscript. Despite some negatives it has given me a lot more confidence in moving forward with Flash.

My disappointment with the book is just how poorly it has been proof-read. Every chapter there are typically 2 to 3 errors in the examples code. It's possible to spot most of these as you type them in as you quickly learn Actionscript's syntax but I still feel it hinders the readers progress and on the odd occasion when I couldn't get code to run correctly it had me skipping over parts of the book until I found another part I felt I could confidently get a handle on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. A. Marigliano on 16 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
Concise, clear, easy to follow instructions with simple examples to build upon. You will find no traces of Martian or Esperanto in this book - this is English at its best, using relatable analogies to explain new concepts! Whilst this book helps to update and consolidate previous ActionScript 2.0 editors, it is an optimum introduction to those who are new to the topic. A comprehensive guide, relevant and resourceful.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I swear by these books; I've never been one to read books, but I'll happily enjoy readying technical manuals. This combines text and graphics perfectly. In fact, I've learnt more from these books than any other, which is why I always return to Visual Quick Start Books.
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By Martin Whelan on 20 Jun. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 13 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Finally, the right balance of information for me! 6 Dec. 2008
By GadgetGuy - Published on
Format: Paperback
I've been an intermediate Flash guy for years. The simplicity of ActionScript 1 and 2 made them easy to grasp for all the basics, but the limitations were also abundantly clear.

When ActionScript 3 debuted, I was excited that it had finally become a "real" programming language. But despite being a programmer since before there was an Internet, I found much of ActionScript 3 to be confusing, and honestly, intimidating.

I tried doing it on my own, and I tried other books. But they were either too focused on the language itself and lacked context for the sorts of real-world tasks one does in Flash, or they didn't go deeply enough. ActionScript 3.0 Visual Quickstart Guide finally struck the right balance -- at least for me, and my learning style.

As a programmer, I didn't need to be spoon-fed the basics of variables and control structures. But as a UI guy, I also needed practical, real-world examples like working with dynamic text, interfacing with the outside world, and loading assets.

Quite literally within minutes, I was able to use the straightforward, clear examples and explanations to whip-out Flash movies with ActionScript 3.0 handling the heavy lifting, and finally achieve some things I'd be struggling for months to learn through searching for code examples found online.

Two things are clear from reading the book, however:

1. While the book does cover the basics, people completely new to programming are probably going to be more lost than anything. This is a small book, and the content is relatively brief. If you want your hand held from a standing non-programmer start all the way to ActionScript expert, this probably is not your book. You should understand what programming is, and basic concepts (like variables and control) before you start. This book will help you connect that knowledge to ActionScript 3.

2. You're not going to become the world ActionScript 3 expert by reading this book. You'll get a superb foundation that will give the typical Flash designer/programmer everything they need, and a range of core knowledge that you can augment with some of the "deeper" books, web searches, or just plain reading the Flash manual. But I suspect that most readers, like me, will come out of this book with the stuff you really need for most real-world Flash work.

In summary, the book is well planned out, well written, and the examples -- every single one I tried -- worked as written, free of the typos, errors and omissions that seem to plague other ActionScript 3 books (based on reading reviews here at, anyway).

While your mileage may well vary, for me, for my learning style, and for someone of my experience level, this book was perfect, and finally (FINALLY!) the ActionScript 3 guide I was looking for.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The one for Designers 14 Jan. 2009
By discordio - Published on
Format: Paperback
I bought the three main actionscript 3.0 books out there and this is the one I should have started with. Unlike the other two, this one is actually aimed at those of us who are predominantly visual designers and who are migrating from 2.0 to 3.0. Because I taught myself 2.0, I had a bunch of bad practices which probably made the jump to 3.0 even more daunting. This book starts out simply and builds upon itself in a manner that is never intimidating. The 'Learning Actionscript' book is much more suited to programmers who are moving into flash. This book is best for flash or visual designers who are migrating and just want to be able to program in 3.0. 'Essential Actionscript' seems best for after you've already become comfortable and need an extensive reference guide.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Great reference manual for quick answers 12 Oct. 2008
By Diane Cipollo - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book by Derrick Ypenburg is a great reference manual for the seasoned Flash and ActionScript programmer and a good starter book for the novice. With the upgrade to ActionScript 3, many Flash programmers have found it easier to make the move from ActionScript 2 to ActionScript 3 by going back to the beginning and learning ActionScript 3 from the basics forward. In this book, the author does just that for his audience. Because the book is divided into small sections of information with step-by-step exercises, even the novice will not become overwhelmed. Throughout the book, the author assumes that the reader has a basic knowledge of Flash and therefore the book concentrates on the latest ActionScript 3 techniques.

The author begins with the basics of Dot syntax and then moves on to the individual components of OOP such as variables, methods, functions, classes and objects and their unique relationship with Flash objects, instances and hierarchy. He also covers basic programming tasks including commenting code, testing and error handling. Dynamic text fields and user input are important to Flash interactivity. The author discusses the relationship between the TextField object and the Event model. He not only covers how to use the MouseEvent and KeyboardEvent classes to create dynamic input fields in response to user interactivity but also how to format text and embed fonts in Flash. Next, he discusses the Math class and how it is the backbone of a dynamic, randomly changing Flash layout. Other topics related to dynamic Flash that were covered in the book are data storage and retrieval, conditional and looping logic, HTTP requests, Get and Post methods and loading external assets with the Loader class. At the end of the book is the fun topics such as the Shape class and Drawing API, blend modes, filters, Tweening, transitions, sound and video playback.

Derrick Ypenburg is an expert in rich media applications for Flash. He has worked with many top design firms. He also lectures and authors books and articles on Flash and ActionScript. The supporting files for the book can be downloaded from the author's website.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1* reviewer out of touch - great for CS4 21 Dec. 2008
By Diamond Nikonian - Published on
Format: Paperback
The previous reviewer is a detriment to the whole review process. His mistake for being five or so years behind the times and not understanding the latest technology has no bearing on this book. I have ActionScript 3.0 for Adobe Flash CS4 Professional and Learning ActionScript 3.0 A Beginners Guide and both are excellent books but it is the Visual Quickstart Guide to ActionScript 3.0 that I keep coming back to to fill in the most basic gaps that the other two books seem to assume you are aware of. I have a degree in Mathematics and did programming back in my day but coming back to it I find I am a little rusty. Some of the concepts of ActionScript 3.0 are difficult to comprehend because the terms of reference are foreign and the books available start you off from different angles. The three books noted in this review have me up and running and becoming more confident all the time but none on their own works well. This book is a must have for anyone new to the software but please note that due to the initial complexities of understanding the language and syntax there is no ONE magic book that will get you up to speed. This is a great book for CS4, why wouldn't it be?
Good Start 15 April 2012
By Jolanta - Published on
Format: Paperback
As someone already stated, that book is not going to make you an expert in AS 3.0, but it's a very good start to learn major topics. What I really like in this book, is the organization - planning of chapters, which are relatively short with basic and useful code examples.
If you are a designer, who need basic AS 3.0 to enhance your Flash project with more interactivity, this books is probably good enough. If you want to become a programmer, you can start here and then dive deeper into some other volumes.
There are some minor typos throughout the script, but you can figure them out yourself, or go to the companion website. I was a little disappointed in scope of that book. To study more I have to go and buy some other products... but that's probably what "quick start" is all about.
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