This new addition to the growing library of Flash
instruction books gives readers a solid base in this popular and increasingly necessary Web development application. The book promises a foundation that is accessible
, meaning you won't be daunted by ActionScripting or any of the other topics, and extensible
, meaning you will find it easy to add to your knowledge after you've finished the book.
Foundation Flash 5 successfully avoids the trap, so common in other instruction books, of an all-encompassing but shallow overview. It successfully does an in-depth treatment of the most essential aspects of using Flash. At the end, you may not know every menu option, but you'll be able to construct your own Flash Web site. The book uses one case study project: a Web site interface with animated buttons, soundtrack and Flash -enabled content. Small-scale lessons within chapters and applying these lessons to the larger scale project help reinforce the material. (Support files for the case study can be downloaded from www.friendsofed.com)
The writing follows a narrative style (longer paragraphs both before and within the numbered steps), managing to be casual and friendly in just the right amounts. Personal anecdotes, when they occur, actually enhance the lessons. Although this style makes hopping around the book and troubleshooting specific problems more difficult, the payoff for reading in a linear, cumulative fashion is a better handle on the pros and cons of Flash's core features. Another plus is that readers can follow along even if they are not sitting at the computer. (Learn Flash on the bus! Why not?) Throughout the book, the authors often point out alternative methods and uses for features, which encourages creative thinking on how to apply the lessons to your own projects. First-time users of Flash as well as experienced users who have put off trying scripting will find this book a good place to start. --Angelynn Grant
About the Author
Patrick Rey is a Technical Support advisor for Boston College. In his spare time you will find him learning, documenting and developing the ins and outs of Macromedia's Flash. He is also the webmaster for Flash Addict. In June of 1999 he joined forces with Amanda Farr and Virtual-FX, realising that writing tutorials for a site that gets 1,000,000 hits a day is far better than one which only gets 100 hits a day. Amanda Farr is the owner and webmaster of Virtual-FX.net Flash Resources. She has been involved in Flash development for many years and is a regular presenter at Flashforward in New York City. Sham Bhangal originally began his career as an Engineer, specializing in industrial computer based display and control systems. In the mid 90s he established Future Media Organisation to promote Flash development and particularly the deeper secrets of ActionScripting and interactive design.