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Learning ActionScript 3.0 (A Beginner's Guide) [Paperback]

Rich Shupe , Zevan Rosser
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

23 Dec 2007 059652787X 978-0596527877 First

In this book, authors Rich Shupe and Zevan Rosser share the knowledge they've gained from their years as multimedia developers/designers and teachers. Learning ActionScript 3.0 gives you a solid foundation in the language of Flash and demonstrates how you can use it for practical, everyday projects.

The authors do more than just give you a collection of sample scripts. Written for those of you new to ActionScript 3.0, the book describes how ActionScript and Flash work, giving you a clear look into essential topics such as logic, event handling, displaying content, migrating legacy projects to ActionScript 3.0, classes, and much more. You will learn important techniques through hands-on exercises, and then build on those skills as chapters progress.

ActionScript 3.0 represents a significant change for many Flash users, and a steeper learning curve for the uninitiated. This book will help guide you through a variety of scripting scenarios. Rather than relying heavily on prior knowledge of object-oriented programming (OOP), topics are explained in focused examples that originate in the timeline, with optional companion classes for those already comfortable with their use. As chapters progress, the book introduces more and more OOP techniques, allowing you to choose which scripting approach you prefer.

Learning ActionScript 3.0 reveals:

  • New ways to harness the power and performance of AS3
  • Common mistakes that people make with the language
  • Essential coverage of text, sound, video, XML, drawing with code, and more
  • Migration issues from AS1 and AS2 to AS3
  • Simultaneous development of procedural and object-oriented techniques
  • Tips that go beyond simple script collections, including how to approach a project and which resources can help you along the way
The companion web site contains material for all the exercises in the book, as well as short quizzes to make sure you're up to speed with key concepts. ActionScript 3.0 is a different animal from previous versions, and Learning ActionScript 3.0 teaches everything that web designers, GUI-based Flash developers, and those new to ActionScript need to start using the language.

Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Adobe Dev Library; First edition (23 Dec 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 059652787X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596527877
  • Product Dimensions: 24.7 x 20.3 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 206,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Rich Shupe has been designing and developing with Flash since it was called FutureSplash, and has been teaching ActionScript programming to all levels of students since ActionScript became available. He founded his own training and development company, FMA, in 1995, and has been its president and technical director ever since. He is a recognized authority on several technologies, including Flash, Director and QuickTime. In addition to his production experience, Rich has been teaching professionally for 10 years, and is a full-time faculty member at New York's School of Visual Arts' Computer Art Dept. in both the Bachelors and Masters programs. He has also taught or lectured internationally for such organizations as London's Royal Academy of Art, Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry, New York University, and United Digital Artists, as well as trade shows such as MacWorld, QuickTime Live, FlashForward, Macromedia DevCon, and more. In a previous life, he worked with rock band/performance-art pioneers The Residents.

Zevan Rosser is a freelance designer/programmer/consultant and computer artist. He teaches ActionScript and Flash animation at New York's School of Visual Arts and FMA. When he's not working on commercial projects he works on his personal site, http://www.shapevent.com.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Intro to AS3 27 Mar 2008
For many designers and developers who use Adobe Flash, the introduction of ActionScript 3 was met with some trepidation. The perceived increase in the complexity of ActionScript 3 code compared to ActionScript 2 - including the belief that you must use Object-Oriented Programming to use AS3 - has led some to decide to stick with AS2. This is unfortunate, as AS3 has a number of advantages over AS2. While AS3 is somewhat more complex than AS2, it is not prohibitively so, and the time required to bring oneself up to speed with AS3 is well rewarded.

"Learning ActionScript 3.0", by Rich Shupe and Zevan Rosser is, overall, a great introduction to AS3. The chapters are well organized, with a quick run-through of some familiar ActionScript concepts and code. If you've written any ActionScript before, you can skip this part, or skim through it just for some reassurance that not everything in AS3 is completely different from what you already know.

The subsequent chapters cover major aspects of ActionScript programming, ranging from graphics to sound and video to loading pretty much any sort of data. For example, the new display list in AS3 is thoroughly and clearly explained; as somebody still relatively new to AS3 I found this to be a pretty significant change to the way I think about Flash, so I appreciated how well the authors covered this part of AS3. And if you think that everything in AS3 only got more complicated, this book is worth it alone for the chapter on working with XML. These and other topics are explained clearly and thoroughly. The authors are both teachers at New York's School of Visual Arts, and their experience as educators shows through in their writing.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing little book, unfortunately 23 Aug 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Unfortunately I cannot agree the the enthusiasm shown for this book by other reviewers.

My biggest criticism is the very poor coverage of the syntax of each new part of ActionScript covered. The code examples are too specific and offer no help on how to use them in general.

Good books like this type tend to be either very readable, start to finish like any other good non-fiction work. Or more "manual" like, consult the index - read the section - learn what to do. This book is neither easy to read nor a good reference.

Also it is not an "independent" book. Personally I am a huge fan of Adobe's products, but nevertheless any software as complex as AS3 must have got some things wrong. A few I have since learned about are glossed over or unnecessarily defended.

It is relatively short at 350 pages.

On a positive note, it is beautifully printed in colour (and yes, colour does matter to AS3 code!).

The all time best s/w book I know of is McFarland's Dreamweaver Missing Manual and there are several excellent AfterEffects books by the Meyers. Adobe AS3 desperately needs something of that quality written about it!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome... 29 July 2008
After endlessly searching for a decent AS3 book but having to settle with intermediate to advanced book I found this little gem and started some research. After finding reviews on the flashblog and other resources I decided to go ahead with the purchase.

not only is this book well illustrated in full colour, it also gives you a sense that your learning at a steady pace without feeling like your missing something as you progress.

The online resource site offers all of the files needed to sit and study the chapters in the book closer.

I have also recently embarked on what I thought was a problem with one of the resource files and emailed the support group, I was astonished to get a reply within 15 Minutes, pity that I was being a fool and there was no problem. Non the less the help was amazing.

I can't recommend this book enough for anyone wanting to make the jump from AS2 to AS3 or for anyone completely new to AS3.

Thank you
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best begginer AS3 book 4 Jun 2008
Since I got the new Flash CS3 I browse the web looking for AS3 books to help me in the transition to the new AS3, as a flash designer I found this is the best book you can get, it will let you get your hands dirty very quickly with the new AS3, it explain very nicely how it works and why.

One of the best thing is the online support, you get all the exercises files, and here is a fact I email a question about a piece of code, and got answer 5 min later, yes 5min!!! it cant get better than that, well maybe it was a bit of luck, but in any case is pretty good.

So if you are not a developer, how needs to understand all the fuzz about AS3 and OOP get this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and easily understandable 10 Nov 2008
I've got oodles of programming books and I'd put this one up with the best of my collection. It's carefully written to ensure all levels of experience and aptitude are catered for, I'd class myself as somewhere in the intermediates with a decent knowledge of actionscript 2 and I found it enormously useful.

All examples and diagrams make perfect sense, and the explanations they use have actually helped me come to terms with other programming paradigms I'd used but never fully understood.

Thoroughly recommend this one.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good book especially for those just starting off
Very good book especially for those just starting off. I recommend it for those who are keen to achieve something great in action script
Published 8 months ago by Femooh
1.0 out of 5 stars Not suitable for beginners
Not suitable for beginners, does not build understanding of actionscript grammar in a logical way, the examples include lots of code which is not explained properly. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Alex
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an intelligently written book because...
...the authors care about words. This is not written by an inarticulate tech-head more interested in showing how clever (s)he can be. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Ian
5.0 out of 5 stars The best actionscript book money can buy
Don't look for another book, if you are a beginner with action script, and you are looking to learn step by step but not just the easy things, also difficult, this is your book,... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Miquel Angel
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for Beginners
I had initially thought the book was good - it seemed simple enough and accessible in it's language and this still holds true. Read more
Published on 12 Aug 2010 by na0512
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! Loads of examples, illustrated and applicable
I've steadily worked my way through this book and can honestly say it's well written, covers most of the subjects you'll encounter and has useful examples to download and go... Read more
Published on 4 Jun 2010 by Mr. A. White
4.0 out of 5 stars Great purchase
I bought this book off the recommendation of Lee Brimelow whose flash blog i follow. I must say i haven't been disappointed, I would put myself in the beginner/intermediate... Read more
Published on 11 Sep 2009 by Me David P. Lowe
4.0 out of 5 stars Very useful
I'm competent with AS2 and wanted to move to AS3. This book is exactly what I needed to compliment Colin Moock's, Essential ActionScript 3.0. Read more
Published on 3 Sep 2009 by R. Pierce
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book, easy to understand.
Gives you everything you want as a beginner, explanations of the framework and the fundamentals of programming in AS3. Read more
Published on 24 Aug 2009 by bohobo
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine introduction
A very good way to learn the basic concepts behind actionscript ... I'm using it as an introduction to Flash in general and find, that after a 3 hour tutorial on the Flash... Read more
Published on 27 July 2009 by D. Goldstein
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