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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The "missing manual" on Flash
One of the things that makes me laugh (and cry) about Adobe's official documentation for their Flex 2 product is that it implicitly assumes that the reader is familiar with Flash. Given that Flex is supposed to be a development environment targeted at traditional developers (familiar with Eclipse and source code control and the like), you'd think that it would be a fair...
Published on 20 Aug 2007 by Graeme Harker

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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sort of disappointing
Well, it took me about 5 evenings to skim through this book, mainly looking at examples. It's good that there are many examples, it's bad that parts of them are repeated again and again and then put once again together... This book may be good for beginners, but I was expecting something more thorough and condensed (i.e. author at some 400+ page tell you once again that...
Published on 17 Mar 2009 by Tomasz Poradowski


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The "missing manual" on Flash, 20 Aug 2007
By 
Graeme Harker (London, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Essential ActionScript 3.0 (Paperback)
One of the things that makes me laugh (and cry) about Adobe's official documentation for their Flex 2 product is that it implicitly assumes that the reader is familiar with Flash. Given that Flex is supposed to be a development environment targeted at traditional developers (familiar with Eclipse and source code control and the like), you'd think that it would be a fair assumption that at least a significant share of the readers of the Flex 2 doc set would be Java, C++ or C# programmers who are keen to build rich clients in Flex.

I guess that other newcomers to Flash will probably have the same frustrating time as I did trying to figure out how (and when) the AVM2 dispatches mouse, focus and keyboard events, how the display list is managed, how to refer to the properties of a symbol instance created with Flash CS3, and how to draw lines and shapes etc...

This book is the essential "missing manual" on the AVM for developers who don't have a strong Flash background. Chapter 29, for example, is the perfect introduction to the Flash CS3 IDE.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great 'user manual' for actoinscript 3, 6 Sep 2007
By 
S. Umamaheswarampillai (High Wycome, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Essential ActionScript 3.0 (Paperback)
This is indeed a carefully prepared,well written book for people who want to work with actionscript 3. I already have some experience with both Flash 8 and actionscript 2 before reading this. But I can see that the author has taken the trouble to make sure that people who are completely new to programing will be comfortable with this book. Lot's of authors just promise 'this book assumes no prior knowledge' in the preface and by the time you reach chapter 1 the promise is broken. But this is one of those rare tech books where the author keeps the promise.
But that doesn't mean it is just a beginner's 'quick start' guide. Although I have flash and AS 2 experience (and lots of programing experience with Java etc - and as a result I ended up skimming through quite a lot of stuff) this was a very useful guide to help me get started with Action script 3. I would recommend it for anyone who wants to work with AS3. But if you already have some programing experience and don't have the patience to sit and read for long then the Actionscript 3 cookbook (Joey Lott ) may give you a faster start. It uses a purely 'hands on' approach from the start. So that may be worth a look especially if you don't need a detailed introduction to programing. But it might be a tough job choosing between the two books. I am using them both and if you have the money that's what I would suggest - buy them both!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This should ship with Flash.., 9 Aug 2008
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This review is from: Essential ActionScript 3.0 (Paperback)
This will only be a short review as I haven't actually finished the book yet!

- If you're a newbie to AS3: Buy it
- If you're an intermediate developer: Buy it
- If you've used AS2 before: Buy it

In short, it really is essential. Don't let the subject matter put you off. This book explains not only the how, but the why - something which many books with a similar aim often fail to do.

For example, I never realised there were two modes for the AS3 compiler. I had encountered but never used the [...rest] parameter, as it hadn't been explained properly.

This book will fill in the gaps in your knowledge. It covers AS3 completely. The only thing missing here is some really good workarounds for the Flash Player 9 memory leak issue, but that particular bug was not fully appreciated when this book was written.

Hands down brilliant!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book from the beginning., 30 May 2013
This review is from: Essential ActionScript 3.0 (Paperback)
Great book to use besides other sources for those who are wishing to learn more about this technology of Adobe.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Makes the AS3 learning curve manageable, 4 Sep 2012
This review is from: Essential ActionScript 3.0 (Paperback)
I knew flash and AS2 basics before picking up this book. It helped me cope with the incredibly steep learning curve that goes with the move to AS3.

Just take each page as it comes and stick with it, the penny will drop sooner or later and you'll have a very solid AS3 foundation. I'm now developing apps for ios and android with flash pro CS 5.5+ and this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The no1, 17 Feb 2012
This review is from: Essential ActionScript 3.0 (Paperback)
Actionscript users, learners, or programmers, this is the bible to flash actionscript, very easy to understand (if you're a coder already) and explains the full concepts of 3.0
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5.0 out of 5 stars The only Flash book I can recommend, 16 Jun 2011
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This review is from: Essential ActionScript 3.0 (Paperback)
I've been working with Flash for 5 years and still find this book to be an indispensable reference. It's perfect for newbies and veterans alike and cuts right to the chase. It is not for people who need concepts explained 3 times over and is perhaps a little too brief on certain subjects. Regardless it's the only tome on AS 3.0 outside of Adobes own help pages that I use time and again. Brilliant.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Got me through the painful start, 29 Oct 2010
This review is from: Essential ActionScript 3.0 (Paperback)
Colin is top man. This book got me through the first painful weeks of learning / using AS3
I just skimmed through it a year later, and realise that I now use most of the stuff in this book in my day-to-day work.
One VERY nice thing, is that he explains what the Flash plug-in DOES with your code, and in what order things happen. That is hard info to find and is more useful than it may appear. Essential, perhaps ;)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good but could be better. Time for a second edition/extra content/more distilled?, 19 July 2010
By 
This review is from: Essential ActionScript 3.0 (Paperback)
As other readers have commented, the author does tend to repeat himself in this book. And at times some of the things he covers are so intuitive, you think it's hardly worth covering.
I think this was taken to the extreme in chapter 17, where the author takes nearly 50 pages to cover Namespaces. Right near the end of the chapter you finally get a get useful example (Permisssion Based access) , but if you've worked extensively with Java and XML there's a lot of money for old rope here. By contrast I think in Chapter 19 on Flash Player security, an overview was given and then scenarios were described and solutions given. This was a good chapter. Any repetition done in this way was useful and acted to positively reinforce material.

Part 1 covers the core of ActionScript. I think it does quite a good job of introducing a beginner to the concepts of OO Design. There's a bit of chicken or egg stuff going on with forward references the OO newbie might get thrown by, but on the whole the book does a good job of cross referencing stuff. I would have really appreciated a distilled chapter highlighting the syntactic nuances from a Java developers perspective instead of having to wade through 19 chapters (454 pages) for Part I. (Food for though in a second edition?)

Part 2 (chapters 20-28 - pages 457-818) is more about front-end stuff, displaying content, working with events etc. This is where the most useful stuff was.
The Stage Detector class was a core foundation used in several other places throughout the book, which alone make the book worth the purchase.
Once again unfortunately there was a turn off chapter for me. The Bitmap graphics chapter 26. By about half way through I started skim reading, finding it extremely dull and tedious.

Part 3 Covers 3 chapters on Flash Authoring/ActionScript, an MXML taster and Distributing a class.

Then theres' the Appendix which contains the Virtual Zoo example
- which is used to give people a grounding in OO that gets a final overhaul from part I,
- using the information gleaned mostly from part 2, a front-end attached to it.

The book covers the era of Flex 2/Flash Player 9/Flash CS3 (authoring tool) : So things have moved on a bit since then (Published in 2007).

As the book indicates there is no coverage of Regular Expressions. Not such a biggie for me... But there are also other things like Vectors and Dictionaries, and printing too that aren't covered. If you are looking for more up to date content then ActionScript Bible by Roger Braunstein may be the ticket. (All these are covered in his book. Can't vouch for it's content yet. Next on my list to read - Table of Contents looks good - Published April 2010 - Flash Player 10).
It doesn't cover RSL's (runtime shared libraries either) : see Enterprise Flex Development (also has good section on printing)
Finally it doesn't cover Tween Engines or anything like that too if you are more into gaming/animation. See Keith Peters : AdvancED ActionScript 3.0 Animation or ActionScript for Multiplayer Games and Virtual Worlds (One-Off) -A bit off my radar.

Overall thought it's a pretty lucid text book, with code that is well commented and easy to follow. Apart for the two chapters (17 & 26) I'm happy with the purchase.
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5.0 out of 5 stars awesome book! Highly recommended, 23 July 2014
This review is from: Essential ActionScript 3.0 (Paperback)
High class material, awesome book! Highly recommended.
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Essential ActionScript 3.0
Essential ActionScript 3.0 by Colin Moock (Paperback - 2 July 2007)
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