- Release Date: 19 December, 2002
- Collectible Price: $54.95
- Used Price: $24.91
- Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours
- Third Party Used Price: $34.75
Author: Colin Moock
Customer Rating: 4.56 of 5 (27 total reviews)
- An obvious purchase
This book is primarily an obvious purchase because of the extremely cretinous policy driving Macromedia's manual publications. Much of what is in this book belongs in Macromedia documentation.
Like all reference texts (really dictonaries for language learners) this book is not for beginners. Unless you have some experience with program design, you are unlikely to learn how to assemble even a reasonable suite of code from the text. That's not a criticsm of the text - it just isn't written for that market.
Almost every language construct gets a piece of exemplar code to illustrate calls and side effects. Even the OO side of things, such as it is in Actionscript, gets played out.
This is a fine book and the sheer labour involved in fiddling with every function is a credit to the author's resilience.
If you are actually programming in Actionscript rather than merely mooning over the nice Flash UI, then this book will be very useful.
- Definitive Guide = Definitive Title
We are using Flash as the UI on an "avionics-grade" project. When I came on the project I knew I would be using every aspect of ActionScript - from simple 'ifs' and 'loops' to the low-down dirty details of the XMLSocket object - and I would need an "avionics-grade" reference. I read the reviews and Mr. Moock's book was highly regarded. The book has not disappointed me once - on the contrary, its proved to be the "definitive guide" on more than one very important decision. I have not spent much time in the first half of the book where the basics of Flash are explained, but on occasion I've thumbed up there and found good info. The true productivity-enhancer is the alphabetical class-by-class reference in the second half of the book. Many times a day I come to a decision point in my code, flip to the book's index, find the object I need, scan the object's methods and properties, read more in-depth, discover a previously unknown tidbit of AS knowledge, and return to my code with the feeling that an informed decision is about to be made. If you are going to be doing hard-core ActionScripting I would advise you to buy this book and place it opposite your mouse.
- Hardly 'definitive'
This book claims to be "The Definitive Guide," but it contains not a single word about ActionScript to support Flash Remoting. For example, where's the discussion of NetServices.createGatewayConnection()? For help in writing ActionScript to interact with a database, you will have to consult another reference source.
The author has an annoying writing style in which he repeatedly refers to "we," as in: "When we export...a .swf file from a .fla file, we can incorporate...." Sometimes, though, he switches to "you," as in: "To append or insert script text instead of replacing it, you must manually copy and paste...." What we/you need here is a good edit.
Aside from the two criticisms addressed above, I'd rate this book as average in quality in completeness, clarity, and accuracy. Code samples work. The index is a bit thin. Some of the more complicated topics (e.g., "Move Clip Subclasses and Components") could have been enhanced through the use of additional examples.
As an O'Reilly book, this book is below average in quality.