Book Review: Page (1) of 1 - 07/30/04 Email this story to a friend. email article Print this page (Article printing at page facebook

Object-Oriented Programming with ActionScript 2.0

One of the first books devoted to the changes in ActionScript By Adam Bell
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Object-Oriented Programming with ActionScript 2.0
by Jeff Tapper, James Tablot, Robin Haffner
476 Pages $45.00 US/$65.00 CAN
New Riders Publishing
click on image to buy
When Macromedia launched the latest version of Flash in its' seventh incarnation, the developers decided it would be a good idea that it would take its' popular scripting language, ActionScript, and rebuild it from the ground up.

The results have produced a far-more advanced and stricter programming language. More in some ways to C++ than to ECMA JavaScript from which the original language was based. Even long-time Flash programmers and developers realized that with the changes in the language, a great deal of education would be needed to get up to snuff.

Of course, that's where books like this come in. One of the first books I've seen devoted to the changes in ActionScript, this book looks at the changes from an object-oriented programmers' perspective.

In this release, you'll learn about new features to ActionScript like Classes and Properties in addition to Functions and Objects. You'll be able to learn how the new v2 components work and how to successfully build your own. You'll also learn how to combine dynamic data via Flash Remoting, XML, Web Services and also embed video and audio using the Flash Communications Server.

The main tutorial will be the creation of a Rich Internet Application in which you'll produce a Customer Call Center for a Magazine Subscription company offering search features and e-commerce capabilities. About half of the book is dedicated to this tutorial.

While it is important to make the conversion to the new ActionScript 2.0 over the course of the next year, I came under the impression that this book is mainly for hardcore coders and not really for creative types. Fortunately, books like that are in the process of coming out and in the meantime, some Flash MX2004 components allow you to avoid typing in your own ActionScript (which is even easier to screw things up thanks to the new strict data typing). 

For the coders, this book is certainly worth looking at to learn AS2.0 although I'm sure many are waiting impatiently for Colin Moock's release to compare the two titles. (And I'll be the first to admit, that's where I learned a lot of my OOP in AS1.0) If Macromedia decides to eventually eliminate AS1.0 in the next version or two of Flash, you'll definitely need to make the switch. Start now.

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Adam Bell is the Design Director, CEO, Videographer and sometimes janitor with ( amazingly not getting plastered in the French Quarter of New Orleans, LA.
Related Keywords:Macromedia, Flash, ActionScript, Jeff Tapper, James Tablot, Robin Haffner, programing, scripting

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