Object-Oriented ActionScript 3.0
Author: Todd Yard, Peter Elst, Sas Jacobs
Publisher: friends of ED; 1 edition
Publication Date: 2007-07-24
ISBN-10: 1590598458
ISBN-13: 9781590598450
Paperback: 640 Pages
Object-Oriented ActionScript 3.0

  • Learn object-oriented programming in ActionScript 3.0
  • Covers both the Flash and Flex environments
  • Includes design patterns, custom frameworks, data binding, and other crucial techniques

Object-oriented programming (OOP) is something that is usually considered a black art for hardcore programmers, not a topic of conversation for Flash developers. However, when adobe introduced ActionScript 3.0 to the mix, it changed everything. ActionScript 3.0 is much more powerful than previous versions, allowing Flash developers to produce robust object-oriented applications. but with that power comes great responsibility—OOP is now a requirement, rather than optional, and there are new things to learn.

But never fear—this book, based on the ever-popular Object-Oriented ActionScript for Flash 8, provides you all you need to delve into the world of OOP with confidence, whether you are using the Flash IDE, Flex builder, or even command-line tools for your development work.

First, you are taken gently through all the principles of OOP that you need to know, and then given a guide to designing and implementing applications in ActionScript 3.0. Next, we step up a gear, showing you the Flex builder development environment and teaching about creating reusable, extensible component frameworks—manager classes, animation and effects classes, UI widgets, and more. lastly, we look at some more advanced topics such as communication between Flash and the browser and Web services. case studies are included that apply the knowledge presented, giving you real-world projects to learn from and adapt for use in your own work.

Mastering object-oriented programming is essential for modern Flash development, and Object-Oriented ActionScript 3.0 is the only guide you’ll need.

In this book you’ll learn:

  • the essential principles of object-oriented programming, including inheritance, encapsulation, polymorphism, and more
  • Valuable lessons on ActionScript 3.0 project planning and programming, including design patterns and source control
  • How to create your own extensible, reusable application framework using OOP best practices
  • Advanced data integration techniques such as Web services and communication between Flash and the browser

Summary of Contents

    • Chapter 1: Introduction to OOP
    • Chapter 2: Programming Concepts
    • Chapter 3: ActionScript 3.0 Programming
    • Chapter 4: Planning
    • Chapter 5: Project Workflow
    • Chapter 6: Best Practices
    • Chapter 7: Working with Flex 2
    • Chapter 8: Encapsulation
    • Chapter 9: Classes
    • Chapter 10: Inheritance
    • Chapter 11: Polymorphism
    • Chapter 12: Interfaces
    • Chapter 13: Design Patterns
    • Chapter 14: Case Study: An OOP Media Player
    • Chapter 15: Manager Classes
    • Chapter 16: UI Widgets
    • Chapter 17: OOP Animation and Effects
    • Chapter 18: Exchanging Data Between Components
    • Chapter 19: Communication Between Flash and the Browser
    • Chapter 20: Server Communication (XML and Web Services)
    • Chapter 21: Case Study: Slideshow Engine

About the Author

After studying theatre in London, then working for several years as an actor in the US, Todd was introduced to Flash in 2000 and was quickly taken by how it allowed for both stunning creativity and programmatic logic application&emdash;a truly left-brain, right brain approach to production&emdash;and has not looked back. He now freelances as a Flash developer in New York City, making both silly animations and utilitarian applications. His personal work and experimentation can be found at his website, www.27Bobs.com.

Peter is a certified Flash MX 2004 developer, Team Macromedia volunteer for Flash and runs his own business named MindStudio, which mainly does multimedia development and consultancy.

Introduced to Macromedia Flash in late 1996, he started of doing interactive advertisement campaigns for one of Europe’s largest online advertisement agencies. When Macromedia released its Generator software his interest went more towards the backend side of things, fascinated by Flash and database integration &emdash; what many considered some very innovative technology at that time.

After attending the FlashForward 2001 conference in Amsterdam, Peter was so inspired that he chose to make the switch from HTML to full-fledged multimedia development, a choice he hasn’t regretted since.

Sas is a Web developer who likes working with Flash. She set up her business Anything Is Possible in 1994, working in the areas of web development, IT training and technical writing. The business works with large and small clients building web applications with ASP.NET, Flash, XML and databases.
Sas has also spoken at conferences such as Flash Forward, MXDU and FlashKit on topics relating to XML and dynamic content in Flash. In her spare time, Sas is passionate about travelling, photography and enjoying life. One of her most fervent wishes is that Flash will take over the Web!

Object-Oriented ActionScript 3.0 (Paperback)
Author: Peter Elst, Sas Jacobs
ISBN: 1590598458
Publisher: Apress
Book Price: USD 49.99
88 used & new available from $0.01

Object-Oriented ActionScript 3.0

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  1. I expected to see more coding techniques aside from just learning the newly structured AS 3.0. Much of the way Actionscript is coded is still done in the same way nestled in newly structured class files. And here is the new structure: package { import your library(s) class { some code } } all wrapped up in its own .as file. The SWF remains completely empty except for your class path hidden in the publish settings. And I’m still discovering this isn’t the only way to organize your class files and paths. Just when I start to get comfortable with AS 2.0 and they go off and do something like this, and totally redeem themselves.

    Some new concepts I noticed involve Manager Classes and Interfaces. I’ll be sure to master those when I start my Ph.D.

    The book had plenty of code to comb through which was great , moreover, it discussed a good number of practical examples. I liked that it focused on important topics and not just the title OOP AS 3.0. The book covers hot topics like Flex, XML frameworks, and web services. We all know when you mix AJAX and SOAP you don’t get a good cleaning, instead you equip yourself with the coolest, latest, and greatest web thingy.

    I felt like some of these AS files were rather bloated compared to what I’m used to seeing in AS 2.0. If you don’t have your foundation of class file after class file established, then you won’t be seeing any fast implementation any time soon. You sacrifice time for decoupled, yet less simple, reusable, and robust code that makes more efficient use of processing power – cuz, users pay attention to that kind of stuff. For instance, I thought I would incorporate the source files included with the book in developing a solution for displaying video on the website here at work. After an hour or so looking at the files and testing the result in the browser, there was no evidence of button control functionality. So, I went back to my AS 2.0 help and copied code for a video object, found the corresponding methods I needed under the netstream class, and a few moments later I had a streaming video player with complete functionality. Note to self, for small fast implementation projects refer back to AS 2.0 and for large scale multi-coder headaches apply AS 3.0.

    Getting good exposure to AS 3.0 in prime examples really helped me transition to using it where I can find place. And what’s great is that you get to see all of the code, not just a snippet shrouded by the author for his own purposes. Take a long peek at the gravity class. Admit it, you know it’s what still makes Flash cool.

    This book definitely isn’t for someone wanting to learn “programming”. You should have a good foundation in basic programming concepts – method, property, constructor, function, modifier, object, etc. If you’ve done any JAVA programming all you need is the API documentation and you’re off and running in AS 3.0. The way books are written these days you can’t find a “has everything” book, so you’re definitely left wanting a little more. The book totals some 597 pages but if you take out the code and empty pages you’re left with maybe 200 pages of explanation. As the number of books out there continues to climb, you may question the authority and quality of each volume.

    This book is great for those who want to go to the next level of web programming – which is web application programming. You’ll learn to program apps like Buzzword at Buzzword.com.

    Object-Oriented ActionScript 3.0

    S. McFarland06-11 07:10
  2. I’ve written code in many different languages (C/C++, C#, Java, ColdFusion, PHP, JS, Ada, Perl, etc., etc.) and decided to take a peak at ActionScript. The language itself is pretty neat, but this book is rather disappointing.

    The example code in this book is dissected in such a way that it makes it hard to follow along. I also STRONGLY disagree with some of the “coding practices” promoted by the authors (forgoing of proper variable scoping, not leaving comments, etc). Then again, other resources on ActionScript I’ve seen haven’t been too hot either… I guess the “best practices” for ActionsScript aren’t as stringent as in other languages :-

    Object-Oriented ActionScript 3.0

    T. Mixell06-11 09:09
  3. If you have a rudimentary grasp of AS2 (i.e., know how to create a basic Function) but do NOT know what ‘evtObj:Event’ is or why ‘void’ is appended after some functions. Or have limited experience in using eventhandlers like addListener…you will be frustrated by the pace of this book and the verbosity and idiosyncracies of AS3 syntax. The introduction states the ‘intended audience’ are “…readers who have some previous experience developing in Actionscript”. That means, you should already know a thing or two about writing classes in AS2.

    While the book does a fair job of explaining the theory of OOP, the concepts are not illustrated in a consistent and purposeful manner. Rather than building on one example, the authors swerve from unrelated one example to another. You may be reading about Constructors in a ‘Car.as’ example and then re-orientating yourself in the following paragraph on Methods because its illustrated in a ‘CountingSheep.as’ example. I should point out a typo on page 158. There is an extra space on this and the preceding line “this. targetMC.y++”

    Object-Oriented ActionScript 3.0

    Thomas Nguy06-11 11:42
  4. The intended audience is for readers who “…have some previous experience developing in Actionscript…”, and that “Some familiarity with the Flash or Flex authoring environments…”.

    SO – why do we get a whole chapter dedicated to a section on using Flex, but assumes that the reader already knows the Flash IDE?

    Furthermore, why is there a whole chapter on coding standards and practices?

    These are just two of the wastes of paper, therefore MY MONEY before getting down to the OOP concepts.

    If you do buy, watch out for the errata, and the publishers (Friends of Ed) have errors on their reporting page, which is, possibly, the reason there is no corrections sheet for this book

    Once we get to the OOP stage, there is a major dearth of answers to the question WHY? I’m a newcomer to true OOP, so this book is not a good way to delve into OOP.

    Object-Oriented ActionScript 3.0

    Peter Holgate06-11 13:27
  5. Our industry is plagued by individuals that learn the haphazard overnight. If you are looking to become serious Flash programmer, this is a book you should read. Step out of the basement and into the world of clean and professional programming practices. Book is an excellent introduction to Object Oriented theory, suggested workflows, and real-world application development.

    ~ Paul Milbourne

    Author, Essential Guide to Flash CS4 with ActionScript

    Founder, Baltimore Washington Flash User Group

    Object-Oriented ActionScript 3.0

    Akira Lorrack06-11 14:36

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