Welcome to ActionScript. Over the next several chapters, you’ll be introduced to one of the most versatile programming languages to create web applications for the browser, desktop applications, and mobile apps for multiple platforms. For years the Flash Platform has provided people with the most powerful set of technologies to creatively express themselves across multiple screens and platforms with its combination of the Flash Player and AIR runtimes, tools like Flash Professional CS5.5 and Flash Builder 4.5, and languages and frameworks like ActionScript 3.0 and Flex 4.5.
Over the last several years, I have taught people how to make their projects interactive and how to captivate and engage users. During that time at San Francisco State University, my series on Adobe TV, and conference appearances, I have appreciated the difficulty of learning scripting and coding. Learning programming is a steep task, and there are many ways to teach it. What I have found is that combining programming basics, simple examples, problem solving, and real-world projects has been very effective, and it is what you have in your hands (or on your screen) now.
Adobe Flash Professional is the most popular software available for creating animations for the Web. Most people start using Flash to create vector-based animations that output small file sizes perfect for the Web. Later they want to branch out into creating rich interactive experiences for websites and mobile devices, and for that they need to learn ActionScript.
Doug Winnie draws on the experience he’s gained from his years as an educator to teach not only what ActionScript can do, but also to show how the code works. This gives the reader a deeper understanding of how ActionScript functions, and gives them the power to come up with original solutions when creating their own projects.
Doug’s book dives right into the concepts of manipulating Flash objects and the fundamentals of functions and mathematical operators. After presenting events and using scripts to control the Flash timeline, classes and conditionals are covered in depth.
The final part of the book covers creating desktop applications with Adobe AIR, developing mobile applications, and working with external code libraries. Real-world projects are sprinkled generously throughout the book and Appendices include information on debugging, deciphering documentation, and using Adobe Flash Builder as an ActionScript development environment.