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Actionscript Cookbook by Joey Lott

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Preface

The ActionScript Cookbook is written with all levels of ActionScript developers in mind—people like you, who want practical solutions to common problems. Keep this book next to your computer to tackle programming challenges such as how to use ActionScript to draw a circle or load images at runtime, or work with Flash Communication Server (FlashCom) and Flash Remoting. This book is filled with exciting yet accessible and practical examples, solutions, and insights into the situations that Flash and ActionScript developers are sure to encounter.

The book is divided into three parts. The first two parts follow the classic O’Reilly Cookbook series format, in which each recipe presents the problem, the solution, and a discussion of the solution. You can quickly locate the recipe that most closely matches your situation and get the solution without having to read the whole book to understand the underlying code. The Discussion sections of each recipe offer a deeper analysis of how the solution works and possible design choices and ramifications. So you get the best of both worlds—quick and easy access to the answers you want and deeper insights into the nature of both the problem and the solution. The ActionScript Cookbook helps you develop your understanding of concepts by applying them in real situations.

Part I contains “local recipes,” which address problems that involve client-side ActionScript only (scripting within the Flash movie). These recipes cover working with color, movie clips, text, forms, and so on.

Part II contains “remote recipes,” which involve some kind of server interaction. For example, Part II includes recipes on working with FlashCom applications; loading external assets such as MP3s, SWFs, and JPEGs; using XML with your Flash movies; and using Flash Remoting.

Part III diverges somewhat from the classic O’Reilly Cookbook recipe approach, but I’m particularly excited about this part of the book. Each of the chapters in Part III show you, step by step, how to create complete applications that incorporate many of the recipes from Part I and Part II. These chapters help you understand how to use many of the techniques in the context of a complete application.

What’s Not in This Book

This book contains a lot of information on a wide range of topics. It covers the gamut of client-side ActionScript, plus recipes involving FlashCom, Flash Remoting, ColdFusion, PHP, ASP.NET, and more. Every recipe is presented in the context of an applied solution or example. While the book discusses some minimal theory, it is not intended as an introduction to any of these subjects. If you need more theory and introductory information on ActionScript, you should check out ActionScript for Flash MX: The Definitive Guide, Second Edition by Colin Moock (O’Reilly).

Although this book is aimed at a broad spectrum of developers, it doesn’t cover the absolute basic ActionScript familiar to most casual scripters, such as the gotoAndStop( ) command. For such basic ActionScript, consult the recipes in the Flash Cookbook, the companion volume to this book due out in late 2003. Prior to publication, sample ActionScript-related chapters from the Flash Cookbook are available at http://www.person13.com/fcb. For additional Flash and ActionScript resources, see http://moock.org/moockmarks and http://www.person13.com/ascb.

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