ActionScript is the official programming language of Adobe's Flash platform. While originally conceived as a simple tool for controlling animation, ActionScript has since evolved into a sophisticated programming language for creating content and applications for the Web, mobile devices, and desktop computers. True to its roots, ActionScript can be used in many different ways by many different kinds of programmers and content producers. For example, an animator might use just a few lines of ActionScript to pause the playback of a web animation. Or, an interface designer might use a few hundred lines of ActionScript to add interactivity to a mobile phone interface. Or, an application developer might use thousands of lines of ActionScript to create an entire email-reading application for web browser and desktop deployment.
This book covers ActionScript programming fundamentals in truly exhaustive detail, with extreme clarity and precision. Its unparalleled accuracy and depth is the result of an entire decade of daily ActionScript research, real-world programming experience, and unmitigated insider-access to Adobe's engineers. Every word of this book has been carefully reviewed—in many cases several times over—by key members of Adobe's engineering staff, including those on the Flash Player, Flex Builder, and Flash authoring teams. (See the "Acknowledgments" section at the end of this preface.)
This book explores ActionScript from a programmer's perspective but assumes no prior programming knowledge. If you have never programmed before, start with Chapter 1. It will guide you through the very basics of ActionScript, demystifying terms like variable, method, class, and object. Then continue through the book sequentially. Each chapter builds on the previous chapter's concepts, introducing new topics in a single, prolonged narrative that will guide you on your journey to ActionScript proficiency.
Note, however, that if you are a designer who simply wants to learn how to control animations in the Flash authoring tool, you probably don't need this book. Adobe's documentation will tell what you need to know. Come back to this book when you want to learn how to add logic and programmatic behavior to your content.