Monday, November 16, 2009

Darren Richardson saves the day!


He's the author of "Foundation ActionScript 3.0 for Flash and Flex", and he saved my bacon this weekend in dealing with a Flash project. For our Technical Foundations class at school, we have a significant project to accomplish, little in the way of preparatory information, and no high-level overview of the AS3 object model, interaction with the timeline/library or general coding procedures. I was suffering from the lack of inspiration that comes from being in the dark, so I headed over to B&N to see what they might have.

The answer is "One Million Flash/ActionScript Books". Too much, overwhelming and impossible to choose. More stalemate. However, I was quickly able to decode some of the issues: about 70% of the books are "hey, just copy this code and you will be Very Cool". Another 20% are about specific Flash/AS3 techniques, like multiplayer gaming, or Flash gaming, or something else about games. The remaining 10% are explanatory texts, and spend time on the concepts behind the environment as well as the groovy components.

Richardson's book stood out by having well-titled chapters, a good text-to-example mix, and the fact that I learned something 10 seconds into reading it! (For those following along, I was pissed because I couldn't figure out how to print something to the output window. Every ECMA-based language on the planet uses print() and println(). Of course, Flash uses trace()...). I spent the afternoon skimming the text, and in the evening I was able to deal with all of the video display issues that had stymied me - as well as adding some cool additions to the second-level scenes. As you can tell, my life was made whole.

Oh, and the Packers beat the Cowboys yesterday, too. How much better can a day be?


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