View Full Version : A good book would have...

03-13-2001, 10:43 AM
OK I'm looking for user input here. What subjects do you people think a really good Actionscripting book for beginners should cover?

I'm not talking about people who've never used Flash before but absolute AS beginners... any suggestions?



03-13-2001, 10:05 PM
I sugest Fondation Actionscript by Friends of ed. I just got the book and it's fab!

03-14-2001, 03:12 PM
I think it should walk us through a small project. Kinda like the tutorials that you write Jesse but on a bigger scale and that it all ties together to make a movie.


03-17-2001, 10:53 AM
I guess tell target / paths should come first as without this it's not possible to do much else. An idea I have (but never get time to do) is to use geographical terminology for the tutorial (x is in a and a and b is in y and z is on level 1 kinda stuff is very confusing)

For example _root = Europe. Mc in Europe = Germany. Variable in Germany = Berlin. That way when you write it out it is self evident;


so easy to follow 'cos the geography is consistent.

And variables should follow soon after, with a comprehensive explaination of the different kinds of vars.: expressions, strings and examples of both. Then load / unload movie movie and dealing with levels.

And much more!!!

cheers ~mgb

03-18-2001, 04:55 AM
Being a beginner to actionscripting, but not flash, I'd like to learn the "grammer" of actionscripting first and foremost. I wanna know the rules of how to code, or it's structure basically. Then a listing of what each of the methods/actions do. A day 1, day 2, day 3 type schedule to follow would be great.


03-18-2001, 05:13 AM
It's all interesting input people, keep it comming.

We're soon going to start our Users Review thing where users can post their reviews of books for other users to see, in order to aid those who are considering buying a book.

Personally I htink there's room in the market for a quick-start type book which outlines the basic concepts and structure of ActionScripting only. Because once you know how to use the general actions and the correct form of coding, you can pretty much learn the rest on-deman by yourself, from tutorials and the like.



Dr. Strangelove
03-19-2001, 11:29 PM
Having gone through the process of learning several programming languages, the most valuable thing that you can learn is structure and logic. Those are the two things that remain pretty much consistent throughout any programming language. I mean, if you learn those well the first time you learn to program it will save you a trememdous amount of time when you go to learn a new language.
Judging from the stuff I have read on this site, you (Jesse) have a knack for explaining those two things. I think you would do a wonderful job at writing a book on the subject of actionscript. I'ld check out some of the more popular JavaScript books (or any popular programming book... but JavaScript seems the closest to ActionScript) to see how they explain structure and logic. I'ld recommend some, but I haven't needed to read a begginer's book for some years now.
By the way, someone mentioned the use of geography to help explain targets/paths... If you read through the ActionScript help files that came with Flash5, you'll come across some sections that take that approach.

Heh, I think I've said enough for one post. You have a great sight here and it has been most helpful to me. Best of luck on any book endevors.

-Dr. Strangelove

04-02-2001, 12:04 AM
i just brought a book called flash 5 magic, and its a god send, the book teachies you stuff via projects. ie you go through each project 1 by 1. it starts of very simple using simple action script but by the end it tells you how to make a full blown e-commerce site in flash, it also teaches small amounts of asp as well as xml. and everything is in full colour. if you review a book try to get hold of this, as its an excellent version. and one of the best ive seen the only prob is it cost a bit.......erm 35 or $45. but there 2 versions this is the smalle version the other version is made by the big multi-media companys. erm anyway bye

04-18-2001, 08:33 AM
Originally posted by digitalwizzards
I sugest Fondation Actionscript by Friends of ed. I just got the book and it's fab!

it's the best AS book that i've found ...
my new bible
learned alot of "basis-AS" stuff
good explained, with loads of examples that u can make to practice..


| SPUDIO | antwerp.be

05-03-2001, 03:07 AM
I've been taking a "Flash" class this past semester, and the instructor had us buy Russell Chun's book "Macromedia Flash Advanced" to go along with the course. The problem being, of course, that I had absolutely NO experience, and was stuck trying to find stuff on the web just to get some very simple things done. (BTW, Jesse, I've been on dozens of sites, and still find your tutorials most helpful- THANK YOU!!! :) )

But I think that the most important is not to overestimate your users. The majority of books and tutorials assume some Flash knowledge already, meaning it takes forever for us super-newbies to find anything able to give us a good base for starting out.

I could ramble on this for a while, but I've got to go figure out some more actionscript for a project due tomorrow... ;)


05-03-2001, 12:15 PM
All this input is very intersting indeed, thanks for your time people.



06-11-2001, 02:03 AM
I'm a designer, and have taught my self html and actionScript (well sought off). I have created some quite complex flash movies but often waste lots of time because I don't know enough about the language operators and argument syntax. I end up trying to guess which u can imagine gets me nowhere fast.
Also when doing complex tasks, I always feel there must be a more efficient way to do things, like writing a function.


10-24-2001, 07:07 AM
Colin Mooks book on actionscript is a good place to start looking I guess. Although there are alot of books on flash n action script.

It would be good to emphasise on the logic of how things work, rather on too much code. I think alot of books concentrate on all these codes where the user eventually gets lost after couple of lines of script.


10-24-2001, 03:21 PM
i've been forced on many occasions to drop everything i am doing and teach myself how to use a new language or technology. one of the types of books i find most useful both as a beginner and as someone with experience in a language or technology is a desk reference book.

something along the line of the Wrox "Programmers Reference" books i have used those alot while learning the ins and outs of ADO and ASP. they are very helpful.
for those unfamiliar with them, they are similar to macromedia flash5 actionscript reference guide, but go way more in depth with both the theory and examples than what is currently available.

10-25-2001, 05:18 PM
I've been using computers and graphics apps for about 9 years and started programming for the first time (using ActionScript) about a year ago. The most difficult thing to grasp wasn't the logic, but the communication techniques. I knew I wanted the red dot to go across the screen, but I didn't know how to "tell" it to get there.

"Communication" seems to be the driving force behind programming and one of the best ways to readily understand something is to compare it to something you already know. To me, ActionScript is vey similar to the English language.

As with any other form of communication, you first start to learn the words and an English to AS dictionary could serve this purpose. It would most likely be general and vague, but it might help orient a real AS newbie to the terminology.

The next level of communication involves stringing words together to convey a message, in other words, "grammar" or making a sentence. This could be analogous to a statement in AS.

Once you know sentences, you next need to learn how to arrange them in a logical fashion in order to effectively communicate a larger concept. In the English language, it's a paragraph, in AS it's akin to a function or any other logically grouped string of statements.

The final section could deal with the AS version of a "story structure" or "plot outline" and would help develop strategies for creating an entire Flash project and possibly even touch on Object Oriented Programming concepts.

I know this covers a fair deal of ground but describing AS using analogies to the English language could set your book apart from an already well saturated market and possibly appeal to a larger non-programming demographic.

Just my opinion,