Book Information
Title: Flash MX Application & Interface Design
Author: Peter Aylward, Ken Jokol, et al.
Published by: friends of Ed.
RRP: USD $49.99 (Less at Amazon)
Format: Mass-market paperback
User Level: Intermediate-Advanced
Review By: Jeremy Coates for

At a glance: 8/10

This book is published for Intermediate level. I'd say it's the high end of that scale, with chapters on PHP & XML integration. It's definitely a book for the developer, who has already got a strong grasp of MX. Don't pick this if you want to learn PHP or XML though, it's only really from the Flash perspective.


All of the code examples in the book are without commenting, however you do get good explanations of what they, but if you're not up to speed with actionScripting, then I'd suggest giving this book a miss... for a while anyway!
Come back to it though - there's a lot of good stuff!!

With less than 250 pages of content - you have to ask whether the book is worth the cost.
Well, it depends on what you are after.
If you're after a book that explains everything there is to know about actionScripting, then you'll be disappointed. This book assumes, rightly so a lot of knowledge, and although each stage is explained, you aren't taught everything. There is a lot of assumed knowledge.

On the other hand, if you're after a book, with fresh ideas, and an insight into some un-documented code (from early releases of the actionScript dictionary anyway) then you'll gain a lot from this publication from the team at Friends of Ed.
You can tell people who have a real passion for Flash, and are prepared to look at using Flash in different ways have written it. The authors of this book are prime examples of this passion.
Well what do you get?

If interactive or 'laser' preloaders pique an interest, then chapter 1 is for you! Right from the start you're going to be offered a new insight into something as mundane as a preloader. With this book, you'll be able to build preloaders that the visitors to your site will want to see again!
There are 9 chapters in all - and all very diverse. I won't bore you by covering each in turn, but take my word for it...the imagination and skill utilised in this book is awe-inspiring.

How many times have you lashed out hard-earned (or otherwise!) cash on a book, only to be walked through the same old stuff, chapter after chapter? Yep me too! This one is different though..each chapter will keep you busy for hours (hey - you like Flash right!?).

You don't get a CD with this book, something which I was a bit miffed at. In the book, you're provided with a link to the source fla files, downloadable in .zip or .sit formats. Be warned though - the files for the Interactive Video Chapter are 18Mb in size! In contrast to the code in the book, you'll find the source files to be very well commented.

Overall? Well I'd rate this as an 8 out of 10. Why not 10 out of 10? Well...another couple of chapters of the standard already included...and who knows!