Book Information
Title: Inside Macromedia Flash MX
Author: Jody Keating (Fig Leaf Software)
Published by: New Riders.
RRP: US$49.99 (Less at Amazon)
Format: Mass-market paperback
User Level: Unknown
Review By:
Hans Kaiser for ActionScript.org

Review:

There's just something about the weight of an 880 page book that inspires confidence in it's content. Unfortunately sometimes the weight just transfers into useless fluff. Fortunately that is not the case with "Inside Macromedia Flash MX" a new offering by New Riders. This book is geared toward the intermediate to advanced user, but even a novice can glean valuable information form the mountain of information.

Whereas a lot of books start out by including the most rudimentary information, Inside Flash MX cuts through the clutter and presents information, which the serious Flash Developer will use on a day to-day basis. The chapters are well organized and thoughtfully written, giving step-by step examples of the code used. In addition, this book ships with a CD-ROM that includes all of the open source files that are covered in the book. Chapters of special notice include, Inside the Drawing API, (which examines in depth the new features of this Flash MX feature), Components, A Poet's Introduction to Physics (which explains some very technical issues in terms that the artist can relate to), Server-Side Communication, Flash Remoting and Communicating with the Host Application.

The author has a knack for presenting the material in an easy to understand fashion, and illustrates her points with excellent examples that are easy to follow. This is the kind of book that the reader can come back to again and again for specific topics, or read through from start to finish. In this manner it doubles as both as a software manual and reference manual. In fact an Action Script Quick Reference section is included at the back of the book. This comes in very handy when specific code needs to be addressed or when code syntax needs to be verified.

The sheer volume of content makes this book an excellent resource for the devoted Flash user. The sections on extending Flash to deal with Server-Side Communication and Remoting create an excellent base for anyone interested in learning more about that aspect of Flash development. All in all, if you need a solid reference book and/or want to find out about the inner workings of Action Script and Flash, this book will fit the bill nicely. I have found it to be an invaluable addition to my Flash library and am looking forward to further editions of this edition.

Hans Kaiser