in Technology

ActionScript 3.0: It is NOT hard to learn

O’Reilly Digital Media just released an article from Colin Moock titled “ActionScript 3.0: Is It Hard or Not?“.

Here is a warning: This article is best suited for ActionScript Beginners.

I regularly hear people claim, incorrectly, that to use ActionScript 3.0, you have to know object-oriented programming, or every variable’s datatype must be declared, or everything has to be in packages and classes. In practice, none of those assertions are true. ActionScript 3.0 code can be placed on timelines, exactly as it was in ActionScript 2.0 and ActionScript 1.0. The code doesn’t have to reside in classes. Variable datatypes don’t have to be declared, even in the strict compilation mode. The language is designed to provide as much or as little structure and flexibility as the task at hand requires. If you prefer to program procedurally with functions and variables declared in frame scripts, you can continue to do so in ActionScript 3.0.

However true and a good motivational statement for developers who’re new to ActionScript, I’d say, “Once you’re through with it, curve yourself towards writing ActionScript 3.0 the better and the right way – object-oriented programming, declare every variable’s datatype, write package and classes.”

Nonetheless, I love Colin Moock’s innovative methodology to instill that sense of fearlessness, easy-to-program approach towards ActionScript 3.0. I’ve always been a big fan of him and will remain so. In the article, he looks at a series of comparative examples showing typical code that a new programmer might have to learn. He compares ActionScript 3.0 codes with their ActionScript 1.0 counterpart to show that it isn’t that hard at all to learn the new ActionScript 3.0.

Ah! I remembered that I still need to write a review of his awesome book – Essential ActionScript 3.0

Colin Moock

  1. My biggest complaint with Flash / actionscript books in general is that they try to teach logic on the time line, rather then with OOP. The results are we get people in to interview that are quite proud of what they've done but their code is all over the place. And breaking somebody of a bad habit when the result still runs is near impossible. If somebody can't code a simple class during an interview....interview over. Next!

  2. My biggest complaint with Flash / actionscript books in general is that they try to teach logic on the time line, rather then with OOP. The results are we get people in to interview that are quite proud of what they've done but their code is all over the place. And breaking somebody of a bad habit when the result still runs is near impossible. If somebody can't code a simple class during an interview....interview over. Next!

  3. @Chris: With ActionScript 3, things are changing... There was no other (official tool) to write Flash applications and no book has covered open-source tools (mtasc, haxe, swfmill, asdt etc) in detail... Most of books were focussed on Flash IDE..

    With Flex, things have changed, Adobe has to come up different programming models hence a better (without timeline) way of doing things...

    All ActionScript way was/is doable with Flash IDE but not many people did. I have worked one projects, where we had single-frame (just to include actionscript).. I had stopped pressing CTRL+ENTER long time back, thanks to FlashCommand and some tool I wrote, to automate the build process...more time went on VIM + Terminal (to kick scripts - ant or sh) :-)

    Essential ActionScript 3.0 rocks, but Programming ActionScript 3.0 documentation by Adobe is also cool, very direct...

    -abdul

  4. @Chris: With ActionScript 3, things are changing... There was no other (official tool) to write Flash applications and no book has covered open-source tools (mtasc, haxe, swfmill, asdt etc) in detail... Most of books were focussed on Flash IDE..

    With Flex, things have changed, Adobe has to come up different programming models hence a better (without timeline) way of doing things...

    All ActionScript way was/is doable with Flash IDE but not many people did. I have worked one projects, where we had single-frame (just to include actionscript).. I had stopped pressing CTRL+ENTER long time back, thanks to FlashCommand and some tool I wrote, to automate the build process...more time went on VIM + Terminal (to kick scripts - ant or sh) :-)

    Essential ActionScript 3.0 rocks, but Programming ActionScript 3.0 documentation by Adobe is also cool, very direct...

    -abdul

  5. I think If you already have some knowledge about previous versions of action script then you can easily understand action script 3.0. because this is full object oriented programming language and really hard to learn for novices. Class, package, event model, display list, xmlList are the topics that are not easy to understand at first time. Make understandable these thing you have to base knowledge of previous versions of action script. Actually Action Script 3.0's main focus is creating complex application in flash, for this you have to have good programming skills otherwise if you are flash website designer no need to learn complex action script 3.0 because action script 3.0 is really complex programming language and you can do most of the task in action script 2.0.

  6. I think If you already have some knowledge about previous versions of action script then you can easily understand action script 3.0. because this is full object oriented programming language and really hard to learn for novices. Class, package, event model, display list, xmlList are the topics that are not easy to understand at first time. Make understandable these thing you have to base knowledge of previous versions of action script. Actually Action Script 3.0's main focus is creating complex application in flash, for this you have to have good programming skills otherwise if you are flash website designer no need to learn complex action script 3.0 because action script 3.0 is really complex programming language and you can do most of the task in action script 2.0.

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