4 Replies Latest reply on Nov 14, 2007 9:44 AM by Newsgroup_User

    AS 3.0 Struggling

    MATTANDIE Level 1
      Ok, so I am looking for a little help here. I have been using Flash since about v.4 and using it professionally since v.5. I build training courses for online/CD and use Flash exclusively. I am not into web design/development. I know just enough Javascript and html to make an edit here and there and that’s it.

      I am practically taught, meaning I have little to no formal training in programming or programming theory. Generally, I am a poor book learner, unless I am just trying to fill in gaps for specific things.

      What I am looking for is an AS 3.0 or Flash CS3 book(s) that meet at least some of the following criteria.

      • Is written to actually TEACH someone AS 3.0
      • Assumes little or no knowledge of programming theory
      • Breaks things down in common English (at least at first) i.e. limited use of programming jargon, or when discussing them breaks them down in a way your “parents” would understand.
      • Has at least a significant portion devoted to interactive/multimedia.
      • Explains why you should code things that way.
      • Discusses topics using visuals as well as code examples.
      • Has a good deal of practical application.


      The Help files have been next to useless as unless you know where to find what you are looking for, and are written assuming you already know what to do with what you find. Not to mention the changes to the output panel have me so completely lost…
      I Purchased Moock’s Essential AS 3.0 since I have had some degree of luck with his work in the past, but have spent at least an hour on Wikipedia looking up definitions just to get through the forward.

      Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

      Thanks.

      M. Anderson
        • 1. Re: AS 3.0 Struggling
          Level 7
          Hi --

          You can still create Flash movies using AS 2.0 in Flash CS 3. Is there any
          particular reason you are tring to learn AS 3.0?

          Rich

          "MATTANDIE" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message
          news:fhcuub$kpb$1@forums.macromedia.com...
          > Ok, so I am looking for a little help here. I have been using Flash since
          > about
          > v.4 and using it professionally since v.5. I build training courses for
          > online/CD and use Flash exclusively. I am not into web design/development.
          > I
          > know just enough Javascript and html to make an edit here and there and
          > that?s
          > it.
          >
          > I am practically taught, meaning I have little to no formal training in
          > programming or programming theory. Generally, I am a poor book learner,
          > unless
          > I am just trying to fill in gaps for specific things.
          >
          > What I am looking for is an AS 3.0 or Flash CS3 book(s) that meet at least
          > some of the following criteria.
          >
          > ? Is written to actually TEACH someone AS 3.0
          > ? Assumes little or no knowledge of programming theory
          > ? Breaks things down in common English (at least at first) i.e. limited
          > use of
          > programming jargon, or when discussing them breaks them down in a way your
          > ?parents? would understand.
          > ? Has at least a significant portion devoted to interactive/multimedia.
          > ? Explains why you should code things that way.
          > ? Discusses topics using visuals as well as code examples.
          > ? Has a good deal of practical application.
          >
          >
          > The Help files have been next to useless as unless you know where to find
          > what
          > you are looking for, and are written assuming you already know what to do
          > with
          > what you find. Not to mention the changes to the output panel have me so
          > completely lost?
          > I Purchased Moock?s Essential AS 3.0 since I have had some degree of luck
          > with
          > his work in the past, but have spent at least an hour on Wikipedia looking
          > up
          > definitions just to get through the forward.
          >
          > Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
          >
          > Thanks.
          >
          > M. Anderson
          >
          >


          • 2. Re: AS 3.0 Struggling
            Level 7
            M.,

            Your list of desired book characteristics is a good one. I can
            certainly understand your feeling that many books seem to presuppose an
            existing familiarity with programming. That said, I have a book I'd like to
            recommend. Before I even mention it, though, I should let you know I'm one
            of the co-authors. Obviously, that means I'm happy to make a sale, but it's
            also true that I've been on these forums for a very long time. I really
            count myself at home here, just one of the gang, and I'm happy to help out
            when I have the time. (Since I work from home, my time is often pretty
            flexible.)

            Like yourself, I would call myself practically taught. I started out
            with Flash because I love multimedia and count myself lucky to have
            fashioned a career out of it. I don't have a computer science degree, even
            though 80% of my income (that's a rough guess) comes from Flash programming,
            consultation, and training. So I've come to know the industry jargon, but I
            wouldn't say it's in my blood. Many of the people I answer on these forums
            have told me that my wording -- verbose as it often is -- somehow made them
            *get* whatever the concept was.

            > The Help files have been next to useless as unless you know
            > where to find what you are looking for, and are written assuming
            > you already know what to do with what you find.

            I think of this, sometimes, as the chrysanthemum syndrome: how on earth
            do you look up chrysanthemum in the dictionary if you don't know how to
            spell it? For me, the ActionScript Language Reference really came together
            when a certain concept gelled in my mind, when I realized that just about
            everything is closely organized around something called classes, which
            define the objects we use every day. Everything is an object. Movie clips,
            text fields, button symbols, heck, even drop shadow effects ... they're all
            objects. Objects are defined by their (usually) namesake classes, which
            specify that object's properties (characteristics), methods (things the
            object can do), and events (things the object can react to). If you're
            working with a movie clip, look up the MovieClip class. If you're working
            with a text field, look up the TextField class, and so on. There are
            exceptions, of course -- in ActionScript 3.0, button symbols are defined by
            the SimpleButton class (simply the Button class in AS2) -- but it's a good
            way to feel more comfortable with the built-in Language Reference.

            Here's an article I wrote on tackling the ActionScript 2.0 Language
            Reference. Conceptually, many of the suggestions overlap with the new AS3
            docs, and this will give you something of a feel for my writing style.

            http://www.communitymx.com/abstract.cfm?cid=01B54

            Check out my blog, too, if you like ( http://www.quip.net/blog/). If my
            approach works for you, then you may get something out of the book I
            co-wrote with Tom Green, "Foundation Flash CS3 for Designers" (friends of
            ED). I would say I definitely care about *teaching* -- about really
            understanding a concept, rather than just learning it by rote.

            > Is written to actually TEACH someone AS 3.0
            > Assumes little or no knowledge of programming theory
            > Breaks things down in common English (at least at first) i.e. limited
            > use of programming jargon, or when discussing them breaks them
            > down in a way your ?parents? would understand.

            I can't say for sure that my own parents would understand my book, ;)
            but I do believe in breaking down big goals into smaller ones, and again if
            necessary, until the goals become small enough to conquer. It's how I
            approach my client work and most of my forum replies.

            > Has at least a significant portion devoted to interactive/multimedia.

            Ours walks through Flash video examples, an MP3 player, text formatting,
            animation ... definitely what I would call multimedia (more of a Flash book
            than a Flex book for example).

            > Explains why you should code things that way.

            I took pains to do this as often as I could, but regardless, I'm open to
            questions here and on my blog.

            > Discusses topics using visuals as well as code examples.
            > Has a good deal of practical application.

            We took plenty of screenshots and tried to make our examples both fun
            and informative. All sample files are available on the book's website,
            http://www.FoundationFlashCS3.com/

            > Not to mention the changes to the output panel have me so
            > completely lost?

            What's throwing you off? If you bring up some specific points, I'll do
            my best to help. :)


            David Stiller
            Co-author, Foundation Flash CS3 for Designers
            http://tinyurl.com/2k29mj
            "Luck is the residue of good design."


            • 3. Re: AS 3.0 Struggling
              MATTANDIE Level 1
              Thank you both for taking the time to post.

              Rich, I do use AS2.0 everyday and feel I have a pretty good grasp on being able to do what I need to do with it, I am just trying to stay on top of things because at some point (whether I really need to use it or not), I will need to feel confident enough in AS3 that if someone asks me to create something in it I can. I fully expect that it is going to take a good deal of time to get up to speed no matter when I start, so why not start now.

              David, thank you again your description of classes as they relate to objects. It helps put that sticking point into perspective . For me, part of the problem for me at this time is that there are many aspects of OOP,as outlined in Moock's book, (using objects ,classes, public/private, packages for example), that are seem contradictory to the paradigm I have always worked in. Most of the code I write, I expect others to look at, modify, and adapt to what they need, and most if not all of those people are designers, graphic artists, and interns. So, in most cases keeping things simple is better. Conceptually I get many of the concepts. Its the how and why I would apply them to what I do that seems to be the biggest hurdle.

              I have read many of your posts, and for the sophisticated programmer, or the person just looking for a quick fix answer, you may be a bit verbose. I am one of those annoying people than NEEDS to understand to effectively learn, so I can appreciate the time and effort you put forth to try and help people "Get it" .

              I have seen many people not to mention yourself push your book, and I was actually planning to see if i could find it over lunch. hopefully it will be that middle ground I am searching for.

              Thanks again for your time.

              M. Anderson
              • 4. Re: AS 3.0 Struggling
                Level 7
                M.,

                > I have read many of your posts, and for the sophisticated
                > programmer, or the person just looking for a quick fix
                > answer, you may be a bit verbose.

                I think it's that I end up writing as if I were the one seeking the
                answer, as if I were writing to myself back in time. I end up getting lots
                of thank yous, but also some teasing, which is fine with me. ;)
                Thankfully, there's quite a good balance on this forum -- both long and
                short answers, and various styles, at that.

                > I am one of those annoying people than NEEDS to understand
                > to effectively learn,

                Heck, I wouldn't call that annoying.

                > I was actually planning to see if i could find it over lunch.
                > hopefully it will be that middle ground I am searching for.

                I hope it is! If not, I'll be glad to hear input on what you'd like to
                see different. I should mention that Tom's and my book steers clear of
                custom class files, I think mainly to avoid stepping on the toes of
                "Foundation ActionScript 3.0 with Flash CS3 and Flex," due mid-December,
                2007. Moock's "Essential ActionScript 3.0" definitely fills that gap.


                David Stiller
                Contributor, How to Cheat in Flash CS3
                http://tinyurl.com/2cp6na
                "Luck is the residue of good design."