7 Replies Latest reply on Apr 17, 2006 11:16 AM by Newsgroup_User

    MX versus Flash pro

    dawndawg
      I learned how to use Flash and action script on Flash MX. I've got 2 books for MX. but when I had to purchase it for work, MX was not an option and I had to purchase Flash Professional. I've been able to deal with some of the differences, though they seem counter-intuitive/productive. But now, the coding is really throwing me off. I'm not really a coder, but I know how to do enough, but with this new program I can't even seem to figure out how to make a button work! please help me understand whats going on!
      thanks!
        • 1. Re: MX versus Flash pro
          Level 7
          Hi,
          It is a new version of actionscript, you have to learn about it and its new
          great upgrades. For sure you will not have to start from stratch as you did
          in actionscript1.

          hope this helps..

          ------------------------------------------------------------
          Yours,

          Rafiq R. Elmansy
          Multimedia Graphic Designer
          Macromedia Certified Proffessional

          www.beedesignstudio.com
          www.macromedia-review.blogspot.com
          www.mmug-egypt.mxdj.com


          "dawndawg" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message
          news:e204pr$mub$1@forums.macromedia.com...
          > I learned how to use Flash and action script on Flash MX. I've got 2 books
          for
          > MX. but when I had to purchase it for work, MX was not an option and I had
          to
          > purchase Flash Professional. I've been able to deal with some of the
          > differences, though they seem counter-intuitive/productive. But now, the
          coding
          > is really throwing me off. I'm not really a coder, but I know how to do
          enough,
          > but with this new program I can't even seem to figure out how to make a
          button
          > work! please help me understand whats going on!
          > thanks!
          >


          • 2. Re: MX versus Flash pro
            dawndawg Level 1
            You would think that an upgrade would make things easier, but I really dislike the fact that the "timeline" options are under 3 different menus instead of having its own menu! what a pain!!

            and so do I need to now purchase a Action script 2.0 book?
            thanks
            • 3. Re: MX versus Flash pro
              Level 7
              dawndawg,

              >> I learned how to use Flash and action script on Flash MX.
              >> I've got 2 books for MX. but when I had to purchase it for
              >> work, MX was not an option and I had to purchase Flash
              >> Professional.

              So you're saying you bought two Flash MX books, but you're working in
              Flash 8 Professional?

              >> I've been able to deal with some of the differences, though
              >> they seem counter-intuitive/productive.

              Such as?

              >> But now, the coding is really throwing me off.

              It shouldn't, honestly. Flash 8 is still perfectly capable of saving
              Flash Player 6 SWFs (that is, Flash MX).

              >> I'm not really a coder, but I know how to do enough, but
              >> with this new program I can't even seem to figure out how
              >> to make a button work!

              Nothing has changed in that regard. Flash MX brought with it the
              ability to use dot syntax to assign event handlers to Button instances ...

              myButton.onRelease = function() {
              // your instructions here
              }

              ... versus the old Flash 5 way ...

              on (release) {
              // your instructions here
              }

              ... and both of these approaches are available in Flash 8.

              >> please help me understand whats going on!

              You've got to help me help you. What have you tried so far?

              > You would think that an upgrade would make things easier,
              > but I really dislike the fact that the "timeline" options are under
              > 3 different menus instead of having its own menu! what a pain!!

              It's easier for the people who wished there was more than one menu.
              What "'timeline' options" are you talking about?

              > and so do I need to now purchase a Action script 2.0
              > book?

              Time marches pretty quickly in this field. As a programmer, I find I
              have to purchase new books with each new version of Flash -- and often
              enough with new releases of other platforms, too, such as .NET and Java.

              If you want, you can just keep coding in ActionScript 1.0 with Flash 8.
              Buttons honestly work as easily as they used to. If you want to write more
              complex, perhaps more efficient code, a book on ActionScript 2.0 may just be
              the thing.

              But again, what have you tried so far, in order to make a button do its
              thing?


              David
              stiller (at) quip (dot) net
              Dev essays: http://www.quip.net/blog/
              "Luck is the residue of good design."


              • 4. Re: MX versus Flash pro
                dawndawg Level 1
                So far the problems that I've encountered in regards to the timeline:
                If I want to insert frames or keyframes I have to go under the Insert menu. If I want to delete them I have to go into the Edit menu, and if I want to clear a keyframe, I have to go into modify. I think it would be easier if there were one Timeline menu with all options together. thats just from a standpoint of usability when I want to work quickly.

                as for the coding, I have to use the assistants to code (i'm a designer not a programmer) and its seems that things have changed there. As for dot syntax, is that necessisarily better? I seem to have better "luck" when using the "on (release)" method, but maybe if I understood the dot syntax better it would be better for me... Anyway the thing that threw me off the most is the absence of the Actions drop-down in the Actions panel. Now it is Global functions, but WHERE do i find onRelease??

                I don't have the option of using Flash MX because I have a personal copy of that, but the one that was purchased for work is Flash Professional. It seems that there are enough differences in simply the way you use the program that it warrents a new book (for me anyway). I moved easily in Adobe CS2 from the pre-CS versions, but thats because I know what they're suppose to do! I'm a little slower with Flash!. Thanks
                • 5. Re: MX versus Flash pro
                  Level 7
                  I agree - the number of times Timeline appears in the drop downs is very confusing. See my comments
                  below:


                  dawndawg wrote:
                  > So far the problems that I've encountered in regards to the timeline:
                  > If I want to insert frames or keyframes I have to go under the Insert menu.
                  No you don't - in fact i never do - use keyboard shortcuts:
                  F5 = insert frames
                  F6 = insert keyframe
                  F7 = insert blank keyframe


                  If
                  > I want to delete them I have to go into the Edit menu,
                  No you don't - right click over the highlight frames and select "remove frames".


                  and if I want to clear a
                  > keyframe, I have to go into modify.
                  No you don't - right click over highlighted frames and select Clear Frames.

                  I think it would be easier if there were
                  > one Timeline menu with all options together.
                  I agree - but again, I never use drop down menus.

                  thats just from a standpoint of
                  > usability when I want to work quickly.
                  Then use keyboard shortcuts - they are called "shortcuts" for a reason
                  >
                  > as for the coding, I have to use the assistants to code (i'm a designer not a
                  > programmer) and its seems that things have changed there.
                  Yes - and for the better. And dont forget about the Behviors Panel.

                  As for dot syntax, is
                  > that necessisarily better?
                  Better than what?

                  I seem to have better "luck" when using the "on
                  > (release)" method, but maybe if I understood the dot syntax better it would be
                  > better for me...
                  Dot syntax doesn't replace a mouse event - it used *with* a mouse event when the code is applied to
                  a button.


                  Anyway the thing that threw me off the most is the absence of
                  > the Actions drop-down in the Actions panel. Now it is Global functions, but
                  > WHERE do i find onRelease??
                  Don't need to find it if you can already type it
                  >
                  > I don't have the option of using Flash MX because I have a personal copy of
                  > that,
                  lost you - you dont have the option to use something you already have?

                  but the one that was purchased for work is Flash Professional. It seems
                  > that there are enough differences in simply the way you use the program that it
                  > warrents a new book (for me anyway).
                  F1 (help docs) will get you pretty far.

                  I moved easily in Adobe CS2 from the
                  > pre-CS versions, but thats because I know what they're suppose to do! I'm a
                  > little slower with Flash!.
                  Because Flash is very different from other programs. Just because you learn 1 program with ease does
                  not mean you can learn everything at same rate.


                  Thanks
                  >


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                  • 6. Re: MX versus Flash pro
                    Rothrock Level 5
                    Calling it "Flash Professional" does not identify what you have. Flash MX is really Flash 6. Flash 7 was sold in two varieties Flash MX04 and Flash MX04 pro(fessional), and Flash 8 is, mercifully, just Flash 8 and does come in a basic and pro version as well. (Although you have to work very hard to get the basic and it is mostly pointless to try!)

                    The organization of the help files and also the actions panel is now by "class." Which makes it very easy to find what you want. Where would you find onRelease? What are you onReleasing? If it is a button you would look in the button class. If you are onReleasing a movieclip you would look under that class.

                    And no, you don't have to use the assistant to code. Where did the lame "I'm just a helpless designer, I can't program." excuse come from? If you are a designer then design and hire a programmer to do your programming. If you just need a few simple onReleases, gotoAndStops, etc. you would have to be pretty pathetic to not be able to learn those after having to type them the first 20 or 30 times. If you are going to do a lot more complex stuff, then you should learn actionscript anyways. Anything in life that is worth doing is worth doing well – and if that means professionally that you have to learn and grow a bit then do it and stop whining!

                    That being said, if you are using Flash 8 pro, they introduced something callled "Script Assist" back into the program. I haven't tried it, but it is supposed to return a great deal of the "Normal" actionscript mode.
                    • 7. Re: MX versus Flash pro
                      Level 7
                      dawndawg,

                      > So far the problems that I've encountered in regards
                      > to the timeline: If I want to insert frames or keyframes
                      > I have to go under the Insert menu. If I want to delete
                      > them I have to go into the Edit menu, and if I want to
                      > clear a keyframe, I have to go into modify.

                      Aha, gotcha. Well, those aren't problems, per se, right? That's a
                      matter of organization. But I hear ya ... it's frustrating to you.

                      > I think it would be easier if there were one Timeline menu
                      > with all options together. thats just from a standpoint of
                      > usability when I want to work quickly.

                      Honestly, I use keyboard shortcuts most of the time, so my work flow is
                      quick. Until you learn those, why not just right click (Windows) or
                      Control-click (Macintosh) in a given frame? The context menu puts
                      everything right there for you. I honestly don't remember how it used to be
                      in earlier versions of Flash.

                      > as for the coding, I have to use the assistants to code
                      > (i'm a designer not a programmer) and its seems that
                      > things have changed there.

                      You mentioned working in Flash MX before. Now, Flash MX 2004, which is
                      the version *after* your original experience, did away with the Action
                      panel's Normal Mode versus Expert Mode. That seemed to be the primary
                      "assistant" many people used to write their ActionScript. Enough people
                      complained when they took it away in Flash MX 2004 that the feature has been
                      resurrected as Script Assist in Flash 8. Other than that (Script Assist is
                      a teensy bit different from the old Normal Mode, but not very), things are
                      the same. ActionScript has grown, of course, but fundamental usage of the
                      Actions panel hasn't really changed.

                      > As for dot syntax, is that necessisarily better?

                      Compared with what? Flash 4 had slash syntax. Flash 5 introduced dot
                      syntax, so it's been available since before you took your first venture into
                      Flash.

                      > I seem to have better "luck" when using the "on (release)"
                      > method, but maybe if I understood the dot syntax better it
                      > would be better for me...

                      It absolutely comes down to understanding. There simply isn't any
                      "luck" involved. If you prefer the on() approach, fair is fair. What
                      that means is that you have to manually click on each button, movie clip,
                      and the like to attach your event handlers. If you have dozens of objects,
                      it can get confusing which button contains what code, and where everything
                      is.

                      Personally, I prefer to assign event handlers from the timeline. Done
                      that way, the objects in question need instance names, but that only makes
                      sense, right? If you're not attaching code directly to the object,
                      ActionScript needs some way to know which object you mean -- so you give
                      each instance a unique name via the Property inspector.

                      Then, from a keyframe, you simply call that object by name and tell it
                      what to do. If you need to know what events a given object supports, look
                      up that object's class entry in the ActionScript Language Reference. Movie
                      clips are defined the by the MovieCilp class, for example. Dynamic text
                      fields are defined by the TextField class, and so on.

                      > Anyway the thing that threw me off the most is the
                      > absence of the Actions drop-down in the Actions panel.
                      > Now it is Global functions, but WHERE do i find onRelease??

                      Again, that's just organization. You *know* buttons have an onRelease
                      event, so why not just type it? So much quicker! If you want to use Script
                      Assist instead, click on your obect and go to Global Functions > Timeline
                      Control and pick, say, goto. That will put the on(relase) in for you. From
                      there, you can click into on(release) with your mouse and see your other
                      choices.

                      > It seems that there are enough differences in simply
                      > the way you use the program that it warrents a new
                      > book (for me anyway).

                      I hear ya. And if you need a new book (I often do!), go out and get
                      one. If you're into video tutorials, you may want to check out Lynda.com's
                      Online Learning Library. They have a low price for monthly subscriptions (I
                      think it's $20 or $25 a month) that you can quit whenever you like. It's
                      potentially cheaper than buying a book, and you get the benefit of "looking
                      over someone's shoulder" while you learn.


                      David
                      stiller (at) quip (dot) net
                      Dev essays: http://www.quip.net/blog/
                      "Luck is the residue of good design."