O'Reilly books are pretty good, they give you a good start if you aren't familiar with Flex and are good references for things that you may not usually
use, like sound and video.
I suggest you to buy "Adobe Flex 4 - Training from the Source". It's appropriated for a beginner.
If you follow the book's examples you are gonna be able to coding a Flex 4 application at the end of this book.
If you need some advanced book I suggest you to buy "Advanced ActionScript 3 with Design Patterns".
That book got 9 reviews (avg 4 + change stars). It's volumn 1. And volumn 2 isn't available. Do you know the contents of 2?
That book got 4 reviews of 5 stars. According to Amazon, if you buy it you also buy (9% or so) the Training From The Source book.
I looked at some of the used prices. On place wanted $640 (plue $3.99 shipping) for the same book currently available from Amazon. What in the world are they thinking? It's not out of print and it will be out of date with Flex 5.
I have just the Volume 1 here. I haven't read the second volume yet.
You might also check out Safari Online books - you get access to read almost all of the O'Reilly books online, and many books from other publishers. The annual fee is a little steep, but it was less than I was spending buying the books, and I don't feel so bad when a book is no longer useful because it is 3 versions behind.
I just looked at them. As a comsumer I hate it when they refuse to tell you how much the product costs until you buy it. Products and Features just didn't have it. At least the only place I found with the price was on the "I want to buy" it area. Just a bug-a-boo for me.
While it is pricey at 472+ a year, I would be interested in the video training. If you have this plan, do you know of a list of the videos available?
I use to subscribe to an online tutorial place for about $125 a year. It was great, but it went away. Know of any places like that there today? I think Lynda has them at $250 a year.
I agree with you regarding the 'hidden' pricing. They aren't alone, or even a minority in this, it seems most companies on the web are ashamed of their pricing...
I have the subscription that includes videos, but I have never used them - I just don't like videos for learning. I avoid all the links on news sites that go to video clips also - I prefer to read. The videos never get to the point, and it is too difficult to skip the boring parts. Reading the books online instead of in my hand was a difficult adjustment, I guess that means I'm old! I looked that the videos available for Flex, and the newest one was for Flex 3, nothing available for Flex 4 yet.
The fee seems pretty steep, but since every book I bought was $70-100, and I was going to the book store at least every other month, it was still a win for me. YMMV howeverr.
Just in case you haven't seen it, I recommend the Adobe "Flex 4 in one week" training. One can watch videos, and then firm up the concepts going through the excercises.
I use lynda.com for training for Flex 4 and Air as well -- started there -- but am doing Flex 4 in one week training now. Note that if you subscribe to Lynda.com, you can immediately cancel your subscription (a second later), leaving you with effectively a 1 month "movie ticke"t for either $25 or $37.50, depending if you get the excercise files with it (probably worth it, if you are going to go through several titles). Also can search on Flash 10 and Catalyst. But I think starting with the Adobe title is good.
P.S. If you do the Flex 4 in one week training, and you use the latest Flash Burrito release, note this training appears to have been done in
the baseline FlashBuilder 4 release (and not the Burrito one). Some things to note:
- Adobe has a forum dedicated to the Flex 4 in one week training
- The burrito release has some updated Spark components, e.g. a spark DataGrid. These are the components selected when one is in the Design view, not the the older mx components. If you need to select the older mx component when in design view -- switch to source view, and hand type in the mx component instead, and then you can switch back to design view, select the component, and use design view to set its properties.
- To correct indentation (note the old way is shown in videos), it is much easier to simply do select-all and then ctrl-i, which is the menu selection Source->Correct Indentation, a nice addition. Or just select the lines that need to be reformatted, and do cntrl-I