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Part I: ActionScript Fundamentals > Objects and Classes

Chapter 12. Objects and Classes

This chapter covers object-oriented programming (OOP), which is new territory for many readers. We'll cover OOP methodology and terminology, using applied examples to make it all concrete. For the benefit of both experienced programmers and new programmers who appreciate a broad perspective, we'll compare ActionScript's OOP practices with those of Java and other languages. Experienced object-oriented programmers who simply want an overview of ActionScript's OOP syntax may want to skip directly to the Section 12.9 at the end of this chapter.

If you're new to object-oriented programming, you may have heard that OOP is some big mystery or that it's difficult to understand. Quite to the contrary, the concepts are highly intuitive, and the OOP process is much easier than you may have been led to believe. At its heart, OOP simply means that you treat portions of your program as self-contained modules called "objects." By "self-contained," we don't mean that objects are isolated, but rather that they can be independent of each other, and that you can use an object without worrying about its internal details. OOP concepts are easy to grasp once you realize that everything you deal with in the real world is a self-contained object. Your dog, your parents, your car, and your computer are all self-contained objects—meaning that they do some things independently and do other things at your request, even if you don't know the inner details of how they work.


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