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Preface

Preface

Welcome to ActionScript for Flash MX: The Definitive Guide, Second Edition! This edition sports massive changes from the first edition, with hundreds of pages of new material and exhaustive rewrites that bring old material up to date with best practices for Flash MX. I hope you're as excited to read it as I was to write it!

Like the first edition, this book teaches ActionScript from the ground up, covering both basic concepts and advanced usage, but with a special focus on Macromedia Flash MX techniques. In Part I, we'll explore ActionScript fundamentals—from variables and movie clip control to advanced topics such as objects, classes, and server communication. In Part II, the Language Reference, we'll cover every object, class, property, method, and event handler in the core ActionScript language. You'll use the Language Reference regularly to learn new things and remind yourself of the things you always forget, so keep this book on your desk, not on your shelf!

Though ActionScript's complexity has increased in Flash MX, you do not have to be a programmer to read this book. I have continued to be mindful of the beginner throughout this edition. The text moves pretty quickly, but a prior knowledge of programming is not required to read it. All you need is experience with the non-ActionScript aspects of Flash and an eagerness to learn. Of course, if you are already a programmer, so much the better; you'll be applying your code-junkie skills to ActionScript in no time. To make the transition to Flash easier for experienced programmers, I've made a special effort to draw helpful analogies to languages such as JavaScript, Java, and C.

Above all, this book truly is a Definitive Guide to ActionScript in Flash MX. It's the product of nearly four years of research, thousands of emails to Macromedia employees, and feedback from users of all levels. I hope that it is self-evident that I've suffused the book with both my intense passion for the subject and the painfully won, real-world experience from which you can benefit immediately. It covers ActionScript with exhaustive authority and—thanks to a technical review by Gary Grossman, the creator of ActionScript—with unparalleled accuracy.

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