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Preface > ActionScript 1.0 Versus ActionScript 2.0

ActionScript 1.0 Versus ActionScript 2.0

The ActionScript 2.0 examples must be compiled in the Flash MX 2004 or Flash MX Professional 2004 authoring environment. To make sure the AS 2.0 examples compile, you should set the ActionScript version to ActionScript 2.0 under File→ Publish Settings→ Flash. All examples have been tested in Flash Player 7.

In ActionScript 2.0, all custom class definitions must be placed in external .as files. For example, the custom Whatever class must be placed in an external plain text file named Whatever.as (both the capitalization of the name and the .as extension are mandatory). You can create and edit such a file in Flash MX Professional 2004 if you select File→ New→ ActionScript File. If using Flash MX 2004, you'll need an external text editor.

We can't give a full course on OOP and ActionScript 2.0 here, although we do try to provide pointers throughout the book. For many more details on ActionScript 2.0 classes and object-oriented development, see Essential ActionScript 2.0 (O'Reilly).

Most examples can also be exported in Flash Player 6 format from Flash MX 2004 (standard or Professional edition), by setting the Export format to Flash Player 6 under File→ Publish Settings→ Flash.

However, methods that are new to Flash MX 2004 and Flash Player 7 won't work if you are exporting to Flash Player 6 format.

The previous version of the Flash authoring tool, Flash MX, does not support ActionScript 2.0. However, many of the AS 1.0 code examples will work in Flash MX.

In some cases, this book uses timeline-based code, which, although it is not necessarily a best practice, is supported for both ActionScript 1.0 and ActionScript 2.0. We made this choice when an example didn't benefit markedly from using ActionScript 2.0 classes. This makes the examples easier to follow and implement in both Flash MX and Flash MX 2004.

Some of the class-based OOP examples written in ActionScript 2.0 won't compile in ActionScript 1.0 and require Flash MX 2004 (standard or Professional edition). If you are still using ActionScript 1.0 in Flash MX 2004, consider this an opportunity to broaden your horizons and use AS 2.0.

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