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Creating a Preloader

To create a preloader, you first need to understand a little more about ActionScript and how to create script. With the release of Flash 5, a new syntax was introduced for ActionScript—the Dot syntax. Syntax refers to the rules of grammar or punctuation for script. This syntax replaced the Slash syntax of previous Flash versions. The Slash syntax was a scripting technique that used menus for creating ActionScript. Although this form of scripting provides consistency in how script is developed, it creates limitations for getting higher-power results. Dot syntax is the new method for creating ActionScript that targets objects, properties, methods, and values and is closer to other programming languages, such as JavaScript. You will learn more about each of these features of ActionScript throughout this seminar and the rest of the book.

As you know from Seminar 7, “Site Interactivity and Button Functionality,” two modes are available in the Actions panel for creating ActionScript: the Normal Mode and the Expert Mode. The Normal Mode of the Actions panel ensures that your code is developed with the correct syntax because you must develop your code through the various action category choices in the Actions list to the left of the panel. Then, you set the predefined parameters for the selected action on the right of the Actions panel. Keep in mind that the Normal Mode ensures only correct syntax, not correct script. You can still create ActionScript that does not function correctly or at all in the Normal Mode.


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