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Title: Flash Anthology

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Title

Flash Anthology

Category

Web design books

Author

Steve Grosvenor

Publisher

Sitepoint

Release date

June 2004

ISBN

095792187X

Sales ranking

Week: 298 All time: 25

Reviews

September 29, 2004 55555 5
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Picture of Manuel Lemos
Manuel Lemos
manuellemos.net
With the latest Flash MX 2004 and Actionscript developments, these technologies have become even more interesting for developers working on dynamic Web sites.

Specifically, the enhanced capabilities to access server side resources provide a new world of possibilities for developing highly interactive browser based applications which provide great usability and an improved user experience.

Despite the possibilities of the Flash MX 2004 technology, many Web developers are still not aware of what can be done and how it is implemented.

Many books have been written about Flash MX 2004. Flash Anthology is one such book that has an approach that can be interesting either to those who want to learn about Flash MX 2004, and also to those who already know about it but are interested to learn more about how to achieve cool effects using this technology.

This books consists of 10 chapters. In the first chapter it introduces important basic concepts that every user must know and understand to take advantage of the Flash MX 2004 lessons that are provided through the rest of the book. For instance, it talks about Actionscript which is a dialect of the ECMA-262 scripting language, also known as Javascript. Actionscript is very important because practically all actions in Flash movies are handled using this scripting language.

The second chapter introduces important concepts about navigation in Flash movies, how to plan it and how to control it using Actionscript.

The following chapters talk about how to achieve cool animation effects and effects with text, sound and video.

There is also a whole chapter dedicated to teaching how to create, validate and process Flash forms.

Dynamic Web site developers will appreciate chapter 8 in particular. This chapter focuses on accessing server side Web resources. The examples of the server side scripts are given in PHP but they could be in any language as they just need to respond in XML. There are more complex means of interacting with a server using HTTP requests but these are briefly mentioned in the previous chapter on form processing.

Another interesting chapter for developers is one about debugging Flash movie problems. First it describes several types of errors that may occur. Then it addresses common methods to trace and fix the errors.

The last chapter presents miscellaneous subjects of interest. One of the subjects covers formatting text with CSS, not really for text in HTML pages but rather text to be displayed in Flash movies. Another subject is about chart rendering and interaction using Flash.

One last, but not the least important subject is about generating Flash movies in such way that their content can be indexed by search engines. This subject is very important for developers who are focused on maximizing the traffic that search engines may lead to their Flash based sites.

The potential of Flash MX 2004 technology is vast, as is the range of techniques it encompasses. Despite this fact, this book makes a serious effort to cover the most important matters of interest to Web developers and designers who are either learning about the possibilities of this technology, or who want to learn about cool effects and techniques to make the most of Flash MX 2004 and Actionscript to improve the usability and capabilities of their Flash sites by presenting their content in convenient ways.
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