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Flash & Flex Extra 1/2012

April 24, 2012


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Dear Readers,

In this special issue, we’ll be looking at a broad range of ActionScript programming topics – everything from the very basics of programming to specialised subjects such as serializing data and manipulating XML. So whether you are a new ActionScript programmer or an old hand, we hope you will find something of interest.

My own interest in ActionScript began with the development of Amethyst, the Visual Studio Flash Platform IDE from my company, SapphireSteel Software. Having been a programmer for almost 30 years, in languages ranging from Smalltalk to C#, I was initially sceptical about using ActionScript. I assumed that it was just a simple ‘scripting language’ – the sort of thing you might use to dash off a few lines of code but not to develop a project of any complexity. I soon discovered that my assumption was incorrect. ActionScript 3 is a powerful Object Oriented language that has the added advantage of being tightly integrated with Flash. In fact, my company has now developed some major applications in ActionScript. The current version of the Amethyst IDE includes a drag-and-drop Flex 3 and 4 design environment. Currently we are developing a new drag-and-drop designer which will provide similar features for non-Flex Flash applications. All of this coding has been done in ActionScript. Many thousands of lines of ActionScript!

This special issue gathers together a number of my ActionScript programming columns to explain how ActionScript can be used for creating Flash, Flex and AIR applications. If you are new to ActionScript, begin with my series on ‘Starting ActionScript Programming. If you want more of a challenge, you may want to read my guide to programming an adventure game.

ActionScript is a great language. I hope this special issue will help you to use it more productively – for both business and pleasure.

Huw Collingbourne

  • Tool

10 Amethyst The Flash Platform in Visual Studio

12 Introducing Amethyst A first look at the core features of the Amethyst Professional IDE

  • Adventures in Flex

16 Flex 4 The Problem with Children

22 Flex 4 Parental Concerns

  • Actionscript Programming

26 Objects and Associative Arrays Why an ActionScript Object is like a Dictionary

30 Create an Object- Handler Class

36 Writing A Better Object

  • Adventure Game In ActionScript

42 Adventure Game In ActionScript

46 Serializing Objects

50 Object Hierarchies

54 Deploy To Android

60 Interacting with Game Objects

  • Adventure in Actionscript

64 Putting XML ToWork

68 A Flex FAQ Browser

72 Adding Categories To XML

  • Actionscript in Action

76 Starting ActionScript Programming

  • Interview

96 Amethyst Puts Flash In Visual Studio But can it compete with Silverlight?

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