ActionScript for Flash MX: The Definitive Guide

ActionScript for Flash MX: The Definitive Guide


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Updated to cover Flash MX, the newest version of Macromedia Flash, ActionScript for Flash MX: The Definitive Guide, Second Edition is the one book no serious Flash developer should be without.
ActionScript is Macromedia’s programming language for Flash MX, the popular authoring tool for creating rich internet applications and animations for the Web. With Macromedia’s new focus on application development, ActionScript now includes a direct drawing API, loading of external MP3 and JPG files, improved sound control, an extensive set of text formatting tools, complete support for component development using movie clip subclasses, local data storage, accessibility features, and much more. And ActionScript for Flash MX: The Definitive Guide is the most complete, up-to-date reference available for the latest version of this language.

Author Colin Moock, one of the most universally respected developers in the Flash community, has added hundreds of new code examples to show new Flash MX techniques in the real world: how to draw circles, save data to disk, convert arrays to onscreen tables, create reusable components, and preload variables, XML, and sounds. The book’s language reference alone has nearly doubled from the first edition, with more than 250 new classes, objects, methods, and properties. You’ll find exhaustive coverage of dozens of undocumented, under-documented, and mis-documented features.

Along with the new material, Colin Moock has meticulously revised the entire text to conform to Flash MX best-coding practices. In particular, objected-oriented programming and the new event model get special attention in light of changes to Flash MX ActionScript. From sending data between two movies to creating getter/setter properties, the new edition of this book demystifies the often-confusing new features of Flash MX, giving developers easy access to its powerful new capabilities.

ActionScript for Flash MX: The Definitive Guide is structured so non-programmers can learn how to use ActionScript and programmers can take their skills to new heights. If you are in the market to really learn about the hows and whys of ActionScript, then this is the book for you.

ForewordPrefacePart I: ActionScript FundamentalsChapter 1: A Gentle Introductionfor NonprogrammersChapter 2: VariablesChapter 3: Data and DatatypesChapter 4: Primitive DatatypesChapter 5: OperatorsChapter 6: StatementsChapter 7: ConditionalsChapter 8: Loop StatementsChapter 9: FunctionsChapter 10: Events and Event HandlingChapter 11: ArraysChapter 12: Objects and ClassesChapter 13: Movie ClipsChapter 14: Movie Clip Subclasses and ComponentsChapter 15: Lexical StructureChapter 16: ActionScript Authoring EnvironmentChapter 17: Building a Flash FormPart II: Language ReferenceChapter 18: ActionScript Language ReferencePart III: AppendixesAppendix A: ResourcesAppendix B: Latin 1 Character Repertoire and KeycodesAppendix C: Backward Compatibility and Player Build UpdatesAppendix D: Differences from ECMA-262 and JavaScriptAppendix E: HTML Support in Text FieldsAppendix F: Support for GET and POSTAppendix G: Flash UI Component SummaryAppendix H: Embedding a Flash Movie in a Web PageColophon

is an independent web guru with a passion for networked creativity and expression. He has been researching, designing, and developing for the Web since 1995. Colin served as webmaster for SoftQuad, Inc. (makers of HoTMetaL PRO) until 1997, and then as web evangelist for ICE (one of Canada’s leading interactive agencies) until 2001. He has created interactive content for Sony, Levi’s, Nortel, Air Canada, Procter & Gamble, and Hewlett-Packard. Colin now divides his time between writing, speaking at conferences, and researching emerging web technology. His award-winning Flash work and his renowned support site for Flash developers ( have made him a well-known personality in the Flash developer community. He is a contributor to’s Flash developer center, a tutorialist in the Flash MX Bible (2002, Wiley Publishing Inc.), and regularly appears in industry magazines such as cre@te! online. Colin’s latest personal undertaking is Unity (, a Flash socket server for multi-user content.

Additional information

Weight 3 oz
Dimensions 2 × 7 × 9 cm