The Essential Guide to Flex 2 with ActionScript 3.0 / Edition 1

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Flex 2 represents something of a revolution in web applications. It is the next evolutionary step of Flash, which has grown from a web animation tool to a powerful enterprise web design and development tool. with nearly 98% of all web browsers and cellular phones running the Flash player needed to use Flash and Flex applications, knowledge of Flex is indispensable for any serious web designer and developer.

This book will show you how to create powerful, rich Internet applications using Flex 2 and ActionScript 3.0. After learning how to install and becoming familiar with the basics of the Flex Builder 2 software, you will explore in depth how ActionScript 3.0 interacts with Flexs powerful XML-like design language: MXML. the text will take you through all the powerful features of Flex using a series of strictly practical exercises.

Put quite simply, this book is all youll need to master Flex 2 and ActionScript 3.0 application development. Welcome to the revolution!

  • Understand MXML containers
  • Create transitions
  • Create data-driven applications with XML
  • Interface Flex with ColdFusion
  • Understand the power of states
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590597330
  • Publisher: Apress
  • Publication date: 3/6/2007
  • Edition description: 1st ed. 2007. Corr. 2nd printing 2007
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 520
  • Product dimensions: 1.05 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 9.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Brown is one of the most noted author, consultant, and trainers in the industry today. His books about Dreamweaver and Fireworks have received critical acclaim and used worldwide as teaching tools. In addition to his work in the IT industry, Charles is also a noted concert pianist, organist, and guitarist appearing in major concert centers world-wide. He began his musical studies at age 4 and went on to study with famed pianist Vladimir Horowitz. At age 14, he made his debut with Leonard Bernstein and later studied at the famed Juilliard School. Eventually he went to Paris to study with the 20th century legend, Igor Stravinsky. While working with Stravinsky, Charles developed a close friendship with one of the most powerful artistic forces of the 20th century: Pablo Picasso. What he learned about creativity from Picasso he uses today in his writings and training work. Charles is a certified Macromedia/Adobe trainer who is in heavy demand worldwide. He frequently speaks at major conferences such as MAX and NAB. You can see his blog at and his website can be found at
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2007

    Flex Demystified.

    Flex 2 with ActionScript 3.0 By Charles E. Brown Publisher: Friends of Ed Copyright 2007 IBSN:-13 (pbk) 978-1-59059-733-0 Reviewer: Linda Weller The author explains Flex in a very interesting instructive way. It explains the meaning of Flex and ActionScript 3.0 in the new Flash landscape. One of the great things about this book is that the author looks at all aspects of Flex from high/low levels and from a designer/developer perspective. It was great to discover if you can use XML or Dreamweaver you can use Flex. Flex will bring the web to a new level. Flex was introduced in 2004 as a solution to having to learn about Flash¿s scenes and timelines. Flex is a more traditional programming environment. It combines .mxml and ActionScript 3.0. The author urges everyone to ¿stop thinking page to page website and think smooth flowing desktop applications. Flex Builder 2 is built around Eclipse. The GUI uses XHTML and OOP. You use ActionScript 3.0 to extend the power of .mxml. When you add ActionScript 3.0 to Flex you can add dynamic interaction between your components. When you compile an application to a .swf it transforms the .mxml code to ActionScript 3.0 The goal of Flex is rapid development. You use ActionScript to connect the components together and .mxml to tell Flex how to assemble pre-build containers. When beginning to do work in Flex he suggests that you start in design view and then move to code view to fine tune things. One of the benefits of using Flex over HTML is that it has adjustability to many sizes. You could take the same application you used on the web and scale it down for mobile for example. The downside of .mxml is that it can¿t loop or make decisions so you need ActionScript 3.0 for this. In AS 3.0 we now have Sprite which is essentially a Movie Clip without a timeline. Charles Brown explains that between the CDATA tags is where your ActionScript code is placed. To create a new .mxml document you must first create a new Flex project. The main purpose of Flex is to present data and therefore it is called a presentation server. Flex applications are build by creating containers within containers the application tags being the outermost containers. He covers the Navigation Containers: View Stack, Accordian and Tab Navigator. These are the ingredients that give Flex its rapid development reputation. New class files for the easy access of XML have been implemented called E4X. The section about displaying data with a data grid presents another rapid development feature. He discusses states which give you the timeline functionality without the timeline. He makes the distinction that Flex is not an animation program so, it will not be replacing Flash. He wraps up the last part of the book by launching into a two part case study of building a shopping cart utilizing all the concepts he has introduced earlier in the book.

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