Learning ActionScript 3.0: A Beginner's Guide | Book Review

Rich Shupe and Zevan Rosser’s Learning ActionScript 3.0: A Beginner’s Guide.

This book is published by O’Reilly and is part of the Adobe Developer Library.

This book was a great way for me to move into as3. I’m coming from a visual design background with little formal programming training, to know more of my background check my about page. Being mostly self taught, I found myself learning about basic programming skills with this book. This book helped me catch up to the as3 world and I began doing some really cool things in flash once I had a base for understanding all the differences and new things in as3.

I really enjoyed the visual aspects of this book as well. Many of the diagrams and illustrations have the hand drawn look. Like so:

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to better understand actionscript and actionscrip3 more specifically. It’s a great helper at migrating from as2 to as3. On the cover, it claims to teach “everything needed for non-traditional programmers–web designers, GUI-based Flash developers, those new to Actionscript, visual learners–to understand how Actionscript works and how to use it in everyday projects.” I would agree with that whole-heartedly. All I can say is that after reading it and working through some of the samples included, I better understand AS3 and am confident that through the foundation it has helped me lay I will soon become an actionscript ninja.

Thanks Ryan and Zevan!

5 thoughts on “Learning ActionScript 3.0: A Beginner's Guide | Book Review

  1. Just came across your post by accident but wanted to add my 2 cents. Your comments about the book are spot on, its a great resource for people moving over to AS 3 and even seasoned developers to give a once over. I have known Rich for a while (he was a big help with my personal website http://flashbum.com) and have always been a fan of the way he can simplify and explain code. I have a few other books to suggest as well: http://flashartofwar.com/2008/05/25/what-am-i-reading/. Thanks for the post, I know Rich would appreciate the good press.

  2. Hi, Just found your blog, great stuff here`-`
    I would like to say that I feel this is the best book on actionscript ever written!

    Rich was even nice enough to answer my e-mails too, what a great guy`-`
    I also found out that he is teaching a class here in Hawaii, I can’t wait!

  3. I previously read many Action Script 2 books, and learning Action Script never came easy to me. I come from an artistic background. I never had any scripting or programming courses.

    I read the entire “Learning Action Script 3” book by Shupe and Rosser a few months ago, and while the introductory chapters on basic scripting concepts was solid, there are not nearly enough examples given for them to sink in with a beginner.

    As the chapters advance, many examples and topics get very complex for a beginner to fully understand.

    Someone who is a true beginner to Action Script, especially artists and designers, will probably find the “Learning Action Script 3” book deeply confusing and frustrating.

    Action Script 3 book titles I had more success with include (and I think other artists and designers who are having a difficult time learning Action Script will find these books much easier to understand too):

    ‘Flash CS4 Professional Advanced for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickPro Guide’ by Russell Chun


    -‘ActionScript 3.0: Visual QuickStart Guide’ by Derrick Ypenburg

    There’s a new Action Script 3 book available by Doug Winnie (called ‘Fundamentals of ActionScript 3.0: Develop and Design’ ) that looks promising.

    I viewed Winnie’s free AS3 videos on the Adobe site months ago, and if his Action Script book is as clear as his explanations and lessons in the videos were, it must be an excellent book.

    Older Action Script titles that helped me ( these cover AS version 2 ):

    -“Macromedia Flash MX ActionScripting: Advanced Training from the Source” by Derek Franklin and Jobe Makar

    -“Sams Teach Yourself Flash MX ActionScript in 24 Hours” by Gary Rosenzweig

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