Download: ActionScript 3.0 Language Basics

It embodies some elements of functional programming. Maybe it goes without saying, but ActionScript 3.0 is the primary language used in the Flash universe. Chapter1: Introducing ActionScript 3.0 The SWFisdelivered to the end user on her platform and executes insidea runtime , usually Flash Player, of which there are many versions. Let’sbreakthisdown. A Programmer’sPerspective For all the ways that the Flash Platform is unique, it shares the same basic steps as most programming environments. You …

Chapter1: Introducing ActionScript 3.0 The SWFisdelivered to the end user on her platform and executes insidea runtime , usually Flash Player, of which there are many versions. Let’sbreakthisdown. A Programmer’sPerspective For all the ways that the Flash Platform is unique, it shares the same basic steps as most programming environments. You write codeina language using some kind of editor, tool, or integrated develop- mentenvironment, and you use a compiler to convert that code into a file that can be run on the target environment. Language A computer programming language defines the grammar and lexicon that you’llbeworkingintocre- ate beautiful code. ActionScript 3.0, Python, Java, Lua, and C#are different languages. They all look different and have different rules for what you type where, what words are reserved, how to loop and how to write comments, and even where you can and can’tputspaces. ActionScript 3.0 is not the same language as ActionScript 2.0, and neither is ActionScript 1.0. ActionScript 3.0 has some features in common with modern JavaScript, because both are designed to adhere to specifications ofafamilyof languages called ECMAScript. At the time of writing, this fact is little more than a curiosity, because most JavaScriptinuse is written to a baseline standard far behind the kind of JavaScript that starts to look like ActionScript 3.0. Furthermore, adherence to ECMAScript standards has provided little visible benefit, and progress marches on. In general, ActionScript 3.0 looks most like Java or C#. Coming to ActionScript 3.0 from either of these languages, or Action- Script2.0, should be a fairly smooth ride. In this second edition, I’veremovedany emphasis puton transitioning from ActionScript 2.0 to ActionScript 3.0. I’lldescribesome features of the language here. This might help some of you who have several lan- guagesunderyour belts already and can benefit from a description of ActionScript 3.0. If you don’t understand any of these terms, please don’tfret! The rest of this Part exists to investigate these qualities of the language in depth. ActionScript 3.0 can use both dynamic and strong typing, but the compiler, the language, this book, and most of the world want you touse it with strong typing. If you want to live in adynamic world, you can do so by turning off strict mode in your compiler or development environment. Action- Script3.0 isanobject oriented language that makes heavy use of namespaces. It has facilities for reflection. It embodies some elements of functional programming. Maybe it goes without saying, but ActionScript 3.0 is the primary language used in the Flash universe. However, it’snot the only one. Depending on the platform andruntimeyou’re targeting—that is to say, where, on what device, and on what software you want your content to run—you might use another language that this book is not about. I’llgetintothis more once you look at the platforms andruntimesthat exist in the Flash universe. But rest assured that ActionScript 3.0 is the way togo for the Flash Platform right now. Most other options are for older technology. There’sanotherlanguage that’sabigpartofthe Flash Platform, and that’sMXML. MXML is adeclar- ativeXMLlanguage used to program Flex. The inter esting thing is that MXML compiles into Action- Script3.0 during building. It’salsoused interchangeably with ActionScript 3.0. Iwon’tdiscuss MXML or Flex in this book, but because Flex isasupersetof Flash, this book provides an excellent, maybe prerequisite, background for any Flex developer. Mixed into ActionScript 3.0 are several microlangu ages, tailor-made for solving specific kinds of prob- lemsmore efficiently than the grammar of ActionScript 3.0 would allow. …..

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