Goodness knows what must have got into the mind of my editor at friends of ED, Chris Mills, when choosing the cover for Foundation ActionScript for Flash 8. It’s dominated by a massive blue fly with huge golden eyes. Must be thankful for small mercies, though. At least the fly isn’t resting on its usual favourite food, and CornÃ© van Dooren‘s artwork has done its usual magic of turning the fly into a rather exotic beast. Still, don’t judge a book by its cover alone.
This version of Foundation ActionScript is based on the original material written by Sham Bhangal, but Kristian Besley and I have revised the book from top to bottom. Barely a page has been left untouched, and we’ve added a lot of new material. It now weighs in at 620 pages, in contrast to 460 in the MX 2004 edition. Unfortunately, the previous edition had a huge number of misprints. It was put together in the period when friends of ED was trying to recover from the bankruptcy of its original owners, Peer Information Ltd, and it obviously didn’t go through the same rigorous quality checks that foED books do now. Kris and I have removed all the errorsâ€”at least, we hope we have! We’ve also removed aspects of ActionScript, such as prototypes, that we know are being scrapped in ActionScript 3.0.
Obviously, I’m biased about a book that I’ve spent so many months working on, but I think readers will appreciate all the changes that have been incorporated. From my point of view, one of the most important is the decision to switch back to a single column layout. The two-column layout of the previous edition made me go cross-eyed attempting to read some of the code examples. This time, the page is less cluttered, allowing you to concentrate on the content, rather than trying to weave your way through a tangled web of ActionScript.