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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Flex 3 A Beginners Guide

This book walks the reader through all of the steps that a beginning user must tackle, including which software to install, how to install it, and how to start writing code. It's assumed that the reader has some knowledge of how the web works and has worked with plain old HTML. The differences between using Flex, HTML, and Ajax are dissected in easy-to-understand terms.

All the major starting points of developing RIAs in Flex are covered, including a detailed description of the ActionScript programming language that forms the basis for Flex applications. The Flex framework, which speeds application development time, is discussed after you've learned about the Flex architecture and supporting languages. Each step of the way is written to make sometimes complex concepts easy to understand.

Because Flex excels at working with media assets such as video and sound combined with dynamic data to create a rich Web 2.0 experience, the book introduces the necessary concepts to create these applications. Those concepts include working with sounds and video as well as working with dynamic data sources such as an RSS feed. With a solid starting point, the options for creating Flex applications are endless.Finally, practical advice is provided to help debug and publish applications once you're cranking out applications that you're ready to share with your friends and colleagues.

The source code for examples in the book is downloadable on the web from Any example of more than a few lines should be downloaded from the source code to reduce the time required to type in the code and to avoid any errors from typing in the code. The source code and related media assets are split out by chapter number. For code segments that have a heading with a listing number, the code is placed in a file called Listing_

ActionScript files are named the same as the example's class name, since Flex requires the filename to match the class definition.
MXML code listings that are not large enough to warrant their being referred as a listing
in the text are named Example_, where description  provides guidance on which example is being reference in the text. Any media assets are also named the same as their references in the text.  In general, MXML examples can be run in the same project as other examples from  the text. The ActionScript files that demonstrate importing sounds and SWF media assets should be created as ActionScript projects for each example. Flex Builder automatically places some default code when creating a new MXML or ActionScript file, but it's okay to overwrite this default code with the source from the files provided with the book.

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