In completing the book, we can be proud.
As we started our last project, we were able to reach into a rather large toolchest. In it are XML skills and advanced Flash techniques that in earlier chapters we struggled to master. Now we casually bring them to bear in solving problems that are even more imposing .
Along the way we also developed a facility in web scripting and insight into a variety of networking protocols. We took a deep plunge into database programming and glimpsed some ways to approach the world that is larger than Flash ”and larger than the web.
Mastery of technology means learning forever. Everything we have learned is useful now. But everything will require constant updating.
XML will probably be around for a long time. It might even avoid major distortion for a decade or so. But if it is an important foundation, it is only a foundation. It is a supporting technology for other protocols ”WAP, RSS, SOAP, SMIL, SVG and many others. Learning these ever-emerging protocols and their competitors will keep you busy but enable you to build on the work and the ideas of others.
That is the honest promise of these technologies. By accommodating a common connective technology, we can leverage our work with the works of others in many interesting ways. Usually it is impossible to say who is exploiting whom.
It is our privilege to be alive at this happy moment. The world is wiring together. Technology allows us mix and share cultural distinctions that technology has not yet obliterated.
In previous generations, the wires of the world spread out from a few monopolistic centers. In the age of broadcasting, the wires pushed propaganda and brand messages. The wires have turned, and each of us is now at the center. Money matters less. Brains matter more. Imagination matters more. Humanity matters more.
You can do something interesting. Take these tools and use them well.
Thanks to those who have taught us, especially those who contribute help in the anonymous fraternity of the web.
Thanks to those who built the tools, and again especially those who freely share their time, their insight, and their sources: the builders of PHP, MySQL, etc., and XML.
Thanks to you for buying our book. We hope it was useful and pleasant. Please join us online to correct, extend, or question the material.