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On the surface I'd like to think everyone loves Flash and everyone loves to read what I write. However, I do think there are a few prime candidates to read this book.
Ideally, this book is for any Flash developer comfortable in Flash who wants to develop more advanced programming skillsspecifically to create applications. You should understand basic ActionScript, such as variables and events. There's something to be said for learning by experience, so I believe even a Flash novice could still learn from this book. However, the person with even just a little scripting experience will gain more than the novice because that person can better appreciate the content in this book.
Another target reader is a technical person who is transitioning to Flash. It's only a slight stretch to imagine readers whose bosses say, "Go learn how to make an RIA." They are indeed target readers, too. If that's you, however, you will want to develop your basic Flash skills in parallel with this book. I can't help you get around the Flash interface, for example. However, I believe it's possible to learn the "why" of RIAs from this book even if you can't immediately apply the "how." (That said, a reasonable goal of this book is that you'll actually be able to produce an RIA, too.)
Finally, because I have written two other books, I can place this book in a relative position. Compared to Sams Teach Yourself Flash MX 2004 in 24 Hours , this book is significantly more script oriented. That book starts at the ground level and moves up, mainly toward making Flash animations and presentations. I think it's fair to say this book is more advanced, but I don't believe programming is necessarily easier or harder than anything else.
My book ActionScripting in Flash MX is closest to this book, although you'll find very little overlap. If I had revised that book for Flash MX 2004, you would definitely see more overlap. It's just that this book doesn't cover general programming theory the way that book does. Also, this book is all about making RIAs. So whereas ActionScripting in Flash MX teaches you both programming and how to apply it to all of Flash, this book teaches you Flash programming and how to apply it to RIAs.
One last note. In many ways, I wrote this book for me. I guess I should rephrase that as, "I wrote it the way I like to learn." Even during production, I found occasions when I needed a reminder about how to do something (and I could find it in the example scripts or sample files). Writing involves studying topics and organizing a clear presentation of information. I know that I've included the information I think is important.
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