It's hard to imagine the World Wide Web in the days before Macromedia Flash. It was dull, lifeless, even flat. Web pages were little more than glorified brochures with maybe some limited amount of interactivity or functionality, but even that limited amount of ability was victim to browser incompatibilities. Then along came Flash, and the rules changed.
Macromedia Flash 8 Basic continues to extend the Flash authoring tool, providing designers and developers both with capabilities that 10 years ago were the sole realm of desktop applications. What's more, Flash 8 makes it even easier to create fully featured applications that not only can be deployed over the web but also on CD-ROM, kiosks, mobile phones, and even broadcast. This book introduces you to those capabilities and the Flash authoring tool, and by the time you're finished, you should be able to author your own Flash applications with confidence.
Macromedia continues in this release of Flash to split the product into two different authoring tools: Macromedia Flash 8 Basic and Macromedia Flash 8 Professional. This book covers only the features available in Flash 8 Basic because another book will cover the features available in the Professional edition. With a few exceptions, though, there is nothing that you can do in Macromedia Flash 8 Professional that you can't do in Basic, albeit with a little more work. Don't worry, this book walks you from beginning to early intermediate techniques for creating an entire application that will deploy over the web.