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Depending on the experience you bring with you as you read this book, you may want to approach it in different ways. Chapter 1, "What's New in ActionScript 2.0?", is applicable to anyone not yet familiar with the constructs of ActionScript 2.0, and it will be particularly meaningful to developers with experience using ActionScript 1.0. Chapter 2, "All the World Is an Object," focuses on the benefits of OOP. Developers already comfortable with the concepts of OOP and the reasons one would choose to build an application following OOP principles can safely skip Chapter 2. Chapters 3 “9 look at specific OOP constructs and discuss their implementation in ActionScript 2.0.
This Book's Organization
Organizationally, this book is divided into three main sections:
Section I (Chapters 1 “9) begins with an introduction to ActionScript 2.0 in Chapter 1. Chapters 2 “4 take on the specifics of building classes in ActionScript 2.0, as well as adding properties and methods to those classes. Chapters 5 and 6, "The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth" and "Understanding Interfaces in ActionScript 2.0," respectively, address inheritance and interfaces. Chapter 7, "Are You Talking to Me," explains inter-object communications, and Chapter 8, "Object-Oriented Design," investigates the details and implications of object-oriented design as a process. Chapter 9, "Building and Using UI Components," looks at working with Flash UI components, as well as building custom components .
Section II (Chapters 10 “15) investigates the server-side of applications. In the new Rich Internet Application (RIA) paradigm, Flash MX 2004 is used to build an Internet-based client-server application. Chapter 10, "To Protect and Serve," discusses why a server would be needed. Chapters 11 “14 discuss specific methods to interact with different server-side technologies, including Web Services, extensible markup language (XML) files, and even simple text files. Chapter 15, "Flash Communication Server MX Applications," looks at the specific ramifications of working with this technology and many of the benefits we can see in applications making use of it.
Section III (Chapters 16 “17) uses the principles discussed in all the previous chapters to build a single cohesive application. Chapter 16, "Pulling It All Together," walks through building an application, starting from the functional and business requirements straight through the implementation. Chapter 17, "Debugging and Tuning the Application," describes how to troubleshoot and optimize the application.
Planning, Designing, Building, and Testing the Application
Rather than building a single application throughout all the chapters in this book, we decided it would be better to let each chapter use whatever examples best fit. So, we've dedicated Section III to using the lessons from the book in a single application. By taking this approach, we enable readers to pick and choose which chapters they care to read, and we give everyone an equal opportunity to build the application, even though they may have skipped some chapters along the way.
The application we build in Section III is an intranet-based call center application. It is for a phone-based, magazine “subscription-selling company (XYZ Subscriptions). It describes the entire process in building their application, beginning with an investigation of what their current application is and why it needs to be replaced , moving through the requirements gathering phase, proceeding on to the technical design of the application, and finally moving on to the implementation.
Chapter 17 then takes this application and walks through the process of debugging and tuning it, pointing out several great tips along the way.
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