Flex 3 : A Beginner’s Guide by Michele E. Davis, Jon A. Philips

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Flex 3 : A Beginner’s Guide by Michele E. Davis, Jon A. Philips

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
www.mhprofessional.com. 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.

About the Authors
Michele E. Davis has co-authored and authored
more than 18 books and has a PhD in English and French. Davis is a full-time consultant in Instructional Design, Technical
Writing, and Web Development and Training. She’s worked for General Mills, Toro, Affiliated Computer Services,
LookSmart, Medtronic, and many more corporations. Davis is a career writer, having published her first poem for a fiver
while in second grade. She can be found on the web at www.krautgrrl.com.
Jon A. Phillips has a BS in Computer
Science, having started programming in grade school. This is the fifth book he’s written with Davis. He’s
worked with numerous web technologies as well as a substantial amount of database development from Oracle to MySQL.
Phillips is always looking for the best technologies to solve real-world computing problems, which includes working with
Flex. Phillips is also a full-time consultant and has worked for Emerson Process, Siemens, Affiliated Computer Services,
The University of Minnesota, and Lockheed Martin. He can be found on the web at www.krautboy.com.

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