Megan Taylor

front-end dev, volunteacher, news & data junkie, bibliophile, Flyers fan, sci-fi geek and kitteh servant

Learning ActionScript 3.0

When I set out to learn a new programming language, I usually take baby steps:

  • Read as much as possible about the language
  • Find the experts online and see what they’re saying/doing
  • Find and work through beginner tutorials
  • Come up with an idea to build something on my own

It usually takes a good 3 months or so before I get to that last step.

I didn’t get that luxury with AS3. A few weeks ago, I started watching the AS3 tutorials at Lynda.com. I had been assigned to rebuild The Miami Herald’s 60 Seconds project.
The current project is written in AS2. All the bits and pieces are internal. My mission was to rebuild it in AS3 and make it load information from an XML file so that it could be updated easily.

I started out with a series of classes: one to load the XML, one to parse it, one to define the thumbnails, etc. These classes were refined and rewritten until I got the thumbnails to load into the screen, much as they do in the original version.

It’s taken me 3 weeks to get that far. Google is my best friend. The next few steps:

  • fix interface so that when more videos are added, the screen will scroll left and right to show the additional videos
  • clicking on a thumbnail will go to large version of video with description etc, pulled from XML
  • add commenting, feedback and rating functionality

Right now, I can’t even begin to figure out how that’s going to get done. But it will, and I’ll learn a lot from the experience.

Check my Del.icio.us bookmarks for AS3 resources.

  • Do you know when the Herald first started doing this idea?

  • Do you know when the Herald first started doing this idea?

  • circa March of this year.

  • circa March of this year.

  • Hi Megan,

    Thanks for the mention in your blog post. I hope the ActionScript tutorials make the rebuild go smoothly and more efficiently for you.

    Happy learning,

    Steve Johnson
    http://www.lynda.com

  • Hi Megan,

    Thanks for the mention in your blog post. I hope the ActionScript tutorials make the rebuild go smoothly and more efficiently for you.

    Happy learning,

    Steve Johnson
    http://www.lynda.com

  • Tiny

    Check out “Learning ActionScript 3.0” by Rich Shupe and Zevan Rosser. It is the best ActionScript book I’ve ever seen (unless you’re a seasoned pro and are looking just for a large reference book. Then Moock’s EAS3 is good, too).

  • Tiny

    Check out “Learning ActionScript 3.0” by Rich Shupe and Zevan Rosser. It is the best ActionScript book I’ve ever seen (unless you’re a seasoned pro and are looking just for a large reference book. Then Moock’s EAS3 is good, too).

  • Thanks, I have the Shupe book but not Moock’s. I’ll look into that.

  • Thanks, I have the Shupe book but not Moock’s. I’ll look into that.

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