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.