Author: S Tiwari, J Herrington, E Elrom & J Mostafa
Publisher: Friends of ED
Aimed at: Existing users of both Flex and ActionScript
Pros: A valuable resource to have on the shelf
Cons: Long listings and some frustrating errors
Reviewed by: Alex Armstrong
This is really an advanced cookbook in the sense it tackles a range of specific topics. You need to know both ActionScript 3 and the basic ideas of using Flex 3 to get much out of the book i.e. you need to take the "Advanced" part of the title fairly seriously.
The book is divided into three major sections:
Part One: Harnessing The Power Of Flex 3 consists of five chapters dealing with the MVC approach to building applications, an introduction to creating your own components, working with data binding, optimising for performance and moving to the desktop via AIR. The topics are well covered but they are a presentation of standard ideas and nothing that you can't find elsewhere. The listings presented are occasionally too long and there contain enough errors to put you off if you like actually trying things out.
The final part of the book is much more speculative and round about. Part Three: Gaining Real Advantage In The New Web has chapters on Mashups, Migrating Web 1.0 Interfaces to RIA, Sculpting Interactive Business Intelligence Interfaces, Working with Web 2.0 APIs, Facilitating Audio and Video Streaming and Using 3D.Again it’s a mixed bag. Working with Web 2.0 APIs for example covers only Twitter, Amazon S3 and U tube - but it does get across some of the generalities of working with a REST API.
There is a lot of information in this book and while it isn't going to be perfect for any reader it is a useful and valuable resource. If you have got past the basics of using Flex and want to read how it can be used in a range of situations then it is worth buying a copy of this book.