asdg>> technotes>> second edition faq

asdg2 is done :)
The second edition to ActionScript: The Defintive Guide is complete! Dubbed "ActionScript for Flash MX: The Definitive Guide", the book shipped December 19, 2002.

where can i get asdg2?
Over here.

does branden hall like it?
Yup. Here's what Branden Hall, Joshua Davis, and Gary Grossman think of ASDG2...
  • Gary Grossman, Creator of ActionScript
    Actionscript for Flash MX: The Definitive Guide, Second Edition is unquestionably the essential book for ActionScript programming in Flash MX. It has proven invaluable even for the engineers on the Macromedia Flash team, who see it as complementary to our own product documentation. Moock's meticulous attention to detail, evident throughout this fine volume, combined with his easygoing instructional style, ensure the book will be appreciated by newcomers and experts alike.

  • Branden J. Hall, Flashcoders List Founder/Admin
    As a developer, instructor, and fellow author, I can't praise ActionScript for Flash MX: The Definitive Guide, Second Edition enough. This book is simply indispensable for anyone working with Macromedia Flash. Colin has an incredible mastery of ActionScript and is able to convey his knowledge in a clear, concise, and often witty manner.

  • Joshua Davis, Artist and Technologist (
    While there's a vast array of Flash books on the market (including my own!), time and time again, I recommend only one book: Colin Moock's Actionscript for Flash MX: The Definitive Guide, Second Edition. Whether on its own or as a companion to any other Flash book you might buy, Colin's book provides a definitive holy grail of new concepts for Flash professionals around the world, and helps us keep our syntax correct!
so, what's new!?
Tons and tons of stuff. The Second Edition of ActionScript for Flash MX: The Definitive Guide is not merely a tack-on update to the first edition (which was called ActionScript: The Definitive Guide). The entire text has been revised and restructured to highlight the latest Flash MX ActionScript features. Nearly every paragraph has been updated and over four hundred pages have been added to cover ActionScript's new capabilities. There are over 250 new language reference entries, and many chapters have been massivley overhauled or added to explore the new features of the language (e.g., Chapter 9, Functions, Chapter 10, Events and Event Handling, Chapter 12, Objects and Classes, and Chapter 14, MovieClip Subclasses and Components).

For an exhaustive description of changes and additions, read the preface to the second edition (PDF format, 211kb).

where can i read sample chapters?
Over here.

does the first edition still apply to flash mx?
By and large, yes. The first edition is about 90% applicable to the fundamentals of programming in Flash MX, but only covers about 60% of ActionScript's built-in classes and objects. Flash MX ActionScript introduces some "better ways of doing things". For example, clip event handlers (onEnterFrame, onMouseDown, etc) can now be assigned as callbacks, the switch statement is supported, nested and lexical function scope is working properly now, variables and classes can be declared as global, etc. ASDG1 covers the old approaches, which are mostly still functional, but not as elegant as the new ones covered in ASDG2. Furthermore, in some cases, Flash MX makes part of ASDG1 wrong. For example, ASDG1 claims there are no global variables and no switch statement, but MX now supports globals and switch. There aren't too many examples of this kind of inaccuracy. how substantial are the changes to actionscript in flash mx?
There are major changes. There are lots of new features (classes/objects) and some revised language fundamentals (e.g., new event model, new movie clip subclass system with Object.registerClass). You can find an exhaustive list of changes in the asdg2 preface. In addition, see my New in Flash MX lecture notes for a list of things that are brand new to Flash MX ActionScript (i.e., things that were not in Flash 5).