actionscript 3.0 for journalists


ActionScript is a scripting language that extends the Flash software program. One can only get so far into Flash before they will need to work with code.

For most journalists, learning ActionScript can be an intimidating process. Programming languages are filled with esoteric commands and letters. But once the elements of the language are broken down into small digestible pieces, most people will find learning ActionScript is on par with pre-algebra math.

Learning to code requires thinking abstractly and lots of patience. In much the same way one learns a new spoken language, learning ActionScript requires understanding the punctuation and grammatical rules that it is built upon.

ActionScript is built on a standards technology known as ECMAScript, which means it is very similar – and in some cases identical – to JavaScript.

Differences Between ActionScript 2.0 (AS2) and ActionScript 3.0 (AS3)

In 2006, Adobe restructured the ActionScript language. The new version added several features that made it very powerful for Flash developers, but at the same time made it much more difficult for the average user to learn. This tutorial will cover the newer ActionScript 3.0. Even though Adobe has continued to maintain support for ActionScript 2.0 in Flash, most components and third-party programs now require knowledge of ActionScript 3.0. Here are some key differences:

ActionScript 2.0

  1. More flexible, loosely typed. (You can make some mistakes and the program will still run)
  2. More procedural in format. (follow the steps from top down)
  3. Harder to scale or reuse code.

ActionScript 3.0

  1. Strictly typed (throws errors if you make mistakes)
  2. More object oriented, modular and abstract.
  3. Very scalable, reusable

This tutorial will demonstrate the basics of ActionScript 3.0 using Flash Professional CS4. This is not an introduction to the Flash program itself. This tutorial is designed for people who have had some introduction to the Flash interface and want to learn ActionScript more in-depth. Note: only Flash versions CS3 and above will work with ActionScript 3.0.

Filed under: Flash