Imx Fix in my experience
« prev next »

November 18, 2003 4:14 AM

Flash MX IconWhen you decide to learn a new skill, and set your mind too it, and apply your free time to this new pursuit, it can be discouraging to find out that there is WAY TOO MUCH to learn.

Even with my JavaScript experience, and experience using graphics applications (eg, Photoshop and Illustrator), the Flash learning curve is relatively steep (for me), and that's mostly due to a few things...

Breaking Standards
Due to it's heritage, Flash sometimes departs from the ECMA spec to maintain backwards compatibility with old versions of Flash. That just plain sucks and requires memorization of these rules exceptions (all languages have these, but making an exception to support old players is annoying).

Also, I'm very used to the window, document and frames objects in JavaScript and need to map these to different names in the Flash paradigm (in my mind, I've assigned frames to levels; see below). Also, you need to accept the underscore notation used in Flash for built in properties in built in objects (ie, a movie clip's location on the "x" axis is read from movieClipObject._x).
The timeline
I have already complained about the timeline, but it's worth listing out here. This is one of those times when the metaphor is getting in the way and needs to be jettisoned.
"Levels are a stack of independent timelines that are movies (SWF) stored outside the main movie, and brought in with the loadmovie action." This is a pretty new concept to me. I'm very used to assembling a page from many small pieces (loosely joined?) and getting a cohesive result, but the idea of a document stack is something new to learn.
Object Oriented Programming (OOP)
JavaScript is object oriented, but in a loose way, and you can go a long way into your career without doing any proper object oriented coding in that language. When you move over to ActionScript 2.0, you really need to get on the OOP bus. This is mostly due to the fact that the flash environment is more readily disposed to OOP than web page authoring. This is going to be a good thing for me to learn.