Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Design

10 Minutes with Flash: Ultimate Resources for Learning Flash

  • Print
  • + Share This
After 20 articles in the 10 Minutes with Flash series, Robert Hoekman, Jr. bids farewell by pointing to what he believes are the best Flash resources, online and off. Read on for a list of killer Flash resources.
Like this article? We recommend

Like this article? We recommend

Well, kids, we've reached the end of the 10 Minutes with Flash series (this article is #20), so I thought I'd spend today's 10-minute block pointing you to what I believe are the best Flash resources, online and off, for learning more about Flash. Over the years, I've had to do plenty of research and ask plenty of questions to get where I am today, and you will surely find yourself in the same situation as you spend more time with Flash.

First, we'll check out the online stuff, and then I'll point you to the books that are most essential when learning Flash and ActionScript.

The Online Stuff

The Web contains a vast sea of information, and spotting the good stuff can be a chore unto itself, so much so that it might actually impede your ability to use the Web as a learning tool. But let me tell you this: I've seen it all, and read most of it. Save yourself some frustration and stick to the list of resources cited in this article. I've used each and every resource mentioned here and I endorse each of them completely.

Macromedia Online Forums

The Macromedia Online Forums are excellent locations to hang out in and get your questions answered. There are forums for many Macromedia products, each of which contains several categories of topics from which to choose (as shown in Figure 1), and each forum has Team Macromedia (volunteer support team) members floating around to help you out.

Figure 1Figure 1 Flash geek central.

Aside from Team Macromedia members, there are always lots of devoted Flash nerds with serious skills crawling through these forums on a daily basis, just dying to answer any question you may have. Also, because Macromedia's search tool is powered by Google, you should have no problems searching the forum archives to get answers quickly and easily.

The Macromedia Online Forums require registration, but your user name and password can thereafter be used for everything you do on Macromedia.com, including purchasing software and downloading extensions from the Exchange.

Macromedia XML News Aggregator (MXNA)

A site I visit almost every day, MXNA is an aggregator of developer blogs, DevNet content, and general Macromedia news, all of which is fueled by XML feeds created by the aggregated sites. For example, Mike Chambers and several other Macromedia staff members maintain active blogs. Each of them has an RSS feed that is aggregated, so the most recent post is displayed on MarkMe.com's homepage, as shown in Figure 2. In addition to Macromedia staff, MXNA aggregates blog posts by respected third-party developers, some of whom authored some of the Flash books you've probably already read.

Figure 2Figure 2 333 feeds and counting...

As a result, MXNA is an essential resource for Flash tutorials, community information, and Flash and other tech news. One glance at the home page offers a window into a whole lot of information about Flash. If you want to be "in the know," MarkMe.com is the place to go. (Rhyming is fun.) My blog is also aggregated by MXNA, and can be seen firsthand at http://www.WidgetMaker.net.

InformIT.com Flash Reference Guide ()

Naturally, the Flash Reference Guide had to appear on this list. The FRG is currently kept up by ActionScript whiz Matthew David is the author of the Flash 3D Graphics Bible and lead author for Flash MX Magic, and his skill and experience makes him an excellent Reference Guide host. Matt blogs regularly in the InformIT web logs and contributes new articles fairly often as well.

In case you haven't noticed, you're in the FRG section right now. It includes tons of articles by other authors, and is also the home of the 10 Minutes with Flash series, written by yours truly, so you know you can rely on it for good information (I'm so humble).

Your Local Macromedia User Group and its Online Forum

The Macromedia User Groups (MMUG) program is the best-kept secret in the Flash community. Somewhere in your city, it's likely that a user group is alive and kicking, and you just don't know about it yet.

I'm the manager of the Flash MMUG in Phoenix, Arizona. In the two years since the group's inception, we've been a part of two worldwide user group events (one of which was organized for the launch of the MX 2004 product line); seen brilliant presentations and development efforts by user group members and non-members alike; hosted presentations by Macromedia staff members such as Mike Downey (Flash Team Project Manager); given away several thousand dollars worth of software, including several full copies of Studio MX and Studio MX 2004; given away all kinds of Macromedia gear—including t-shirts, pens, coffee thermos' and CD cases; and raffled off at least 50 books on Flash, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and other software.

But none of what I've mentioned so far happens online, so why am I ranting on and on about it? Because most groups have online forums through which all the development knowledge contained by a user group is accessible via your web browser.

My group's forum produces roughly 300–400 posts per month (some higher, some lower), almost all of which aim to answer questions posed by the many members of the group. Aside from support, members often also offer links to and information about cool Flash sites, games, news, and third-party tools.

In my group, Friday afternoon posts to time-killing, highly addictive Flash games have become traditional. Because of my group's obsession with finding Flash games like this, I've been able to use a yeti to earn points by throwing penguins at a dartboard. I'm sure that many other user group managers can make similar statements.

Even if you're not into Flash games, user group forums are a great place to get a second set of eyes on your code when you're stuck on a bug, learn something new on a daily basis, and lend a hand when you become good enough to help others having the same problems you did.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email ask@peachpit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.peachpit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020