Anyone who’s read more than one of my articles knows I don’t lack for words. So why has the usually verbose (at least in post length, if not frequency) Paul Robertson been so quiet lately? Sorry, no big secret, but a big announcement I guess (at least it’s big for me). I’ve been working on a book about Flash 8. I’ve been doing this in addition to working full time at my day job, so you may imagine, that means any extra time for anything (like personal writing, or even playing with my kids) has been literally nonexistant.
Anyway, that’s my excuse, and I apologize if it’s caused you any pain. Maybe once I’ve finished the book (not done yet, but getting very close) I’ll write a bit more about what it’s been like to work on a book. It’s certainly been a learning process for me, of course with the new Flash content, but also with becoming more efficient at using Word and Fireworks (the automation features of both programs are now well-used on my computer). And of course I’ve learned a lot about what it’s like to work with a publisher, too.
For the curious, the book is Macromedia Flash 8 Advanced for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickPro Guide, published by Peachpit Press. Since it is one of their “Visual QuickPro Guides” series, it is very task-focused – definitely more of a task-based reference than a sit-down-and-read book. This is the fourth edition of the book, although it is the first edition that I’ve worked on. Russell Chun is the principal author of the book; my job has been to update the existing material and add new material for Flash 8. That doesn’t sound like a lot (at least it doesn’t to me when I say it that way), but in truth (in my obviously very biased opinion) I think this edition is a significant update to the book. Nearly every chapter has significant new or updated content, practically every task has been updated at least to some extent, plus there is a new chapter on manipulating bitmaps (mostly using the BitmapData class, plus some things on filters).