(or, “why I haven’t written anything new here in a looong time”)
Like so many people, my work goes in cycles (from “busy” to “crazy” to “desperate crunch”). If you’re someone who follows this site (if in fact there is anybody who does), you may have figured out that any time I go for a long time without posting, it means I’m near the end of a project (and consequently, that new documentation is coming soon).
Well, that time has arrived. With the public announcement of Adobe Creative Suite 4, we’re doing something different in terms of the schedule for releasing documentation. This time the documentation has been released ahead of time, before the product actually ships. (Primarily for the sake of search engine indexing – but hey, let’s not complain.)
Of course, a draft version of the Flash Player 10 language reference has been around for a while now, but if you haven’t had a chance to take a look (or if you want to know how things turned out in their final form), you can now view the final Flash CS4 (including ActionScript for Flash Player 10) documentation. Also, this includes several significant additions to the content in Programming ActionScript 3.0, so if you prefer to learn by reading about a topic rather than by piecing things together from the reference, then you’ll find this content useful.
Here are a few top-level links to get you started:
- Programming ActionScript 3.0
- ActionScript 3.0 Language and Components reference
- Using Flash (including what’s new in Flash CS4)
Just for fun, here is the new content that I wrote:
Vector class (strongly-typed arrays):
Pixel Bender (“custom filters” – although it’s a lot more than filters)
- Working with Pixel Bender shaders (in Programming ActionScript 3.0) - plus other sections that are linked to from there, about using a shader as a drawing fill, a filter, a blend mode, etc.
- Shader class reference
- ShaderJob class reference
- ShaderParameter and ShaderInput class references
- ShaderFilter class
- plus new content in the DisplayObject class, the BlendMode class, the Graphics class, etc.
And here are some of the other new topics that I think are the most interesting:
- Working in three dimensions (3D) in Programming ActionScript 3.0
- Inverse Kinematics (IK) in Programming ActionScript 3.0
- Using the new drawing api (aka “drawing api 2”) in Programming ActionScript 3.0
So, what’s next for me? (Thanks for asking!) Since finishing the final versions of the Flash CS4 documentation, I’ve been working on some “quick start” articles around the new features. Those articles will appear in the Flash developer center soon – probably when Flash CS4 actually ships. (I’ve done one on the Vector class and one on the new FileReference functionality for accessing local files without a server round trip. Other colleagues have done cool things with dynamically generating audio and Pixel Bender – so I think it’ll definitely be worth a look.) Along with that, I’m working on new features for the next version of Adobe AIR. I also have a few side projects that I’ve been trying to make progress on as I can sneak in a minute here and there.