Action Script The Flash Animation Programming Language
When you decide to develop an application, you should have fun with the experience that you go through, it shouldn't be a headache to you, or give you a hard time. If you are having a nightmare developing an application, then you my friend, are not doing the right thing, or using the right tools.
If developing an application becomes a nightmare for you, then you are probably not as skilled as you might think, using the application development tools, that are available to you, to make your life and your work, much easy.
Before, you start developing an application, you may want to make sure you familiarize yourselves, with a programming language, which you can easily learn; then you can go ahead and develop your application, before then, don’t even try to develop any application or else you will have a hard time.
In today's article, we are going to be talking about ActionScript, and all the important features, which allow developers to accomplish many tasks, in the cyber world, particularly flash animations. Flash animations are a cool way to present data and allow your users and visitors to interact with your application or website.
If you would like to learn, how to do cool stuff with Flash, then ActionScript is the language that you may want to learn, if you don’t know this language already. If you are an expert with this language however, then you may want to make sure, that you keep your skills sharpened.
ActionScript, was developed to help programmers, do some nice tricks with Flash, but you have to know what you are doing though.
The Adobe Flash player and the Adobe Air run time, use ActionScript version 3, as their main programming language.
Learning this language, is not an easy thing to do, but if you do a thorough reading and research of this programming language, then you will find yourselves writing code, in ActionScript, very soon.
Okay, we will jump, right into the syntax of the ActionScript programming language, that way, you'll get a picture, of what the language is all about.
Let me say this first though, ActionScript is an object-oriented programming (OOP) language. We don't cover any OOP terms on this article, if you don't know OOP yet, you may want to go, and learn the basic concepts of OOP first, because we do use many of the OOP terms available on this article post.
Alright, let’s talk coding rules and the principles of ActionScript now; when you write code, you must follow a set of rules, these set of rules are also known, as the programming language's syntax.
The symbols, characters and words, which can be used, by any programming language, are all dictated and directed, by the syntax of that programming language.
The way your code is structured, is also dictated, by the syntax of the programming language you decide to use, in this case we are talking about ActionScript.
When you first learn a programming language, you will be making a lot of syntax errors, because these types of errors are among the most common errors made, by developers and programmers, who are beginners or experienced at programming. If you are a beginner, expect to see lots of syntax errors, when you deploy your application.
Therefore, learn well the syntax, of any programming language, and you will be the master of that programming language. The logic and skills will come after, you understand the syntax of that programming language, in this case we are talking about ActionScript.
If your code contains syntax errors though, then your application will not work properly, or it will not deploy at all. So you have to make sure you eliminate, any syntax errors you may find on your code, before you are able to execute it.
When you work with ActionScript, you'll find that this programming language, is a case sensitive language, so when you create your variables, with the same name, but different cases, are two different variables.
So for example, foo and Foo are two different variable names, with that being said, you need to be careful, when you name your variables, in ActionScript, due the case sensitivity. Variable are data holders, which you can use throughout your program, to manipulate your data.
In ActionScript, you should also know that, at the end of each of your statements, you should always terminate them, with a semi colon (;) character, so that the compiler can easily read your code. When you don’t terminate your statements with a semicolon, you will see a syntax error, which would not allow you to compile or deploy your code.
The syntax of ActionScript, allows you to use parenthesis, in three different ways, you can use parenthesis, in order to pass a parameter to a function or to a method.
You can also use parenthesis, in order to evaluate a series of expressions, or you can use parenthesis, in order to change the order of operations in an expression.
A block in ActionScript, is one or more lines of code, enclosed in curly brackets, which are used to form classes, methods, loops, conditional statements, and functions.
A white-space in ActionScript is anything that is represented by, a space, tab, line break, or a new line.
Also, ActionScript has keywords and reserved words, which means that you have to be very careful, when you name your variables, you need to know and research for yourselves, which keywords and reserved words, you are not allowed to use to name variables. We will not mention the long list of reserved word, which is available in the ActionScript website.
You will find that, when you learn ActionScript, you will mostly be doing animations, so you need to understand the basic concepts of animations.
Besides, if you are creating a Flash animation, you would have to learn some basic animation concepts. If you don’t learn the basics of animations, then you will have a hard time, trying to write code to create animations.
The earliest versions of Flash, has animation at its core; Flash is able to fill in through tween, what is in between your key-frames, once you have created your frames.
In Flash you’ll find that, there are two different types of tweens, you’ll find the motion tween, which is an animation that is created by specifying different values, for an object property in different frames.
You’ll also find in Flash, the shape tween, which involves drawing a vector shape, on one specific keyframe in the Timeline, and then creating another keyframe, and drawing another shape on that second keyframe.
An animation exists, to give life to in-animated things online; animation is also able to make things more interesting, which were not as interesting before.
Animations can also inspire to act, because it fills in with spirit, courage and energy, things that were not able to inspire users before.
Animation, means motion or change over time, of some type of object, which changes visually, to create movement online.
When something changes in position, over time, then you have what we all know as motion; meaning that one minute it is over here, and then the next minute it is over there.
An object is not considered to be animated, only if it changes its location though, it could also change its shape.
Alright, we won't talk a lot about animations, because it is not the scope of this article post; however, we had to touch a bit on it, because animations are all your ActionScript code, will be manipulating for you.
ActionScript is also, a programming language, which is used to load interactive Flash content, and shares most of its syntax, with other object-oriented, strongly typed programming languages.
If you are not an experienced programmer, it will take you sometime, and a lot of work to master this programming language.
But you can really pick it up, if you continue to do your research, and read the documentation.
Fear not and do your reading, your mind will naturally wrap your head, around this programming language and in no time, you will be an experienced ActionScript programmer, if you aren't already.
When you want to create, Flash content, which is dynamic, customizable, reusable, and responsive, then you may want to use ActionScript.
Even though, Flash does not need, the power of ActionScript, to create animations, because Flash itself is a powerful animation tool.
ActionScript, helps you load images, play audio and video, draw anything pro-grammatically, load XML files or any type of data file, and it helps you create animations, which responds to the user's events, when they click, or do something on with your animations.
The power of ActionScript, is undoubtedly amazing, and it brings the best out of Flash animations.
You may want to learn, all the major parts of the Flash platform though, and understand how they work together, in order for you to be able to fully wrap your head around ActionScript.
Besides, in the Flash universe, ActionScript is the primary programming language, that is being used by most developers and programmers, around the world.
ActionScript, is an organized, series of statements, which is written in a plain text file, using new lines, tabs, and spaces, so that is it easier for the user to read.
ActionScript files are named, class files, because they usually hold the ActionScript code inside of a class, and are generally created to contain only one public class.
As mentioned earlier, curly brackets are usually used in ActionScript, to enclose one or more statements, to form a class, a method or a conditional statement.
If you don’t know what a class is, you need to study object oriented programming.
In ActionScript, almost any code in your file, is enclosed in curly brackets, because blocks, group together, similar statements or related code, and enable variables to have a local scope.
In ActionScript, a variable represents a number, a characters, a string, or some other type of data.
Variables, can change values, and can be assigned to other variables, or passed to functions as arguments.
Variables are containers, which are used to hold pieces of information, inside your code, so that your program can perform some operations, with that data.
Variables, can also be referred to as properties or fields, when they are part of a class.
Before you can use a variable, you have to define it, in ActionScript.
It is easy to define a variable, in ActionScript, a variable declaration in ActionScript, would look similar to this, var food: String; All variable in ActionScript must contain the reserved keyword var, then this is followed, by the name of the variable, which can be any word or string of letters.
But the name of that variable, must not be a reserved keyword, so be aware of them, also you must remember that ActionScript, is case sensitive; therefore, food and Food are two different variable names.
The String part you see on the variable declaration, is the data type of your variable, which defines the type of information, which your variable can hold.
ActionScript has other data-types, such as Boolean data type, int data type, Null data type, Number data type, String data type, uint data type, void data type, and Object data type.
Each one of these types are explained, in other articles post, we could give you an explanation right now; but we will not cover them here, however, do your own research and figure out these other data-types, so that you may freely use them.
You have only scratched the surface, by reading this article post, you need to do more research, and figure out more about this wonderful computer language, which can accomplish many thing for you.
Don't give up either, because it will be a hard journey, ActionScript, will not be easy to learn, but you can learn it, with a lot of work and determination.
Thank you for reading this post!!!