Thursday, 28 September 2017

Learning Flash

Where do you get the ideas for your experiments from ?
The ideas for the experiments can literally come from anywhere . Sometimes by looking at someone else's work , sometimes by looking at something in the environment or  by reading about  mathematical formulas or physics concept . There's an old joke that says ,  " You know ,  you're addicted to flash when you say , " My favourite was.... " when you start looking at everything around you and say , 'I bet ,  I could do that on Flash."'

What and Who are your sources of inspiration ?
When I was started doing things on Flash , my two greatest  influences ,  were Joshua  Davis
  ( ) and Jared Tarbell ( ) . These days, I often have to go beyond the usual Flashes to see stuff ,  that really impresses me. There's some incredible  Java stuff happening out there too . Some great links are at

What would you say ,  to those who want to learn  : Advanced  Action Script? Credentials ? Programming experience?
The most important thing I always tell people is , to get the basics right . A lot of People , get  into these advanced open source flashes  and try to figure out what’s going on. I would say ,  get a copy of The Action Script, The Definitive Guide and read it cover  to cover . Then ,  you don't have to worry and think about commands , syntax, as they are just secondary . Then , you can start playing with it and get creative. Also, learn as much math and physics , as you can. I scan every bookstore I go past , looking for interesting titles, but most often , you can get more than enough information  , right on the web itself .

Which books would you recommend , if any?
As mentioned earlier , ASDG by Colin Mock ,  is the bible. Others depend on , which particular area you want to get into . I think Robert  Penner's Programming Flash is pretty good as well.

Which features / tools do you mostly use in Flash? What's your favourite Action Script function / tool?
I think my favourite , is the new features in Flash MX and the ones , I probably  use most often ,  are create Empty Movi e Clip and the drawing API tools. Many of my movies , consist of nothing but codes as all graphic elements are being created on the fly. It is about as pure as you can get from a programming point of view.

What would you like to see in the next Flash release?
Hmmm...there is so much in Flash MX , that I feel I've just  scratched the surface  last year. I'd like to see a command line compiler , that would create Swfs from pure Action Script files. Maybe better bitmap handling too .

How do you feel about Friends of ED shutting down?
It is sad. Of course , I had contributed 5 books to them and another one was just about to be printed, so it hit me personally . There are a lot of other people I know , who were in similar positions, not to mention the people who worked there. But of course ,  the bigger issue is that , the titles may not be available to the public now . I do think they may have oversaturated the market a little bit , but stil l, there were some excellent books there . It's sad to think that there won't be Foundation and Studio books for the future versions of Flash.

What music do you secretly listen to when no one is around...?
That 80's new wave stuff! Lately I've even been digging up some old 70's stuff ,  that I'd totally forgotten about . It brings you back.

What other programs are you avidly interested in ,  besides Flash?
Mainly ,  I've been getting into Java. I think it's the next greatest step for someone , who is well versed in Action Script. The structures are close enough to make you feel comfortable but it's much more disciplined . And once you experience the speed and power , you can get out of Java as Flash starts to feel a little "clunky".

Where do you see the future of Flash 5 years from now ?
That's something ,  I think a lot. Nothing lasts foreve r. Flash is the biggest thing now, and I don't see its death coming any time soon , but I think,  it's important for anyone in the field to keep abreast of any and all new technologies coming out , and not keep all their eggs in one basket. As far as where Flash will go, it seems to be heading more and more in the rich web application directions , component  and communication. A far cry from  anyone , anywhere , would have though it back , in the more "flashy" days of Flash 4 and 5. Also remember  ,  that the Director is alive and continues to develop. Unless they somehow merge , this will always put a limit on the areas that Flash will expand into , in order to keep these two applications separately .