Introduction to ActionScript 2.0/Introduction

Introduction to ActionScript 2.0
Introduction Variables and Data Type

ActionScript is the programming language used in Flash projects. This book is intended to help anyone, including those without programming experience, to learn ActionScript and programming in general.

Note that if you have programming experience, this book will be quite easy for you. If your previous language is JavaScript, you may even want to skip the some of the 'bare basics' parts.

This book assumes that you know basic Flash operations. Before you start, make sure you can:

  • open a new file in Flash
  • create a symbol and drag a symbol onto the stage
  • set a frame as a keyframe
  • import music into Flash

If you do not, check out the official documentation for your version of Flash first.

What this book does not aim to do

  • This book is not about the production of Flash games or websites. The information presented in this book should be helpful for all novice Flash programmers, not just those who would like to create a game or interactive website.
  • This book is not for your PhD thesis. More advanced aspects of ActionScript, such as interfaces and BitmapData, are not covered. To learn more, get a more advanced book or check out the official ActionScript documentation.
  • This book is not here to teach you animation. ActionScript is intended for interactive multimedia elements such as games and websites. If you want to learn animation, find a book that teaches you to animate with Flash.

It is often said that ActionScript's simplicity allows non-programmers to program. This is not our aim here; rather, we hope to make you into a programmer through the simple language that is ActionScript. What are you waiting for? Let's start!

Hang on... why am I still learning AS2?


Firstly, some folks have pre-Adobe versions of Flash that don't support AS3, and don't want to learn FlashDevelop/Flex development. AS2 are obviously the only choice for these people.

Secondly, AS2 is easier for novice programmers. Although some elements of AS2, often with roots in ECMAScript, may be deemed bad practice (weak typing, absolute addresses, user-defined global variables, code inside instances...), this book does not encourage the use of these elements. The reader is strongly recommended to adhere by the principles described in this book, which will not only improve your programming skills but also smooth your future migration to AS3.