Don't Learn Actionscript...?
I am just writing this in response to this post from Flash Insider:
I certainly agree that it is great to look at other languages to cross-reference the similarities, but to what end?
Most non-programming Flash users are designers. Explaining methods, classes, events, etc in other programming models will not do much other than confuse someone that is trying to add a little code to their Flash work for the first time.
Designers tend to understand how assets in Flash behave, like MovieClips, Textfields, Video, etc, therefore starting to learn programming in Flash with Actionscript is easier to explain to them because it is based on a system of events that a designer can actually see for themselves. Once they get a good grasp on it there, it surely opens the gateway to learn other programming models.
On another yet similar note,
These days alot of developers are coming into the world of Flash. They are being beconed in by tools such as Flex. These types of tools abstract the bottom layer of what Flash actually is, and makes Flash development seem much more like other familiar models.
This is great but the truth is, that the deep understanding of Flash not Actionscript has led to most of the brilliant work that really stands out over the last 6+ years. So many people in the development community these days curse at the timeline in Flash and state how they are looking at tools for development that hide it away. The only reason that occurs is because many of those people have not taken the time to explore Flash at it's simplest level to see how powerful it actually is.
I had to work with a team of Java developers at SNL Financial last year. They were new to Flash and immediately jumped right into Actionscript to start building things. While they were able to do great things, it wasn't until they were shown the simplest tricks of Flash timelines that their eyes lit up with real intrest. The Flash timeline may not be like other programming models, but that is the reason why Flash has become so popular over the years, not Actionscript.
So to conclude, while all these designers are out there trying to pick up all of these different programming languages to help them with their Flash work, maybe more developers should take some time to learn how to use a traditional Flash timeline for tweening. And if they did, maybe they could also take a look at
- After Effects
- SVG authoring tools
- 3DS Max
That could really help developers understand visual interface and motion design at a higher level...........
It would also confuse and annoy the crap out of most of thedeveloper community to even take the time to do such a thing. All those tools are similar in the fact that they have timelines, and key frames and tweening. But they are all so different in implementation that it would take a while to wrap your head around all of it, and to be able to use and understand them all.
So in final, I would recomend that Flash designers looking to add some interactivity to their work, stick to Flash and Actionscript. It is a great learning tool and will open thet gateway to bigger things when you are ready.