Flash 8 Cookbook (O’Reilly, 2006) by Joey Lott with Jeffrey Bardzell, Ezra Freedman, Kris Honeycutt and Robert Reinhardt is one of the O’Reilly coolbook series. These books approach the topic as a series of tiny tasks, which they call problems. The solution to each problem is suggested with step-by-step instructions about how to do whatever is suggested. Each problem and solution is a “recipe,” thus the cookbook metaphor. Sometimes there is more than one way to solve a problem. When that happens, each option is explained.
Every aspect of Flash 8 is included. Tools, Libraries, Action Scripts, Variables: whatever it takes is explained. There’s a chapter on “Deploying Flash on Mobile Devices” and one on “Making Movies Accessible.”
This is not the kind of book you go through to learn Flash as a beginner. It’s the kind of book you keep on the shelf and pull out 18 times a week because it quickly explains how to do the one thing you are struggling with at the moment. It’s the kind of book you open first to the Index, then find a page, read for a minute or two, and bingo! you know how to do what you’re trying to do.
I find the clear, easy to understand writing in this book admirable. I know how hard it is to do, and it’s done very well here.
It isn’t a book you could build a semester’s projects around, but I definitely recommend it as a valuable classroom resource and a reference-ya-gotta-have for Flash 8 users who’ve mastered the basics.