I’m currently working on my next book, Effortless Flex 4 Development. This is an entirely new title for me and my first full-length book on Flex. It’ll be published by New Riders, which is a sister publisher to Peachpit Press, that I normally work with. Most of the books I’ve written have been in the Visual QuickStart/QuickPro Guide series, which has a scripted format. This book will not be, so you won’t see the step-by-step instructions everywhere (there will be some) or the two-column format. I just submitted the third chapter, so I’ve now written about 90 pages or so, approximately one-quarter of the book. Here’s the rough table of contents, for those that are interested.The book is structured in three roughly-equal parts. The first part discusses the absolute basics: the framework, the tools, creating basic applications, user interface elements, ActionScript, and events. The second part of the book focuses on data and client-server communications. This includes: the different data formats; displaying, formatting, and validating data in the client; and then retrieving data from the server. All of the server examples will use PHP and you’ll see the PHP code, the underlying database structure, and the MXML/ActionScript involved. The emphasis here will be on lots of real-world examples using all the different formats and likely actions (e.g., posting to PHP, retrieving XML from a server, using AMF, and so forth). The third part of the book rounds out the application development know-how. There are two primary threads in these chapters: UI improvements (menus, skins, styles, effects, etc.) and development process improvements (modularization, profiling, etc.)
So, with that in mind, here’s what I’m working with for starters. It’ll undoubtedly change and there are a few things I want to fit in somewhere, like accessibility. As always, any thoughts, questions, and suggestions are most welcome!
Introduction -------------- Part 1: The Fundamentals Chapter 1: Building Flex Applications A Survey of the Parts Using Flash Builder A Cheaper, Slower Alternative Deploying Applications Getting Help Chapter 2: Basic User Interface Elements Application Layouts Simple Controls Creating Forms Chapter 3: The ActionScript You Need to Know Data Binding Syntax Comments Simple Data Types Control Structures Arrays Creating Functions Best practices Chapter 4: Event Management The Event Phases User Events Application Events Handling Events with ActionScript Preventing Events -------------- Part 2: Data and Communications Chapter 5: Common Data Formats XML JSON AMF Chapter 6: Simple Local Data Interactions Displaying Data Formatting Data Validating Data Using Local Data Files Chapter 7: Simple Remote Data Interactions Sending and Retrieving Text (HTTPService) Sending and Retrieving XML (HTTPService) Sending and Retrieving JSON (HTTPService) Chapter 8: Smarter Remote Data Interactions WebServices/SOAP/WSDL RemoteObjects/AMF -------------- Part 3: Application Development Chapter 9: Modularization Creating Custom Components Using Modules Using Runtime Shared Libraries Chapter 10: Creating a Fuller Experience Menus Navigation View States Creating Histories Deep Linking Accessibility Chapter 11: Windows and Popups Alerts Popups ToolTips Changing Window Behavior Chapter 12: Improving the Appearance Multimedia Style Sheets Skins Chapter 13: Effects and More Events Effects Drag and Drop Custom Events Chapter 14: Testing and Deploying Testing Techniques Profiling an Application Improving Performance Network Monitoring Customizing the Deployment