From the book lists at Adware Report:

All information current as of 01:19:35 Pacific Time, Tuesday, 14 December 2004.

Flash ActionScript for Designers: Drag, Slide, Fade

   by Brendan Dawes

    New Riders Press
    15 October, 2001


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Editorial description(s):

From Library Journal
Guides to using Flash abound (see Computer Media, LJ 1/02 and LJ 5/1/01), but these two do an exceptional job of highlighting more advanced techniques and helping developers push the boundaries of the software's capabilities. Helping intermediate Flash users learn by example, ActionScript focuses entirely on using Flash's built-in scripting language from a designer's perspective. All exercises and source code are located on a companion web site. For advanced developers, Samurai assumes a solid foundation in ActionScript, as well as additional web languages. Its useful features include "showcase" projects (available on the companion CD-ROM), which demonstrate covered techniques. Topics include 3-D, dynamic Flash, and integrating Flash with XML and JavaScript. Larger libraries should consider both where advanced design titles circulate.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Book News, Inc.
Presents ten practical techniques for adding ActionScript code to enhance Flash web design projects. The author explains how to drag and drop movie clips, create sliding panels for navigation, control sound, capture user input, add typographic effects, and read XML files as a source for buttons and menus.Copyright © 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Book Info
A visual approach to explaining and exploring the power of ActionScript for those who design with it. Softcover.

From the Publisher
One of the brightest stars in the Flash development world is a designer, Brendan Dawes. Go figure. DragSlideFade is the number one book on Action Scripting for non-programmers because he takes an at-times complex technology and makes it cool to learn for those of us who love actionscripting's power, but who can't stand those dull, gray programming books. If you're a professional designer who needs a thoughtful, visually stimulating access into ramping up on the power beneath Flash's hood, get this book.

About the Author

Brendan Dawes is Creative Director for magneticNorth, an interactive agency based in Manchester in the U.K. Since 1996, he's worked on interactive solutions for clients such as Disney, Coca-Cola, Golden Winder, Fox Kids, Volvic, Kellogg's, Benetton, and McCann Healthcare.

Before 1996, Brendan did a variety of jobs, including working as a freelance photographer for U.K. national newspapers and working in the electronics industry. He also dabbled in the music industry for a short time, landing a record contract with indie dance label "3 Beat Music" in Liverpool.

As well as commercial work, Brendan also has personal projects, including the highly acclaimed Saul Bass web site at, and its quirky offshoot, Psycho Studio, an application built entirely in Flash that allows you to edit your own version of the shower scene from the movie Psycho! Over the years Brendan's work has been featured in many industry publications and books and received various awards, including three Shockwave Sites of the Day, a nomination in the New York Flash Film Festival, and Webby awards. He also writes Dreamweaver extensions and wrote the official QuickTime extension in conjunction with Apple and Macromedia. Brendan is also a regular speaker at industry conferences around the world.

Book Description
A visual approach to explaining and exploring the power of ActionScript for those who design with it. Organized according to differing creative areas, each basic type of project is deconstructed, with components broken down and ActionScript code explained; variations are then suggested. Four-color, with lots of visuals and annotated code.

Reader review(s):

false premise, November 8, 2001
Here we go again with another book from New Riders with great layout and graphics but content not worth the paper it's written on. Brendan Dawes states that this book is for designers with little scripting background. He states that if readers can pick up the programming skills needed to relax and "feel creative".

ActionScript consists of understanding methods, classes and objects and placing error free code in the correct places (timelines or on symbols) and careful testing. This book teaches none of that.The book is full of "monkey see, monkey do" excercises. A careful reader can follow and repeat the tricks, but that's about it. No reader can walk away and begin coding based on the content in this book.

Book not as user friendly as I had hoped, January 9, 2002
Do not buy this book if you are a beginning flash user. It is definately targeted towards the intermediate user who has a rudimentary knowledge of actionscript. I have done some basic action script in the past and I still found the book a bit hard to follow more than assumes the user knows a lot without explanation.

There are also many errors in the book as well...take this excerpt from the "dragslidefade" online forum: "I too was looking forward to this book. It was a cool idea but it does contain an unusual amount of errors. These are things such as discrepancies between screen grabs and text, code errors and places where all three come together and you just get lost. Sorry but the book seems to have been rushed out without being checked properly. This should have been a primary concern - especially when it is aimed at people who are learning Flash 5 which can be a confusing and frustrating experience in its own right at times."

It's a nice looking book, but you know the old adage...In my opinion, the book is just not as "designer friendly" as it claims to be, especially if you're new to Flash. I'm sure there are a lot of designers out there who will love this book...I'm just not one of them.

Flash ActionScript for Designers, May 10, 2002
Hate to be negative, but this book is not what I had hoped it would be. I'm an ActionScript junkie, and I find the greatest problem w/DSF is that it assumes too much, uses info out of nowhere wo/ explanation & often leads you down paths that dead end. EX: chp 3, "Coding the Slide Algorithm". The author tells you to check the x position of an instance vs. variable w/an "if" statement placed in a Frame Action . However, the code is incomplete (no closing "}"), and the later screen shot of the "complete code" does not include the "if" statement. So, what I am I to do with this code? Why is it there? It includes a variable that isn't even declared yet (bottom of page, 2 pages later), so what is it? How do I get it? Which totally detracts from the lesson. These questions and frustrations arise again and again...and you spend more time trying to figure them out instead of learning the uses and applications of the ActionScript itself. The author should have somebody proofing for copy errors, and someone proofing for AS errors and oversights.

Just what Flash designers have been waiting for - Fantastic!, November 6, 2001
Fantastic Book!

This book doesn't pretend to be the definitive, or the bible, or promise to teach you everything you need to know in 24 hours. Better than those types of books, it does exactly what it says on the tin! This book should definitely be in your Flash library

If you are a designer who has envied sites that show off beautiful fluid motion, and wondered how they do it, then go no further. Brendan Dawes reveals that you don't have to be a programmer, or spend the next year learning ActionScript in order to create interactive, fluid motion Flash movies.

This book was top of my list of new books to get, it is exactly what I want. Clear, concise, easy to understand explainations, delivered as if it is a friend explaining the techniques to me.
On top of the quality of the content, the quality of the book is great too! A lovely touchy, feely book.

Great, great, great.

Just what the Flash designers have been waiting for.

Stimulates both sides of your brain-, October 26, 2001
Perfect writing style for the material. The conversational tone is engaging and assuring while you are working with the coding techniques. One chapter-One effect format keeps you focused on understanding the relationships of the code segments described in each chapter. State-of-the-art graphic design is engineered through the insertion of code into a Flash movie. DRAGSLIDEFADE boldly illustrates Flash's transformation from a graphics program into a cross-platform programming language.

A must have on any new media designer's shelf, November 19, 2001
What can I say,

this book just blew me away. It easily sits next to Hillman Curtis' book as a must have for any Flash Designer's shelf. For the first time someone was able to really explain and interest me further into the nature of programming and more specifically, Actionscript.

I had always known that the real power of Flash since version 5 lie in its Actionscript but up until now I was a bit intimidated to say the least. I had done it, learned it, but for the first time a book made me feel comfortable about it.

The book presentation itself is absolutely stunning. It has some serious girth to it. If you were to glance at this book on the shelf you would see it has the same Widescreen Type format as the Magic books. However, the content in this book is tightly packed and dwarves the amount you find in those Flash Magic book. Heck, it dwarves the Flash Web Design books by the aforementioned Hillman Curtis. This book has the same amount of content as a Friends of Ed book all wrapped in a lingerie like wrapper.

In other words. This book is very tasty. *-)

About time!!!, November 6, 2001
I just bought this book in Amsterdam at the Flash Forward conference. As a self confessed Flash/Actionscript book junkie I am really impressed by this title. Books on this subject tend to fall into one of two catagories - very basic or advanced scripting - Drag, Slide, Fade doesn't. It is squarely aimed at the designer who is comfortable using Flash and wants to know how to do cool scripted effects using their artwork and the software. It has a relaxed writing style and is easy to read through - well designed layouts help too. I've seen Brendan Dawes talk at several different events over the years and the title reflects his no-nonsense easy to grasp style. If you are a Flash designer looking to improve your scripting skills then this is the title to do it...

Umm... Where's the meat?, December 7, 2001
First of all the book is beautiful as it seems New Riders likes to put 'em out. I'm all for coffee table books. But not when it comes to Flash design.

I want to read code to make me think about other code, and more code on top of that. I want my coding to improve so that my imagination won't be stifled as my skills won't warrant heavy creative ideas yet. I like nice design, and I am by no means a great scripter, but I think that this book went about 40% of the way that it should have gone.

This book is pretty vanilla and full of fairly useless examples. There are quite a few coding errors throughout and overall I get a lot of eyecandy with nothing to hold it up. Brendan and Hillman have great reputations... but what's this book all about. Sorry - I just didn't like it. I wanted a lot more.

Dragging is not such a drag anymore!, November 25, 2001
I got the book yesterday, and today I've already done things I thought I couldn't do. This is the first book that walks me through the code so that I understand what I'm doing and can apply it to my work. I also love that he explains effects I can really use.

I've just completed the projects in chapter two, "Drag," and already I've learned more about movie clips than I had in the last four months. Finally someone has written a book on Flash that is clear and interesting and, best of all, immediately useful.

Flawed, but a good place to start, July 29, 2002
Despite its flaws, DSF is an approachable, friendly text. Admitably, DSF is chock full of flaws in the code. I came to it with no previous programming skills, and limited Flash experience. That said, DSF got me going. It introduced fundamental coding concepts and de-mystified a ton of things for me. Frankly, I found the errors frustrating at first, but once I logged on to the DSF forum and learned that I was not alone (nor crazy), the errors proved to be valuable learning tools. DSF gave me enough foundational information that I could debug the errors in the book -leading to an enhanced learning experience. When the code failed, I was forced to go over it line by line and see where the problems were.That process made me learn Action Script better than I had expected. I had to work rather methodically to get through it, but in the end, I'm a better action-scripter for it. If you are looking for ready-made formulas, go to Flash Kit. If you want to learn, get a book -even this one and get down to work.

This a must have for anyone using flash., February 6, 2002
This book is fantastic for anyone who's using flash but hasn't got into the interactive side of things yet.Brendan Dawes has written in such a simple way that scripting interactive projects,(whether you're an artist or a designer or just a user of flash),doesn't seem daunting or impossible anymore, it's explained completely, step by step and makes you realise fully the possibilities of flash and its capability as a creative tool.
Buy this book now, it's without a doubt the best book on action scripting that I've ever seen and it's helped me open my mind to the endless creative possibilities of using flash to change the veiwer of your work into the user of your work.

Good for beginner to learn some tricks, December 10, 2001
Sometimes a book written for 'Designers' is equivalent to a book written for beginners---and this is how I feel when reading the book. The good thing of the book is most examples covered are easy to follow, and the technique explained are some useful techniques we see so often these days. The bad thing is this book can't really give you a solid foundation on actionscript such as Colin Moock's, nor provide great design insight like hillman curtis book provides. It's like a book with some flash examples that it just doesn't worth 45 dollars when there are plenty of these tutorials in the web already. The good thing is I still have 3 weeks to decide if I should return this book :)

TOO many errors, March 2, 2003
Very disappointed in buying this book as it has so many errors. For a beginner, it will be very frustrating to deal with. Very disappointed because I know the author is a Flash expert. Very disappointed that the Author, Editors and Technical Writers rushed this book out onto the market before testing, thoroughly, the examples in this step-by-step book. The only ones who will truly benefit from this book are the advanced readers versed in ActionScript as they have the knowledge to pick-up on errors. ActionScript newbies.... you will be very frustrated with this book.

DragSlideKickAss, November 29, 2001
Anyone who has ever seen one of Brendans talks over the last couple of years will want this book without even reading the reviews. Sure enough, DSF is very much in Brens inimitable style. The book is written with a knowledge and a passion seldom found in this kind of publication and far from being a set of exercises for designers to follow, this book really will give a good foundation in actionscripting to even the most scriptophobic designers. If you are a Flash designer, this book WILL make your life easier.

missed the mark, February 5, 2004
This book claims to take the fear out of programming but it jumps right into writing raw code in "Advanced" mode as opposed to coding in "Normal" mode which I would assume to be the logical first step.

The author does a good job of introducing the ActionScript language by using metaphors but failed to get me to actually program anything.

This book is not for designers, maybe it is for programmers but, I would guess that programmers would require more depth than this book provides.

Great for learning common ActionScript tasks, May 9, 2003
This book is great for learning how some of the great Flash tricks are done. I'm not a designer or Flash programmer by trade, but after perusing this book I was able to employ my knowledge of similar ECMA languages to ActionScript and create sliding and fading effects as well as a few others.

Highly recommended for someone trying to expand their ActionScript toolset.

-Steve Parks
Macromedia Certified Instructor
Macromedia Certified Advanced Cold Fusion MX Developer
Cold Fusion Developer's Journal Contributing Author

Has Its Ups and Downs, March 9, 2003
As others have stated, this book has errors, and what's worse those errors are not even pointed out on the book's website. The least the author/publisher could do is keep the website up-to-date.

The good part is this book does contain some interesting effects with ActionScript, but this is not a book for ActionScript beginners. It is for people with either some background in ActionScript already, or with JavaScript. Otherwise, you will be frustrated very quickly. The quality of the physical publication is quite high with excellent paper stock, full color throughout and long book width. New Riders, to their credit, rarely produces cheap physical products.

In all, this book has some good meaty content, but poor technical editing to catch the errors mars its overall usefulness; hence the mixed review.

Errors, errors errors, July 14, 2002
This book is FULL of errors in its code. Unless you know actionscript well enough to figure out the errors on your own to make the code work, you'll be very disappointed. I am thankful I bought it used and didn't pay full price. Avoid this book and save yourself a lesson in frustration. I think he wrote it with the motivation to make people think actionscript is very hard and thus limit his competition.

Finally! The Designers point of view., March 7, 2002
Brendan Dawes hit a perfect score in my opinion! DragSlideFade, is the perfect addition to any flash designers arsenals! the step by step explanations are just what the doctor ordered. Designers can now test the potential of Flash 5. DragSlideFade has prepared me for the next level, ActionScript the Definitive Guide by Colin Moock.

Errors.....errors.....errors, March 2, 2003
I bought this book with much excitement based on the examples I was going to learn through the step and step approach. Brenden assumes you have some knowledge of ActionScript and therefore assumes that you can pick-up on his errors and correct them for yourself. For a newbie who is learning ActionScript for the first time should not be learning from a book with so many errors. Not only is this very, very frustrating for a newbie but it quells the excitement of a newbie from learning least for awhile. The book was probably rushed out to the stores without thoroughly testing the examples.

Wow! I'm starting to "get it"..., January 23, 2003
This is the first book on beginner/intermediate Action Scripting that actually broke through the barrier for me. I just purchased it today and already through chapter 1... I have a clearer idea on how dot._syntax=works. (sorry!) New Rider's seem to have a good grasp and, for the most part, release books that speak to me. There are some great ideas and I like how the author displays more than 1 way to do it with AS!

Great Book to get started with Coding, October 25, 2002
If you are new to coding, or are looking for alternatives to manual shape tweens, get this book. Clear, fun and engaging.

A must have book!, July 27, 2002
As a public teacher, I own a number of Flash books, and read through even more at the local B&N. This is a definite must-have book for incorporating common designer techniques. With many application-type books, there is an expectation that the reader is familiar with coding, specifically C/C++ syntax as well as the basics of even-driven coding, parent/child relationships & inheritance. While this book gives a quick overview, it is recommended a beginner or intermediate course in C++ be a pre-requisite. Many of the errors were very difficult to locate in the text and web site. This is not a book to teach you coding, its really a book to teach you how to apply existing coding practices to the world of actionscripts. While Hillman Curtis got Brenden the "go" with New Rider publishing, they are not to be compared with each other. Brenden's book is a coding book (backend), Hillman's book is more the marketing aspects of why to design, with the "front end" timeline and move object generation of Flash. Both are must have book, along with a Flash Magic book (pick your flavor). Always remember that the real learning comes from breaking the code down, trying new things, and asking yourself "what-if." This book is great for seeing coding from a designers perspective, and attaching function calls, and array-based object coding to Flash in a unique way. I'm definatley better as both a coder, and actionscripter from reading it.

Just what Flash designers have been waiting for - Fantastic!, November 6, 2001
Fantastic Book!

This book doesn't pretend to be the definitive, or the bible, or promise to teach you everything you need to know in 24 hours. Better than those types of books, it does exactly what it says on the tin! This book should definitely be in your Flash library

If you are a designer who has envied sites that show off beautiful fluid motion, and wondered how they do it, then go no further. Brendan Dawes reveals that you don't have to be a programmer, or spend the next year learning ActionScript in order to create interactive, fluid motion Flash movies.

This book was top of my list of new books to get, it is exactly what I want. Clear, concise, easy to understand explainations, delivered as if it is a friend explaining the techniques to me.
On top of the quality of the content, the quality of the book is great too! A lovely touchy, feely book.

Great, great, great.

Just what the Flash designers have been waiting for.

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