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Foreword - Pg. ix

Foreword It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the range of options and possibilities that Adobe Flash ActionScript 3.0 presents to develop- ers. Where to start? What can Flash and ActionScript do? How has the technology changed? All of these questions are answered in this book, through the step by step exercises and the insightful writings of the Derrick Ypenburg. Flash has in recent years become a term to describe a whole ecosystem of technologies with vast capabilities. But how did Adobe Flash ActionScript become the programming powerhouse of today? Like most Internet- based technologies, Flash came from humble beginnings just over a decade ago, primarily as a quirky alternative to GIF animations. Flash acquired its first noteworthy program- ming capabilities with Macromedia Flash 4 at the end of the 1990s, which was a step up from Flash 3, which had only a handful of "com- mands." The Flash 4 language was perhaps too simple to call a scripting language. But designers and animators still managed to use it to push the boundaries of this technology, creating interactive animations never before seen on the Internet, simulating mature programming constructs, and even hacking their way into putting video on the timeline before Flash had video publishing capabilities. Countless creative people in the print and Web industries--artists, graphic designers, Web developers--became intrigued with the exciting, creative capabilities of this technol- ogy, and made the switch to Flash. Foreword ix