Book review: Adobe Flex – Training from the source
A couple of weeks ago I read the book Flex 4 - Training from the source. It is the officially introduction book for Flex 4 from Adobe. I was very curious about the book, because I started learning Flex 3 with no good start. For Flex 4 I wanted to learn it how I like to learn new things.
The books starts with the typical introduction about Rich Internet Applications. I skipped this chapter, because it is always the same bla bla... The chapters 2 talks about the new Flash Builder IDE. Even I was pretty familiar with the IDE I could find some nice features during reading this chapters. So I learnt already something new. Especially, the chapter 3 and 4 gave me a really good introduction and understanding about the new layout architecture and component infrastructure. The chapters Handling Events, Using Remote XML Data, Creating Classes are not so interesting for an already experienced Flex Developer. The difference between Flex 3 and Flex 4 is not big in these cases. The chapter about Data Binding was good to read again, because Binding is very helpful but sometimes not so easy to deal with. I highly recommend the chapter 10 about DataGroups and Lists and the chapter 12 about Item Renderes. On these topics the change from Flex 3 to Flex 3 is very big. Unfortunately, the chapter 15 about Formatters and Validators is pretty outdatet, because Flex 4.5 offers new Spark based Formatters and Validators. The last three chapters about Skinning and custom Actionscript components are very basic written. For beginners easy to understand and experienced Flex Developers get an idea about the differences between Flex 3 and Flex 4 component development.
I have to admit I am keen on the book structure. The chapters are structured like school lessons. Every lessons has an approximate time, which works very well in my case. Additionally, it is very useful for organizing the learning with your daily schedule. However, every end of a chapter provides a good summary of the learnt content. So you automatically repeat the learnt stuff. The code examples are nice described and easy to work with, too.
Flex 4 - Training from the source is a really good book for Flex 4 beginners. Already experienced Flex Developers can get bored about some content. It depends on your learning type. I like reading books, so for me it was perfect to get an overview. If you like more reading online resources or watching video tutorials, then go for it. There are enough documentations and tutorials available.