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Subject: Re: FLASH: A teacher wonders why ActionScript tutorials "bite"
From: pebbles
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 17:32:13 GMT

Hi Everybody,

I love this thread! Mostly becauseI just tried to give myself a crash course
in building a submission form in Flash with text boxes and radio buttons. It
wasn't pretty!

I'm a designer with 5+ yrs of basic html experience and I'm not a technical
genius (variables? tell target? huh?), but I get by. I thought a Flash form
would be similar to an html form, so I hit the on-line tutorials and
searched my e-mail archives for any advice I could find. But, many of the
finer points of Action Script were completely lost on me and I wound up
feeling like I was hitting my head on a brick wall! Ouch!

A few people resonded to my pleas for advice (thanks Erik and Daniel!) but
my form still would not submit my radio box data and I could not find an
answer on-line or in the books I had. Very frustrating! I even went to my
favorite bookstore to see if I could find a book on Lingo or anything
remotely close to Action Script. (or a programmer who could come over and
fix my script!) I did wind up buying two more Flash books and hoped for a
miracle or a visit from the Action Script fairy.

Anyway, it's too late to make this long story short, but I did somehow find
the answer I was looking for in "Flash 4, Creative Web Animation" by Derek
Franklin and Brooks Patton. The interactivity chapter was really helpful. It
did not directly answer my specific question, but it explained "set
varables" and "tell target" in a way that I could understand and I
discovered my form wasn't working because my radio button was a child movie
clip and I needed to tell the parent movie clip to set the variable.
Probably very logical and simple stuff for a programmer, but the on-line
tutorial I used to create the radio buttons did not spell this out for me.
Also, all the Macromedia Action Script help files were so "techy", they
scared the hell out of me. But for some reason, this book was much more
user-friendly and not at all over my head.

I think "Flash 4 Magic" could be helpful also, but I would really recommend
anyone who needs Action Script help to check out the "Creative Web
Animation" book. It helped me with my self-taught crash-course in creating
form that actually works and I think it will be a good reference as well. If
they can get through to me, that's a pretty big accomplishment!

Anyway, that's my 2 cents and my commercial for a book that totally saved my


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