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Subject: Re: FLASH: A teacher replies to Cheri et al
From: julie
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 21:30:24 GMT

I am very glad to read the replies to your original post. It's nice to know
that a few other people are as confused as me. The longer I work with Flash
4, the more frustrated I have felt. I realize the possibilities of this
language, but every time I try to implement even slightly complex
ActionScripting (which we have been calling Flingo at the company I work
for) I can't get it to work and I don't know what I am doing wrong, so I
just revert back to Flash 3 methods and end up with 500 frame files, with
millions of go to actions, that could probably be 50 frames if I knew how to
program them correctly. The books I've seen have only added to my
frustration. They are just like the Flash 2 and 3 books except they add one
tiny chapter on ActionScripting.

I don't know any programming languages (except for html- which I don't think
counts), so stupid little things confuse me. I know that I could ask a
question to this list and invariably someone will give me a code that will
work for almost anything I want to do, but I won't understand how to do it
on my own and that is what I want to be able to do. Because otherwise I
will just end up remaking things that have already been done.

Everyone keeps mentioning the fact that basic programming has helped them.
Is there another programming language that anyone can recommend I learn that
will help me with ActionScripting? I am currently trying to learn lingo,
but I have heard that it won't really help.

I don't think it is the responsibility of the people who write to this list
to post long explanations to this language (however I do think that
Macromedia seriously dropped the ball with their incredibly brief book to
Flash 4). I have ordered the Flash 4 Bible and I have high hopes that it
will help someone as confused as me. Has anyone read through Flash 4
Magic....how is that book?

thanks for reading my rant,

> From: Tom Green <tgreen17athome [dot] com>
> Reply-To: flasheratchinwag [dot] com
> Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 08:58:02 -0500
> To: flasheratchinwag [dot] com
> Subject: Re: FLASH: A teacher replies to Cheri et al
> Cheri Harder wrote:
> <snip>
> butprobably not the time, nor the know-how of writing tutorials) I don't think
>> I would know where to start.
> Cheri: You start at the beginning. Step1- Open Flash.
>> As a "geek" so to speak (and a poetic one at
>> that) I have been studying "variables" and "While Loops" and Cursors and
>> Case and If..then..else for 12 years. It would be difficult to know where
>> to start in a tutorial. Do you start from "this is what a variable is" or
>> do you assume they know some programming terminoligy?
> Here's a little technique I use to get the student to understand a variable. I
> tell the student a variable is simply a baggie that holds information. The
> neat thing about it is that it can be given a name. Rather than get them
> thinking tecchie, I usually use "ScumSuckingPig" as the name. This has become
> so popular that the students usually work in a drawing of the class mascot- a
> ScumSuckingPig. Quite effective. As an aside, when the college submitted its
> application as an Authorized Macromedia Training Centre, we submitted a video
> of me running a complex Director coding class. We hit a custom variable -
> moveIt- and when I asked the class for another name, they said, in unison,
> "Scum Sucking Pig". So somewhere at the mothership is an example of the
> ScumSuckingPig.
>> How much do you assume? Nothing?
> Yes. You can't go leaping into John's stuff, for instance, without a logical
> progression. The first ActionScript command I teach is stop.Then I move into
> the button actions to navigate. Then, step-by-step, I inch them closer to
> John's preloader.
> People learn by doing so each lesson has a unique project associated with it.
> One of my groups had their first ActionScript class yesterday. We created a
> simple Flash Movie that involved a spinning record that moved offscreen into
> place. ( Importing .ai art, creating symbols, creating movie clips, using
> motion tween) . A tone arm runs onto the stage. ( Creating a button with no
> down state. Defining a hit area. Using Transform or the rotate tool). The logo
> fades onto the page. ( Setting and tweening Alpha). The user is prompted to
> put
> the tone arm onto the record. ( Enable Button Actions). And when the arm goes
> on the record a sound plays. (Import a sound) When they roll off the sound
> stops. As you can see the first step is Assemble the Assets but there are a
> whack of fundamentals involved.
> Now they code it. Put a Stop action in a keyframe on an Actions layer. Add a
> label to a Frame. Open the instance of the the button and add Go to and Play
> Actions using the labels. Add a Stop Sound Action and a Go To and Stop. And so
> on.
> That one takes three hours to get through but the students have a pretty neat
> example and a clearly documented step-by -step they can refer to.
>> Then each and every tutorial would be a book and a half?
> Not really. I have written handouts that are as small as five pages- tracing
> variable valuables using the Message Window in Director- to 64 pages where the
> student constructs a Space Invaders game using Object Oriented Programming.
> The
> tonearm example is 12 pages with screen shots that is laid out in Pagemaker.
> The key, is to have each lesson build upon the other.
>> Action Script is not really a language, even. But it makes some use of some
>> "basic" programming theory and we are learning daily how to adapt what it
>> DOES do into what we NEED it to do. And there are "basic programming"
>> tutorials all over the place.
> You and a couple of others who waded into this (Tim Allen for one) are missing
> the point of my post. I will continue developing my own stuff simply because
> nothing exists. I am more concerned about those who aren't in my classes and
> wonder "How do I code a simple rollover that calls a URL". These people are
> the
> vast majority of Flash users. Read the posts. It is very clear where they are.
> They will have to learn ActionScripting and aren't programmers. So where do
> they pick it up in a manner that they can understand?
> I am encouraged to see the mothership (Thanks Eric) has noticed this but there
> are three places where they should be tried out before they are released. The
> first is in a real live honest to God secondary and post secondary classroom
> .
> The teacher will let you know, real fast, what works and what doesn't work and
> why. The second would be to do some beta testing. Shoot samples out to people
> on the list and ask them to walk through it and let you know what works and
> what doesn't. The third is to get the guys writing these things to do it in
> front of a class that is coming at the subject cold. You get enough "I don't
> get its" and you quickly identify that maybe we have a problem here
>> I've never been a teacher, and it very easy for me to get into the rut of
>> assuming my listeners know what I'm talking about, when it is so much a part
>> of my life that I can't imagine someone NOT knowing.
> Cheri, you didn't "know" when you got into to programming.
>> Teaching is easier for
>> you, because that's what you do, and I'm sure you do it very well!!!
> Thank you.
>> Tutorials written for geeks by geeks helps us geeks and are appreciated very
>> much (I don't know anybody who gets paid for writing them, maybe some do)
>> but I think we're all still learning, yes?
> Yep, but the vast majority of the learners aren't even close to your
> competency. We sometimes forget this.
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  Re: FLASH: A teacher replies to Cheri et, Waldo Smeets

  Re: FLASH: A teacher replies to Cheri et, Tom Green

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