Got my printed AS3 Language Reference today!

It’s not like me to obsess over something I cannot have (OK, somnology so it’s exactly like me to obsess over something I cannot have), approved but lately I’ve been whining that a hard-copy language reference has yet to be published for the now well-established ActionScript 3 language. Apparently, other developers have also been waiting for such a book, and today I finally decided to do something about it.

But good lord, what have I actually done?

Behold the 2,603-page ActionScript 3.0 Language Reference (and for comparison’s sake, its puny 1,028-page ancestor, the ActionScript 2.0 Dictionary):”

Printed volumes containing LiveDoc info

Yep, it’s the entire Language Reference — compiled and pulled from the Flash CS3 help files with the help of a custom script — and it’s freaking huge. I now understand the reluctance on the part of commercial publishers: This thing is unwieldy at best. Using almost three reams of 20-pound copy paper (front and back), two 800-sheet three-ring binders and a vast majority of the stock toner cartridge in my new Brother HL-5250DN laser printer (which rocks, by the way — full duplexing for less than $200), it took way more time and effort than any sane person should spend on such a project (And sadly, I’m not counting the time I spent writing Perl code to format the pages more to my liking before pouring them into Adobe Acrobat Professional for final compilation into a single volume).

Unlike past versions of Flash, I don’t think anybody can complain that the documentation hidden away in the online help files of Flash CS3 is incomplete. If it is, I’m not even sure I care.

So now that the papercuts are healing and the hole-punch confetti covers my workdesk, you’re probably wondering: Will I ever actually use this tome in my daily workflow?

I’d like to believe I will, simply because I have to think I was justified in compiling it. But on the other hand, now that I’ve got the whole thing out of my system, there’s something telling me a guy could get accustomed to this new-fangled, online HTML language reference, after all.


7 thoughts on “Got my printed AS3 Language Reference today!”

  1. The title of your post caught my attention because I have been waiting for Adobe to release a printed version. When they released the AS2 version with the Flash 8 updates they didn’t promote it at all… and I was hoping the same thing was going on here.

    While the online versions are great, maybe they could even release a PDF version so it would still be searchable, and could be printed out if one desired.

    With that in mind… do you ever plan on posting your PDF for download? I’m sure the community (and myself) would be greatful. Then it might not all be nothing if you don’t end up using it as often as you’d like!

  2. Hi Jon,
    I would certainly consider posting my copy, but I’m sure there would be copyright issues, as it is rightfully Adobe’s content. I’m really not sure why Adobe hasn’t published a PDF version yet, though (Anybody know?)

    At the very least, I’ll try to package my script and put together a streamlined “How To” to help others create their own PDF at least (I’ve already discovered some things I should have done that would have made life easier). Stay tuned for details later this week. Thanks!

  3. I, too, would like to see your “How to” (whenever you write it). Although isn’t most (if not all) of the content in the reference the same stuff on Livedocs? Because if so, that’s already available to anyone, and since you’re not charging for the PDF, I don’t see the harm…

    I am a lawyer, too! At least, that’s what the back of this placemat with the words “I am a lawyer” scrawled on it in crayon says!

  4. I’m trying to get the live documentation offline to use it when traveling. The built-in documentation is kind of akward to use. I agree with JBR, the documentation is already public. I hope you post it soon, or at least the script to download the docs.

  5. Someone else googling for a PDF version. Looking forward to your perl script.

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