Author: David Tucker
Publisher: Adobe Dev Library, 2008
Aimed at: Developers of RIA apps
Pros: Useful collection of examples and code
Cons: Tends to be repetitive
Reviewed by: David Conrad
This is a cookbook that could help you extend what you already know about Flex and web applications to the desktop.
It starts out with some recipes for getting set up with a development environment - Flex Builder 3 and CS4. If you are a beginner then some of the early topics will be a bit out of place - code signing, setting application IDs etc - but all welcome if you have that particular problem for real. We then have a few chapters on basic UI issues - how to position windows, closing all windows, applying a pixel filter - a wide mix.
From here we move on to even wider aspects of the UI HTML and PDF content, using the clipboard, and drag-and-drop. Then we move on to consider issues that make the desktop different - File System Integration, SQL, Encrypted Local Store, Application and Window Native menus, Taskbars and docking integration. The final few chapters return to management issues with file types, updates and distribution.
Many of the topics sound as if they are going to be new but often if you have met them in other contexts there isn't much to say other than "do it in ActionScript". In using the File system for example once you have been told that the sandbox security of the web browser doesn’t apply to an AIR application there's a set of recipes showing you how to copy, delete, rename and write to files using methods that are similar, if not the same, as you would encounter in any object-oriented language.
As with all cookbooks if there is a recipe that solves a real problem for you then it is worth its weight in gold. If not then it just so much paper. Overall it's a good collection of examples and code you can read to convince you that you can do AIR development.