HomeFlash Page 3 - An Overview of Flash and ActionScript
ActionScript Capabilities - Flash
You can find Flash almost everywhere on the web, adding its magic touch to web sites. ActionScript makes it work. If you're thinking of making your web site a little more flashy, keep reading for an overview.
ActionScript transforms Flash from a simple animation program to a full-fledged development platform that can produce just about any type of application. The possibilities are nearly limitless when ActionScript is being used to supplement the features of Flash design. ActionScript provides the power behind interactive menus, online games, animated advertisement banners, and just about any online Flash implementation.
What ActionScript does is basically allow the person using the computer and accessing the website to interact with the Flash application. It can register when you click on a menu or when you press the keys on your keyboard. That is what makes it perfect for implementing the most common Flash applications. It is also what makes it substantially different from other scripting/programming languages online. PHP, Perl, HTML, and others all have difficulty interacting with the user in real time.
One of the really neat things about ActionScript is that while the basics are easy to learn and use, there are such complicated techniques that a complete mastery of the language takes years. This means that there are plenty of advanced features of ActionScript that lend enormous power to the developer if they know what they are doing.
For instance, Flash applications can communicate over the Internet and interact with each other. This gives the capability for multiple users to interact through a Flash application, such as a game or chat room. Flash can also interact with databases. While it is not quite as good at database interaction as some other languages (such as PHP), it gives Flash the ability to offer many of the most common online applications (blogs, forums, etc.).
Basically, ActionScript offers such power to Flash that a skilled developer can satisfy even the farthest-fetched ideas of anybody looking to buy a website. Although true masters of Flash are rare and can often be too expensive for small businesses or individuals, the services that they offer to medium or large businesses are truly impressive. ActionScript, when combined with Flash, brings an entirely new element to the Internet that significantly improves the entertainment value of many websites.
Of course, as a basic programming/scripting language, ActionScript is a significantly different skill from typical Flash design. Programming does not typically come naturally to artists. As such, it is relatively rare for a single individual to have a full mastery of all that Flash has to offer. If an individual can fully develop the skills necessary to be both a good graphic designer and coder, then they are able to be a true Flash master and create amazing works.