Book Review: ActionScript Developer's Guide to Robotlegs

UPDATE: Check out the Node.js based, Robotlegs inspired micro-architecture I'm creating as a proof-of-concept. 

I’ve only been using Robotlegs for about 3 months now and so I can hardly be called an expert on the subject. With each new project I find myself doing things slightly differently and even though I’ve only done three projects so far, there are quite a few core changes I’d go back and make to my first project if I could. Having just finished my third project, I am at the point now where I understand the general flow and can utilize my models, services, mediators, commands and events properly–which is something I was definitely struggling with in the beginning. I’m feeling pretty comfortable with the framework now and I truly look forward to any projects that I get to work with it on. So, I was really excited when ActionScript Developer’s Guide to Robotlegs came out.

So what do I think about it? Well, it’s a great book that really explains the inner workings of the framework and gives solid examples and reasons for each of the 8 primary classes. I think it is the perfect book for ActionScript developers that have never worked with Robotlegs before and  I really just wish that I would have found it sooner. By the time I was able to read it, I felt that I pretty much already knew most of what the book was trying to teach–and I still consider myself somewhat of a Robotlegs beginner.

The truth of the matter is that Robotlegs is much simpler of a framework than I had originally realized. Simple, and apparently already very well documented. Beyond the explanation of the workflow and what each of the 8 primary classes are doing for you, there isn’t a whole lot more to teach about it. You just need to start using it and if you have any MVC experience then a lot of how you organize your code will come naturally.

The book did teach me a bit about events and that I’ve been clumping them together too much and should really make them much more specific. I’ve been meaning to give AS3-Signals and theCommandSignal extension a shot and so I was happy to see the book touch on those subjects as well. Sadly I haven’t adopted TDD yet so I can’t comment on the chapter in the book dedicated to testing, but I imagine that it was very useful and I’m sure it will help me when I finally convince myself to learn TDD.

Overall, this is a great book for beginners and I am glad I purchased it. While there wasn’t too much in the book that will make me change my current flow and code organization, I did learn a great deal about the inner workings of the framework and at the very least have the confidence that I am utilizing the framework properly. Now, can I start my next project already?