I recently purchased ActionScript Developer’s Guide to Robotlegs as I’m currently working on a project at work that uses Robotlegs and I thought it might come in handy. The attractive price point plus the 50% offer from O’Reilly definitely helped as well, of course. Since then, I’ve gone through the book and decided to give my point of view from a developer who’s already familiar with Robotlegs.
Basically, if you have
- already been working on a real world Robotlegs project for some time/deployed a Robotlegs app to production
- looked through the Best Practices Documentation
- went through the Demo Bundle
- read Joel Hook’s excellent 3 part tutorial series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3),
you will basically skim through 60% to 70% of the book. That doesn’t mean that the book isn’t worth your time. In fact, I found the remaining 30% of the book to be remarkably informative and enlightening.
The 2 projects that were used as examples in the book give a nice overview of how real applications should be structured, which is something I didn’t really get a feel of by just looking at the demo bundle.
Chapter 10, which goes into detail on how to test your models, commands, services and mediators, will prove to be a boon if you write tests. (you should!)
Apart from this, there were design tips sprinkled throughout the book about best coding principles for your mediators, services, etc that I found helpful. The authors also highlight some possible signs of code smells in your Robotlegs classes that made me realize I was doing certain things the wrong way. (eg: monolithic mediators, adding/removing children from the view in the mediator, etc).
All things considered, it was a good read for the price point and I would say that it’s a possible purchase for a developer who has worked with Robotlegs before. If you are new to AS3/Flex frameworks, I would definitely recommend getting this as it collects all the relevant information together in one location and drastically reduces the requisite fumbling around that always occurs when one starts off with a new framework.