Quick Guide to Flash Catalyst

catalyst.gifBefore I jump into the book I thought I would quickly note what my expect­a­tions are so that these are clear in the eval­u­ation. Flash Cata­lyst is a high-level web devel­op­ment tool that allows for cre­ation of flash-based web pages dir­ectly from Pho­toshop or Illus­trator. Although these can be deployed to pro­duc­tion envir­on­ments from what I under­stand and per­ceive these are more use­ful as pro­to­types for user test­ing prior to actual pro­duc­tion and deploy­ment using more standards-compliant tools. So, here’s a quick guide and I judge from the end mat­ter I will gain a quick under­stand­ing of how the tool is posi­tioned as well as some rapid hands-on exer­cises to gain appre­ci­ation of its cap­ab­il­it­ies. That’s just what I am look­ing for. So let’s dive in.

The Quick Guide to Flash Cata­lyst by Rafiq Elmansy is not meant to be a com­pre­hens­ive guide to Flash Cata­lyst but simply an intro­duct­ory tutorial that provides hands-on exer­cises for the unini­ti­ated to get a feel for using the envir­on­ment. It suc­ceeds in this inten­tion and I found the guide quite easy to fol­low, well illus­trated with screen shots and clear in instruc­tion. At around a ten­ner for the 75 pages it is quite reas­on­ably priced. It’s aimed very spe­cific­ally at the begin­ners mar­ket. It intro­duces Cata­lyst and takes you quickly through a very quick pro­ject. Noth­ing more noth­ing less. You get a tour of the vari­ous com­pon­ents of the envir­on­ment, start with an Illus­trator file, apply inter­activ­ity and then pub­lish your work so that it can be test drove on the web. The author provides con­cise, but pithy com­ment­ary about a few subtler points of the pro­cess, but not in dis­trac­tion from get­ting your feet wet with Catalyst.

So, it accom­plishes the expect­a­tions I set out for it and provides the rel­at­ively instant appre­ci­ation of what and how you can mobil­ise Flash Cata­lyst for web user inter­face pro­to­typ­ing. Its not meant for any­thing more than get­ting a rapid exper­i­ence, but many may find this quite use­ful with a trial ver­sion of the product to determ­ine whether Cata­lyst is the product for you.


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