ActionScript Developer’s Guide to PureMVC – Hands-on learning for experienced developers – #programming #bookreview

ActionScript Developer’s Guide to PureMVC
By Cliff Hall
(Adobe Developer Library and O’Reilly Media,
paperback, list price $29.99; Kindle edition, list price $13.99)

A key concept in this book is “code at the speed of thought.” And the book is written for a very specialized audience, according to Cliff Hall, architect of the Open Source PureMVC Framework.

“ActionScript developers who are interested in, or are already working with PureMVC, will gain usable insights,” Hall says, “although Adobe Flex and AIR developers will be best served, as the example application is written with AIR.”

He also notes that “developers who are using or learning any of the PureMVC ports to other programming languages could certainly use this book as a basis for understanding the framework classes and how they are used.”

ActionScript is one of the dialects of ECMAScript, which is used most often for client-side scripting of programs that are executed on users’ web browsers. (JavaScript is one of the other ECMAScript dialects.)

Where PureMVC fits into the picture is in its ability to help developers get their work done faster.

“Too often in the development of a large application,” Hall emphasizes, “the developer must stop and think about where to find some class he needs, where some new class should go, and how to wire them up in such a way that gets data from wherever it lives to a display so the user can interact with it or vice-versa.”

He continues: “Regardless of the high level complexities in your application, you will never truly be doing anything more involved at the lower levels than moving data from point A to point B and occasionally doing some calculations on it. You should not have to keep inventing ways to do it; instead, your energy should be focused on the requirements of your current use case.”

So this is where “code at the speed of thought” comes in, with help from PureMVC.

“PureMVC is a simple framework,” Hall says, “that helps reduce the amount of time spent thinking about these low level issues by providing solutions for organizing your code and an expression of the well known Model-View-Controller concept based on several time proven design patterns.”

Despite that somewhat wordy sentence of introduction, Hall generally delivers clear, concise explanations. And his paragraphs are highlighted with numerous code examples and illustrations.

His 239-page book is divided into 10 chapters:

  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: Building an Application with PureMVC
  • Chapter 3: Modelling the Domain
  • Chapter 4: Implementing the User Interface
  • Chapter 5: Proxying the Model
  • Chapter 6: Mediating the View
  • Chapter 7: Applying Business Logic
  • Chapter 8: Advanced Model Topics
  • Chapter 9: Advanced View Topics
  • Chapter 10: Onward

That final chapter includes using a debugger with PureMVC, PureMVC utilities and a listing of some other resources.

For experienced developers seeking to know more about PureMVC, this book can provide a good hands-on guide to learning its fundamentals.


Si Dunn is a novelist, screenwriter, freelance book reviewer, and former software technical writer and software/hardware QA test specialist. He also is a former newspaper and magazine photojournalist. His latest book is Dark Signals, a Vietnam War memoir available now in paperback. He is the author of a detective novel, Erwin’s Law, a novella, Jump, and several other books and short stories.


  • Si Dunn is a novelist, screenwriter, photojournalist, and book reviewer. His published books include: DARK SIGNALS, a Vietnam War memoir; ERWIN'S LAW, a private-detective novel; and JUMP, a novella about a combat veteran suffering from PTSD and alienation while trying to work for newspapers as a journalist. Several of his feature screenplays recently were under option to movie producers. He spent nearly 15 years working as a technical writer and software tester in the telecommunications industry. His current programming interests include Go, JavaScript, Python, R, Angular, and other languages and frameworks. He is a U.S. Navy veteran and a graduate of the University of North Texas.

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