Literals v Expressions
If you remember my warning in the first tute, Programming for Designers, intro - one of the single most annoying causes of errors in actionscript are the Quote Marks " ". Why? Because this - "myvariable" is completely different to this - myvariable. The first is a literal (a string) and the second is an expression.
A literal assignment is the simplest method of assignment and is literally (excuse the pun) some information placed into a container. For example,
myvariable = "counter";
This is is NOT assigning the value of the variable "counter" to the variable "myvariable". Instead it's assigning the text (or string) "counter".
The power of actionscripting is it's ability to evaluate expressions and assign the outcome to variables. An expression can be one or more variables, numbers or strings (but more on this in the next tutorial). Now let's take a look at these examples to see variables and expressions in action: (the variables are green and the expressions are red - remember expression can contain variables too!)
myvariable = othervariable; Counter = Counter + 1; subtotal_one = 20; subtotal_two = 45; total = subtotal_one + subtotal_two; city = "Sydney"; country = "Australia"; home = city + ", " + country;
Note: The use of the + symbol denotes 'concatenation'. This operator will be describe more fully in the tutorial on operators.
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