MacTech Article > Workflow Quick Tips > Productivity App Pick: File Juicer

I develop custom automation solutions for lots of clients, but I don’t like reinventing the wheel. If there’s an existing tool that works well and reduces development time, I tend to use it.  File Juicer, from Echo One (http://echoone.com), is one such tool, which I’ve used with great success in numerous client projects.

[Read the full article in MacTech magazine's September 2013 issue, available in print and in the MacTech iPad Newsstand app]

The MacTech Spotlight: Ben Waldie Interview

The August 2013 issue of MacTech magazine features a MacTech Spotlight interview with Automated Workflows, LLC president, Ben Waldie. In the interview, Ben discusses how he got started with Macs, automation, and more.

[Read the interview in MacTech magazine's August 2013 issue, available in print and in the MacTech iPad Newsstand app]

MacTech Article > Migrating AppleScript Studio Apps to AppleScriptObjC (Cocoa-AppleScript)

For years, AppleScript Studio provided scripters with a framework, through Xcode and Interface Builder, for implementing Cocoa interfaces in AppleScript-based apps. When it comes to AppleScript, end users are often accustomed to faceless apps that simply run when launched and quit when finished, with minimal feedback along the way. AppleScript Studio gave developers the power to implement feature-rich and user-friendly interfaces, which allowed users to configure script behavior, displayed progress during processing, and gave scripts the look and feel of virtually any other OS X app.

In August of 2009, Apple released Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6). At the same time, AppleScript Studio was deprecated and its official replacement, AppleScriptObjC, also known as Cocoa-AppleScript, was announced. AppleScriptObjC provides all of the benefits of AppleScript Studio, but with numerous additional benefits such as the ability to integrate scripts with any Cocoa framework in OS X.

Today, in Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8), Xcode no longer supports AppleScript Studio. Xcode includes project templates for creating AppleScriptObjC apps, but all references to AppleScript Studio are long gone. For long-time AppleScript Studio developers, this raises some core questions about supporting and migrating existing apps.

[Read the full article in MacTech magazine's March 2013 issue, available in print and in the MacTech iPad Newsstand app]

 

MacTech Article > AppleScripting System Preferences

Whether you manage one Mac or many, applying system preferences and settings can be a real pain in the neck, especially if you regularly have to re-apply the same settings.  Maybe you're an admin who manages an entire network of Macs and you need to make a sweeping change across all of your machines. Or, maybe you just want your Dock on the left when you're at work and at the bottom when you're at home.  Regardless of the situation, if you need to make regular changes to settings on your Mac, AppleScript can probably help you streamline the process.  In this month's column, we'll take a look at some simple ways you can use AppleScript to gather system information and tweak settings.

[Read the full article in MacTech magazine's January 2013 issue, available in print and in the MacTech iPad Newsstand app]

MacTech Article > Introduction to AppleScriptObjC (Cocoa-AppleScript)

AppleScriptObjC, also known as Cocoa-AppleScript, is a framework in OS X. It was initially released with OS X 10.6, and serves as the official replacement for AppleScript Studio, which Apple deprecated at the time. AppleScriptObjC is used by scripters to write rich, fully featured Cocoa apps in AppleScript. Think of AppleScriptObjC as the “Pro” version of AppleScript. For building simple scripts, AppleScript alone works great. For building advanced and complex scripts, perhaps with advanced interfaces, you want to think about moving to AppleScriptObjC.

If you’re a hardcore AppleScript developer or regular MacTech reader, then you’ve probably heard of AppleScriptObjC. You may have worked your way through a tutorial, and maybe even created a very simple app. If you haven’t used AppleScriptObjC yet, then you may have used Xcode in the past to develop AppleScript Studio apps. This month’s column starts with the basics. It provides a very introductory look at AppleScriptObjC. While we won’t build an actual app just yet, we’ll explore some of AppleScriptObjC’s core concepts and syntax.

[Read the full article in MacTech magazine's Fall 2012 Special issue, available in print and in the MacTech iPad Newsstand app]

MacTech Article > Understanding AppleScript Dictionaries

Over the years, I’ve written dozens of AppleScript articles for MacTech.  Check the archives, and you’ll find my introductory articles on scripting various applications, error protection, looping, branching logic, and much more.  One topic that has somehow eluded my column is AppleScript dictionaries.  Since dictionaries continue to be a source of confusion for many scripters (trust me, I receive questions about them all the time), I’d like to take this opportunity to try to clear the air.

[Read the full article in MacTech magazine's August 2012 issue, available in print and in the MacTech iPad Newsstand app]

MacTech Article > Automation and App Usage in Mountain Lion

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard rumors about automation-related changes in Mountain Lion.  Here are the big ones going around… Gatekeeper doesn’t let you run apps or scripts that aren’t in the Mac App Store – third party app and script distribution is dead!  Sandboxing prevents apps from talking to one another – AppleScript and inter-application automation are dead! First, let’s get something straight.  These are rumors.  Second, like lots of rumors, they aren’t true.  So, what’s the real deal, then?

[Read the full article in MacTech magazine's July 2012 issue, available in print and in the MacTech iPad Newsstand app]

MacTech AppleScript Essentials Column > Getting Started with Automator

August, 2009 - Getting Started with Automator.

Automator, introduced in Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and significantly upgraded in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, is becoming a staple of many Mac users' daily routines. With Automator, users can quickly and easily create custom workflows to automate many of the time consuming and repetitive tasks they perform day in and day out. [Read more at MacTech.com...]

MacTech AppleScript Essentials Column > AppleScript in Snow Leopard

October, 2009 - AppleScript in Snow Leopard.

With the release of Snow Leopard, AppleScript developers will no doubt be in store for a few surprises. While the AppleScript language itself hasn't changed too much, a variety of other enhancements are welcome, but will take some getting used to.

[Read more at MacTech.com...]

MacTech AppleScript Essentials Column > Adobe CS3 and AppleScript

February, 2008 - Adobe CS3 and AppleScript.

Upgrading an application, despite giving you access to the latest and greatest features, tends to present some nagging questions. Will your existing documents still work with the new version of the application? Will any of your existing data, settings, or preferences be lost or overwritten? Will conflicts with other applications or software arise?

If you've incorporated the application into an AppleScript-based automated workflow, as is the case with many Adobe users, then some additional concerns may arise. Will your existing AppleScripts continue to work? If not, how long will it take to update them? The answers to these questions depend entirely on the changes made by the application developer. If the developer has changed the application significantly, then the AppleScript implementation may also have changed significantly too. If this is the case, then many changes to your existing scripts could be necessary. [Read more at MacTech.com...]