Chuck Joiner's Road to Macworld series continues with AppleScript guru Ben Waldie, who will deliver a session that you will want to attend if you’re interested in getting more out of your Internet activities. In Automating The Web, Ben will discuss making your workflow faster and more efficient by integrating your online workflow with your Mac and other web-enabled devices and services. He gives us preview, and also updates us on the state of AppleScript in iWork and beyond.
Ben Waldie helps cut through the controversy surrounding OS X Mavericks, the iWork suite and get to just the facts. There has been concern about the current lack of support in Mavericks, and also in Numbers, Pages and Keynote. Ben calms the waters a bit, explaining what is missing, what still works, and what his expectations are for scripting in both Mavericks and iOS 7 going forward.
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.
Lots of AppleScript and Automator changes were introduced with OS X 10.9 Mavericks. Here are links to official Apple technical resources that discuss some of them...
- AppleScript Release Notes (Updated for OS X 10.9 Mavericks)
- AppleScript Language Guide (Updated for OS X 10.9 Mavericks)
- Technical Q&A QA1802 (Adopting Scripting Targets for Composing Mail)
- OS X: Using AppleScript with Accessibility and Security features in Mavericks
- WWDC 2013: Session 416: Introducing AppleScript Libraries
- WWDC 2013: Session 417: Automation Update
For a general overview of the automation changes in Mavericks, visit macosxautomation.com (not hosted by Apple Inc.).
I meet a lot of people with Automator anxiety: they think using OS X’s built-in workflow-maker is a lot more complex than it really is. The truth is that Automator workflows are (a) pretty simple to assemble and (b) great for simple but repetitive tasks that you do all the time anyway.
To show you what I mean here are five workflows that I think pretty much every Mac user should have. They do things we all need to do: Wrap text in quotation marks, for example, or count the number of words in a selection of text. There might be other ways of doing the same things, but Automator is built into your Mac and you can implement them yourself for free in a couple of minutes.
[Read more on Macworld.com...]
Apple's Contacts app includes a lot of great shortcuts for initiating different forms of communication. Just click an email address, phone number, or URL field label to display a list of available options. You can send an email, show a phone number in large type, or start a FaceTime call, for example. Curiously, one shortcut that's absent from most of these popups is one for copying the email address, phone number, URL, etc. to the clipboard. Mailing addresses are one exception, as they provide an option to copy a mailing label. But, other fields don't include this option. Sure, you could just select a phone number, email address, URL, etc., and press Command+C to copy it. But, what fun is that? It sure would be nice if there were just more handy copy to clipboard shortcuts instead. With the help of AppleScript, you can add your own. Here's how...
[Read more on TUAW...]
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.