AppleScript: A Comprehensive Guide to Scripting and Automation on Mac OS X / Edition 1

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AppleScript is a high level scripting language that resides on the Mac platform - it can be used to add functionality to the Mac operating system, automating tasks, adding functions, making things easier. AppleScript has always been very useful, and with Mac OS X, it can be taken even further than before.

This book goes the extra mile when teaching AppleScript, explaining advanced topics, while not leaving behind the beginner. It starts off with the basics, such, as handing variable, loops, and commands, then goes on to teach higher level concepts such as debugging, AppleScripting with databases, manipulating PDFs with SMILE, and automating media workflow.

If you are a Mac user who wants to know the real meaning of having full control over your machine, get into AppleScripting; this book is the only guide you need to master the art!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590594049
  • Publisher: Apress
  • Publication date: 10/28/2004
  • Edition description: 1st Corrected ed. 2004. Corr. 2nd printing 2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 888
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 9.06 (h) x 1.75 (d)

Meet the Author

The founder of Custom Flow Solutions, Hanaan Rosenthal developed his first drawing program and published a programming newsletter at the age of 11. He became a digital media and prepress consultant in 1991, specializing in Mac publishing. In 1996, he took on his first full-blown AppleScript automation project and never looked back. Since then he has helped reshape the workflow of numerous publishing companies and departments creating systems that save their owners millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours annually. His clients include Fidelity Investments, Wellington Management, The Boston Globe, and Showtime Networks.

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Table of Contents

Preface : what makes AppleScript unique and what will make this book your favorite?
Ch. 1 Introduction 1
Ch. 2 Starting to script - all over again 13
Ch. 3 Values 55
Ch. 4 Doing the math : all about numbers 117
Ch. 5 Picking up dates 145
Ch. 6 Lists and records 187
Ch. 7 Giving commands 217
Ch. 8 Variables 231
Ch. 9 Operations and coercion 261
Ch. 10 Teaching your script to make decisions 305
Ch. 11 The assembly line : creating repeat loops 321
Ch. 12 User interaction 345
Ch. 13 Working with files 429
Ch. 14 Working with the clipboard 497
Ch. 15 Turn errors in your favor 509
Ch. 16 Other control statements 529
Ch. 17 Defining and calling subroutines 535
Ch. 18 Script objects 569
Ch. 19 AppleScript amenities in Mac OS X 595
Ch. 20 Scripting additions and extendibility 615
Ch. 21 The fundamentals of automating applications 637
Ch. 22 Debugging scripts 653
Ch. 23 A script by any other name 667
Ch. 24 Healthy scriptwriting practices 677
Ch. 25 Scripting Apple apps 697
Ch. 26 Scripting data and databases 717
Ch. 27 Automating media workflow 741
Ch. 28 Smile : the AppleScript integrated production environment 749
Ch. 29 Automating UNIX applications 785
Ch. 30 Scheduling scripts 793
Ch. 31 Controlling remote applications 799
Ch. 32 The business of automation 807
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2005

    Great book, intimidating size

    I think I have read just about every book there is on AppleScript.At 850 pages and $59.99, this book could easily scare away potential AppleScript book buyers. That would be a mistake. This book, unlike many of the existing AppleScript books, is based solely on Mac OS X. The target audience is the whole range of AppleScripting experience. The author provides from the ground up introductory chapters for beginners, detailed chapters on under interaction and file and error handling for intermediate scripters, and advanced subjects for professional scripters. These later topics include debugging, script objects, and automation. Needless to say, trying to be all things to all people is a goal of considerable complexity. I think Mr. Rosenthal pulls it off rather well. I do not easily recall any technical book I have read that flows so easily. The chapters are well organized with reasonable goals for each. At the end of each chapter is a Power Wrap-up. Unlike the often-anemic chapter summaries found in many books, these Power Wrap-ups encapsulate all the important knowledge imparted in each chapter. They make excellent reference sections, requiring revisiting the full text of the chapter only if some point needs further clarification or example. How well does Mr. Rosenthal meets his goal of addressing AppleScripters of all skill levels? Well, I am a professional software developer and an occasional AppleScripter. I muddle through AppleScript when needed and somehow manage to get the task at hand done. Most other books I have on AppleScript have examples that deal with, for instance, FileMaker Pro, but do little to get one to the point where he can attack the AppleScript dictionary of other applications or to develop the script architecture to properly complete the desired task. Mr. Rosenthal, more clearly and thoroughly than any other AppleScript author I have read, has given me the knowledge, skill and courage to dig into more complex AppleScript projects. This book is a good match for my skill level. I cannot address how professional AppleScripters might find this book, but it appears to me there is a lot of good, advanced, information here. I think the serious AppleScript beginner would find everything he needs right here, although the book¿s size might be slightly intimidating. Is the book Comprehensive as touted in the title? I think so. I feel this book fills a serious void that has existed in the AppleScript realm. The crystal clear writing is marred only by a few poorly reproduced screen captures (at least in my copy.) Most graphics are fine. For those concerned about buying an expensive book from an unknown publisher, I can state that I have read a few computer books from Friends of Ed and have found each to be well worth the reading effort. Friends of Ed is now part of Apress, another publisher that may not be familiar to the Macintosh community. However, Apress is well known in the PC community for their wide range of technical, primarily programming, books. Any pre-purchase concern about the publishing house should be swept away. In summary, this is a big book, a bit more expensive than most AppleScript books, a bit intimidating in its size, but very well written and organized.

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