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This is the second edition of Hanaan Rosenthals critically-acclaimed AppleScript book. It goes the extra mile to teach you AppleScript, explaining advanced topics without leaving you behind.
AppleScript is the high-level scripting language that resides on the Mac platform. It can be used to add functionality to the Mac operating system, automate tasks, add functions, and generally make things easier. AppleScript has always been very useful, and with Mac OS X, you can take AppleScript further than before.
This book begins with the basics like handling variables, loops, and commands. It proceeds with more advanced concepts like debugging, AppleScripting with databases, manipulating PDFs with SMILE, and automating media workflow. In a nutshell, this book:
If you are a Mac user who wants to know the real meaning of having full control over your machine, get into AppleScripting. And pick up this book—it really is the only guide you'll need to master the art of AppleScripting!
Posted November 17, 2008
Before reading this book, I had only run scripts with the occasional copy and paste. After this book, I feel I have a great understanding for what AppleScript actually is, when to use it, and how to use it. In short, it's a full featured language that is ideal for small automation tasks and larger tasks where the scripting takes place in applications. After reading the book, it's quite remarkable how much you can do with AppleScript.<BR/><BR/>At first, the book is pretty intimidating. At 808 pages, it's not a nutshell of AppleScript. Instead, it serves as a quite tutorial of how to get scripting (which you do pretty immediately) and then you have a mix of guides and reference material. Not being familiar with AppleScript before, this was actually a great way to learn it because I didn't need a whole slew of books nor had to search around for content the book left out.<BR/><BR/>The book is broken into three sections with an introduction, language syntax, and language usage. Those those who have some programming background, you probably want to skip around in the second section first and move on to the third section. If there is a concept that needs more detail, go back to section 2.<BR/><BR/>For those who are new to languages, you will want to read chapters 3-12 provides a prose walkthrough of handling values, doing math, and flow control in an easy way. After the basic language usage, the book gets into user interaction (and how easy it is to use the built in dialog boxes), file handling, interacting with the clipboard, and error handling. There may a few concepts that are tough to understand at first if you are new to languages in general but it's possible to go back to them.<BR/><BR/>The end of the chapters have wrap up sections. If you are learning the language for the first time, it maybe worthwhile to start with and then refer back to the chapter for places that you want to read more on.<BR/><BR/>Section 3 really digs into how to write practical scripts. It goes through how to find an application's scripting dictionary, how to debug AppleScript, and how to interact with data. There's also a best practices section, a how-to on scheduling applications, and running applications remotely.<BR/><BR/>One thing I disliked was the usage of analogies. AppleScript is a pretty complete language and covering some of the traditional language concepts like objects where done in a roundabout way. I thought that they got in the way of what was sometimes reference content. If you are familiar with any computer languages, the second chapter is a good overview of what the language looks like and you can leaf through section 2 of the book. <BR/><BR/>This book is well titled and aptly named a comprehensive guide. If you are on a Mac and you think there are actions you perform over and over again, this book will show you how to automate those tasks regardless of your scripting or programming level.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.