TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Mar 99 Online

Volume Number: 15 (1999)
Issue Number: 3
Column Tag: MacTech Online

Mar 99 Online

by Jeff Clites <online@mactech.com>

Make your applications scriptable.

The advice is as simple as that.

The standard reasoning is that by making your application AppleEvent-aware, you make it move valuable - users can automate repetitive tasks and incorporate your product into a larger workflow. Recently I was reading the FAQ for the popular FTP client Anarchie Pro (by Stairways Software). The question on the table was, "Why don't you give Anarchie the ability to repeatedly poll busy FTP sites until it can get in?" The answer was that they don't want to add this feature, because it would be a disservice to the already-busy FTP sites, but you can achieve the same effect using AppleScript. I found this intriguing - not only does scriptability save the authors from having to program in this functionality themselves, but also it allows them to discourage using their product this way, but still allows the user to make the final decision on the matter. That is the gem of scriptability - empowering your users to use your product in ways that you didn't predict.

There's a second, more subtle motivation to making your applications AE-aware - it makes your design better. If you want to make your application extensively scriptable (and recordable), you need to factor it correctly - to separate the UI from the implementation as much as possible. One method for doing this is the Model-View-Controller paradigm, which incidentally is the way most Yellow Box applications are developed. So there's a nice harmony here - factoring your applications to make them scriptable also prepares you for later moving to Yellow Box development, and Yellow Box development is by default done in a manner which makes it trivial to add extensive scripting capabilities to applications.

There are three separate aspects of AppleEvents which might be important to you as a programmer: making your application AppleEvent-aware (your application is an AE-server), controlling other applications with AppleEvents (your application is an AE-client), and writing applications in AppleScript itself. This month we are going to point out some informational resources for each, and next month we'll look at some utilities and libraries to help with the implementation.

Getting Started - General Resources for Developers

The definitive references of course come from Apple. The Interapplication Communication (IAC) section of their Mac OS 8 Developer Documentation provides pointers to the essential publications and technotes, including their AppleScript for Developers page. Another key resource is articles from back-issues of Apple's now-defunct journal develop. They have a page which collects links to all of the IAC articles, and these are also all available in HTML form, complete with accompanying source code, on MacTech's web site. A similar, annotated list is available on Main Event's site. For a printed reference, I highly recommend Dave Mark's Ultimate Mac Programming (ISBN 1-56884-195-7). Don't let its uninformative title fool you - about a third of this thick volume is devoted to getting the developer up to speed with all things AppleEvent-related, and I have yet to find a reference which does a better job of explaining the subject and getting you oriented.

Mac OS 8 Developer Documentation: Interapplication Communication
http://developer.apple.com/techpubs/macos8/InterproCom/interprocom.html
Mac OS 8 Developer Documentation: AppleScript for Developers
http://developer.apple.com/techpubs/macos8/InterproCom/AppleScriptDev/applescriptdev.html
develop Articles on Interapplication Communication
http://developer.apple.com/dev/techsupport/develop/bysubject/iac.html
develop in MacTech
www.mactech.com/articles/develop/
Main Event - Resources - Articles
http://www.mainevent.com/articles.tmpl

For a glimpse of the future, take a look at the Scripting documentation for Mac OS X Server. Yellow Box applications will get a great deal of scriptability "for free", and it will be easy to extend their scriptability further. Scripting fits nicely with the Yellow Box application model, and promises to have a bright future under Mac OS X later this year.

Mac OS X Server Developer Documentation
http://developer.apple.com/techpubs/macosxserver/macosxserver.html

Making Your Application AppleEvent-Savvy - Two Key Articles

Included among the develop articles mentioned above are two that I think are key. Ideally you would read all of them, but failing that check out "Programming for Flexibility: The Open Scripting Architecture" which is foundational and really gives you a feel for the power of Apple's scripting architecture, and "According to Script: Attaching and Embedding Scripts" which I hope will sell you on the virtues of this powerful but underutilized technique. (The simplest example is just providing your users with a "scripts" menu.)

June 94 - Programming for Flexibility: The Open Scripting Architecture
www.mactech.com/articles/develop/issue_18/026-040_SMITH_REV.html
June 96 - According to Script: Attaching and Embedding Scripts
www.mactech.com/articles/develop/issue_26/according.html

Stay tuned for next month, when we'll cover development tools to make your AppleEvent programming a breeze.

These and a bevy of other links are available from the MacTech Online web pages at www.mactech.com/online/.

 
AAPL
$103.30
Apple Inc.
+0.80
MSFT
$45.09
Microsoft Corpora
-0.34
GOOG
$577.33
Google Inc.
+5.73

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

TextSoap 7.4.0 - Flexible text editing u...
TextSoap is for people who work with text. TextSoap effortlessly cleans up text from endlessly different formats. Wash away unwanted characters, spaces, tabs. Fix paragraphs with hard returns at the... Read more
NetShade 6.0.2 - Browse privately using...
NetShade is an Internet security tool that conceals your IP address on the web. NetShade routes your Web connection through either a public anonymous proxy server, or one of NetShade's own dedicated... Read more
Mac DVDRipper Pro 5.0 - Copy, backup, an...
Mac DVDRipper Pro is the DVD backup solution that lets you protect your DVDs from scratches, save your batteries by reading your movies from your hard disk, manage your collection with just a few... Read more
pwSafe 3.1 - Secure password management...
pwSafe provides simple and secure password management across devices and computers. pwSafe uses iCloud to keep your password databases backed-up and synced between Macs and iOS devices. It is... Read more
StatsBar 1.8 - Monitor system processes...
StatsBar gives you a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the following areas of your Mac: CPU usage Memory usage Disk usage Network and bandwidth usage Battery power and health (MacBooks only)... Read more
Path Finder 6.5.5 - Powerful, award-winn...
Path Finder is a file browser that combines the familiar Finder interface with the powerful utilities and innovative features. Just a small selection of the Path Finder 6 feature set: Dual pane... Read more
QuarkXPress 10.2.1 - Desktop publishing...
With QuarkXPress, you can communicate in all the ways you need to -- and always look professional -- in print and digital media, all in a single tool. Features include: Easy to Use -- QuarkXPress is... Read more
Skype 6.19.0.450 - Voice-over-internet p...
Skype allows you to talk to friends, family and co-workers across the Internet without the inconvenience of long distance telephone charges. Using peer-to-peer data transmission technology, Skype... Read more
VueScan 9.4.41 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
Cloud 3.0.0 - File sharing from your men...
Cloud is simple file sharing for the Mac. Drag a file from your Mac to the CloudApp icon in the menubar and we take care of the rest. A link to the file will automatically be copied to your clipboard... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Modern Combat 5 Gets a Major Multiplayer...
Modern Combat 5 Gets a Major Multiplayer Update Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 2nd, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Alien Creeps TD Review
Alien Creeps TD Review By Jennifer Allen on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: EXPENSIVE DEFENSESUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Alien Creeps TD would be a fun if unremarkable Tower Defense game, but its heavy focus on... | Read more »
The Journey Down: Chapter Two Review
The Journey Down: Chapter Two Review By Jennifer Allen on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: DARK YET ENTICINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad It’s a little dark, in every sense of the word, but The Journey Down:... | Read more »
Function Space, a Social Network App for...
Function Space, a Social Network App for Science, Launches on iOS Posted by Ellis Spice on September 2nd, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Stupidfast – How Taylor Martinez Switche...
How do you make an Endless Running game more than just another Endless Running game? By adding real life prizes to it, of course! That’s the thinking behind StupidFast: a game designed for football enthusiasts, and the brainchild of former college... | Read more »
Little Raiders: Robin’s Revenge Review
Little Raiders: Robin’s Revenge Review By Jennifer Allen on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: CASUAL RAIDINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Combining simple combat with village building is a potent combination for... | Read more »
Treasure Tombs: Ra Deal Coming from Bulk...
Treasure Tombs: Ra Deal Coming from Bulkypix and Dark Tonic This Fall Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 2nd, 2014 [ permalink ] Dark Tonic and | Read more »
Pirate Bash Review
Pirate Bash Review By Nadia Oxford on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: BAD PIRATES, GOOD TIMESUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Pirate Bash’s turn-based battles add an intriguing twist to a typical physics game.   | Read more »
Tiny Tower Vegas Review
Tiny Tower Vegas Review By Jennifer Allen on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: STEADY DEVELOPMENTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Build a huge tower again but Vegas-style in Tiny Tower Vegas.   | Read more »
The Manhattan Project Review
The Manhattan Project Review By Andrew Fisher on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: ROCKET SCIENCEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The Manhattan Project offers a great Euro-style gameplay experience, but it is totally... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple refurbished iPads available for up to $...
Apple is offering Certified Refurbished iPad Airs for up to $140 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Stock tends to come and go with some of these... Read more
Are We Now In The Post-Post-PC Era?
A longtime and thoroughgoing laptop aficionado, I was more than a little dismayed by Steve Jobs’s declaration back in 2010 when he sprang the iPad on an unsuspecting world. that we’d entered a “post-... Read more
PC Outlook Improves, But 2014 Shipments Still...
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, worldwide PC shipments are expected to fall by -3.7 percent in 2014. To hat’s actually an improvement from the... Read more
IDC Lowers Tablet Sales Projections for 2014...
Following a second consecutive quarter of softer than expected demand, International Data Corporation (IDC) has lowered its worldwide tablet plus 2-in-1 forecast for 2014 to 233.1 million units. The... Read more
Apple now offering refurbished 21-inch 1.4GHz...
The Apple Store is now offering Apple Certified Refurbished 21″ 1.4GHz iMacs for $929 including free shipping plus Apple’s standard one-year warranty. Their price is $170 off the cost of new models,... Read more
Save $50 on the 2.5GHz Mac mini, on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 2.5GHz Mac mini on sale for $549.99 including free shipping. That’s $50 off MSRP, and B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software. NY sales tax only. Read more
Save up to $300 on an iMac with Apple refurbi...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $300 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. These are the best prices on... Read more
The Rise of Phablets
Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group, a businesses and technology consulting firm focused solely on the financial services industry, has released an infographic depicting the convergence of... Read more
Bad Driver Database App Allows Good Drivers t...
Bad Driver Database 1.4 by Facile Group is a new iOS and Android app that lets users instantly input and see how many times a careless, reckless or just plain stupid driver has been added to the... Read more
Eddy – Cloud Music Player for iPhone/iPad Fre...
Ukraine based CapableBits announces the release of Eddy, its tiny, but smart and powerful cloud music player for iPhone and iPad that allows users to stream or download music directly from cloud... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.