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/.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Is there cross-platform play in slither....
So you've sunken plenty of hours into crawling around in slither.io on your iPhone or iPad. You've got your stories of tragedy and triumph, the times you coiled four snakes at one time balanced out by the others when you had a length of more than... | Read more »
Rodeo Stampede guide to running a better...
In Rodeo Stampede, honing your skills so you can jump from animal to animal and outrun the herd as long as possible is only half the fun. Once you've tamed a few animals, you can bring them home with you. [Read more] | Read more »
VoxSyn (Music)
VoxSyn 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: VoxSyn turns your voice into the most flexible vocal sound generator ever. Instantly following even subtle modulations of pitch and... | Read more »
Catch Battleplans on Google Play from Ju...
Real-time strategy title Battleplans is due for release on Google Play on June 30th, following its release for iOS systems last month. With its simple interface and pretty graphics, the crowd-pleaser brings a formerly overlooked genre out for the... | Read more »
iDoyle: The interactive Adventures of Sh...
iDoyle: The interactive Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - A Scandal in Bohemia 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Books Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Special Release Price $1.99 (Normally $3.99) | Read more »
Five popular free apps to help you slim...
Thanks to retail and advertising, we're used to thinking one season ahead. Here we are just a week into the summer and we're conditioned to start thinking about the fall. [Read more] | Read more »
How to ride longer and tame more animals...
It's hard to accurately describe Rodeo Stampede to people who haven't seen it yet. It's like if someone took Crossy Roadand Disco Zoo and put them in a blender, yet with a unique game mechanic that's still simple and fun for anyone. [Read more] | Read more »
Teeny Titans - A Teen Titans Go! Figure...
Teeny Titans - A Teen Titans Go! Figure Battling Game 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Teeny Titans, GO! Join Robin for a figure battling RPG of epic proportions! TEENY... | Read more »
NinjAwesome: Tips and tricks to be a mor...
Sorry about that headline, but I'm going to go ahead and assume that GameResort would not have named its game NinjAwesome without expecting some of that. It is, in fact, pretty awesome the way it combines an endless runner and old school arcade... | Read more »
Into Mirror (Games)
Into Mirror 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: "Is all that we see or seem, but a dream within a dream?"- Edgar Allan Poe New game by Lemon Jam Studio, the team behind Pursuit... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

15-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $200-...
B&H Photo has 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $210 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799.99 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz... Read more
Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $449 $50 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac mini: $649 $50 off MSRP - 2.8GHz Mac mini... Read more
Clearance 2015 13-inch MacBook Airs available...
B&H Photo has clearance 2015 13″ MacBook Airs available for $300 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB MacBook Air (MJVE2LL/A): $799.... Read more
Apple refurbished Mac minis available for up...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac minis available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $80 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
ABBYY TextGrabber: 1,000,000 Installs in 5 Da...
ABBYY, an international OCR technologies provider, has announced that their image-to-text application TextGrabber, got installed 1,000,000 times in just five days while being featured by the App... Read more
New SkinIt Waterproof Case For iPhone 6
With its impact and waterproof design, the Skinit Waterproof case provides security and protection to guarantee your phone will get you through even the most demanding outdoor conditions. The impact-... Read more
iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2181.11 $118 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $1949... Read more
12-inch 1.1GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for $5...
B&H Photo has 2016 12″ 1.1GHz/256GB Retina MacBooks on sale for up to $50 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook: $1249 $50 off MSRP... Read more
WWDC Announcements Revisited Still Underwhelm...
I was disappointed that no new MacBook hardware was announced at this year’s all-software World Wide Developer’s Conference. Not even a hint about what’s in the development pipeline. Of course, we... Read more
Twelve South Compass 2 iPad Stand Now Availab...
Twelve South has updated its most popular iPad stand, Compass 2, with the introduction of two new colors — Gold and Rose Gold. These new color options n perfectly complement the new Rose Gold iPad... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* iPhone 6s and New Products Tester Ne...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
Music Marketing Lead, iTunes & *Apple*...
…Music Marketing Lead is responsible for developing robust marketing campaigns and programs for Apple Music and iTunes across the whole of Apple ecosystem. This Read more
*Apple* Valley Medical Clinic is Hiring - AP...
Apple Valley Medical Clinic is Hiring! Apple Valley Medical Clinic is an independently owned practice operating a Family Medicine Clinic, a 24/7 Urgent Care, Read more
*Apple* New Products Testers Needed - Apple...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - APPLE (United...
Job Summary As an Apple Solutions Consultant, you'll be the link between our future customers and our products. You'll showcase your entrepreneurial spirit as you Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.