[MD1] PreFab's Player 1.1
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[MD1] PreFab's Player 1.1

***Essential Scripting Utility Gets Even Better***

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Mary M. Ashley, mma@prefab.com
420A Main St., Acton, MA 01720, 508-266-2885

ACTON, MA -- February 28, 1997 -- PreFab Software, Inc. is pleased to
announce that version 1.1 of Player shipped today. Player adds verbs to
AppleScript and Frontier to query and control non-scriptable applications
and control panels. The 1.1 release offers new verbs, enhanced options,
revised documentation and new example scripts.

PreFab Player 1.1 includes a breakthrough feature for automating Adobe
Photoshop: it's the only product on the market that can control Photoshop
dialog items by name. Scripts can now "check" or "uncheck" a checkbox and
call Player's standard query verbs, e.g. to verify that a certain item is
enabled or execute a difference sequence depending on which radio button is
selected. Photoshop 4.0 takes a preliminary step towards automation with
built-in "Actions"; Player is still required for the many real-world tasks
that require the flexibility of scripting. Over the coming weeks, PreFab
will highlight examples and customer success stories on its new website,
www.prefab.com.

I am using Photoshop 4.0 and had great expectations when I heard about
the action palette. Unfortunately, it only records about half the
activity that I am interested in. Very top level. It provides no
mechanism for plugging in custom values or detailed control of the
dialog boxes. It was so incomplete that I backed away from it and I am
using PreFab Player for all control. We now process thousands of
images per month, each anywhere from 50 to 90 megs in size.

Mark R. Lucas, Technical Officer, ImageLinks, Inc.,
http://www.imagelinks.com

One of the most common uses of Player is to process a whole folder full of
files, opening each in turn and saving in a different format to a new
folder. Player 1.1 speeds this process with a new verb to directly set the
folder for the standard file dialog. Other user-requested speed
enhancements include the ability to set multiple checkboxes with a single
verb and a fast way to list every menu item.

I was faced with the daunting task of updating approximately 1400
Illustrator files to the most current version. Since the folks at
Adobe can't quite deliver a scriptable version of their product, I
needed Player to get the job done. Great product!

Patrice VanAcker, Simon & Schuster

Player was designed by script writers, for script writers. It offers the
flexibility required to handle diverse tasks while remaining simple,
focused, and easy to learn. Player 1.1 smooths the path even more, with
over 60 example scripts, new libraries for Photoshop and Illustrator
containing dozens of useful subroutines, a revised manual (in HTML format)
and a new tech support FAQ (frequently asked questions).

I was pleased by the level of control afforded by Player. I am not a
regular Applescript programmer and I had never before used Player.
Despite this, I was able to get a working solution implemented
quickly due to Player's ease of use. I tried QuicKeys before Player
and was disappointed by the lack of true AppleScript support. In my
implementation, QuicKeys would not remain stable and inevitably
hung my system. Also, QuicKeys did not allow me to get dialog values --
information that was required for accurate document conversion.

Sam Russo, Group Montenegro, Inc.

Although many new applications include some support for scripting, key
features are left untouched, beyond the reach of AppleScript and Frontier.
Player fills the gap; the 1.1 release streamlines common scriptings tasks.
The "choose menu" verb now includes an option to continue trying until it
is successful, e.g. to wait until a progress window disappears with no
extra effort by the script writer. Player 1.1 continues to take advantage
of features unique to the Frontier environment, including enhanced "short"
and "long" menus with improved support for inserting verbs into the
outline-based script editor.

I have written literally hundreds of scripts, using Player in 25% to
30% of them to do things that simply couldn't have been done without
it. There are so many apps out there that just don't lend themselves
well to scripting, or the particular things that you want to automate
aren't possible. Player allows me to add that functionality. Thanks
for a great product and for terrific tech support.

Cliff Nowack, Microsystems Analyst, Harte-Hanks Communications

Player goes beyond just controlling an application, it can query the
interface to determine the name of the frontmost window, status of a
checkbox -- or even the text of an error message. With the release of 1.1,
Player can resolve text that is inserted by an application when posting a
dialog (in addition to text that is stored with the dialog resource). The
query features are vital for in-house and commercial developers who need a
reliable solution for software testing & quality assurance.

We've been using PreFab Player in our Macintosh test automation
effort as an alternative to Apple's Virtual User. Player's ability
to run on a single machine (as opposed to Virtual User's networking
requirement) was key to our initial purchase. Since then, Player's
robustness on all of the applications we test and its flexibility has
shown us that it's possible to use a Player/AppleScript solution for
all of our Mac test automation needs.

Marlon Jackson, Manager, Test Tools Development, Electronics for
Imaging

A free 30-day trial version of Player can be downloaded from the web; a
disk is available on request.

I'm convinced! I downloaded the demo at midnight and by 1 AM had solved
all my problems -- thanks to Player.

Bernard Harte, 100111,2511 on CompuServe

Player continues to retail for $95; the price includes one license for
Player Runtime. Additional Runtime licenses are $25 each, with volume
discounts available. Free updaters to Player 1.1 and Player Runtime 1.1
are available on PreFab's website, http://www.prefab.com/. Alternatively,
a disk is available for a nominal shipping charge (free on request for
customers who purchased within the past 90 days).

* * *

PreFab Software, Inc. was founded to meet the emerging demand for scripting
tools, automation utilities and "pre-fabricated software components".
Player(tm) 1.0 shipped in August 1994. Text Machine(tm), scheduled for
release in Q2 1997, brings the power of pattern matching search and replace
to the desktop.

PreFab Player, Player Runtime, PreFab Text Machine, "The simple way to
handle complex text", PreFab Software and the PreFab logo are trademarks of
PreFab Software, Inc. All other product and company names are trademarks
or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

 
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