As for spreadsheets and presentation software, the only competition I’m aware of is Excel and PowerPoint from the MS Office suite. I’ve never used PowerPoint and haven’t used Excel in almost 20 years, but David Sparks says their AppleScript support was better than iWork’s even before the purge. Now Apple is essentially pushing its power users toward Microsoft. It’s a funny world.
Clark Goble notes that, with the new iWork apps released yesterday, the AppleScript dictionary included in them has been so slimmed down it’s basically gone. He has screenshots showing the regression, and he concludes:
What I suspect Apple doesn’t realize is how much small business and small shops workflow depends upon AppleScript. Casual use is fine. But a lot of people do more. It wouldn’t be so bad were there an alternative. This isn’t just like Apple not upgrading the Mac Pro. This is like Apple not upgrading the Mac Pro for four years, then announcing that the Mac Mini is the new Mac Pro. And discontinuing FCPX, Aperture, and its other pro apps and telling you to use iPhoto and iMovie.
I have been using Mavericks for a little while now and I have to admit that I was a little slow to get excited about this release of OS X. Once I started to sink my teeth into some of the power-user features, though, it didn’t take long for me to really get sucked into trying out every new geeky addition, specifically all of the new AppleScript features.
I will be the first to admit that AppleScript is not my favorite language and I only ever use it when I absolutely have to, but, with the release of Mavericks, Apple has added some very compelling reasons to give it another chance. I was recently discussing AppleScript with a developer friend of mine, and we agreed that since Apple had begun stripping out some script-related functionality of core apps like iTunes, it would not be surprising if the language was slowly phased out of any upcoming OS releases. However, I was wrong. In a surprising turn of events, Apple decided to breath new life into AppleScript and make it easier than ever to write clean and reusable scripts. (more…)
My mind was fairly well blown this morning to learn that for more than ten years, AppleScript on Mac OS X has included a built-in command for communicating with XML-RPC and SOAP endpoints on the web.
I had no idea this existed either. Following Daniel’s example script, I have put together a Keyboard Maestro macro that, with a single hotkey, gets the latest post from MacStories, shortens its URL, and tweets it with Tweetbot. It’s the Mac version of my Editorial workflow, and I’ll share it soon.
I missed Growl's 2.1 update when it was released two weeks ago on the Mac App Store. The new version comes with pretty powerful new automation features for AppleScript: you can now specify rules that will be run automatically every time a new notification arrives. Check out the documentation and examples here.
The hidden gem in the article, however, is the following sentence:
Since I’m deeply in love with Keyboard Maestro and want to preserve the just fallen in love kind of feeling in our relationship for as long as possible, I created a one-action macro to trigger the TextExpander snippet
As The Omni Group keeps working on OmniFocus 2 for Mac and Apple continues seeding new betas of iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks to developers, I have been reconsidering Reminders’ simplicity and enjoying the built-in iCloud sync, which, unlike other types of iCloud, is working fine for me. However, two things I miss from OmniFocus are the possibility to integrate the app with a web browser through bookmarklets and the system-wide Quick Entry panel; I use both tools on a daily basis to easily save a browser’s tab into OmniFocus’ Inbox, or to bring up a text field where I can jot down an idea and know that, no matter the app I’m using, it’ll be saved into OmniFocus. Luckily for me, Apple’s Reminders app comes with a good AppleScript Dictionary, which is likely something that Reminders’ core mainstream audience won’t ever care about, but that we can leverage to extend the app’s capabilities and input areas beyond Mountain Lion’s leather-and-paper window.
I’m aware of the fact that it’s a common trend to call email a “nightmare” these days, but the truth is – email works for me. I have multiple addresses set up, I have my filters and smart folders to automate the process of filing and finding emails, and I’m enjoying the renewed interest of iOS developers in building email apps that solve old problems in newways. But there is one thing I don’t like: Apple’s Mail app and how many clicks it takes to switch between configured accounts and signatures. As you can guess, I came up with a way to automate the process using AppleScript and (optionally) Keyboard Maestro.
I receive several messages every day to different email addresses, but I always want to reply with the same address and the same signature. Apple’s Mail app makes it easy to see all messages sent to all accounts with the unified Inbox, but it makes it surprisingly hard to set default accounts and signatures that should always be treated as, well, default ones. I don’t want to click on menus for accounts and signatures: I want to hit ⌘R and receive a new Reply window with the account and signature I want already set. (more…)
Also new in iTunes 11.0.3 is an update to the app’s AppleScript dictionary that adds support for controlling AirPlay speakers. The AppleScript additions contain several options: you can check on an AirPlay device’s name, activity, availability on the network, kind (computer, Apple TV, other AirPlay device, etc), network address, and even if it supports audio or video.
This is a particularly welcome addition as it has been requested by users willing to script iTunes’ speakers for years now. Previously, the best option was to rely on GUI scripting to enable/disable speakers; as I wrote in December, it’s good to see Apple is still actively supporting AppleScript on OS X.