Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Applescript: Guide To Scripting And Automation on Mac OS X

Hanaan Rosenthal
November 2004
ISBN: 1590594045

Hanaan Rosenthal goes the extra mile when teaching AppleScript, explaining advanced topics, while not leaving behind the beginner. It starts off with the basics, such, as handing variable, loops, and commands, then goes on to teach higher level concepts such as debugging, AppleScripting with databases, manipulating PDFs with SMILE, and automating media workflow. This 888-page book has contributions by Shirley Hopkins, Emmanuel Levy and Mark Munro, and the superb technical editing was the work of Bill Cheeseman. The book is intended to be a sort of an AppleScript Bible, covering almost every aspect of AppleScript in depth and great detail, using hundreds of sample scripts.

Another book about AppleScript? No, not really; this is the book about AppleScript. There are enough books  that either summarize the language or just touch on the basics; this one is written for real people who need to use AppleScript to get real things done. This book starts from the scripter's point of view.  It is organized based on the way the scripter uses the language, and pulls together all aspects of the language that pertain to that subject.

It starts with some in-depth introductory chapters on subjects such  as variables, lists, and values, to explain the language to beginners  and intermediate users. From there, it goes into subjects such as text  manipulation, working with files, creating interfaces, and more. These subjects are explained and organized from a functional real-world viewpoint. Most chapters end with a summary that reiterates the important commands, properties, and other facts  covered therein. This helps you get information quickly when you need  it.

The book also gets into advanced topics, but instead of being written  in a way that excludes beginners and leaves advanced users wanting  more, it takes a different approach: every subject is given background and basic exercises to allow beginners to figure it out. Then, the text explores the core of the matter, and looks at the subject from  all possible angles, emphasizing the important issues. This book allows you to get what you need to be a better scripter, whether you create automated systems for a living, or just want to make a little less work for yourself and make life more fun in the process!

If you are a Mac user who wants to know the real meaning of having full control over your machine, get into AppleScripting; this book is the only guide you need to master the art!

    Posted on 2004-04-30 02:01:55 pm

#1 2005-09-15 12:21:44 am

Carlos Ysunza
I'm a Guest just Snooping Around

Applescript: Guide To Scripting And Automation on Mac OS X

This book was for me, and still is the light in my way to be an applescripter.
I really like the approach  to the subject. It's clear, it's plenty of examples and also fun to read.
I start to write some scripts with the help of other sources, but when I found this book, I feel very, very soon how my scripting knowledge go to a higher level very fast. I recommend it with any doubt.


#2 2005-02-05 06:11:47 pm

Brandon Carpenter
From:: Amarillo, Tx
Registered: 2002-11-20
Posts: 87

Re: Applescript: Guide To Scripting And Automation on Mac OS X

Here is a book that is clear, concise, and gets you to think about Applescript, in the right way. Hanaan gets into the way Applescript works with exemplary thoroughness and accuracy.  The right choices were made in the priority of a "Contents at a Glance" whereby just reading the titles of the chapter one can flip ahead and get to apple-scripting. One can always spend the time to get familiar again with the basic syntax of Applescript as a review or get to understand the use of Applescript and a Media Workflow or Integrated Production Environment.

There are real world examples of workflow's and practical tips on how to get back to healthy scriptwriting. Hanaan does teach you how to do many specific things with AppleScript, and gives you the proper foundation to solve new problems on your own.

The book also supplies plenty of examples of that won't work, what can go wrong and how to deal with them. There are a good amount of screen shots, a few illustrations. Unlike many "Thinking" books, this could also be used as a cookbook for Applescript. You will find lots of examples, from simple one-liners, to those hard to place Labeled Parameters. There are many examples to try in your choice of script editor and even downloads of the examples given to try your own skills with Applescript. There is confidence and approachable personality, throughout the book, with a bit of wit, too.

There are some intensive references on the styles of scripting that helps all scripters decide how to approach a solution. There is no "lightly touching" on a subject that can include Applescript. Hanaan gets into what it can do for you, giving the right amount of information for an informed decision.

Those new to Applescript will be find the candor of the text to be easy to follow along with and the advanced scripter will learn some new tricks or relearn some old techniques to improve their scripting foundation.



#3 2005-12-04 08:45:02 am

Adam Bell
From:: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2005-10-04
Posts: 4666

Re: Applescript: Guide To Scripting And Automation on Mac OS X

This is the perfect second book. Beginners should start with Danny Goodman's book to get rolling and then begin this one.

Mac mini running 10.14.6, 2011 27" iMac as display.



#4 2005-11-09 03:17:02 pm

Craig Smith
From:: Tacoma, WA
Registered: 2005-05-16
Posts: 1027

Re: Applescript: Guide To Scripting And Automation on Mac OS X

Very good book, just not the best for beginners.  Although Mr. Rosenthal states that he does not assume the reader to be knowledgable about basic scripting, his style conveys otherwise.  Personally, I struggled with reading the fonts, especially with his  use of under_lines in all of his variables. 

If, however, one has passed the beginning stage and is into even early intermediate Applescript, THIS IS THE BOOK.  His philosophy on clean, elegane scripting shows in all of his work, and he does a great job explaining why things work the way they do.  I also found his essay on the business aspect of scripting very interesting, even though I will never need it (I script for fun only).

This text should be in every AppleScripter's library.

Craig Smith



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