AppleScript and UNIX are together at last in Mac OS X. In fact, the AppleScript team has done a “tremendous job migrating this unique, powerful, and established technology to Mac OS X,” said Sal Soghoian, the AppleScript product manager for Apple Computer.
AppleScript is Apple’s English-like language that lets you control lots of the tasks your Mac can do by writing “scripts”. Originally introduced with System 7, AppleScript and its automations are used in Web design and management, desktop publishing, network administration, education, kiosks, video production, and more.
“Our customers who have automated workflows can be assured that their investment in AppleScript will continue to deliver with Mac OS X,” he said in a press announcement. “”As with any project of this scope, there’s still much to do, but we are excited about the future. We look forward to expanding AppleScript’s abilities to incorporate many of the new features integrated into this UNIX-based OS.”
As with Mac OS 9, the Mac OS X Finder is the scriptable application for manipulating files and volumes. However, some Finder commands, such as move and duplicate, and some properties, such as window position, aren’t yet implemented or aren’t functioning. Plus, the selection property may also return incorrect results. Other Mac OS X features that are scriptable include:
TextEdit, an application for creating and editing text files;
Mail, a program for managing e-mail; it has scripting support for creating and sending an e-mail (scripting support for editing mailbox content isn’t working in the initial Mac OS X release);
Sherlock, the system-level search engine;
QuickTime Player, the pro version of this app for editing and viewing QuickTime content, is scriptable;
Apple System Profiler, a utility that provides information regarding the hardware and software setup of your Mac;
Stuffit Expander, the popular tool for expanding compressed archives;
Internet Explorer, Microsoft’s Web browser;
ColorSync Scripting, an application for manipulating the ColorSync profiles of images;
URL Access Scripting, a tool for uploading and downloading files;
Image Capture, a background application that works with the Image Capture application. Its dictionary supports the scaling and rotating of image files.
According to Apple, Mac OS X and its UNIX-derived foundation “provide new challenges and opportunities for AppleScript, and as with any endeavor of this scope, its implementation will mature and complete over a series of releases.”
An overview of AppleScript in Mac OS X has been posted on the
AppleScript Web site. Customer feedback is encouraged at