If you’re into AppleScript, you’ll certainly want to check out the new e-zine, MacScripter, which is designed to show people how to use Apple’s scripting language with pictures, animations, and “few, but well crafted” sentences, says Bert Altenburg who, along with Vittorio Barabino, started the publication.
MacScripter goals also include working towards scripts people will perceive as useful and to alleviate the syntax problem, he adds.
“We don’t describe features (such as keywords) of AppleScript if we don’t need them shortly in a script,” Altenburg told MacCentral. “Hence, people will not (or only for a short while) question what the use of such a feature is. If it is out of context, people have a harder time learning. As for the syntax problem, I want Apple to change the dictionary, so developers can add syntax examples easily. So far, no luck. We also want to have what we call expanded dictionaries. So far, we’ve got only one: for iView. Apart from the syntax examples, it also contains sample scripts, which people can copy and modify as suits them.”
You can get more info at the
MacScripter Web site, but there’s no formal way to subscribe. Altenburg says the e-zine products just hope that Mac sites “pay attention to us and interested people pay attention to Mac sites.”
Altenburg hopes that enough people learn of MacScripter to get drawn to AppleScript and the Mac in general. He feels that the more people know about the Mac, the more likely they are able to win PC people over and the less likely they will “backward migrate.”
“For this reason, I’m working on more tutorials, such as Perl and CGI, although the audience for that will be limited,” Altenburg says. “On the other hand: with Mac OS X Apple will become in no time the largest distributor of Perl. If we Mac users share our knowledge, we have the better platform.”
And, naturally, he’s glad that AppleScript is part of Mac OS X, though it’s not up to full speed in the current public beta.
“I have the Mac OS X Public Beta, but in this version, the implementation really limited,” Altenburg says. “I don’t think that is because OS X’s implementation will fall short; it is just not ready. To implement the basic structure must have been the hardest part. The rest is probably easier.”