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Using AppleScript in Konfabulator

By: Jesse Shanks - February 19, 2003

Recently released and causing a sensation among software downloaders is Konfabulator from Arlo Rose and Perry Clarke. Konfabulator is described as a Javascript runtime engine for Mac OS X that runs little files called Widgets. These files contain a mixture of text files of XML and Javascript, and images, renamed with a .widget extension and the package that is created can be double-clicked and launched as an application. Optionally, the script can execute AppleScript commands to interact with the system and other applications.

Extending BBEdit with Glossary Entries That Call AppleScripts

By: Jesse Shanks - February 9, 2003

The Glossary in BBEdit is a powerful feature of the text editor, which allows the storage of often-used strings of text. Using Glossary Substitutions, such as SCRIPT, allows the creation of dynamic glossary entries that extend the capabilities of the program. Scripts can be written in AppleScript and called from the glossary entry to provide various types of user input, calculations and access to the file system.

Tabbed browsing in Safari - What for?

By: Jesse Shanks - January 31, 2003

Combining Safari, AppleScript and the nature of the OS X system, a new and more efficient way of browsing can be created that makes the question of tabbed browsing somewhat irrelevant.

AppleScript: Bookmarking DVDs

By: Jesse Shanks - October 14, 2002

When writing DVD Reviews for, I have often wished for the capability of temporarily bookmarking a location in a DVD so that I could return it or reference it. This is a feature available on PC DVD viewing apps and has been sorely lacking in the Apple DVD Player. However, with AppleScript, the can be added. DVD Bookmarking is implemented as a stay-open AppleScript Application that is controlled by compiled scripts run from the Script Menu. Included are the commands to Make Bookmark, Show Bookmarks, Clear Bookmarks, Save Bookmarks to File, Load Bookmarks from File, Take Captures of Bookmarks, and View DVD Info in Text Edit.

AppleScript Studio Beta: DVD Navigator

By: Jesse Shanks - October 11, 2002

DVD Navigator allows the creation of chapter catalog files for DVDs viewed on the computer. These files can be saved and used to access particular parts of a DVD quickly. Chapter names can be entered. AppleScripts can be written from DVD Navigator to the DVD Player Scripts folder that will allow navigation to chapters straight from the DVD Player.

The State of AppleScript: Another View

By: Jesse Shanks - October 7, 2002

Last week and this week, John C. Welch published an article, "The State of AppleScript" in two parts, on that enumerated many of the problems with this "critical technology." I agree with many of the points he made and I am glad to see AppleScript get publicity, even if it is less than enthusiastic. But, on the other hand, he ignored many of the amazing developments and possibilities of the language and scripting system that are here and now and good and getting better. What I say about the state of AppleScript is: if you aren't doing amazing things... you just aren't trying. My point is not to criticize Mr. Welch's article which makes some very good points, but rather to say that AppleScript looks much different from over here. It's great and getting better every day with more options, more connections, more features, more capabilities, more uses and more fun than ever before.

AppleScript: Ten Tips and Gotchas for the Script Editor

By: Jesse Shanks - September 25, 2002

There are many alternatives to the Script Editor that has been a staple of AppleScript development since the beginning. But, many scripters still use the venerable Script Editor despite its many limitations. Following are ten tips that come from my time in using the program in creating scripts of various types.

Better Bookmarks: Create Internet Location Files from the Browser

By: Jesse Shanks - September 24, 2002

Two things prompted this script. 1. I found myself often surfing in Netscape and coming across pages that I wanted to have available in Internet Explorer. There are ways of sharing bookmarks/favorites between the two browsers but I have never found them to be satisfactory. 2. I often came across situations in the two broswers where I found or created a page that I wanted to keep but not bookmark, i.e,, a Google search or News Article.

TextEdit, Attribute Run and RGBColor Values

By: Jesse Shanks - September 16, 2002

In working with scripting TextEdit and writing text descriptors in Quicktime, I came across a color description that I was not familiar with in using color on web sites. Hex values and RGB values are quite familiar, but what were referred to as "RGBColor values" were not. These are in a format of 0,0,0 for black and 65535,65535,65535 for white. Doing a search didn't give me much information, at so far as I went. I did find a partial list of some, but not enough to satisfy my desire for fancy colors.

AppleScript: Automated Audio Blogging

By: Jesse Shanks - September 3, 2002

In creating this Audioblogging script, an amazing number of different technologies and applications are employed. AppleScript, Speech, The Finder, iTunes, Quicktime, Internet Explorer, Javascript, HTML, PHP, Apache and MySQL all work together in the harmony of OS X bliss. The parts included here could be re-used for many purposes including building an online web reference, a diary, a bookmark repository and many more.

My First Jaguar Folder Action

By: Jesse Shanks - September 1, 2002

A useful feature in the Finder list view is the ability to view comments that have been added to a file. Besides adding information about the item, the comments column can also be used to sort the list in a different way. The following article describes how to create and attach a folder action to a folder that generates a dialog box for each file added into which comments can be quickly entered.

Search Google from Microsoft Word

By: Jesse Shanks - August 26, 2002

Quite often while reading a Word document, I find occasion to look up a string of text on Google. Of course, I can select the text and switch to the browser and then do a Google search either with a hacked Internet Explorer that searches Google directly or by going to the Google site. Not satisfied with that, I wanted to create a Macro that did this for me using the function that calls AppleScript code.

More AppleScript and OmniOutliner: OmniOutliner as a Script Analysis and Management Tool

By: Jesse Shanks - May 18, 2002

Analyzing and managing programming code is a tough task in the best of circumstances. This article explores using OmniOutliner as a script analysis and management tool and, through xtensibility with adding AppleScripts to the Scripts Menu, using OmniOutliner as a script editor.

Using OmniGraffle as an RSS News Reader with Applescript

By: Jesse Shanks - May 12, 2002

To learn about the capabilities of a new application in its enhanced AppleScript capabilities, a project is created that turns OmniGraffle into an RSS News reader unlike any that are out there.

AppleScript Production: Publish from Email to Web in 5 Minutes with Entourage, BBEdit and Internet Explorer

By: Jesse Shanks - April 27, 2002

One of the strongest points of AppleScript is the interaction between various applications necessary to accomplish a task. A relatively simple set of scripts can be created that pass and process data through a complex series of actions by multiple programs in a streamlined fashion. In this production example, the task is to take information from an email in Entourage, process it in BBEdit and then upload to a databse through Internet Explorer. This provides one-click publishing of information from email to web - almost.

Applescript, BBEdit, PHP, MySQL and Flash MX Working Together as a Development Environment on Mac OS X

By: Jesse Shanks - April 25, 2002

Developing the Flash movie trivia contest for utilized a wide range of capabilities, including such programs and technologies as Flash MX, AppleScript, BBEdit, PHP and MySQL running with the Apache web server on OS X, that go a long way to show how Mac OS is becoming the premiere development platform on the planet.

Creating a New AppleScript Template in BBEdit

By: Jesse Shanks - April 23, 2002

In my previous article, Make BBEdit into an AppleScript Development Environment, I showed various techniques that would enable a scripter to use BBEdit to create and compile AppleScripts. This time I show how to create a script that will generate a new script template with predefined settings using a combination of scripts and BBEdit's predefined glossary substitutions.

Make BBEdit into an AppleScript Development Environment

By: Jesse Shanks - April 20, 2002

BBEdit has some outstanding features that make it an excellent source code editor. It is integrated with the shell, has extensive Perl capabilities, features a powerful find-and-replace, compare differences, extensive HTML features, and more. With a little work, a scripter can add many powerful AppleScript development tools to BBEdit that build on each other in a completely customizable environment, utilize the special capabilities of the editor and tap into the resources of other applications. Sounds a lot like the Macintosh way to me.

Using Spoken Feedback in AppleScripts and Applescript Studio Applications

By: Jesse Shanks - April 14, 2002

Sometimes in AppleScripts or AppleScript Studio applications, it is appropriate to use verbal feedback from the computer instead of visual. It certainly can be used occasionally instead of "display dialog" to avoid yet another window to dismiss. On the other hand, it can also be darn entertaining to have the computer speak instead of using "beep 2" on the completion of a script.

Windows to Infinity: Digital Fine Art on Computers

By: Jesse Shanks - March 6, 2002

So much discussion of digital art is centered on the validity of the tool used to realize the artist vision. To some it is too easy, or too fast or the result is too artificial. Very little attention is paid to the vision of the artist creating the piece. But this is not a new phenomena. The history of art is littered with the bones of people who could not accept a new way, a new style, a new vision or a new tool.

Making Web Log Updater in AppleScript Studio

By: Jesse Shanks - January 8, 2002

In what I have to think is a first, this weblog is updated using an AppleScript Studio project. I have used bookmarklets with Javascript and AppleScripts to handle this type of updating before and had good facility. But, with the release of AppleScript Studio, I decided that making an application that does the work of keeping the site up would be handy to have running in my dock, especially for the times when I am not posting from a web page. Plus, it is always so much easier to learn when actually doing something that is needed than doing endless tutorials.

Applescript Handbook
Danny Goodman's Applescript Handbook