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Article:
  Replacing AppleScript with Ruby
Subject:   Good idea, but...
Date:   2007-02-28 14:07:16
From:   pauls101
the problem with Applescript isn't primarily the language. While I would certainly prefer to work in Ruby, it's not a cure all.


Applescript support is extremely difficult to do well, being very complex and poorly documented; those who try beyond the very basics (what's built into Powerplant, for example) often don't get it right or complete; very few indeed fully test and debug, let alone document beyond the frustratingly useless Dictionary resource. Last time I tried a few years ago, Apple's notoriously buggy Finder drove me to despair: of the 6 ways a given job might logically be accomplished: 2 work correctly most of the time; 3 fail with bogus errors or refuse to compile for no obvious reason; 1 fails "silently" and appears to do nothing. Debugging was limited (as in non-existent) except for a few third party programs that didn't work very well either.


Using Applescript usually means spending a long time learning the idiosyncracies of a target application, with little application elsewhere. A different scripting language might make it easier (I had high hopes for the Javascript OSA system a while back) but it won't fix all the things that make AS suck rocks.


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  1. Matt Neuburg photo Good idea, but...
    2007-03-01 07:50:03  Matt Neuburg | O'Reilly Author [View]

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