as the name suggests, is a little
application onto which you can drop any shell, Perl, or other
command-line script. It turns that script into a full-fledged,
self-contained, double-clickable application capable of running on
your desktop and doing interesting things with any files you feed it.
Perhaps an example is in order. I'll create a shell
script to zip any files passed to it on the command line:
I save it to gzip.sh, make it executable, and
give it a whirl on the command line:
% chmod +x gzip.sh
% echo "something" > file1
% echo "something else" > file2
% ./gzip.sh file1 file2
% ls *.gz
It works as expected, gzipping any files
Now I drag gzip.sh on to the DropScript
application. Within seconds, a new application is created, called,
suspiciously, Dropgzip. This is a
tiny application with all the functionality of my original
gzip.sh shell script. Like its parent, it
accepts files — only dropped onto it from the Finder rather than
fed to it on the command line.
Figure 1. Creating a DropScript application, before and after
Yes, it's a simple example, but any script will work
as long as it expects only files and folders as arguments.
DropScript sports some simple options, embedded in the original
script as comments. For example, while it makes sense that
gzip.sh should accept any file or folder
it's fed, gunzip.sh should
accept only things that are zipped. To set this restriction in the
script, you'd just add the following line:
# EXTENSIONS : "tgz" "tar" "gz" "Z" "zip"
The most intriguing attribute of DropScript is that its applications
can be made to export their functionality as
services, appearing in the Services
menu of just about any application.
To do so, specify a service name, like so:
# SERVICEMENU : "SomeService"
where SomeService is the name under which
the service will be listed in the Services menu. You can even specify
that a particular service live within a submenu by including a path
in the option:
# SERVICEMENU : "SubMenu/SomeService
Drop the script on DropScript and drag the resulting application to,
where else but, your Applications folder. Log
out and back in again and your new service will be right there in the
Figure 2. A DropScript application as exported service
I've only just scratched the surface of the sorts of
applications you can build. After all, you have the power of all the
built-in open source scripting languages (Perl, Python, Ruby, sh,
etc.) at your disposal. You'll find some
documentation and sample scripts (including a version of
gzip.sh) in the Examples
folder included with DropScript. These should be enough to get you
started and experimenting.