Apple Training Series: AppleScript 1-2-3 (Anglais) Broché – 19 décembre 2008
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All true. But you’re not sure about what’s involved with using it. Is it difficult? Is it programming? After all, you’re just a better-than average computer user. You know what you know, and your expertise serves you pretty well. But recently you’ve reached the point of asking yourself “Is there a better way?” The answer is “Yes.”
And relax, you just got lucky. This book is for you.
If you’ve never written a single line of computer code—this book is for you. If the most technical thing you do on the computer is calculate a column in Excel—this book is for you. If you’re tired of doing the same thing over and over—this book is for you.
It’s about being motivated to explore, understand, and take advantage of the tools you already own. AppleScript is free—the only price for its use is your desire to finally sit down and take a few moments to absorb and activate its magic.
This book starts at square one and walks you through the process of understanding and writing AppleScript—step by step, one concept at a time—until you find yourself suddenly creating powerful and useful automated solutions. And the lessons in this book are based on a decade of experience teaching hands-on classes to folks just like you. You can do this. You can become Master of your Computer Universe!
Still don’t believe us? Open the first chapter and start reading. You’ll see.
Biographie de l'auteur
Sal Soghoian discovered AppleScript in 1992 while looking for ways to automate publishing-related tasks at his service bureau. Since that time, he has remained a tireless evangelist for AppleScript and has served as the product manager for automation technologies at Apple for more than eleven years. His yearly all-day AppleScript training sessions at Macworld Expo are legendary and their common-sense hands-on approach is captured in this book.
Bill Cheeseman lives in Quechee, Vermont. He is well known in the AppleScript community as originator and long-time Webmaster of The AppleScript Sourcebook Web site and as the developer of two popular AppleScript utilities, PreFab UI Browser and PreFab UI Actions. He is also the author of Cocoa Recipes for Mac OS X: The Vermont Recipes, one of the first books about creating Cocoa applications for Mac OS X. When he isn’t writing software for Macintosh computers, Bill practices law as a civil litigator and trial lawyer.
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That question has been put to me dozens of times over my ten-plus years doing Macintosh support, and in almost every instance, the answer has been "yes." AppleScript has literally helped me to earn my living, in the sense that I've been hired to build customized applications that--to name just a few--scan the entire content of a weekly newspaper and flag any prohibited words for later exclusion, pull records from a database and turn them into a fully-formatted 32-page pamphlet of health-specific Web sites, and convert the SGML-tagged text from a medical journal into XPress Tags coding for import into QuarkXPress.
I first got turned on to AppleScript at a Macworld Expo back in the 1990s, when I attended a presentation given by a very enthusiastic service bureau employee by the name of Sal Soghoian. Not a programmer by trade, Sal had discovered the joys of AppleScripting while trying to free himself from some of the redundant tasks he was faced with while outputting his client's documents. I was so excited about what I saw him do with his QuarkXPress scripts that I ran up to him after his talk and starting peppering him with questions. Evidently recognizing my enthusiasm, he offered me a free copy of his "Sal's AppleScript Snippets," a 3.5" floppy disk containing a few dozen simple QuarkXPress AppleScript routines and some brief but helpful documentation. From that point forward, I was hooked on AppleScript.
So who better to author an AppleScript training guide for beginning scripters? For the past eleven years, Sal has been the product manager for automation technologies at Apple, and his own enthusiasm for scripting has helped to create a community of AppleScripters who, like me, were exposed to his Macworld sessions and got turned on to all the possibilities AppleScript offers. Sal's co-author, Bill Cheeseman, is no slouch either when it comes to scripting; a civil litigator and trial lawyer by day, he founded the AppleScript Sourcebook Web site (now MacScripter.net), an invaluable reference for scripters, way back in 1996.
Given this book's pedigree, I was expecting it to be the best AppleScript book I've seen to date (at least six AppleScript reference manuals currently reside in my programming library) in terms of introducing the non-programmer to scripting. After reviewing the initial chapters and working through some of the hands-on exercises, I was not in the least bit disappointed. The book truly does begin at "square one" by walking the reader step-by-step through the creation of a Finder toolbar script that is actually useful for restoring your Desktop to a preferred (uncluttered) state, and moves on from there to essential concepts like object references, conditionals, loops, and error handlers. While these concepts might sound intimidating to the newly-initiated scripter, Sal and Bill do an excellent job of making them both understandable and accessible.
As an AppleScripter, I can confirm that documenting the many aspects of this scripting language presents a challenge to any author--note that this book weighs in just shy of 900 pages. Recognizing this, the authors have taken what I consider to be a unique approach to the overall structure of the book. The first twelve chapters, which they call "Instant AppleScript," cover the fundamentals of scripting in a linear fashion, providing enough of a foundation for the reader to get started with basic scripting. Chapters 13-30 serve as more of a reference guide, and are organized in a way that even intermediate and experienced scripters will find useful, with individual chapters on folder actions, scripting connections to network servers, unit coercions (converting distance/weight/temperature, etc.), date scripting, and using the Script Editor, the built-in application used to construct and compile AppleScripts. The third section (that's the "3" in "AppleScript 1-2-3") refers to the downloadable content provided, which includes example scripts, updates, errata, and additional training materials.
Throughout the book, the writing is clear and concise, and each and every script is referenced with an ID, such as "SCRIPT 9.46," so that when multiple scripts appear on a single page or spread, there's no doubt as to which script the text refers. Screen shots are used extensively where appropriate, and the 31-page index is not merely exhaustive, but contains individual entries for each of the symbols employed in AppleScript, not just the terms and concepts. Perhaps equally as helpful, however, was the publisher's choice to use "lay-flat" binding for this book so that you can place it on your desk, open it to page 146, and actually have it remain open to that very page without flopping closed within a few seconds. This might seem like a small thing, but anyone who's ever tried to complete a "hands-on" tutorial from a book that refuses to stay open knows precisely where I'm coming from.
I've found some room for improvement in pretty much every product or book I've reviewed to date, but try as I may I can't really conjure up any creative criticism to offer the authors of "Apple Script 1-2-3." The best I can come up with is that I wish the included screen captures were a bit larger and in color, but that's really a piddling complaint. The bottom line is, if you're a beginner and you're serious about learning how to write AppleScripts, you won't find a better book out there.
Or, to sum up my review in a pseudo-AppleScript context:
set this_Book to "AppleScript 1-2-3"
tell individual "reader"
if (wants to get started with scripting) then
MyMac.com Rating: 5 out of 5
Original Review: [...]
I thought two other books are much, much better - Beginning AppleScript (Programmer to Programmer) (WROX) which was I thought an almost perfect book for beginners, and AppleScript: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition (O'REILLY), which seemed excellent for beginner and expert alike. Both of those books are a little out of date (e.g., they refer to Script Editor which has been renamed AppleScript Editor, and to AppleScript Utility, which has been discarded and incorporated into AppleScript Editor). But they are still worth a lot more that this book, despite a few minor things like that. I understand there's a new book out that might be good, but I haven't read it - AppleScript (Developer Reference). Even so, I don't see how anyone could go wrong with the two older books I just mentioned; they are both well worth the money, but experts might want to pass on the Beginning Applescript one.
This book (AppleScript: 123) is useful for when you're ready to take Apple scripting to the next level. While there are practical scripts that you can copy and apply, the authors focus more on trying to get you to understand the various logic, tools, and language for scripting automations and commands. Depending on your level of expertise with AppleScript, you may have to work through this book cover to cover in order to get a full understanding of scripting language.
What I find a little annoying about the book though is its weight and size. Parts of the 900 page book are needlessly repetitive (especially the first chapter in which the chapter summary is 12 pages long!) Also, some of the scripts presented in the book are not that practical. They are presented just to demonstrate and an example.
Despite this shortcoming, if you're serious about learning AppleScript, this is one book you'll want to read and work through.
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