And so it’s sad to see scripting die out as the popular platforms for application development fail to support it. Instead of the personal control of the script – I will take this information from that app, and put this part of it in that app – we have the corporate control of the API. This app maker and that app maker are BFFs, sign in here to let them share everything. After all, they know best.
Ultimately the death of scripting is hubristic. We know how you want to use a computer. If you’re trying to do something that we didn’t sell to you, you must be holding it wrong.
There’s bash, and powershell, and ruby, and…even Perl is still popular among sysadmins. There’s never been a better time to be a programmer or other IT professional trying to automate a task.
True, but there’s never been a worse time for someone who doesn’t care about computers to use a computer to automate a task. Apps are in-your-face “experiences” to be “used”, and for the most part can’t be glued together.
There are counter-examples, of course — the apps I work on (Mac versions of OmniFocus and OmniOutliner) are highly scriptable. But the trend toward silos, sandboxing, and highly-controlled experiences is clear.
(First thing I did was look to see if Slack has a scripting dictionary. Of course not. Neither does HipChat. Apps these days.)
Update (2015-08-27): Dr. Drang:
I think Lee’s pessimism is temporally misplaced—at least in the Apple world. While I’d never say that scripting Apple devices is in an ideal state, the situation certainly looks better than it did two or three years ago.
Things are still more locked down on the iOS side, but we now have app extensions to ease some of the pain and Workflow for more complicated interapp trickery.
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