Friday, September 25, 2020 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Pixelmator Pro Gets AppleScript Support

Pixelmator:

Big news from the Pixelmator Team, today we’re releasing a major update to Pixelmator Pro. Version 1.8, codenamed Lynx, is now here, bringing incredibly full-featured support for AppleScript.

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In our quest to make AppleScript support as great and full-featured as possible, we collaborated with Sal Soghoian, the legendary user automation guru, who served at Apple for 20 years as the Product Manager of Automation Technologies, including AppleScript, Services, the Terminal, Apple Configurator and Automator, among others. We’re super glad to have had the opportunity to work with Sal. He was a big help with our scripting dictionary and we think the extra attention to detail really paid off!

John Gruber:

You can say “But AppleScript is so old and it’s such a weird frustrating language” — and you’d be right. AppleScript is really old. It’s palpably the product of a bygone era. It’s one of the last classic Mac OS era technologies that’s still kicking and relevant. But it’s what we’ve got. Clearly, Apple doesn’t care enough about professional tool automation to create an altogether new scripting system, but they care enough to keep AppleScript going.

6 Comments

Apple doesn’t care enough about professional tool automation to create an altogether new scripting system, but they care enough to keep AppleScript going.

Or they care so little that even the effort of deprecation/removal is low-priority.

"Clearly, Apple doesn’t care enough about professional tool automation to create an altogether new scripting system"

Wait, didn't they? Can't you script any OSA-compatible client with JavaScript?

I'd love to see documentation for that from the Pixelmator folks. In my experience, reading ObjC interfaces and mentally translating them to Swift is easy, but reading AppleScript and converting to JavaScript is not.

@Sam It’s the same old scripting system, just callable from JavaScript.

What would "an altogether new scripting system" mean, besides a new language? Nearly all of Gruber's issues seem to be about the syntax. He goes on at length about "the failed experiment that is AppleScript's English-like syntax", and admits that JavaScript is better.

I think 90% of his problems would go away if he switched to JS.

@Sam I don’t think the problem is that it’s English-like per-se but that the available terminology and the way it behaves with different apps is unpredictable. For example, sometimes you need to add temporary variables (which would seem to be no-ops) in order to make it work. Some apps don’t implement object specifiers correctly. These are equally problems in when JavaScript for Automation. There are lots of problems with AppleScript, both the language and the implementation, that have nothing to do with the syntax.

My depressing takeaway from this announcement: If the only way we get first class AppleScript support in such a major Mac app as Pixelmator is by getting Sal Soghoian himself personally involved, then AppleScript is truly dead.

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