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AppleScript: The Missing Manual [Kindle Edition]

Adam Goldstein
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

From newspapers to NASA, Mac users around the world use AppleScript to automate their daily computing routines. Famed for its similarity to English and its ease of integration with other programs, AppleScript is the perfect programming language for time-squeezed Mac fans. As beginners quickly realize, however, AppleScript has one major shortcoming: it comes without a manual.No more. You don't need a degree in computer science, a fancy system administrator title, or even a pocket protector and pair of nerdy glasses to learn the Mac's most popular scripting language; you just need the proper guide at your side. AppleScript: The Missing Manual is that guide.Brilliantly compiled by author Adam Goldstein, AppleScript: The Missing Manual is brimming with useful examples. You'll learn how to clean up your Desktop with a single click, for example, and how to automatically optimize pictures for a website. Along the way, you ll learn the overall grammar of AppleScript, so you can write your own customized scripts when you feel the need.Naturally, AppleScript: The Missing Manual isn't merely for the uninitiated scripter. While its hands-on approach certainly keeps novices from feeling intimidated, this comprehensive guide is also suited for system administrators, web and graphics professionals, musicians, scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and others who need to learn the ins and outs of AppleScript for their daily work.Thanks to AppleScript: The Missing Manual, the path from consumer to seasoned script has never been clearer. Now you, too, can automate your Macintosh in no time.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Adam Goldstein got his programming start in Kindergarten, when he first played around with Logo on an old Apple II. Through middle school, Adam wrote useless but amusing HyperCard programs. Nowadays, he runs GoldfishSoft, a shareware company that makes games and utilities for Mac OS X. Adam was a technical editor for O'Reilly's best-selling Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, and an editor for Mac OS X Panther Power User. When he's not writing books or code, Adam attends MIT.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2493 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (February 9, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0026OR32G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #465,225 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Missing Manual Hit February 9, 2005
[...]AppleScript: The Missing Manual by Adam Goldstein is part of the Missing Manual series of beginner/intermediate books published by Pogue Press/O'Reilly and Associates. The focus of this book series is on computer products that have been released without adequate printed manuals (Mac OS X, iLife '04, Google, iPod and iTunes, Windows XP, Windows 2K among others). Their newest release, AppleScript: The Missing Manual, is a welcome addition to their catalog of smart, funny and user-friendly books.
AppleScript is a scripting language that mimics the syntax of English. As such, it's extremely similar to how sentences are structured and, as a result, is very intuitive and simple to use. However, this doesn't belie the fact that it's a very powerful tool for automation.
Goldstein's Missing Manual is an exciting newcomer to the meager collection of AppleScript introductory volumes. This book covers the current Mac OS 10.3 (Panther) release of AppleScript and includes multimedia support, GUI scripting and AppleScript Studio. While it is intended for the beginner and intermediate user, power-hounds will also find many tricks, tips and hidden tools within its pages.
The book is divided into four parts: "AppleScript Overview", "Everyday Scripting Tasks", "Power-User Features" and "Appendixes".
Part One begins with the usual suspects: where to find the AppleScript folder in Mac OS X, how to enable the script menu and the surprising number of useful scripts you'll find there. In just a few pages, Goldstein hands the reader a collection of valuable scripts that were hiding in OS X Panther all along (I particularly like the "ransom note" script).
Part Two is the main core of the book and covers "Everyday Scripting Tasks".
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42 of 49 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for you if you are a programmer.... August 3, 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ok, I confess it. I am a programmer. My desire was pretty simple. I wanted a book that would show me all of the parts of Applescript and how to use them.

This is NOT that book. You can see the sample scripts but very little explains how to take that information to make scripts of your own.

This book has lots of sample scripts, but since I am not interested in scripting those applications, it isn't helpful to me.

Perhpas I just wanted too much, but I sent this book back.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More like a travel guide October 21, 2005
This is not a "manual" in any sense of the word. A manual tells you how, where, and when. This is more like a tour guide of Applescript. Sure there are scripts, but few of them make the Mac easier to use than its own OSX interface. The information is presented in such a scattered form, that it is hard to follow for very long, and therefore hard to learn. It's like trying to learn to be a chef by watching the Cooking Channel.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit off the mark... September 19, 2005
As a long time hobbyist, im not really impressed. This book doesn't really touch on too many of the 'hard' issues one would face when first getting started with applescript. The languages syntax, for example, is not as intuitive as its description suggests. Its english like, but its not english, and english takes a decade or so to master.

The book says little about the language, and a disproportionately large part of it is just a series of example scripts categorized by the programs being scripted.

This book is more like the answers to the test than the course that would prepare you for the test. I learned close to nothing from it.

Im sure it has its place, but as someone pretty familiar with programming, I find that practical examples _aswell as_ some deeper, language directed discussion is nessesary to get anything other than a weak grasp on any language. Especially a language as slippery as applescript. But I guess I got what I paid for... its a pretty cheap book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars AppleScript Book that Fills the Gap February 14, 2005
AppleScript: The Missing Manual by Adam Goldstein succeeds in avoiding the failing of most computer books. The problem with the typical computer book is that it falls into one of two types: a tutorial, too short on information to be worth the price, or a lengthy tome (usually written by a computer programmer) that is far too detailed to be readable. AppleScript: The Missing Manual excels in providing a wealth of information in an easily readable manner and lives up to the "the missing manual" identifier.

AppleScript is generally described as a simple but powerful script programming language that reads like simple English. While this is true, the simple, short but powerful, and easy to read example scripts lulls many users. The truth is that while the finished product is easy to read, AppleScript is a "finicky" language that requires exact wording. There has been a lack of good books on AppleScript and even a shortage of online information on the Internet. Inexplicably, unlike the Apple norm, Apple's documentation on AppleScript is very poorly organized and generally cryptic. Mr. Goldstein's book is welcome relief in the large void.

Many computer books just provide information that can easily be encompassed in a short tutorial. So why bother paying the price of the book when you can easily access similar information for free on the Internet? On the other side of the scale, other computer books fail by including too much esoteric information in far too technical language. How many times do you need to read a discussion on whether a programming item fit the academic criteria of being "object-oriented"? Mr. Goldstein' book contains more information and is more complete than a tutorial while not overloading you with too much information.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Applescript ROCKS!
Adam is probably out of high school now and I feel cheated out of my last 50 years. Imagine where I would be now if this kind of talent was in high school in the early 60's?
Published 9 months ago by John Holmgren
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't beat yourself up if you are not writing code after reading this
I took this book out of the library three different times, hoping to write some small scripts to pave over some minor Mac peeves I had. Read more
Published on June 15, 2009 by David Fonseca
4.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction
I have not programming background, but I do like automating as many tasks on my computer as possibly can. Read more
Published on June 2, 2008 by Bakari Chavanu
5.0 out of 5 stars Great beginner reference
Once again, the Missing Manual series comes to the rescue. Anyone wanting a comprehendible primer on Applescript should look no further. Read more
Published on April 28, 2008 by Ty Cox
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to follow
"AppleScript: The missing manual" is complete and will teach you the basic of AppleScript to the point where you can write your own script to accomplish all kinds of tasks. Read more
Published on December 26, 2007 by E. Weber
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough and Good for the programmer as well as the novice....
This book is loaded with information from A-Z in AppleScript. I am a programmer. I read the other reviews by programmers who said the book "wasn't enough". Read more
Published on August 23, 2007 by Kathryn L. Tate
2.0 out of 5 stars Okay for beginners, not for programmers.
This book is very basic and doesn't really get into any depth. Rather than teaching the fundamentals of AppleScript, it's more of a guided tour to what you can accomplish with... Read more
Published on June 3, 2007 by rjpryan
2.0 out of 5 stars OK as an introduction but lacks depth
"Applescript - the missing manual" is OK as an introduction to the basics of Applescript - it explains how to edit & run a script, gives a feel for what applescript looks like and... Read more
Published on February 23, 2007 by William Keogh
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for Intermediate Programmers or Beginners
As have other reviewers, I found this book gives enough information to get me in trouble or to get me frustrated but doesn't give enough details or explanations or even examples to... Read more
Published on December 10, 2006 by Neil Stahl
5.0 out of 5 stars an excellent book for anyone who wants to learn to use applescript
this is just a great book im not sure where to begin this review. i am new to programming and i wanted to start off small and applescript seemed like just the thing. Read more
Published on May 10, 2006 by Mark Dymek
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