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AppleScript: The Missing Manual Paperback – February 7, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0596008505 ISBN-10: 0596008503 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Missing Manual
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (February 7, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596008503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596008505
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,158,835 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.


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Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book to any Apple Mac user.
RKM
Overall, an OK book to get started but you'll need something more detailed to really use applescript.
William Keogh
Like all Missing Manual books, it explains technical concepts in plain english.
Ty Cox

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Mary Norbury-Glaser on February 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
[...]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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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By MacDesigner on October 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
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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42 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Alan G. Smith on 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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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. Rudolph on September 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Waddell on October 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
Pros: Humorous, Easy To Read, Numerous Good Examples

Cons: Teaches primarily by example, Little rigorous treatment of the language itself

Recommended for: People with no programming experience who want to automate their Mac and beginning programmers who want to learn the basic principles of programming in an easy-to-learn language

The author, a high school student, gives us a good introductory book about AppleScript. It stays true to the "Missing Manual" philosophy in that if the average Mac user found it in the box with their new Mac, they wouldn't be turned off by it.

However, given the lackluster reception that Automator received with the release of Tiger, it seems to me that the potential audience of people with limited programming experience who want to automate their mac is quite limited. Therefore, I think that the ideal audience for this book is beginning programmers who want to learn the fundamental, and universal, concepts of programming using an easy-to-understand language that is already available on their computer.

Chapter 1 shows how to enable the Script Menu and walks us through each script therein. Chapter 2 shows how to launch and use the Script Editor to open, modify and save scripts. These 2 chapters provide an introduction to what is already installed on each new Mac.

Chapter 3 is the first chapter that begins to introduce the language itself. This chapter introduces dialog boxes and the "tell" statement for controlling other applications. This chapter also introduces the concept of "dictionaries." Dictionaries are the essence of AppleScript in that they outline every command and variable of each program that is AppleScriptable.
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