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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: 7 x 0.9 x 9.2 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: #1,232,887 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.

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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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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25 of 28 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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16 of 17 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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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By RKM on February 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
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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