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AppleScript: The Comprehensive Guide to Scripting and Automation on Mac OS X 2nd ed. 2006 Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1590596531
ISBN-10: 1590596536
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The founder of Custom Flow Solutions, Hanaan Rosenthal developed his first drawing program and published a programming newsletter at the age of 11. He became a digital media and prepress consultant in 1991, specializing in Mac publishing. In 1996, he took on his first full-blown AppleScript automation project and never looked back. Since then he has helped reshape the workflow of numerous publishing companies and departments creating systems that save their owners millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours annually. His clients include Fidelity Investments, Wellington Management, The Boston Globe, and Showtime Networks.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 808 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 2nd ed. 2006 edition (September 21, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590596536
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590596531
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,532,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Bought this book after having read the reviews for the first edition and have finally finished it after having given up a number of times in exasperation at the vast amount of errors in the text and the code (both in the book and downloadable). The author no doubt knows his subject and covers what you need to know to become proficient in AppleScript, but I am not sure who this book is aimed at. It is not suitable for anyone new to programming as concepts are introduced early but only explained later on in the text, the mistakes in the examples create confusion (AppleScript even being referred to as ActionScript), and the inane Dummies style humour and prose with "cool" and even "ultracool" examples insulting to the mature reader. To add to my dissatisfaction the binding started to fall apart after only 250 pages. This is both the first and last Apress book that will be in my library.

During my way through this I bought both Danny Goodman's book from SpiderWorks and Matt Neuberg's "Definitive Guide". My recommendation to anyone else looking to learn AppleScript would be to start with Goodman, and if you know a programming language to go straight to Neuberg. Both highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tue 4/24/2007 3:27 pm. I haven't finished the book but, for instance, there were two wrong captions in the first 32 pages. Numerous other errors in the text. I feel Rosenthal gives a good feel for how AppleScript works, not sugar-coated, and I didn't have much trouble with the errors, but someone new to programming might (I am a programmer without AppleScript -- or Apple for that matter -- experience).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is true to its title - it is "comprehensive." If you are a beginner with AppleScript (and programming in general), just start reading the book from the beginning and you will pick up all you need. Those who have a bit of experience programming can skip around a bit without worrying about missing something. I have not been all the way thru the book yet, but as some others have pointed out, there is the occasional typo in the book.
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Format: Paperback
Before reading this book, I had only run scripts with the occasional copy and paste. After this book, I feel I have a great understanding for what AppleScript actually is, when to use it, and how to use it. In short, it's a full featured language that is ideal for small automation tasks and larger tasks where the scripting takes place in applications. After reading the book, it's quite remarkable how much you can do with AppleScript.

At first, the book is pretty intimidating. At 808 pages, it's not a nutshell of AppleScript. Instead, it serves as a quite tutorial of how to get scripting (which you do pretty immediately) and then you have a mix of guides and reference material. Not being familiar with AppleScript before, this was actually a great way to learn it because I didn't need a whole slew of books nor had to search around for content the book left out.

The book is broken into three sections with an introduction, language syntax, and language usage. Those those who have some programming background, you probably want to skip around in the second section first and move on to the third section. If there is a concept that needs more detail, go back to section 2.

For those who are new to languages, you will want to read chapters 3-12 provides a prose walkthrough of handling values, doing math, and flow control in an easy way. After the basic language usage, the book gets into user interaction (and how easy it is to use the built in dialog boxes), file handling, interacting with the clipboard, and error handling. There may a few concepts that are tough to understand at first if you are new to languages in general but it's possible to go back to them.

The end of the chapters have wrap up sections.
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