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ericn

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Sep 18 10 3:01 PM

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I've previously mentioned AppleScript-Objective C (AppleScriptObjC), an interesting and powerful extension to AppleScript that Apple quietly slipped in with the many infrastructure changes in Snow Leopard. Apple has produced almost no documentation, but there is an excellent five part tutorial atMacScripter (Parts: 15234 — best order), that I heartily recommend, and they are hosting a forumwith experienced developers willing to help noobies get started. If you do much AppleScripting, I'd suggest you look into it.


Why? Because it is faster than regular AppleScript and because it makes all of power of the Mac OS available to AppleScript. Indeed all. As a test, rebuilt Qsilver-Qscript.scpt, that invokes Quicksilver and Quickscript, to include a mouse action, a system level action, and it works.


I'm excited about this because of the opportunity it offers to improve the Modbook's interface. AppleScript lives in a weird place in the Mac OS — between the operating system and the running applications. As such, it is perfectly positioned to easily add little OS improvements that may make a world of difference to non-mainstream users like us Modbook users. Unfortunately, up until Snow Leopard, most of the OS and the UI was unavailable or rather difficult to access though AppleScript (see Notes below). But no longer. The one drawback: AppleScriptObjC is Snow Leopard only.


Using AppleScriptObjC, I hope to address the various Dream a Better Modbook items — beginning with the easier things, “Better Control of Modifier Keys” might be a good start. Perhaps, as I get better or if I get some help, I can work on some of the more difficult items. In addition, I'd like use AppleScriptObjC to rebuild some of my existing AppleScripts, MacFlip, SkimFlip, PenApt, ReCalibrateTablet, etc., to make them easier to use and more efficient. KeyboardAutoHide, a real resource hog, seems like a good place to begin. If you have any suggestions, want to help, or would like to improve my icons, let me know.


At present, I have two projects nearly ready: the Quicksilver-Quickscript app, I mentioned earlier, and an app to improve user control over tablet pressure sensitivity based loosely on a post at Concept Art. Now that I finally have my Modbook back from the doctor, I can test them. I'll try to post them sometime this weekend.


EricN


Notes:

Unix utilities can, if available, provide vanilla AppleScript with access to the operating system at considerable performance cost. Alternatively, AppleScript could previously be extended using AppleScript Studio, but AS Studio's syntax is a full magnitude more verbose and exotic than AppleScript's and provides access to only a small portion Cocoa, whereas AppleScriptObjC gives you everything.



UPDATE: I've built my first AppleScriptObjC app, PenPressurizer. The source is at Github (http://github.com/CdLbB/PenPressurizer).


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