We are well into a new year and it looks as if there may be some changes ahead that may affect some of us. There will be new challenges, new capabilities, and perhaps a new focus for some adventurous scripters. “There is nothing as consistent as change” so they say.
Recently I read a paper entitled “Rethinking Programming” that may be of particular interest to designers who have added scripting to their skills list. The paper begins with the eye opener in that “we’re on the edge of big changes in the structure of computing.” The change, according to the author, O’Reilly’s Mike Loukides, is that the computer industry will become more specialized in that “programming will increasingly be split between highly trained professionals and people who don’t have a deep background but have a lot of experience building things.”
If you don’t already see the implication for people such as yourself, let me reiterate: there is a growing need for more people in the industry who don’t have a deep computer science background but know enough to put a solution together. It is the need for more people like you who have delved into scripting that Mr. Loukides is referring to in his article. He does not speak of writing scripts specifically, but he says for people who don’t know how to write a program algorithm (such as a quick sort), being able to use a library function is “just fine, and we shouldn’t pretend that it isn’t.”
As proposed, the fine line between writing scripts and writing computer code is thinning. To learn how to write a script you don’t need a deep background in computer programming. In fact, knowing what is needed for practical application may become even more important. People, such as yourself who have experience in not only building things but in coming up with ideas for better solutions will become a much needed tier in the computer industry. You have most likely already seen how big changes in productivity can be accomplished in just being able to cobble a script together. For that, you just need a good collection of functions (“handlers” if writing AppleScript). In short, the future will be even brighter for the builders as well as for those who create the building blocks.
So now that you know the basics of working with AppleScript, let me introduce you to Automator. If you are not using Apple’s Automator application already, you should at least be aware of what it is. It is a simple application that uses a drag and drop interface for integrating applications on the Macintosh with common workflow tasks and your AppleScripts. With this in mind, our next few blog posts will focus on Automator. So keep tuned and start thinking about what you might want to build.
Meanwhile you may want to look through the listing the blog posts from 2019. This can be found at the following: https://indd.adobe.com/view/97e6a0ad-3318-4a59-94bb-2485342c0aef