[Pythonmac-SIG] appscript and XXXX - what is my app instance returning?

Paul Berkowitz berkowit at silcom.com
Wed Mar 30 18:04:29 CEST 2005

On 3/30/05 6:06 AM, "has" <hengist.podd at virgin.net> wrote:

> While appscript saves you from the vagaries of the AppleScript
> language, it can't do anything about bugs and quirks in individual
> applications' scripting interfaces.
> Remember that while appscript uses an OO-like syntax for convenience
> it's not OO. It's a simple relational query builder plus RPC wrapper.
> Ditto AppleScript, except it has an even thicker layer of syntactic
> and semantic sugar on top. The downside of this is that it causes
> quite a bit of confusion amongst users who assume that because it
> looks like OO it will behave like it too.
> (I've considered changing the syntax to avoid this problem, but
> that'd impact badly on its ease of use. I'd rather keep the syntax
> but make sure users know it's really just smoke and mirrors. Expect a
> bigger health warning in the docs for the next release.)

So there's a bit of a problem then in that you'd pretty well have to know
some AppleScript to be able to deal with quirky applications? (Quark is
quite possibly the quirkiest, but it's by no means alone.) Many applications
have strange and unfortunate implementations of AppleScript, which must
reflect the same quirks in their underlying AppleEvent implementations.
While there are years of "accumulated wisdom" available on the AppleScript
mailing lists (yes, I know MacScrpt is meant to be for all scripting on Macs
but for years has been effectively 100% AppleScript-oriented), and in a few
cases there is even AppleScript support of various descriptions from the
applications' creators, with appscript you'd be on your own, or dependent on
has to explain things to you. Someone with years of AppleScript experience
in the relevant apps, or apps with similar quirks, can probably figure it
out. But this has got to present some hurdles to the very people at whom
appscript is aimed - people not conversant in AppleScript - no? If appscript
is meant to replace the vagaries of AppleScript with the sanity of Python,
there's no getting around the fact that its whole raison d'être - healthy
application scripting - can founder on poorly implemented application
AppleEvent syntax, with no one around to explain it, let alone fix it.

Paul Berkowitz

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