Live Discussion?



I have hear the term step debugging a lot in this post. I did want to point out the idea of stepping through a program or script is much older then script debugger. Nearly all programmers are familiar with the concept. What is new to many is a graphical interface to show a lot of information and being able to so clearly see where a person is in the script. Writing things out to a file, having dialog come to the window with information, … have been used for a long time. In the past I used dialog to stop a program and display information before Script Debugger existed. If I had a weird problem I had a dialog come up after each line of code and display info in a dialog. That is also step debugging.

It’s not as important to teach the principles of step debugging as it is to teach people what extra abilities someone has when stepping through a script when using Script Debugger. Lessons should build on exiting knowledge of the idea of step-debugging. If you want to teach the entire concept of stepping through a script line by line to a person that does not understand the concept at all, then 60 seconds wouldn’t even begin to be enough time. But 60 seconds on each new special ability might interest people enough to check out SD further. At which point longer training videos could be used.


(Mark Alldritt) #22

Thank you, especially @estockly for putting together the example video.

I agree that the current SceenFlow example is very poor, but past ones have, I think, been quite good as they focus on the product and some particular problem.

My idea was to somehow get away from the highly produced videos that I’ve been making as they don’t seem to be making much of a difference. This is probably down to me, but I’m all I’ve got.

Anyway, I’ll take the list of suggested topics and see what I can produce.

(Mark Alldritt) #23

How would this differ from my Value Viewing tutorial?

Are you referring to AppleScript:// URLs or something else?

(Ed Stockly) #24

These would not be tutorials, they’d be commercials. A tutorial targets people who have the product or the demo and are spending time to learn. The video you linked to is 6 minutes, which is fine for a tutorial, could even be longer.

These would target potential customers, who are probably browsing the web or following a link in an email and may have heard of your product but aren’t sure how it could benefit them. If it raises their interest, they’d be able to download SD and run your tutorials.

I’d suggest making dozens of these starting with those features I mentioned and going beyond.




I didn’t understand these were commercials. That is an entirely different thing. This is something I know a lot more about. At times I have worked with people doing commercials and written text for ads. I remember marketers getting very involved in that stuff.

This is a huge area. This types of things is more psychological then detail oriented. You motivate, then inform. If you do it the other way around they may stop watching before you inform them.

For example you can list features of Script Debugger and try to sell it that way. Or you start off talking about all the amazing things the person you are talking to will be doing when they have Script Debugger. Help them to see themselves as if “through their own eyes” doing amazing things and loving it. Getting people to see it through their own eyes is a big thing with marketers. It took me a while to get the hang of this with writing.

You can appeal to pride. You can appeal to the idea of not being left behind. Tell them don’t deny yourself of this miraculous gift any more. If the person sees themselves happy and doing great things it will sell more then just trying to give good statistics. My father was into marketing and always talked to me about it.

Testimonials are often helpful. When doing testimonials that should sound natural and real. The rest of the commercial should be polished. SD users could send you videos or audio that you cut put into your commercials. Facts are good in commercials, but good emotional content is absolutely essential. I haven’t heard you talk at all about emotional content.

This is such a huge topic. There’s no way I can say say everything. The standard thing is to figure out is what you need, and then figure out how to get people to “want” to by the product in amounts that meet your needs. How the commercial comes off emotionally is the biggest factor to selling. While intellectual content and facts are the biggest part of a tutorial. I think if you focus on that you can come up with way better commercials.

Commercials themselves come in many different types. Brand recognition is probably the most common. You do something to get people attention and say the product name over and over and when people are ready to buy something they think of your product first. These often have little about the product itself and many times sell more then when the commercials do talk about the product.

Commercials appeal to patriotism, pride, fear, hope, … and sometimes actual information about the product is missing and the ad is still successful. For you I would say a mix of emotional and informational would be best. “Inspiring people” is better then trying to “talk them into something.” Getting people to fell more important, more prepared, more safe, … with Script Debugger is the marketers way to it. Use adjectives like advanced, innovative, … words like solution, answer, or phrases like “before it’s to late,” or something like you deserve SD instead of you need. But your goal can’t be to just insert such things. The surrounding words have to go with the words and phrases I just mentioned.

Brevity and emotionally powerful can get strong responses. Any where from nearly all, to every, word is usually chosen carefully in a professional commercial. Companies often hire someone whose “in-person presence” is motivating, trustworthy, … If you can see people in your mind doing better with Script Debugger then tell people “why” this is so more then “how” it will be. Depending on if you are doing video or a just text what you can do, and how you do it, change for both. They each have strengths and weaknesses. The potential of video is often wasted because people do not understand those strengths and weaknesses. If you are doing video then something like You Tube is an option. Once on you tube then the words you use for text on you tube page then becomes important. You can get hits on people interested in script debugger from just that. If google’s search engine thinks SD is interesting then it tells other people.

Commercials should have some kind of clear and effective message passed on which may or may not be overtly stated. There are too many ways this is done to even begin to list them. A video commercial is not just a video. It is an experience designed to leave someone with the impression that Script Debugger is something they want.

Say things early on that will get people’s interest so they will watch to the end. If you don’t think there is enough market demand then the commercials main purpose is to create market demand. Everything else is secondary to that. While that sounds obvious so many people start out with that and then say I can’t do that or a commercial must have this, … and the commercial goes down hill.

Will any of your commercials show someone working with script debugger or will they all be screen shots? People can get locked into just screen shots when advertising software. When this happens the viewer has no feedback on how the person is taking this experience. Screen shots mixed with a happy person excited to use script debugger send additional subconscious messages.

Will there be any music in the commercial. Will it be normal sound level or low background music, or a mix. Will there be any music at the beginning. Music, when done correctly, has a strong emotional effect on the watcher and/or listener. Also you can put text on the screen, or you can animate the text coming to screen.

Here is just example off the top of my head. I only thought about this for a few seconds. The world people are living in today is changing quickly because of technology. If you can tie that into Script Debugger being the best solution for something related to this big change it would be be a strong motivator. Many people are worried about losing jobs to technology, and they feel they need to learn more technical things. An ability to script is on way for a office worker to be of more technical value in the office.

Part of marketing is doing promotional. This could be deals with schools. Postings a special price now on forums, something with a short time, maybe 12 or 24 hours. A short time makes it sound like more of a deal. If any in the forum buy SD they are likely to talk about it, others in the forum are likely to ask about it. Getting people to talk about it is what is know as “word of mouth” and it’s an effect that goes on long after the event that started it is over.

Well there is no way I can say everything. So I should just stop here. I will say marketers use a team to come up with this stuff. You need different kinds of experts to put together a good powerful commercial. I am far better at doing emotional content stuff then I am at adding things to make a commercials look professional. It is always better to do a commercial with a group that has different skill sets. Do you have anything ready to show yet?


(Mark Alldritt) #26

Things have veered away from my original notion of providing some sort of live screencast for Script Debugger customers. Ed has suggested the notion of creating commercials for Script Debugger which is interesting.

Thanks for all the information and suggestions. Creating commercials is not my skill, but I’ll see what I can come up with.

I’m collecting the suggested topics into a list I can use to create future videos.



One of easiest commercials is to contrast SD against Script Editor. Say how the solution to the problems with Script Editor are solved by Script Debugger. Then show things that are the worst with Script Editor and show how in Script Debugger they are not a problem. Do something that has a sense of frustration when talking about Script Editor and show the user all happy when doing Script Debugger. The actors that do those kind of things often record in different steps. They get psyched up to be frustrated, then they stop for a little bit and they get psyched up to be happy and finish. The pause may be less then 60 seconds but the people doing the acting do actually shift gears and often it is noticeable on their faces, their posture, the tone of the voice, … I’ve seen people who darken the light slightly when talking about bad stuff and turn up the light when talking about good stuff. There are all kinds of tricks. This is why advertisers can even sell bad products. All lot of what they do has nothing to do with the actual quality of the product. Conversely a great product can fail to sell because all those details were not addresses.

I’m not trying to to discourage you. I’m trying to open up your awareness to all the issues that make or break a commercial. Amateur commercials can still work. The biggest thing is try them out on people. Lots of them and get lots of feed back from them. Usually people give some feed back and then you have pull the rest out of them. So you have to know what your looking for before doing an interview. If they don’t tell you something then you have to ask them. Always analyze the success of your different commercials. Watch other commercials selling something similar things and figure out what’s in there that would make you want to buy it or not want to buy it. Figure out what is working and what doesn’t work. Real advertisers spend time studying other commercials. Learning from other commercials is a very common technique for advertisers. The early commercials will help guide you to later make more successful commercials.

Don’t be hesitant to do your early commercials over a lot. It takes a while to get the hang of it. When things conflict pick the choice that gives you the best chance to reach your sales goal. It’s that simple. It’s all about money and in this case its ok to be all about money. Some people have a hard time working towards that goal. Knowing your sales goal tells you what your commercial needs to achieve. Knowing that you figure what techniques to use, gather resources and do the commercial.

You probably could take an actual SD user and record them using Script Editor and then take the most aggravated scenes and put them together then show the same things being done with SD. SD only has 2 competitors, SE and Smile. SE is the only serious one. It’s free but it’s limited. Rather then explain the difference in debugging just record the experiences. Pick a script that needs lots of debugging to find on SD. Record the sounds of sighs. Then switch to a new seen with a new Script Debugger owner which is the same person from the first part and record sounds of delight. Now the person is smiling and everything is great.

It’s like the old saying for writers. Show it, not say it. The results are more powerful that way. Some would even mess up the hair a little and rumple the cloths for the first part and have the hair all perfect and no wrinkles in the clothing in the second part. Commercials use a lot of things picked up on a subconscious level. But you can’t make such things supper obvious or it will be picked up on the conscious level and viewer will know it’s a trick and it might backfire. You would want the real look of a person who just just spent the night fighting with Script Editor and is really tired and frustrated. That is believable.

With video it is much easier to go overboard board with things because you can do so much with it. While pure text is more limited it is easier to keep from going over the edge.

Testimonials that look too polished and perfect may not seem as real. So if actual SD users sent some in and they didn’t look as professional it would look more real. People respond to actors on a commercial and take to heart their advice even though the viewer knows they are just actors. If it looks like real actual users made the testimonials it’s more real and therefore is more powerful. Commercials in many ways are like tiny movies only the cost and complications are smaller, the plot is super simple, and they are usually only 1 scene, sometimes 2 as in the before and after scenes I mentioned earlier.


(Ed Stockly) #28

For what it’s worth, I don’t find those things at all helpful. They either come across as infomercials or just a bunch of guys talking about something I’m not interested in.

(Phil Stokes) #29

This. Aim at the kids, and by extension, the educators. e.g., you might try reaching out to people running coding schools like coderdojo

(Jim Underwood) #30

LIke any good, to-be-successful, project, you must have clear goals and objectives.

IMO, developing “live screencasts” looks more like a solution looking for a problem, than a goal or objective.

I see little value in doing anything routinely on a live basis.
I believe most people today (certainly for me) are too busy, and are already over-scheduled between work and home to set aside time for a scheduled live presentation.

I went a long time without SD because:

  1. The price was too high
  2. I didn’t see a compelling reason to invest that much in it.

Now that I have it, and use it daily, I can clearly see how NOT having it would:

  • Slow down my development
  • Prevent me from discovering some solutions

Whatever you do, you are going to need some good Google SEO, and maybe even Google ads. No matter how great your stuff is, people have to know about it and find it.

I hope you find this useful.

Good luck. I wish you and your team much success!



Now this is an excellent example of a SD user testimonial. It sounds honest and sincere and he sounds sure that he made the right choice.


(Jean Christophe Helary) #32

What convinced me to get SD was that I could not easily see what types I was using and how they were compatible or not with the action I was trying.

So I would code with “return class of …” all over the place and when I’m sure one part of the code works I’d move on.

I’m still not familiar with any particular feature of SD and I’d really like to see more. One thing I visually prefer in SE is the way the dictionaries are displayed. So I guess I’d like to see first a series of comparisons between SE and SD to really understand the limitations of SE and be able to start from that in SD.

As for learning AS thanks to SD’s features, I guess that’s a different set of videos, but that’s definitely a must. Trying to learn AS in SE was a very painful experience.

(Christopher Stone) #33

Hey Jean Christophe,

Interesting. I much prefer the way Script Debugger displays them – but then I’ve been using Script Debugger since v1.0.

I wonder of that’s more a matter of familiarity than taste. It’ll be interesting if your opinion remains the same in 6 months to a year.


(Jean Christophe Helary) #34

It’s mostly the font used in the rightmost window where all the details are displayed. I find it less readable than in SE. It looks a bit smaller. That’s definitely the place where I’d like to be able to set a bigger font (not that it’s possible in SE, but the font used there is easier on the eye).

(Jean Christophe Helary) #35

The fact that the price dropped from $199 to $99 was big for me too. I guess $150 would have cut it too. $199 looked like a super pro app that was too much for what I needed.

(Christopher Stone) #36

Hit Cmd-Shift-+ and Cmd-Shift-- (plus/minus) to change the font size.

(Jean Christophe Helary) #37

Wow. Talk about feature discoverability when users are stuck in a specific set of expectations… That’s something SE doesn’t have :slight_smile:

(Shane Stanley) #38

You can also go to View... -> Customize Toolbar to add Text Size buttons to the dictionary view toolbar. Handy for those of us suffering from shortcut overload.

(Ed Stockly) #39

I’m thinking of writing a script that displays a new SD help page every day, cause whenever I look at it I learn something new!

The SD dictionary is way cool. Have you tried the explorer view yet?

(Jean Christophe Helary) #40

Share the script!
And yes, the Explorer is amazing. That’s one of the first features that I used.
In fact, it is so amazing that I’m using it to clean up my Calendar. Calendar search is a pain in the but but Explorer allowed me to display all the items in a particular calendar and modify them in Calendar. I guess that’s an unexpected way to use SD with Calendar but I was glad I could do that.