Enjoying Script Debugger so much!

I have been programming on and off since the 80’s and so have used a wide variety of development environments. Inevitably the complexity of frameworks and languages as increased steadily over the last 40 years - to the point where programming rarely feels fun any more.
Using Script Debugger has been a breath of fresh air - at times a bit nostalgic certainly, but everytime I wished it had some new feature I have dug a little deeper and found that it already has. I know there are plenty of menu’s and features left to explore, and so the journey is not over yet.
Applescript has been an interesting journey too - alternately impressing me with its expressiveness and reach and then frustrating with its inconsistency and poor performance. I would probably have switched to Javascript had it not been for the lack of Script Debugger support…


SD is by far the quickest and easist way to reduce the pain of working in AppleScript. That said, it’s still AppleScript. The IPC stuff is great; everything else…is not. I wrote some standard libraries a few years back that fill in some of the obvious API holes, and there’s a few other third-party libraries kicking around if you rummage, although there’s not much you can do about its performance beyond a few “standard” kludges (e.g. when iterating lists).

If you want to use JavaScript, get Node.js. (Don’t bother with JXA, which is broken and dead.) Like AS it is also a mess of a language, but unlike AS is extremely well supported and insanely popular. For Apple events, use nodeautomation. I provide no warranty or unpaid support for it, so you’re pretty much on your own; caveat emptor, E&OE, etc. However, as long as I need it in my own customer work (AppleScript to Adobe UXP migrations, so probably the next 3–5 years as long assuming Apple doesn’t pull its plug first) it should keep on working, and the ASDictionary and ASTranslate tools will answer most questions on how to translate app commands from AS to JS syntax.