What can be done with Applescript

I’ve noticed since the announcement of the automation department at Apple being shut down that almost nobody posts anymore on script debugger site. I don’t think what was done made the demise of Applescript certain. The biggest thing to remember is they closed down the automation department. That does not mean automation is gone. I’ve seen things like this in software development companies where a department gets shut down and another department takes over for the closed department. This means the surviving department might then have twice the work and perhaps half as much gets done on AppleScript but that doesn’t mean it’s over. I’ve been with AppleScript since day one. By now I’ve seen AppleScript declared dead so many times I’ve literally lost count. But it’s been around for decades.

When I look at what happened with AppleScript I can see how apple might take a dim view on making AppleScript more of a priority. ASObj-C was the biggest boost to appleScript I’ve seen since it was first release. It make AppleScript so much more powerful. But then after it was released many, including myself didn’t want to use it. It is not what anyone could called widely accepted by scripters. Granted Apple did nothing to make ASObj-C accessible to scripters and it is ridiculous to expect the existing documentation to be adequate for scriptors but corporate executives don’t worry about things like that. But this lack of acceptance by scripters was following apple’s previous failure with AppleScript studio where Apple again didn’t do anything to make it easily accessible to scripters.

Perhaps it’s time to make ASObj-C look like a great investment to Apple. From a purely business standpoint Apple’s investment in automation did little to improve things. Some people did much more powerful things but a lot did not. ASObj-C has a steep learning curve but I’ve been learning it for a while now. I started on a database I think could make ASObj-C a lot easier for scripters. I was going to share what I’ve done but then the news hit about automation and it didn’t seem like a good time to bring it up. But as I’ve thought about perhaps this is the best time to bring it up.

This isn’t something I hope to do. This a functional database that works now and I just keep adding to it. Other scripts could send in things and make the database even bigger. I’m only adding things to the database when I have working ASObj-C code so I know the class, function, … works with ASObj-C. The help file is mostly complete and there are ruff edges on the database screen layout design but it works well enough that I use it when working with ASObj-C and I find it very helpful.

I included screen shots of what I’ve done with the database and the help text which explains a lot about what the database does in this post. This database is a FileMaker Pro database converted to a “runtime solution” that does “not” require a FileMaker Pro application to use it. Unfortunately compressed the actual database is 76.3 megabytes and uncompressed it is 189.7 megabytes so I’m not sure how I could share the actual database. I’m open to any suggestions. My email server limits me to 28.7mb limit set by my provider.


ASObj-C database.zip (1021.0 KB)

I’ll take a look.

If you use DropBox you could put the compressed version in a public folder, or share a link to it.

If you don’t use Dropbox it’s easy to set up and very handy and it’s free. Use this link and I’d get credit for a referral:


I created a dropbox account and uploaded the ASObj-C a1 database. To download it click the link:

A window should appear that says “.zip files can’t be previewed. ASObj-C a1.zip · 72.70 MB.” Below that there should be a button labeled Download. Click the button and it should start to automatically download.

So for anyone who wants to see the database on dropbox it can be downloaded for free.

I enclosed a screen shot of what the downloaded files should look like in this post.

If you want to see future versions of the database hang onto the “Untitled.app” and “extensions folder.” They don’t change with future versions of the database. If anyone is interested in the database I can just upload new versions of the database file which is the “.fmpur” file.

Theoretically you should be able to double click the “ASObj-C a1.fmpur” file to open the database but that seems to be having troubles. To open the database drag the file “ASObj-C a1.fmpur” onto “Untitled.app” and the password dialog will come up. Click the guest account radio button and that’s it.

There is a button on the very bottom of the window, the right most button, called “Help.” If you click the button a help window will appear that explains the database.


What you may be able to do is put the files that update regularly in a folder inside your public folder, and then share that folder. Anyone who has a DropBox account can link to that folder and see updates on their local DropBox folder as they’re made.

In the meantime, I’ve downloaded this and am having a look, thanks again!

I tried to download the database from dropbox today 2016/12/03 and I got an infamous Error 404.
Is it a valid link somewhere ?

OK, I got the couple of links posted in an other message.


Can you let me know if the database works for you? I tried the same software on my Mac and it works.


At first I was afraid because after dropping ASObj-C Database.fmpur upon the runtime I got : Le fichier principal “ASObj-C Database” requis pour cette application est introuvable.
Worse, when I clicked the button in the warning I got a choose file dialog defaulting to Documents.
At last I understood that I had to navigate to the folder containing the four objects and select ASObj-C Database.fmpur.
Got the password dialog and Bingo the base opened.
Of course I hadn’t time to read its contents.

Thanks a lot Bill.

Wahooh !
As I’m not accustomed to FileMaker I was a bit lost but finally I was able to access every items, even the code examples.
It seems that it will be easier to use that the awful help of Xcode 8.1

I created the database because the Xcode documentation is so bad. I designed the database that you see. I’m also a FileMaker Pro developer. So you’re not seeing a FileMaker interface. It’s the one I created. Which means I can change it. I am interested in suggestions and requests for the database. I want to create a database everyone can use. So any ideas or complaints people have will help me make it better.

The big thing about the database is it can be searched. It searches as you type. It can also be be sorted many different ways which makes it easier to find things. You can view just a single class using the popup on the bottom right part of the window. I rewrote the descriptions Apple used so they are easier to understand.

There is a help file, that can be accessed by clicking the button labeled help, which explains how to use the database.

The fact you were lost for a while after first using the database means the interface might need improving. What was it about the database that made it hard to figure out at first?


Don’t worry, the main problem is that English is not my main language so I’m often in front of items which become clear when I end understanding the meaning of what is in front of my eyes.

My interpretation is the opposite of yours. The fact that I was able to enter every area of the base in less than five minutes prove - at least from my point of view - that the design of the database is good. And those knowing me for years know that I rarely say this kind of advice.


Ok. So you were telling me good news. But feel free to make suggestions. Also I am not very familiar with international software. If there is something I could do to make it better for someone that english is a second language let me know. I want everyone to be able to be able to use ASObj-C whatever country they live it.

Thanks :slight_smile:


I’m not sure if you are aware of it but I am uploading new versions of the ASObj-C database in a different topic called “Database & Ed’s project.” If you are interested in updates that is where I will post them. I just posted one tonight, ASObj-C database a5.


Thanks Bill

I got the archive.

I moved this discussion to a new topic called “New version of ASObj-C database version a8” It is better then the previous name “What can be done with AppleScript.” I will post future updates to that topic.