AppleScript constitutes a comeback in Figures
In November, I authored concerning the growing concern within the Mac community that Apple may be abandoning AppleScript. The occasion was the virtual elimination of AppleScript support in the iWork apps (Keynote, Figures, and Pages). At that time, I stressed that Mac customers should remain calm, this was not new, that the amount of AppleScript support in almost any given application had always ebbed and ran from release to produce.
Appears like we have just had another adapt.
The most recent update of Figures reintroduces AppleScript support greatly. While Apple might have taken an iterative approach, reintroducing a couple of instructions every now and then, it chose rather to visit whole-hog: The whole suite of scripting terminology initially based on Figures within the 2009 edition of iWork has came back.
Which means that, for those who have Figures scripts you combined with that 2009 version, many of them should (theoretically) now use Figures 3.1 individuals scripts may need tweaks, though, because some options that come with Figures itself have altered.
Apple has additionally added a couple of new scripting features to Figures 3.1, like the capability to find out the active sheet. Numbers’ new AppleScript support continues to be organized right into a suite of scripting terminology labeled Figures ’09 Compatibility Suite, signaling that much more scripting enhancements might be in route for Figures-specific features. (I have published an entire rundown from the AppleScript support in Figures on my small website.)
Regrettably, it doesn’t appear that either from the other iWork apps–Pages or Keynote–have yet received exactly the same infusion of AppleScript support. Apple’s mentioned reason behind getting rid of AppleScript support in the original iWork ’13 apps was that they’d been redesigned in the ground-up (mainly to attain feature-parity using the iOS versions), and a few features were not ready prior to that initial release last fall. At that time, Apple dedicated to making significant enhancements towards the apps within six several weeks and also to reintroducing some features. That listing of enhancements incorporated AppleScript enhancements both in Figures and Keynote. (I really hope Pages is on their own agenda, too.) Appears like it is now time to begin fulfilling that advertise.
What’s it mean?
Studying into this latest Figures release, we are able to possibly glean some understanding of Apple’s strategy for future years of both iWork and AppleScript.
First, despite what Mac customers may sometimes think, Apple listens. Mac customers vocally expressed frustration about removing important and broadly used automation features, and Apple heard and responded with action. Second, Apple seems dedicated to making the iWork apps true productivity apps. Third, Apple continues to be trading in AppleScript. Reintroducing AppleScript support in Figures wasn’t trivial. The truth that engineering sources were committed to that effort talks volumes.
Years from now, I’d like to have the ability to think back and find out this Figures update offered like a level within the lengthy and arduous lifespan of AppleScript and Apple automation in general. Coming back AppleScript support to Keynote and Pages are essential next steps, but you may still find lots of other Apple apps featuring in OS X with limited or no scripting support. Why don’t you implement scripting support overall, creating a statement that encourages third-party Mac designers to complete exactly the same?
While Automator has wonderful potential being an finish-user (translation: non-programmer) tool for automating tasks throughout OS X, it’s languished for a long time and remains affected by limited functionality and damaged actions. And iOS designers have no approved method for their apps to talk to each other. If only Apple would embrace a regular method of inter-application automation, something both Mac and iOS customers happen to be clamoring for.
In the event that resonates along with you, you are able to find a solution: Still let Apple know advertising media are into scripting along with other productivity bugs and restrictions. If you are a developer, submit your tickets through Apple’s Bug Reporter system. Otherwise, use Apple’s Product Feedback pages.
For the time being, kudos to Apple to take that much needed step in direction of greater productivity around the Mac. However the return of scripting support in Figures is just a start.