Apple Adds Automation to Aperture: Page 2

Posted September 29, 2006

John Welch

John Welch

(Page 2 of 2)

However, thanks to more users of Pro applications seeing how things like iDVD could be automated to handle the basic monkey work, or to help speed up interactions with other applications, and thanks to Automator, which is a more visual way to implement AppleScript, Shell, and even Cocoa actions without having to learn any language syntax, Apple's story on AppleScript has gradually been getting better. Aperture, Soundtrack Pro, and Shake all support AppleScript, Perl, and other automation languages.

Automation support is important for two reasons. First, it makes it easier to use the application in a production environment. Think about all the things that happen on your network. Now imagine doing all of them completely manually. Scary.

While you always will have that creative use that requires direct input from the human, the truth is, you can take almost any job category in a typical SMB or Enterprise company and find a lot of things that are repetitive and almost rote. Automating those processes not only helps them run more reliably, but also frees people up to do all the long term, or single shot, or creative projects that they've had to delay for the monkey work.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it leads to applications and tools being used in ways that the developers, be they ISVs or in-house, cannot, and might never have anticipated. I'm pretty sure that the X-10 people never thought of their devices being used as cat repellent, but, with one of those, an animated piggy bank, and some imagination, you can keep cats well away from your laser printer.

Adding AppleScript and automation support to an application does increase the development time, but it makes it easier to get the most use out of the application in ways that make sense to the end user, be they a traditional "user" or a sysadmin. The more I can use an application, the easier it is to write the upgrade checks.

There's no way to predict what anyone will do with the AppleScript/Automation support in Aperture, but I know that when my designers need a new application, automation support is quite high on the list of requirements, because I know that such support will help me make their lives easier, and that is a rather important part of any sysadmin's job: Making life easier for the end user.

The more Apple, or any Mac OS X developer helps me to do that, the more of their stuff I'll buy. Seems a pretty good reason to support it to me.

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