This appendix illustrates informally the process of developing AppleScript code. The idea is to convey to the beginner some sense of what it's like to work with AppleScript, and to present some typical stages in the development of an AppleScript-based solution. My approach is to demonstrate by example, letting you look over my shoulder as I tackle a genuine problem in my real life. The procedures and thought processes exemplified here are quite typical of my own approach to writing AppleScript code, and probably that of many other experienced users as well; as such, the neophyte may benefit by witnessing them. Besides, if you've never programmed with AppleScript before, you're probably curious about what you're getting yourself into.
Think of this appendix, then, as a nonprogrammer's introduction to the art of AppleScript development. It's the art that's important here. The particular problem I'll solve in this chapter will probably have no relevance whatsoever to your own life. But the way I approach the problem, the things I do and experience as I work on it, contain useful lessons. At the end we'll extract some general principles on how to approach a task with AppleScript.