Appendix B. Apple Events Without AppleScript

Considering AppleScript purely as a vehicle for constructing and sending Apple events to scriptable applications (and for receiving and parsing the replies), and in light of the shortcomings and inconveniences of the AppleScript language, one may reasonably wonder why it might not be possible to construct and send Apple events using some other (possibly more attractive) language. Such an approach would have the advantage of letting you work in a language or a development environment you favor, plus at runtime you'd bypass the overhead of the AppleScript compiler and runtime engine. As a matter of fact, there are several such alternative languages to choose from. It is not at all trivial to mold another language to operate on Apple events in a way that parallels AppleScript's own approach, especially because AppleScript does some odd (or buggy) things under the hood, and also because of the inherent problem of extensible terminology; nevertheless, it can be and has been done. This is not, strictly speaking, an AppleScript matter; indeed, it is quite clearly an anti-AppleScript matter! So in theory, discussion of it should have no place in this book. Nevertheless, my own favorite ways of sending Apple events have often included some non-AppleScript language or other, and the subject is certainly an interesting one, so I've included some information on the topic here, as an appendix.

Here, then, are some ways to send Apple events without using AppleScript. Your choice might depend upon what languages you like or are already using, and upon the nature of a particular language's implementation of Apple events. Throughout this appendix, the "model events" (the Apple events we will attempt to construct and send for purposes of example) will be those corresponding to the following script:

 tell application "BBEdit"     make new document     tell document 1         set its text to "Hello, world!"     end tell end tell

At programming level, these events provide a nice balance between simplicity and complexity: we're forming a two-level object specifier, which is a fairly interesting thing, without getting too deep into the nitty-gritty. At the user level, the result is pleasantly satisfying, as (if our code is correct) we can see the new window appear in BBEdit with the words "Hello, world!" proudly emblazoned on it.

AppleScript. The Definitive Guide
AppleScript: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition
ISBN: 0596102119
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 267
Authors: Matt Neuburg

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