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List of Names
- Language type:
AppleScript is a procedural, structured
command language designed for the Apple
Macintosh environment. It can be used
to control programs, network operations,
and user interfaces under MacOS. AppleScript
scripts are compiled into
some kind of intermediate code prior to
The syntax of AppleScript is meant to
resemble spoken language: verbs,
nouns, prepositions, and adjectives.
A program consists
of statements, terminated by end-of-line (like
Tcl, csh, and other command languages; of course,
there is a line continuation character).
AppleScript offers a small complement of
primitive data types: integers, reals, and
All manipulable entities in AppleScript are
represented as objects, these objects have
various properties, and can accept
certain commands. Composite data types,
lists and records, are also considered to
be objects in AppleScript.
AppleScript is an object-oriented
programming language, new object
classes, called script objects, can be
defined within the language.
(New classes can also be defined by
binary object modules called
Values in AppleScript are
typed, but variables are not; AppleScript
does not enforce strong type checking.
The language offers a conventional set
of procedural control flow constructs,
supports subroutines, and offers
rudimentary error handling.
For object-oriented programming, AppleScript
supports single inheritance and delegation,
as well as simple polymorphism.
MacOS 7.5 was shipped with AppleScript 1.1,
MacOS 8 is shipped with 1.1.2.
Tutorials and documentation
about AppleScript are available on
the Internet, as well
as example scripts and powerful extensions.
The language itself is available from
Apple or bundled with some Macintosh
applications, but utilities, editors, and
other tools for developers are available free.
Apple Computer, 1993 (MacOS System 7), 1994 (MacOS 7.5)
- See Also:
AppleScript is intended to turn MacOS
into a completely customizable extensible
work environment. Unix systems have shell
languages for writing powerful
command scripts, and
Windows has OLE automation and
Active Scripting for allowing
applications to control each other;
AppleScript serves both purposes (sort of).
A scriptable application can be
activated and controlled by AppleScript code.
A recordable application can use
the AppleScript system to record user actions
as macros. Since the system shell, the Finder,
is scriptable, AppleScript can control
the overall operation of the computer.
AppleScript is a descendant of Apple's
HyperTalk scripting language, in terms
of syntax and general appearance. It is
much more powerful than HyperTalk, however,
and is not confined to a single application
as HyperCard was.
An extensions to AppleScript is called
(meaning Object Scripting Add-on?).
There is some controversy about what plural
- Sample code:
Descriptions in this dictionary are ©1997-99 Neal Ziring. Some
examples copyright of their respective authors. Some
technologies and languages are trademarked. Permission to
copy descriptions is granted as long as authorship credit is preserved.
Comments on this dictionary, corrections and suggestions, are all welcome.
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Dictionary and script maintained by Neal Ziring, last major modifications 3/18/98. Most recent
additions to dictionary and master list, 1/00.