Applescript Bookshelf

Just found out Spiderworks Publishing is no more. A post on their site says that they have stopped operations, and sold off their catalog. I don’t see a mention on the site pointing toward a new link for Danny Goodman’s Applescript Handbook for Mac OS X. This is one of the best books for noobies (for pete’s sake, embrace the label already). I owned the ebook version, and it clarified many of the issues you deal with when you begin to script. I’ve emailed Mr. Goodman to see if the book is just dead, or if there will be a new edition. I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, here are some good resources for learning Applescript.

Ben Waldie’s Applescripting the Finder. Ben Waldie operates Automated Workflows and he’s also an expert on Automator. Learning to script the Finder is a good, safe way to start getting used to the Applescript Language. Waldie also has an Applescript training video on VTC

Sal Soghoian and Bill Cheeseman’s Applescript 1-2-3: A self-paced guide to learning Applescript. Don’t let the thickness of the book foo you. It is very comprehensive, yet the content is very clear and easy to understand. Since these two helped develop Applescript in the first place, you might expect the text to include arcane language and obscure examples. Not so. If you could only buy one book on the subject, this would be it.

Adam Goldstein’s Applescript: The Missing Manual. This book is for noobies and is written with a more contemporary voice, perhaps designed to appeal to a young demographic. Some of the examples are scattershot, and the book flips from subject to subject. I would recommend reading this after you have read Applescript 1-2-3. You will then find the book quite helpful.

Hanaan Rosenthal’s Applescript: A Comprehensive Guide to Scripting and Automation on Mac OS X. Also a very thick book. This one, though comprehensive, is geared toward noobies in particular. He explains technical stuff in a concise, clear way. The book could have used a real copyeditor, though. Non sequiters abound, leaving you scratching your head at the intended meaning of some of the text.

I would recommend reading Matt Neuburg’s Applescript: The Definitive Guide, after you have perused all the other books. This book is much more technical and geared toward people who already have some coding experience. Still, to get a picture of how scripters think, and how you’ll process this kind of information in future, Applescript: The Definitive Guide will give you a challenge.

See ya soon.


About this entry