Applescript Archives

February 2, 2004


A long while back, I started noodling around with Applescript and Adobe Illustrator. At that time, I promised to share any progress I'd made, and make some scripts available once I had something worth sharing. Well, it's been a slow year...

But the long dry spell is over. If you make frequent use of Illustrator's File > Place... command, then you're probably aware of one of its biggest limitations: it will only place one external image file at a time.

At work, I use this command all the time, to place tens and dozens of screen-captures or Photoshop mockups into detailed user-flow diagrams that we produce for the products we build. Placing these images, one-by-one, is a miserable time-sink. Hence, my desire to have something like Multi-Placer.

Applescript DropletMulti-Placer, v.0.5
Multi-Placer enhances Adobe Illustrator's 'Place' command. It allows you to select an entire directory full of external images. MP will then create a new blank document in Illustrator and import all the images. Finally, on a new layer, the script draws a 1-pixel wide black stroke around each embedded image.
Download Multi-Placer v0.5 Now

Multi-Placer is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

March 15, 2005

Halo 2 Online Status Checker... thingy

Applescript Droplet Awright, here it is. This run-only Applescript asks for an XBox Live gamertag, and returns an hours-and-minutes count of the last time that gamer was online. (Or at least, online in Halo 2.)

Some caveats:

  1. This works perfectly, except when it doesn't. (That is, I've made no attempt at error-catching or input validation - so if you enter spaces or weird characters? Who knows what you'll get. If the app times out on your query, and then quits? It's because it threw a 'Type 1 error' which the script ignores. Some of the weirdness is coming from Bungie's side, I think.)
  2. This is fairly slow. I'd say it averages 6 to 10 seconds to run. But it should still beat firing up a browser and navigating through (It's also easier to run from work and not look like the loser you know you are.)
  3. Oh, and I think my math is off on the hours/minutes conversion. I'll work on that for the next version.
  4. Until I can fix some of the above annoyances, I am only distributing this as a compiled executable - no source. (I'm also kinda embarrassed about some of the lame things I had to do to get this to work, so.. my kimono will remain closed on this one.) Once it's respectable, I'll slap the source up for the taking.
  5. This should go without saying, but.. this is an Applescript. Therefore it will only run on Mac OS. (Actually, it requires at least OS X, and in fact hasn't been tested on anything other than 10.3.8) YMMV (tee-hee! I always wanted to say that.)

Okay, enough with the warnings - sheesh I feel like David Schwimmer on some public-service announcement..)
Download the Script
Instructions for use:
  1. Extract from the ZIP file.
  2. Doubleclick it to run it.
  3. Follow the prompt, then wait (for 6-10 seconds. Weren't you paying attention?)
  4. Leave a comment here if this thing works for you. Or if it doesn't. In fact, just leave a comment.

March 16, 2005

Multi-placer is back

Noodling around with the Halo thing made me realize that another script that I used to feature on this site has been offline for quite a while. Muilt-placer (Or Multiplacer) is a script that enhances Illustrator's 'Place' command. (FWIW, this was probably the only truly useful piece of content ever posted on this site.)

April 27, 2005

Hold that Tiger!

Here's a list of stuff that will work in Tiger. For what it's worth, I will not be working in Tiger for quite a while. Cause I'm just not interested. All my shits working, for the most part, and OS upgrades bore me.

Okay, there's one thing that's piqued my curiosity -- Apple is adding PDF Annotations to Preview. No biggie -- Acrobat has had that for years. But I'm hoping that Preview's Link Annotations are a little more Applescriptable than Adobe's horrible Link Annotation object.

So there. That's my one teensy little bit of Tiger hype. Wee.

Update 05/02: I was in Palo Alto on Friday night (on my way to Border's to snoop around the graphic novel section, cause Lee's Comics was closed for the night.) I popped into the Apple Store, and dropped the new Tiger onto Script Editor, to check it's scripting library. Turn's out it's not scriptable at all. Lame! Strangely, there are a bunch of pre-configured Preview actions for Automator, which I thought was just some slicker and friendlier repackaging of underlying Applescriptability. I still believe this, btw, and I suspect that whatever Preview actions are available are derived from scripting the System Events application. Which, for the simple damn thing I want to do, is overkill. I'll wait for my contact at Adobe to get me in touch with someone who can figure out how to get Acrobat to do what I want.

June 5, 2008

Patterns of Reputation Representation


It is with a certain sense of pride that I watch as fellow Yahoo Christian Crumlish announces the arrival of a number of Reputation Patterns to the Yahoo! Design Pattern Library. If you've seen me speak in recent months (or followed the ol' blog) then these should be familiar territory: they represent a year or so of my work on an (internal to Yahoo!) Reputation Platform.

On the surface, they are fairly simple (by intent.) Game-like elements and incentive systems are much on-the-mind of social software designers these days. These patterns should provide some guidance to the IA, Designer, or Product Manager who's just now considering how best to wield these implements.

My own personal feeling, however, is that we're rapidly passing the point where the newness and novelty of these patterns is what's noteworthy. ("Hey look! Points!!") Soon, (now?) the care and respect with which we employ these patterns is what will be worth noting. A careful consideration of the context that we deploy them in; an honest and earnest attempt to build communities worth inhabiting (and not just ratcheting up peoples' competitive desires to dominate the leaderboard.) These are the challenges we face when considering how best to reward users' participation in the communities we build.

I would love it if these published patterns were a simple starting point for that conversation. (Though—to be fair—it's already taking place.)

I especially want to honor the contributions of a couple of folks to these patterns: Randy Farmer was Yahoo's Community Strategy Analyst during the months that we collaborated on User Experience best practices for reputation, and his imprint on these patterns is indelible. There's a certain approach to social software design embodied in these patterns that is entirely Randy's influence.

And Yvonne French was the Product Manager for the Reputation Platform. Yvonne worked closely with a number of Yahoo! properties and stakeholders to ensure that thoughtful, considered approach I mention above. She is a walking canon (and a loaded cannon!) of reputation best practices.

I'm really excited to get these out there, and we (Christian and I) hope to add a couple more to the mix in coming months. So… please do enjoy!

About Applescript

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Soldier Ant in the Applescript category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Illustrator is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.


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