This will be one of those “were do I begin?” posts, so please accept my apologies and just ignore this if you are not in the mood to respond.
I love Macs, used them in the mid-late 90s until I was forced to go Windows (the PPC 7500 and PowerBook 5300 running MacOS 8 were my last real Macs from that era). The last 15 years I did command line, registry, Winbatch and a little PowerShell. I did a little C# in Visual Studio, a little more Visual Basic. I wrote more or less complex web applications (mostly in classic ASP with vbscript and Oracle database integration) but most of the stuff I do is command line and WinBatch. Nothing even close to be object oriented. Nevertheless I built a pretty well working environment to manage more than 4000 Windows computers without SMS, SSCM or any of the other Microsoft or 3rd party products. I’m fluent in English and German, I’m not afraid of the registry or command line scripts but ASOC is really challenging me.
Three years ago I was asked to figure out how to deploy and manage modern Macs in an Enterprise environment. I got pretty good with bash shell scripting and Casper/JSS but it wasn’t what I really needed or wanted to do because it was missing a real UI, windows with multiple fields, checkboxes and such to gather input and then do what it needs to do. That wasn’t an issue because Macs are more a hobby to us (we have 8 Macs and 4000 Windows computers) but that may change sooner or later.
Fast forward to about 4 weeks ago, I decided to look seriously into creating an environment for the Macs like the one that we have for Windows. I remembered AppleScript on System 7 and MacOS 8 from he old days and after some research I ended up with AOSC as the ideal platform. Mostly top to bottom shell scripting “style” but with the advantage of adding some UI elements to gather data and process it accordingly.
I got Shane’s books and started reading and playing with the examples. I found more examples on how to program ASOC looking at “open source” apps like AutoCasperNBI and AutoDMG and managed to hack together my first 1000 lines of code in AOSC that do kind of what I expect it to do.
But I still don’t get the object oriented part of ASOC. I still have a hard time when I look at chapter 11 of of AppleScriptObjc Explored 5 and wonder how he got the orderFront: Sent Action linked to that panel window and button. I spend the last few weeks half of the day googleing keywords and got mostly stuff for Xcode 4 or 5 that doesn’t make much sense in Xcode 6 anymore. As usual, most of the time it’s about figuring out what t search for, what’s the right keyword that gets me one step further.
So, the bottom line and main question is: where do I start? What book do I get to get the real basics? Do I need to learn Objective C first and then do AOSC? Where are all those build-in methods listed (like on windowShouldClose_(sender) or on windowDidBecomeMain_(sender))?
Again, my apologies for asking such noob questions but I would really appreciate any hints or links or other recommendations on how to learn ASOC.
Thanks for reading,