AppleScript: Launching Scripts From Links


Some few among you may - at one time or another - have had passing interest in the utility of a ScriptBuilders offering called ‘Missing Link’.

Among other things, ML enabled running (local) compiled AppleScripts from HTML links.

Recently, Apple has posted a ‘recipe’ for doing much the same thing here:

In my own development of similar capabilities, I’ve found them to be very useful, and have built multiple HTML GUIs for my own local use with ML and ‘secondary’ AppleScripts.

I thought perhaps - now that similar capability appears to be sanctioned by Apple (and available in open code form) - others might finally recognize and appreciate the same utility.

‘Historically’, I have always kept ML closed code… in large part because I was aware (and later advised by scripters and network administrators) that ML might have serious security implications if implemented without an appropriate ‘sandbox’.

Now, a similar capability - which could (likely) easily be adapted for the same sorts of ‘evil’ uses that I was warned about - is being offered by Apple.

This is not written in a ‘sour grapes’ sort of mode. I remain far from expert in my ability to analyse relative ‘levels of threat’. I’m genuinely curious what others here might think of Apple’s current presentation of the method.

Safe? Sound?

Thanks for any/all comments.

Peter B.

Hi Peter,

I have been looking for a way to do this for some time and have run across
many with the same desires. Whether it is to set up a web app, control iTunes or just
house scripts, combining the web and desktop world is a strong desire among many.

I had found ways to use PHP and Java but those were cumbersome and slow. I spent
the last few hours playing around with the example code from Apple and I am pleasantly
surprised at the speed of the scripts and the ease of their implementation. Significantly
faster than a script app. When I clicked the web link, running the script several times
in succession, I found the script sped up even more.

I give it a thumbs-up but I welcome and hope that those who have insight into web
security will share their knowledge with us.



And faster still if you make Webpage Helper a stay open app… that is, if you don’t mind the overhead to keep it running.

I haven’t successfully made it a background app yet, but presumably, that could be managed as well… making it essentially invisible in use.

With Missing Link, I was able to make an HTML ‘Notebook’ of linked (non-HTML) files, an interface to control an entirely unscriptable app (using GUI scripting), another to assist multiple eBay listings, and still another to make/amend entries to a text file ‘database’ of auto parts.

With Apple’s Webpage Helper, it should become a snap to use HTML and JavaScript forms to interact with a real local database as well.

Fun stuff, if you ask me.

Peter B.