Complete documentation

As a part time applescripter, almost everytime I need to write/update a script I need to refer to some sort of ducumentation. I used to have an Applescript book but cannot locate it any longer. It would seem that Apple would have complete documentation available on their website, but in reality there only seems to be bits & pieces of the whole picture.

For example, they have the AppleScriptLanguageGuide.pdf but that is going on 7 years old (circa 1995). There are some other docs as well but nothing that is all encompasing.

Take for instance a script that I need to write that presents a ‘choose file’ box and only allows selection of certain file types. None of the Apple docs mention anything about the command

choose file with prompt

or it’s parameter

of type

, even though that seems to be such a basic, commonly used command.

Is there no where to get a comprehensive reference guide to the language other than buying a 3rd party book such as AppleScript: The Definitive Guide?

I assume you noticed the section of MacScripter that deals with Scripting References.
Some of these are inexpensive PDF downloads.

More specific to your examples, both prompt and type work (at least in Tiger). The words “Please Choose a Script” will appear just above the selection pane of the file dialog that opens, and only AppleScripts will be “choosable”.

choose file with prompt "Please Choose a Script" of type "osas"


Also note that ‘choose file’ is one of the standard additions, scripting additions commands. Here’s a link to the page for the old ScriptingAdditions.pdf:


In regards to the Scripting References, I browsed through but haven’t looked to in-depth yet. But that kinda adds to my point…I counted 38 references on that page. Some deal one particular aspect of Applescripting, some are for beginners, some offer a more complete overview, etc. Since Apple is the developer of this technology that is a good language for non-programmers (and seasoned programmers alike for that matter), I’m surprised they don’t have more comprehensive reference material available on their website.

And why is the Scripting Additions PDF file not listed on the developer site with the other documentation that they do have there? It’s clear that that file is old when you see System 7 screenshots. Not to mention, how do you know what is still relevant and what isn’t?

I also do some VBScript on Windows. Whenever I need to find the exact syntax of a command or something, I can quickly find it on the MS website, as the whole VBScript language is very well documented (and up-to-date) on-line for everyone to access.

I quess I’m just aying that it would be nice if Apple could do something similar.