Product Manager of Automation Technologies since 1997 just let go.

I know this is not the correct thread, but I am trying to generate a public response. Every user of this site should be on Twitter, Facebook, email, etc. asking Apple to reconsider. Right now.

Sal Soghoian was the face of Automation at Apple. From his FAQ on macosxautomation:

This is a sad day…

If you work in anywhere from a single mac all the way to an enterprise, there’s a chance that there’s an AppleScript or automator process being used

Furthermore, the flexibility in Xcode to use AppleScript ensures that complete noobs can cut their teeth in app development with little or no development skills… I did…!


I’d say this was a legitimate topic of interest for MacScripter users, although there is already a news item about it in ScriptWire. (However, ScriptWire doesn’t usually flag up new posts in my brower, which I presume is true for everyone.)

Having been made redundant “for business reasons” myself a few years ago, I feel for Sal losing his job after all these years and the sense of betrayal he must have. As for the future of MacOS automation technologies, I don’t have enough information to leap to any conclusions.

Hi Nigel. Sal’s response to the future of automation at Apple question seemed to imply that the future does not look bright.

The future never looked bright of AppleScript and from Sal’s response I can only say he doesn’t know either. If Apple want’s to do an complete overhaul on automation Sal wouldn’t have kept his job either because he’s not the right person to be involved with. So from that perspective I agree with Nigel not to jump to any conclusions at this moment.

I will try to be cautiously optimistic. Apple’s shift away from power users has been very frustrating. High end hardware, professional software, and now (potentially) automation, have not been a focus for a while now.

Here is a petition from -
Keep Mac user automation such as Applescript & Automator in Mac OS X

I have overlooked your second post, signed the petition :slight_smile:

There are 155 signatures right now.

Once people sign, it is important that the file bug reports for “enhancement” at Apple.

Here is what I did:

  1. go to
  2. create a bug report “enhancement” to “macOS” to add a standard library to Applescript
  3. since such reports are closed, make sure that you duplicate the report on
  4. back to
  5. create a bug report “enhancement” to “macOS” to add “Swiftautomation” to macOS 10.13
  6. same as 3) above.

My own reports are:

Please everyone, take 5 minutes of your time to file duplicates of Jean-Christophe’s two tickets on Radar, and then get everyone you know to do the same. I can deliver the code, but only users”lots and lots of users!”can deliver the message to Apple. More and better choice = more adoption = good for Apple, good for everyone. Let’s be heard, clear and loud!

Many thanks, H

157 signatures this morning, but not one radar added !!! :expressionless:

So you’re inciting us to petition Apple to include code you’ve written as standard in MacOS?

The code is open source software, it works and can readily be improved by Apple without any royalty or anything. THat’s a huge contribution to the community now and could be a major contribution to the whole ecosystem if it were included (or if something similar were) by default in macOS.

Is there an issue with that ?

Yes, because it is the best code available to do the job. Heck, it’s the only code available”outside OR inside Apple”that’s near-to-production-quality, or ever likely to be, and it’s all but ready to drop in at minimal cost to Apple: just the obligatory auditing, documentation polish, and sticking their own copyrights onto it all.

If anyone’s nose is feeling at all put out: tough. Cos some of you have been AppleScripting even longer than I have, so it’s not like you’ve not had plenty time to do better yourself. And now the future”not of AppleScript but of users’ own right to control their own tools”is on the line, as Apple debates which of its two businesses is worth saving more: its Fortune 100, or its Fortune 1”now Fortune 2, and on its way to relegation if it doesn’t turn around soon. You have Script Editor: you do the math.

It is not enough to wring hands and wail against a world that is changing. You want to maximize chances of it changing for the better, step up and propose”and even provide”a positive direction in which it may go, and make a convincing business case for it to do so. OUR Radar tickets”thousands of them”will start to build that case:

  • AppleScript Standard Library shows there is still a market for improvements to AppleScript.

  • SwiftAutomation shows there is a totally untapped market to be found in the fastest growing language in history.

Furthermore, there is solid precedent for my proposition: Python appscript and Ruby appscript were two of the AE bridges Apple considered for inclusion in 10.5”and Apple were the ones who approached me expressing their interest. And maybe if I’d not been asleep at the wheel, it would have gotten included to, and by now there’d be hundreds of thousands of Mac Automators by now, because the Python and Ruby communities are a hundred times the size of the AS community, and a hundred times more enthusiastic and vigorous in rolling up their own sleeves and pitching in to help build them too.

Had I done that, appscript’s 1000 user base could”would”been multiplied 10-, then 100-fold, once it was instantly available, self-sufficient and able to generate its own growth and community, no installation (or me!) required, and officially blessed and supported by the #1 computer company in the world. And not just “scripters”, but Professional Programmers too. And what do those make, aye?

And had I not dropped that unique opportunity on the floor, and not even know till far too late, we wouldn’t be needing this discussion now on how to keep the last thousand users of a moribund, insecure AppleScript from losing even that too. Cos Sal’d be busy at Apple, running his team of dozens; and end-user scripting and automation would be powerful and famous, and extend to and through every part of macOS.and iOS too!

Not everyone gets a second chance to make up for past failures. Sal had a second and a third. I’m under no illusions: this last Hail Mary is far more likely to fail. It would have had a better chance of success had Sal taken it when I freely offered it a year ago. Now it is also up against the plans and ambitions of hungry young Siri and App Extensions teams to make their own mark on Apple’s internal political and power structures. Which is not done by embracing the failures”or even successes”of their predecessors’ as their own, but by burning all those to ashes, clearing the ground to build their own reputations and empires on top. (Or why d’you think all your favorite shows get canceled at the exact same rate Hollywood TV execs turn over?!)

Getting your foot in the door is the first and hardest step towards clinching the sale. Even a thousand AppleScripters, pulling together now, and descending en masse on Radar all demanding the exact same things, is going to make it blip. That’s all I’m asking from all of you (though if there is more you can do, pitch in!). If Apple takes it, it’s all theirs”code, copyright, right to identify as author; the lot. I don’t want it”I don’t want the responsibility. Look what I did to it last time! Foot in the door; that’s my job done. Then I get to be just another user once more; and others get the (positive!) challenge of building that foundation into their own Great Success.

Don’t worry, Nigel, your kingly seat atop the AppleScript hill is perfectly secure.from me. From Apple though.

Well, if you can’t even try, then five years from now do not say I did not warn you. (And I’ll put a bottle of whisky on that.)

As for me, I have a few other things to do. Like trying to conquer the Packaging Automation world with the most advanced artwork automation in the world, putting that power straight into the hands of end-users, not executive tools, kicking Kallik and iBrams to the kerb, and finally selling out to Esko for a good several mil. (Have I mentioned precedence?) And then they’ll have their challenge, and I’ll have my desert island.complete with a lawn y’all can get off too! ;p

Just so long as people are aware that asking for Hamish Sanderson’s software to be included in MacOS as standard doesn’t quite serve the same purpose as asking for the automation technologies not to be scrapped. And just so long as they’re aware of who’s behind the call to do so. This isn’t at all clear from brandelune’s only posts to this site or from your earlier post in support of them. Thanks for clarifying.

This is exactly why I don’t created a copy on radar.

To be perfectly honest, the end of AppleScript doesn’t mean the end of automation for me, my colleagues, friends nor my clients. It would mean the end of MS but not by support on SO for all other programming languages. In my opinion AppleScriptObjC, JXA, Scripting Libraries and every other new feature or update in the last decade hasn’t improved automation a single bit. There is absolutely nothing that has improved automation of the desktop and the applications at all. All these new features have only made AppleScript more redundant towards other and better programming languages. If nobody is interested in making their applications scriptable anymore then AppleScript is doomed to end. This is what’s going on for a long time, an cripple and old RPC type based system which mimics OO with callback routines that is too complex for application developers to use. Writing libraries for it doesn’t solve anything because it is flawed by design. The end of AppleScript is not the language itself nor it’s (ignorant) ambitions to compete with other programming languages but it’s the flawed design underneath which makes it hardly useable these days. It’s like putting an bigger turbo on an already dying engine over and over again.

Therefore I vote that automation continues but I don’t vote to continue with the current design.

Except it’s not OOP, it’s RPC + simple first-class relational queries! No wonder programmers hate AppleScript and Apple event IPC: Apple teaches it to them completely wrong! No wonder they can’t make sense of it, or get it to work.

The mere fact that Apple is so casually casting aside 25 years of Automation infrastructure without even comprehending why it actually failed says all you need know about their chances of getting their next attempt right.

OTOH, do you know what was explaining all this stuff to scripters and developers correctly, and successfully converting over a thousand total AppleScript haters into powerful Automation users and fans over a decade ago? Appscript!

And what is SwiftAutomation, but appscript minus the fuckups? (Or will be, just soon as you lot convince Apple to take over SwiftAutomation as its own, so the fuckup doesn’t have to develop, support, and promote it any more. 'Cos, far bigger plans.)

I may be mad but even I can add. No, it’s not the end of the journey, or even near, but it is a positive start.

Yes, I’m sure Apple will be delighted to hear it’s running a direct democracy.

You want to know what Apple envisions as “Automation”'s future? Look to the direction Siri is already going, and to App Extensions (and possibly XPC Services?). Consumer-facing “automation” interface, and developer-level IPC. Good luck trying to figure where your kind of “automation” fits into that.