[TxMt] Re: Changing the Script Editor

Adam Bell bellac at accesscable.net
Thu Nov 16 16:54:11 UTC 2006

At 9:32 AM -0500 11/16/06, Jacob Rus wrote:
>Adam Bell wrote:
>>  Allan Odgaard wrote:
>>>You would need to change that to address your 
>>>preferred tool instead of Script Editor.
>>Thanks, but that's an osascript targeted at the 
>>Script Editor. Unfortunately, Script Debugger 4 
>>(an OS X upgrade) is not yet scriptable, so 
>>it's not on, I guess - the osascript will just 
>>bomb (A failing of SD4, clearly, not TextMate,
>Kinda ironic, eh?

It is indeed. In the pre-OS X versions it was 
extremely scriptable, but hasn't caught up.

>>but reduces the value of TextMate to me and it's around $60 Cdn).
>Hmm, I hope this doesn't end up preventing you 
>from using TextMate.  I'm sure we can work 
>around things.  I made the applescript bundle, 
>and personally don't find the "compile in script 
>editor" command very useful, as Script Editor is 
>kinda limited, and I can just run all my scripts 
>from within TextMate.

What attracted me to TextMate in the first place 
was its extensibility, and the fact that BBEdit 
is getting a bit long in the tooth. It seemed to 
me that I could substantially automate several 
things I do with it in a much more direct fashion 
than is possible with SD4. I've also been 
interested in Cameron Hayne's development of ASH 
and noting that TextMate uses a lot of bash 
scripts in its bundles, there might be a marriage 

But what makes Script Debugger so powerful is the 
amount of information about what's going on that 
it reveals, and it's very handy palettes. 
According to the developer, SD4 is a mixed app - 
"Script Debugger 4 is a Cocoa application. It 
does make use of many Carbon services, but the 
user interface and text editor are all based on 

>But if you're interested in this, I'm positive 
>we could get it working in Script Debugger using 
>UI scripting.  If you can't figure it out, I'm 
>willing to lend a hand.
>Otherwise, the Edit in TextMate input manager is really nice.
>Until TM 2.0, editing applescripts using 
>TextMate isn't really ideal, because AppleScript 
>is too stupid to understand UTF-8 *.applescript 
>files.  So to actually use the scripts you make 
>with TM, you either have to dump them into 
>Script Editor (or SD or whatever) and save a 
>compiled script (recommended for several 
>reasons, including that AppleScript compiles 
>scripts incredibly slowly, and needs to open all 
>referenced applications to do so), or else 
>either convert things to macroman before running 
>them, or just avoid non-ascii characters (like 

¬ is an acceptable character in the Script Editor and SD4.

>For TextMate 2.0, we should be able to pass 
>things like *.scpt files through a filter on the 
>way into and out of TextMate, which can convert 
>compiled scripts °Í text.  At that point, Script 
>Editor can be taken completely out of the 
>>TextMate isn't very scriptable, but I'll try to 
>>write a copy/paste routine to get there.
>Hmm, what exactly is your purpose here?  I can't 
>really recommend trying to use AppleScript from 
>within TM, unless it's for scripting other apps. 
>You are much better off using a TextMate 
>command, which also puts any language on the 
>system at your fingertips (python, ruby, perl, 
>bash, etc.).[^1]

My purpose isn't very clear to me either. 
TextMate seems very powerful and flexible and I 
wanted to explore what it could do. I didn't even 
know it supported AppleScript until I first ran 
it; I was more interested in formatting a series 
of articles for the web that contain embedded 
AppleScripts (I edit the cover of 
http://macscripter.net), and was curious whether 
I could do a better job of formatting the AS than 
the tag engine on the site does (MacScripter and 
its forum understand [applescript], 
[/applescript] tags and format the script with a 
link that will download it directly to the user's 
default script editor).

Ahh, but I'm an amateur - a retired Dean of 
Engineering so I don't know any of those except a 
smattering of bash. I did teach for a bunch of 
years in your neighborhood, though - Just down 
Mass Ave at MIT - left to come here in Admin.

>Anyway, If you want to make a TextMate command 
>which runs an applescript, that is quite 
>possible too.  I'm going to make a screencast 
>hopefully soon that shows this in action.

Look forward to it.

>* * *
>Anyway, I do hope you'll stick with TextMate. 
>Once you get into the snippets/commands, and the 
>scopes/scope selectors system, I think you'll 
>find it's the most ingenious, intuitive, and 
>easily hackable text editor on the market.

I've got 28 more days to play - hopefully I'll get time to explore.

>If you have suggestions for improvements to the 
>AppleScript bundle, I'm all ears.  I only use 
>AppleScript when I'm forced to (e.g. to interact 
>with random apps on the system), and though I 
>like to think I understand the language pretty 
>well from reading all the way through the docs 
>that Apple has posted online, I'm definitely not 
>a seasoned expert.  TextMate so far hasn't 
>really had too many AppleScripters using it, as 
>far as I know, and there wasn't any bundle for 
>it at all for the first year and a half TextMate 
>existed.  So picking up some people who actually 
>know what they're doing can only be good for the 
>bundle, assuming they're willing to contribute 
>ideas, and preferably code too.

Haven't studied it, but will.

>I tried to take a look at Script Debugger at 
>some point, but I can't really get into the 
>mental model of the app.  But that's true of 
>AppleScript stuff in general... :)  If there are 
>any particular problems solved by features of 
>Script Debugger which we should try to solve in 
>TextMate, please speak up.
>-Jacob Rus
>[^1]: The only downside to TextMate's lack of 
>scriptability that I can see is that it makes it 
>harder for other apps to tell TM to do things. 
>But if/when TextMate does become truly 
>scriptable in this way, I sure hope it's not 
>AppleScript that's the scripting language used 

Thanks for the extended response.

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