Today, I found the weblog of Daniel Jalkud, an (among other stations) ex-Apple employee who works as an indepedant Mac consultant and developer. He develops and sells a little application called FastScripts that allows you to define a keyboard shortcut to any script you might have on your system, specifically AppleScripts.
AppleScripts are little helper applications written in a dialect of english that both computers and humans can understand. So it is easy to read and write for a user (who does not neccessarily has to be a programmer of any sort) and the computer still does what it’s been told (most of the time ;-).
In the past, I didn’t really have the need for any AppleScript. The bits of scripting I need are done in sh scripting on the commandline. Speaking of it, to encourage users to use AppleScripts (and consequently buy FastScripts ($15 only)), Daniel has a nice set of AppleScripts as free downloads on his website. One of it got my attention pretty quickly. The “Terminal at Selction” script opens Apple’s Terminal.app at the exact location in the filesystem where you happen to be with the Finder. Granted, for the average user, this sounds like geeky gibberish (but these are news from nerdistan), but for a programmer, who spends half of his time and 80% of his work on some sort of commandline, this script is really, really useful. And it especially comes in handy, when you have a keyboard shortcut that triggers it. Another copy sold, well done, case closed. Not so fast!
I use iTerm as my terminal of choice and not Apple’s Terminal.app. Tough luck. Fiveteen minutes of trial and error and an eye on the iTerm scripting documentation later I have a script that does the same for iTerm. Including opening a new tab when a window is already opened. Well done, case closed. Hold it! I sent the script back to Daniel and asked if he liked to add it to the download section of his free scripts, or, if he doesn’t, if I could put it up here. He asked me to invest another round of picking at pieces to create a single script that works for both Terminal.app and iTerm.app. No problem, I think, write and voilá, send it back. Nice work, case closed. Just a second! Daniel adds the new version (1.1) on his download page and notifies me, that he’d blog about it (Big deal ;-).
The post is about how interesting the blogosphere is with all the dynamic people involved, with people getting into action, when they see something interesting and how it enhances the web for everyone involved. During the mail exchange I stated, that this kind of collaboration is what I really like about the Mac community. While the OpenSource movement has it’s merits and on the Mac side of things also a lot of things come with an open source. The community here actually is even more friendly and thight-knit (Note, that I don’t diss OpenSource and it’s communities in any way here, we are way too interconnected to do this in a sane way anyways. But with a Mac at hand, everything is a tad cooler).
With his final mail Daniel welcomes me to the Mac developer community, I’ve been reading about for quite a while. And there are some pretty interesting thoughts, I want to spend some time on in the future which I hope I can share here once they are ripe for picking. Which leaves me with the question if there are any Mac developers here in Münster?