Success with AppleScript depends on understanding the capabilities of the applications that you’re trying to automate and how to invoke the functionality you need, how to access data and perform operations on it. The dictionary window in Script Debugger is where you begin that task of discovery as it shows you the reference information applications offer. But that’s just the launching point. From there, the Explorer is the place where you can experiment with the application, where you can explore the data that it offers and manipulate the data to see the consequences in the application.
The power of these Explorers doesn’t drop away when you leave the dictionary and move to edit your script. They follow you into the script and are available as you edit and debug your script to show the information that you’re operating on.
Once you’ve discovered how to exploit the capabilities of the applications on your system, you’re ready to write scripts. Maximize productivity and write scripts easily and quickly with Script Debugger’s powerful and flexible code creation features. Insert tell blocks for applications and objects or properties. Script Debugger’s ‘clippings’ and text substitution features intelligently insert code ranging from AppleScript constructs (such as repeat loops), to basic tell blocks, to application commands (including parameters). Features expressly honed for the peculiarities of the AppleScript language let you easily navigate large scripts, automatically enter “end” lines and closing delimiters, and more.
After creating a script, you’ll need to test it to make sure it behaves as expected. The first step is to run the script. Should an error stop the script, Script Debugger tracks all the variables and their values up to that point, making it easy to discover what went wrong. Script Debugger presents a complete picture of what’s happening as your script runs.
The ever-present Explorers continually appear to show any value in great detail. If the value happens to be a reference to a song in iTunes, for example, it not only gives you its name, it also lets you explore the song’s attributes.
Use the Apple Event Log (which has been completely revised in version 5.0) to monitor the commands your script sends to the applications on your Mac.
Use single-stepping and breakpoints to watch your script as it runs, viewing the values of all variables at every stage of the script’s execution. Unit-test individual handlers. With Script Debugger, your code works by design, not by guesswork.
After developing a working script, you need to package it for distribution to your client, working group, or whoever is going to utilize it. Script Debugger leaps in at this point to check for common errors when packaging scripts. Should the script contain sensitive or private information, you can export it in Run Only form. This lets the end user run the script but prevents them from accessing the code. Script Debugger’s unique Manifest tells you instantly what applications and scripting additions are needed in order to run your script successfully.