Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Scripting on Windows

Author:Robert Krajewski
Posted:1/12/1999; 10:35:16 AM
Topic:Scripting on Windows
Msg #:2031 (In response to 2017)
Prev/Next:2030 / 2032

First, too bad that Apple snubbed you. Not that I have any inside information, but it appears that scripting in OS X should be exciting, especially since it looks like Yellow Box apps will fit into OSA quite nicely. (So the scriptable app set will include both Carbon and OpenStep apps.) Combine that with a modern OS and interoperability with the Blue Box and it's going to be easier for Mac scripting users to move to OS X than NT. I'd say you, as a Mac scripting provider, can view this an opportunity, not something to get upset about.

From the little I've seen from the end-user client side, scripting in Windows should, in theory, be just as pervasive as scripting on the Mac. My credentials: I am familiar with MacOS OSA and AppleEvents, but I have also done plenty of real implementation with OLE Automation, especially as it is embodied in MFC-based ActiveXs that provide scripting interfaces (IDispatch). Scripting within an application, or just to one application, has been pretty well supported since OLE Automation was introduced in OLE 2. If you drink the MFC kool-aid, you get a reasonable amount of scripting support as well, although the relatively new ActiveX Template classes might be a better fit for existing applications not based on MFC.

However, it was not until recently that OLE Automation got the sort of scripting-engine-side features and places to plug in (script providers, &c.) that MacOS OSA has had for quite a while. For example, the lack of a script engine abstractions means that apps in the Microsoft orbit use VBA, Lotus ones use LotusScript, and other parties must fend for themselves or adapt yet another party's engine. As a result, cross-application scripting has suffered, especially for the kind of ad hoc integration that is so easy to do on the Mac, or, if you just want to pipe streams around, in Unix environments. There is nothing stopping a programmer enabling this stuff in Windows, but it's just not in the culture of Windows. Big apps tend to support automation, and ActiveX's do, too, but a lot of medium-sized apps and most of Windows' own utilities do not.

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