Old AppleScript books still useful?


#1

Doing some winter cleaning and came across these tomes deep in my shelves. Does anyone think they’re still useful? For reference the book are from 1994 and the Tao book still has 3.5" floppies in the back.


#2

I don’t know if they’re useful to most people but I immediately wondered if Stephen Hackett or John Siracusa would want them.


#3

Has the language really changed much since then?

I get that things you might automate have.


#4

That’s what I’m wondering. The base concepts will be the same but will the language change? Haven’t OSAX (Open Scripting Additions?) have been removed, for instance?


#5

I’d say it depends on how much you already know, what you’d want to get out of them, and how you learn best.

I have that Danny Goodman book. I used to use it to look up specific bits of information when I was stuck writing a script, but I haven’t opened it in years. I’ve been throwing out old tech books lately, but I’m not going to toss that one until I’ve had a chance to read it cover to cover (which I should have done when I bought it all those years ago). Goodman is a really good teacher. Earlier this year, I read two of his HyperCard books before getting rid of them, for the same reason: I’d never read them as books; I’d only referred to them when I needed specific questions answered. I have to say that I’m glad I took the time to read them whole. I learned things about programming by doing that.

Some writers are great at writing concise, step-by-step instructions to accomplish very specific things. Other writers, like Goodman and Matt Neuburg, excel at writing books that teach the bigger picture. I learn better when I read those big-picture writers. (I’m reading Neuburg’s book right now, for the third time.)