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The Future of Frontier wrt AppleScript

This message was posted on the Mac scripting list on Mon, Jan 20, 1997 by

AppleScript is here. It's not a panacea. A lot of the arguments that Mark makes echo my initial arguments when Apple embarked on the object model style of events and the 'aete' format, many years ago.

I've been working in the publishing community again, after staying out for a few years, and I see *lots* of stuff built with AppleScript. I watched as Apple tried to rev AppleScript last year. I wonder what's going to happen with all those AppleScripts out there in publishing-land?

As I have many times in the past, I offer Frontier as a bridge. Every time I offer, we get some converts, which is coool. We continue to improve the power and usability and performance of Frontier. Version 4.2 is in the final stages of development.

Major new 4.2 features: cleaned up and documented support for Finder menu sharing, with new Finder commands; deep improvements in the website management framework; new features to support WebSTAR's implementation of menu sharing. When the next beta is ready later today, I'll post a pointer on this list.

We are also working to take Frontier cross-platform. I believe we'll make the transition to a native Rhapsody system easily. We're also very seriously exploring the possibility of producing a Be version and versions for various flavors of Unix (no announcements at this time). The Win32 port is coming along well. The goal of cross-platform scripts is what we're working towards. If you know your scripts will run on other popular platforms in the future it's safer to make the investment in Mac scripting today.

On the Macintosh platform we run AppleScripts very well! Multi-threading, object database, complete verb set, simplified interface to FileMaker, Eudora, etc. Where ever Apple produces an OSA-compatible implementation of AppleScript, we will support it. So, if you choose to work in the Frontier environment, it simply enhances your work in AppleScript. Esp with the connection to Script Debugger, and the connection with FaceSpan, the stuff you know goes with you.

The docs are good and getting better. The learning curve is getting less steep all the time. There's a new suite in 4.2 that makes managing a website totally command-driven -- choose a command from a menu to add an item to your News page, for example. We're pacing the commercial site managers, FrontPage, NetObjects, etc, with the difference that you can modify our system to produce the custom system you need for your LAN and organization.

And we're working to bring Java into the Frontier environment much as we have brought AppleScript in. We're partnering with Metrowerks and others. We want to deliver the benefits of Frontier, across all popular environments, to people who program in Java. We believe Java can make an excellent scripting language, if we take a scripting approach to working with it.

Anyway, we have much to offer the AppleScript community. Frontier is free, so all it costs is your time to get in our loop.

Dave Winer

PS: You might want to wait a couple of weeks to get started scripting with Frontier, as I said, 4.2 is almost here, things get smoother...

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