Hi Dave - you obviously don't know me, but I'm a new Frontier user from
I've dabbled (and stumbled) in AppleScript for the last 2-3 years - just
pottering and having fun. I'd heard of Frontier, it's power and steep
learning curve. I even downloaded it a few months ago, but didn't get
around to trying it out.
Then I was looking at the MacScripting list, and saw announcements of 4.1
betas, and finally, the release version, and I thought, "I'll give it a go".
At the time, I was trying to do a script I'd unsuccessfully done back in
'94. This script is totally unproductive, and is the result of a puzzle set
by my science teacher from high school - the guy who got me into computers
and (basic/BASIC) programming way back when. Take the numbers 1-9, put one
of the basic maths expressions (*, /, -, +) between them, and make it equal
10, as per:
1 * 2 * 3 * 4 * 5 / 6 + 7 - 8 - 9 = 10
My teacher told me there were 4 solutions, I found 7 within a couple of
weeks, and it sank into the depths of my mind - until I thought I could
AppleScript to evaluate all the combinations.
Being a dabbler, my code was far from efficient. I had to keep stopping the
script and have it start up from the last combination it evaluated. It was
a behemoth. It took ages. I never got it to run through all the values.
Recently, with more time on my hands than I probably should admit, I tried
again in AS - another behemoth, and a running time of 100 hours for all
65,536 combinations. I ran it from a RAM disk (run script accessed the boot
disk each time) - 20 hours running time, and it found 27 solutions.
_Then_ I thought "Frontier's supposed to be fast, I'll try it". I
downloaded it last weekend, and dabbled for a couple of days, within which
time I ended up with a small script (37 lines when taking a "base 4"
converter I made into account) which evaluated 500 expressions a minute and
got through the lot in 2 hours! And it found extra solutions, as well. Boy,
was I impressed.
I'm still dabbling (and stumbling), but I _really_ like Frontier. I like
the object database. I like the ability to easily create and use new
commands, and the ability to run AppleScripts with no modifications. And
then I looked at the Web building area - I've now sold my soul.
I'm basically lazy - I hate doing unnecessary stuff (unless it's an
intellectual exercise). Typing in modification dates on Web pages is a
right royal pain - so I do a macro in Frontier to do that for me. Putting
in "previous and next" links is a right royal pain - so on the page which
lists the pages with previous and next links, I have a macro which compiles
the prev/next pages, as well as the list of those pages. And it works! A
lowly scripter like me can actually make it work because the mechanism is
already there in Frontier.
I guess, if I sound gushy, it's because I feel it - Frontier is one hell of
a product, and the effort UserLand, yourself and the Frontier community
have put into it is patently obvious. I just wanted to say "keep up the
good work" (and why I thought it was good work). Keep diggin'!
© Copyright 1996-97 UserLand Software. This page was last built on 5/7/97; 1:52:43 PM.
It was originally posted on 12/15/96; 10:00:58 AM.
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