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Apple developing AppleScript 1.10 for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger

Apple Computer will include AppleScript 1.10 with Mac OS X version 10.4 "Tiger," AppleInsider has learned. The release will include many new features and enhancements while correcting numerous problems found with AppleScript 1.9.3 and earlier versions.

General enhancements and feature additions

AppleScript 1.10's date class will finally gain hours, minutes, and seconds properties, sources said, allowing users to set month properties to an integer and coerce weekday constants into numbers.

Meanwhile, a new Considering/Ignoring attribute is also being added for numeric string comparisons. The attribute will specify that numeric substrings should be collated by their numeric value. (example: "version 1.9" is less than "version 1.10"). Adaptations for extended version numbering will also yield changes in coercion from "version" to "real" type variables, allowing the second and third parts of the version number to span 0..15 instead of 0..9.

Under AppleScript 1.10, if a script application (applet) encounters an error, the "Edit" button in the error dialog will open the applet in the user's default script editor instead of the AppleScript editor.

Triggering the "About" dialog box on AppleScript 1.10 scripts will also display the applet's custom startup screen, assuming one was provided by the developer of the script. These applet startup screen dialogs, along with error dialogs, will begin to conform to the Aqua Human Interface Guidelines in the new release, sources said.

Standard Additions

In addition to to the aforementioned features, AppleScript 1.10 will pack a significant update to its Standard Additions module.

A new "choose remote application" command enables the user to choose a running application on a remote machine or on the local machine, while a new "display alert" command displays a standard alert dialog that conforms to the Aqua Human Interface Guidelines. Furthermore, the release packs fresh commands for obtaining and setting system sound volume, returning a localized string from a specified key, and displaying system info.

Additionally, several existing commands will adopt Unicode text support in the release, and "choose URL" command will gain supports CIFS file servers, sources said.

Bug Fixes and Compatibility

The AppleScript 1.10 package will incorporate over three dozen bug fixes that will address memory leaks, crashes, coercion, and null strings.

Although release will require Mac OS X Tiger, it will be able use scripts developed for any version of AppleScript from 1.1 through 1.9.3, any scripting addition created for AppleScript 1.5 or later for Mac OS X, and any scriptable application for Mac OS 7.1 or later.

A script created with AppleScript 1.10 can be used by any version of AppleScript back to version 1.1, provided it does not use features of AppleScript, scripting additions, or scriptable applications that are unavailable in that version.

AppleScript 1.10 is due with the release of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger in the first half of 2005.