PreFab...Player...Cool Uses...


Players extends Frontier and AppleScript to fill gaps, to let you script nearly anything -- even if the developer hasn't added OSA (Apple events) support or hasn't "wired up" every useful feature.

Here's a first cut at how that plays on the Internet.


The most common use of Player (on or off the Net) is to automate Photoshop. While other tools for batch processing images suffice for many purposes, some projects are best done in Photoshop. For example, does DeBabelizer handle CMYK? Can Photoshop 4's built-in Actions handle DCS files? Can any other tool apply different changes to landscape vs. portrait images? With other products, is it easy to create a single script that creates multiple version of the image (e.g. different sized or formats) -- either saved to different folders or with different extensions (or both)? Can custom annotations be added? All of these tasks are currently done by customers using Player.

We have some preliminary notes on Photoshop elsewhere in this section. They are somewhat out of date (e.g. all scripts are now available in UserTalk as well as AppleScript) and will be improved in the coming weeks; suggestions welcome!

As a start, here's a list of the Photoshop example scripts that ship with Player 1.1:

batch a folder to GIF
convert (no subroutines)
convert (with subroutines)
Illustrator to ColorSync TIFF
YCC for PhotoCD

library examples
Convert DCS to EPS JPEG
Save to done folder (PC TIFF)
Set max height (TIFF & GIF)
Skip dialog after first
Type caption & file info

Checkbox sequence (Ph3)
doPopupUntilSuccessful (Ph3)
Error catch, Bitmap #1
Error prevention, Bitmap #2
Repeat until successful (Ph3)
Sharpen or Blur workaround
XY holdout (Clipping Path)

In addition, we include the "Sample Photoshop Player" library (apps.PhotoshopPlayer in Frontier) with 48 useful routines (including some variations on one theme) plus an additional dozen utility scripts that they depend on.


Do you need to create PDF files? Acrobat Exchange is somewhat scriptable, but what about thumbnails? What about version 2.1?

Automated Testing, Software QA

Here's a behind-the-scenes use of Player, for those who develop Internet tools not those who use them. Software testing is hard -- and important. In addition to controlling the interface, Player can also query the interface. Test scripts can be smart; they can verify that the expected behavior actually happened. Note that even fully-scriptable apps need interface-based testing; that's the part user's see.

Here's a subtle benefit: if test scripts for non-scriptable or partially scriptable apps are written in AppleScript or Frontier's UserTalk, the company starts to realize the incredible value of scripting. That's the first step towards a truly scriptable app.

Important note: We learn what we can from customers, mailing lists and our own testing -- but none of these sources are infallible. PreFab is committed to presenting factual information. If you discover an error, please let us know.

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Updated on 3/7/97 by Scott S. Lawton (

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