No single chapter—in fact, no entire book—can make you a master AppleScript programmer. Gaining that kind of skill requires weeks of experimentation and study, during which you’ll gain a lot of appreciation for what full-time software programmers endure every day.
By far the best way to learn AppleScript is to study existing scripts (like those in the Library→Scripts folder) and to take the free online training courses listed at the end of this chapter. And there are thousands of examples available all over the Web. Trying to figure out these scripts—running them after making small changes here and there, and emailing the authors when you get stuck—is one of the best ways to understand AppleScript.
On the “Missing CD” page at http://www.missingmanuals.com , for example, you’ll find a document called Advanced AppleScript.pdf. It introduces several more complex AppleScript concepts, including variables, loops, nested “if " statements, and so on.
When you get really serious about creating AppleScripts, you’ll also want to check out AppleScript Studio (ASS for short—how did that one get past Marketing?). Technically, it’s an integrated development environment that combines Project Builder and Interface Builder, making AppleScript a peer language of Java and Objective C. In plain language, ASS lets you put a real Aqua user interface on your scripts, complete with dialog boxes, text boxes, buttons, slide controls, and much more. It also lets you combine multiple scripts ...