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The Helix RADE Readiness Kit
Introduction

The Preliminary Release phase of Helix RADE for macOS, code named Europa is now underway. A major component of Europa is support for AppleScript in Design Mode. Design Mode editors are being implemented first as scriptable tasks. The graphic interface counterpart will come later, as we follow the plan outlined in the December 2009 edition of The Latest Word. In the early Preliminary Releases, scripting will be the only way to accomplish many Design Mode tasks.

For many Helix users, the notion of learning a programming language, even a natural language such as AppleScript, is a daunting task. But learning AppleScript will enable you to make the most of the capabilities in Helix RADE for macOS, and enable you to accomplish more, sooner.

The Helix RADE Readiness Kit is designed to assist you in the process of learning AppleScript. Announced in the December 2010 edition of The Latest Word, the components of the Helix RADE Readiness Kit have been selected to help you learn AppleScript faster, and to learn with Helix RADE as the focal point.

Learn how to interact with User Mode today, using scripting to store and retrieve data in Classic and macOS native Helix. As AppleScript support is rolled out in Helix RADE, you’ll be ready to go right to work in Design Mode, making changes faster than ever before.

Kit Contents

The Helix RADE Readiness Kit contains a number of useful items, all geared towards making your AppleScript experience better. Components include:

  • The first six issues of the Learning AppleScript with Helix self-paced training/newsletter (issues contain 4–6 lessons each) and interactive forum.
  • Helix Scripting (Makes the data access component of scripting accessible in earlier versions of Helix.)
  • Sample scripts you can put to use right away, or examine and adapt for your own needs.
  • Basic scripting support via email.
  • Advanced scripting support at one-half the regular rate.
  • A coupon code good for a $50 discount on Late Night Software’s Script Debugger, the ultimate AppleScript development environment. (25% off regular price.) Update: The Script Debugger discount was a limited time offer that has expired.
Pricing

The Helix RADE Readiness Kit is just $89.00!

Click here to log in to the QSA Web Store to purchase the Helix RADE Readiness Kit.

Learning AppleScript with Helix

The Helix RADE Readiness Kit includes the first six issues of our Learning AppleScript with Helix self-paced tutorial. This course is designed to assist you in the process of learning AppleScript, and learning it with Helix RADE as the focal point. Learning AppleScript with Helix helps you learn AppleScript faster by focusing on the parts of AppleScript that matter most to a Helix user and by providing real-world examples that work with Helix.

Click here to learn more about the Learning AppleScript with Helix newsletter.

Extended Learning

We’ve also pulled together a list of books on AppleScript that you might find helpful. Clicking on a link on the right takes you to Amazon.com where you can purchase them and support QSA ToolWorks at the same time.

If you’re going to purchase a book, we highly recommend AppleScript, the Definitive Guide by Matt Neuburg and Apple Training Series: AppleScript 1-2-3 by Sal Soghoian. Lessons in Learning AppleScript with Helix feature cross-references that point you directly to the pages that correspond with the topic at hand. By combining the newsletter training with the information in these the books, you can gain a more rounded understanding of the AppleScript concepts used.

These two books take very different approaches to teaching AppleScript. To help you decide which one is better for you, the first issue of Learning AppleScript with Helix provides an overview of these two books, helping you decide which one is better for you.

Although the discount offer has expired, we still highly recommend Late Night Software’s Script Debugger as an essential tool for learning AppleScript. One of the hurdles of learning AppleScript is knowing the right words (the dictionary) to use to control a program. Many programs fall short in this area, and without a comprehensive guide scripting can be frustrating. Script Debugger contains an ‘Explorer’ mode that goes far beyond static documentation, and the ‘Single Step’ mode lets you see exactly what your script does with every command. Lenny Eiger, a long-time Helix professional says: “I would highly suggest that if anyone uses AppleScript they take a look at Script Debugger. It has many more tools than Apple’s puny little Script Editor.”

System Requirements

Intel Macintosh w/macOS 10.4 or higher

Helix RADE 6.2 (aka: Europa)

More about the Kit Contents

Helix Scripting: When Apple events for User Mode were added to Helix in the early 90s, they were accessible only to programmers who could write in Pascal or C. Fred Stephenson created a program named CallHelix to provide AppleScript functionality for those events. Eventually, Autograph Systems bought Fred’s source code and created Helix Scripting, a macOS native program that provides all of the functions of the original CallHelix, and more. QSA ToolWorks subsequently purchased the Helix Scripting code, incorporating it into Helix 6.2. Scripts written for Helix Scripting transition seamlessly to Helix 6.2.

Learning AppleScript with Helix is a new self-paced training course that teaches AppleScript as it directly relates to Helix. Delivered in ‘newsletter’ format — new lessons are published bi-monthly — each publication includes 4–6 new articles, providing parallel courses of study along with articles of related interest. Lesson cover the basic concepts (ideal for scripting beginners) and feature a section putting those concepts to work in real-world situations. The first lessons focus on User Mode scripting, as that is available to everybody as part of the Helix RADE Readiness Kit. Later lessons explore the scripting interface for each Design Mode editor.

Sample scripts: Included in the sample scripts are some real-world solutions, such as:

  • Get Stock Quotes (Pull data from the web and send it to Helix.)
  • Bulk Email Sender (Pull email addresses from Helix and send it to another application.)
  • Additional scripts — such as an RSS Feed Generator that creates an RSS syndication based on a Helix list — will be added to a private kit owner’s download page. Solutions to user posed problems will also be added here.

Scripting Support: Sometimes general training isn’t enough, and you need one-on-one support. Kit owners receive a private email address for asking basic questions related to learning AppleScript. Advanced scripting support is also available at one-half the regular pay-as-you-go rate.