Thursday, August 27, 2009

Services and Snow Leopard

Ok, so across the world Snow Leopard is becoming available as I write.

Apple is billing this as an operating system release without major features. For once a computer company is underselling. Make no mistake this is a major improvement for all owners of an Intel Mac, and further argument to upgrade for all those still on PPC. This is a faster, slicker, more organised OS than Leopard. Snow Leopard is dramatically faster. Apple have also snuck a few really cool features in below the radar.

One they should be singing from the rooftops is the improvement to 'Services' - those little add-ons that applications could add to the contextual menu. First, they are now contextual - if you have a piece of text selected then you won't be offered the possibility of calculating a disk image checksum. Second, you can easily write them yourself using Automator.

Just to make sure you get the best from AppleScript, Automator and Services Apple have built a new website to explain it all to you, provide some neat tools and some even better training - the Services training features some nice video's with Sal Soghoian, AppleScript guru now a Product Manager at Apple for all things automatic. Visit and enjoy.

By the way, is it only me or do Apple's support and documentation websites just make everyone else's seem amateur and garish by comparison. Mac OS X Automation is a perfect example - apart from a legal disclaimer that mentions Apple and the Apple logo discreetly visible in the top right corner you would be hard pressed to realise this is an Apple built website. It's just a site chock full of good information well presented.

But I digress. Many others will write reviews of the new OS, I just wanted to share a little of my joy with you.