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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    August 25th, 2008
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    4
    Can't Applescript WebMerge
    I'm trying to get WM to Build Pages using Applescript (Leopard). I'm running WM 2.4.2, and I'm sure I bought it more than a year ago, so no support. The Help talks a lot about Applescript commands, but I can't seem to get them to work. Script Editor can't find a dictionary for the application either. Searching this forum for 'applescript' came up with zero matches, so I'm posting here.

  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
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    1,913
    Thanks for the note. I've looked into this, and it seems we definitely have a problem with the AppleScript dictionary in v2.4.2. We have very few customers using AppleScript with WebMerge, with most using its built-in automation instead, which is why I presume it passed through the long beta test cycle without being caught. In fact, yours is the first report of this since v2.4 was originally released more than a year and a half ago.

    We should be able to address this for v2.5, and I'll see if I can repair the AppleScript dictionary for the next build going out this week.

    In the meantime, could I trouble you to tell me a bit about how you use AppleScript with WebMerge? Getting a better understanding of your workflow will help ensure that we provide the sort of AppleScript support that'll be most useful for you.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  3. #3
    Newbie
    Join Date
    August 25th, 2008
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    4
    I am using Applescript to implement a menu item in a Filemaker data base which will export the updated data base to a set of web pages.

    The first data base (for which I bought WebMerge) was a few years ago, and all I used was the OPEN command, so that WM would open the correct settings file. When I had it all working, I turned on the 'auto-build' option in that settings file, so OPEN was all I needed. Well, I really should use QUIT also.

    Now I have another data base I would like to do a similar thing with. I read the Applescript section of Help with interest, and thought how handy it would be to have the build only run when I fired off the Filemaker command rather than any time I opened the settings file to tweak it during development. It was then I discovered that I couldn't get the BUILD command to work based on the Help documentation.

    Not sophisticated, a pretty basic application. I couldn't use all the facilities to get and set configuration options, though I am imagining a possible use of being able to set the input and output file names, so I could use the same settings file with different sets of records I'm exporting, if I want to use the same data items and template. Sure would be nice if I could BUILD--System Events should work for that I guess.

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager
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    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
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    To integrate with FileMaker in the way you're proposing, you may not need to use AppleScript. FMP provides a command to launch an application with a specified file, so you can fire up WM from FMP using that rather than AppleScript, and it'll probably be even a tad faster since that command uses an OS API rather than running through the AppleScript subsystem.

    Note for Windows and Linux users: VBA, Access, and many other scriptable database and spreadsheet tools also provide a command for launching an app with a specified file, so what I'm writing here applies to integrating with those and any other tools which provide such a command.

    WebMerge includes options in the Generation tab to have it automatically start generating once a file is opened, and even includes an option to quit when it's done generating from that file.

    Also note that there are options in the Generation tab for queueing up other settings files to be run in sequence automatically, so you can process any number of settings at a time with one launch.

    So all your FMP script has to do to is launch WM with your settings file, and WebMerge can launch, load a settings file, generate pages, upload them, and then quit, without further intervention needed from the app that launched it.

    In fact, we have a good many customers who use WM with FMP and Access to deliver turnkey systems for their clients: they build a nice data entry/content management system in their database, and have a "Publish" button which has a script to launch WM as described above. We offer a substantial discount on 5- and 10-packs of licenses specifically to support such VARs, who are free to mark up the cost to their client however they feel is appropriate for the value they add in setting it up.

    WebMerge's built-in automation options may be why so few have reported issues with AppleScript (I believe you're the first <g>). We have had one customer who used AppleScript to modify settings files on the fly, but his was a fairly exotic setup and I've not heard from anyone else yet with a workflow that needs more than what WM handles internally.

    Just the same, for the sake of completeness I'll still restore the AS dictionary in WM 2.5, but please take a look at the options in the Generation tab and let me know if you need anything right now beyond what those provide.

    PS: If you're authoring content in your FMP DB, you might want to take a look at the WebMerge Help section in the WM-Wiki tag. That tag supports a "markdown" language similar to the ones popularized on wikis, making it easier to format text with headings, bullets, lists, etc. than using straight HTML. You author using the lightweight "markdown" syntax, and during generation WebMerge translates that content into standard HTML in the generated page.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

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