Late Night Software Ltd. Releases Script Debugger 4.5

November 25, 2008 in OS X Development (E)

[] Victoria, B.C., Canada - Late Night Software Ltd. today proudly announces the immediate availability of Script Debugger 4.5, the latest version of its award-winning AppleScript authoring environment. With more than 28 major new features and significant improvements to existing ones, Script Debugger 4.5 continues to make AppleScript easier still.

"We're fortunate in that Script Debugger gets a heavy workout among our many users who rely on it daily to automate tasks," says company president Mark Alldritt. "They provide valuable feedback that inspires us to keep improving Script Debugger to meet all their scripting needs", he says. "We have no doubt that version 4.5 will exceed everyone's expectations."

Among the many new features in Script Debugger 4.5 are:

The editor now fully supports Unicode on Leopard systems. Unicode text will be properly retained when scripts are compiled or opened, allowing you to include text in multiple languages and alphabets within your scripts.

Script Debugger now 'auto-saves' recovery information whenever you execute a script. Should AppleScript, Script Debugger or a Scripting Addition crash, Script Debugger will recover the script the next time it's launched, preventing the loss of valuable work.

Script Debugger 4.5 is scriptable. The scripting interface allows Applescript to create, edit, compile, execute and save script documents. The scripting interface also allows you to invoke event handlers and subroutine handlers in other script windows.

New Scripts menu and inspector have been added where you can place scripts that drive Script Debugger. Key bindings can be assigned to scripts for frequently used operations. The new Scripts menu and inspector support OSA scripts, applications, Unix scripts (sh, ruby perl, etc.) and Automator workflows. You can use the Scripts menu/inspector to run a wide variety of scripts that take full advantage of Mac OS X.

Script length limitations have been removed on Leopard systems. Script Debugger would previously lose its ability to display AppleScript formatting for long scripts (>3000 lines). This limitation no longer exists when running on Leopard systems.

You can now split the editor vertically and/or horizontally. This lets you view and edit multiple sections of a script at the same time, enabling you to easily spot changes or similarities.

The Find and Replace panel now provides Regular Expression searching using the ICU Regular Expression engine. This lets you perform powerful Regular Expression-based finds and text substitutions on your scripts without resorting to an external text editor.

The editor now automatically closes AppleScript block structures as you type. If you type 'repeat with i from 1 to 10' followed by Return, for example, Script Debugger will automatically insert the matching 'end' statement, allowing you to enter AppleScript block structures more quickly.

The editor now provides a Text Substitution feature that allows short keywords to be replaced with boilerplate code as you type. Typing 'dd', followed by a space, for example, causes 'display dialog "message"' to be inserted with 'message' selected. You can define your own text substitutions to suit your scripting environment.

The editor now automatically closes parentheses and quotes as you type, making it easier to enter string literals, lists, and records into your script.

Script Debugger 3.0's 'Edit with BBEdit' command has been reintroduced and now works with Bare Bones Software's BBEdit and TextWrangler or with MacroMate's TextMate text editors. This command lets you temporarily transfer a script to one of these editors to take advantage of their powerful features.

Major improvements made to the UI for Editing Libraries include: a new popup button listing the libraries in Script Debugger's Application Support/Libraries folder, making it possible to add libraries without going through the Open File panel; the 'Relative To' popup in the Add Library open panel now changes directories to match the relative path chosen; and the libraries toolbar button in the script window now offers a popup listing the libraries in Script Debugger's Application Support/Libraries folder. This makes the management of libraries associated with a script vastly more efficient.

You can now invoke a script's 'on open' handler using a 'tell document x to open {file 1, file 2}' statement from another Script Debugger script window. 'On open' events are added to the Event History menus so that they can be quickly recalled from the UI.

Script results and View windows can now display Unicode strings (related to the Editor's Unicode improvements), allowing you to more easily debug scripts that work with strings written in various languages and alphabets.

You can now invoke subroutines in a script via the scripting interface: 'tell document x to subroutineName(p1, p2)'. Subroutine call events are added to the Event History menus so that they can be quickly recalled from the UI.

Script Debugger provides expanded and improved documentation for AppleScript's built-in data types, helping novices understand AppleScript's built-in data types. Experienced users can more easily recall the terms that AppleScript's built-in types offer.

Sections in the dictionary display are collapsible, allowing you to hide dictionary information that is not relevant to your task.

User configurable Command Keys bindings. This let you define command key shortcuts for comments that you use frequently. It also allows you to change or remove command key shortcuts provided by Script Debugger. Command Keys bindings can also be assigned to clippings or scripts.

Added Quick Look support. This lets you view the source of your scripts without having to open the script in Script Debugger. It also allows you to avoid launching applications that may need to be running in order to view the script in Script Debugger.

Script Debugger 4.5 requires the following hardware and software:
* G4 or G5 PowerPC or Intel processor is recommended
* 50MB free disk space
* Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) or later; Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or later is recommended

Pricing and Availability:
Script Debugger 4.5 sells for $199 (USD). The Script Debugger 4.0 to 4.5 upgrade sells for $49 (USD).

Script Debugger 4.5 is the premier AppleScript authoring environment. It provides everything you need to quickly and easily author AppleScripts that work. No other scripting tool can match Script Debugger's capabilities for creating, editing and debugging AppleScripts. Its sophisticated Dictionary browser provides far more information than any other tool can and eliminates guesswork and needless experimentation. Simply put, Script Debugger makes AppleScript easy.

Late Night Software Ltd., established in 1995, is a privately held company that specializes in the development of award-winning Macintosh scripting tools. Copyright 1995-2008 Late Night Software Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, AppleScript and Apple Automator are registered trademarks of Apple Computer in the U.S. and/or other countries.


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