The FooDoo Lounge

Dialog Director

Getting a copy

If you want to use something that requires DD and you don't already have it installed, use the links below. I don't distribute it with my scripts because the author specifies that it be distributed only in its original form, which is fair enough, but it's too big to package with each script.

To simply use one or more DD scripts, only one copy of the osax - about 68k - is required. Download it, then just drag the Dialog Director icon (the file itself) onto your closed System Folder. The Finder will ask you if you want to put it into the Scripting Additions folder. Click OK and it's done.

Dialog Director Home Page | Dialog Director Package

Dialog Director Info

The Dialog Director osax (or Scripting Addition) adds sophisticated user interface capabilities to AppleScript under classic MacOS. It allows for somewhat different kinds of scripts than would otherwise be possible and, like AppleScript Studio for OS X, means that AS can be used to create stand alone applications.

Due to the nature of the functions it provides, scripts of mine that use it will generally not run unless it is installed. These will return an error message which includes the URL for downloading it.

One significant issue with DD, is that script applications using it run disproportionately slow on older hardware. Somewhere between a 200Mhz 604 (7300/200) and a G4/400, this becomes irrelevant. In other words, I find some of them unacceptably slow on the first machine, but not on the second.

The upshot of this is that you may not find them useful if you're running slower hardware. It does seem to mainly apply to script applications, rather than compiled scripts, so things that run as scripts, say from the OSA Menu, are generally much faster.

Dialog Director appears to be written to a very high standard and this is borne out by its comprehensive documentation. Its author has made an impressive contribution to AS, in my humble opinion, and this is all the moreso given that it is distributed free of charge.

Additional Info for Scripters

DD is somewhat challenging to learn and can be slow to code by hand, but rewards the patient student by allowing some very complex visual interfaces. I really enjoy working with it and everything I've done with DD has been in plain old Script Editor. It's a little masochistic, but I can't afford Script Debugger.

I don't use a visual editor because I sometimes use constructor functions to build dialogs and, as with other things, manual editing tends to produce the cleanest code.

The distributed package includes many examples of its use and these contain some excellent AppleScript code. It's somewhat terse, which is not to everyone's taste, but it is, not surprisingly, a free look at some very nice work.

Dialog Director has been at version 0.7 since 1998 and, particularly with the release of AppleScript Studio, would appear (to me) to be unlikely to be further developed. I understand that a 0.8 version is close to finished, but that the author has been unable to complete it due to time constraints.

If you wish to find out more about Dialog Director, check out the author's site or have a look at the dictionary.

 

The FooDoo Lounge is Copyright © Richard Morton 2002-2005

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