154: Masters of Automation


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   From Relay FM, this is Upgrade, episode 154.

00:00:12   Today's show is brought to you by Squarespace, Pingdom, and Encapsula.

00:00:17   Surprise! My name is Myke Hurley, and I'm joined by Mr. Jason Snell.

00:00:21   Hi, Jason Snell.

00:00:22   - Surprise, Myke Hurley! It's me, Jason Snell. - It's the surprise me.

00:00:25   It's the surprise Myke Hurley.

00:00:26   Well, I wasn't supposed to be here today, but here I am.

00:00:28   No, you're gonna... This is a special episode and we have a special segment coming up at

00:00:33   the end, but it's starting out like a regular upgrade and then it will become something

00:00:37   different.

00:00:38   We have some really fun stuff over the next couple of weeks I think people are going to

00:00:41   enjoy. And it all begins today. The upgrade Summer of Fun! It is the inaugural upgrade

00:00:46   Summer of Fun!

00:00:47   Amazing.

00:00:48   And it kicks off on this episode. There we go.

00:00:50   You are an expert at branding things.

00:00:52   I've just given us another thing to think about every year. So we're in the Summer of

00:00:55   fun for upgrade and it all kicks off today but whilst I think that everybody

00:01:01   cares about this nobody cares about it because it's time for #snailtalk

00:01:04   and we have a great question today from Jack. Jack wants to know, Jason you

00:01:09   have a perspective which is quite historic with Apple you've been around

00:01:13   for a long time not that we're saying you're old or anything. No no no no

00:01:17   historic perspective doesn't mean that at all. No it doesn't mean it just you

00:01:20   you're a scholar. Jack wants to know, what event or moment in Apple's history would you

00:01:26   say was the lowest point? Unlike many Snell Talk questions, I saw this, Jack tweeted this

00:01:30   at me and I was thinking about it so I had some time to think about it. It's tough, 1997,

00:01:36   it's definitely something in 1997 but he's asking for an event or a moment. What I really

00:01:40   want to say is the one that happened 20 years ago which is at Macworld Expo in Boston, Bill

00:01:45   Bill Gates appeared via Big Brother-like on a screen to announce that Microsoft was cross-licensing

00:01:52   patents and investing in Apple. And basically what happened was this is Apple's on its last

00:01:59   legs and needs cash to stay afloat long enough to release the iMac and basically turn their

00:02:05   fortunes around. And this is also Steve Jobs having that moment that a lot of people were

00:02:10   upset by where it's like let's not worry about Microsoft. Microsoft is. I think at that moment

00:02:17   we all knew in the media that Microsoft was making more money on the average Mac sold

00:02:23   than PC sold I think was the argument because so many Mac users bought Office and so we

00:02:29   need to get over it and a lot of Mac faithful back then were like upset about that. So I

00:02:35   to say that moment, but I know that behind the scenes they were already moving on doing

00:02:40   the iMac and really changing the company. That was the same time that the Think Different

00:02:45   campaign was unveiled. So I feel like Apple was already kind of turning the corner at

00:02:49   that point. So I might instead say something like Macworld Expo in January of 1997 where

00:02:57   Gil Amelio was on stage for a very long time, saying kind of nothing. And it was super boring.

00:03:05   And it was like the pit of Apple at its low. And then Steve Jobs came on stage and was

00:03:15   greeted with acclaim. And I kind of feel like that was the moment when Apple hit bottom

00:03:19   and started to come back the other side. So I guess I would say maybe I'd go with Amelio's

00:03:24   thing because once Jobs was back in the building, like, the fortunes started shifting for Apple

00:03:31   immediately. But certainly at the time, not knowing what was coming next, that MacWorld

00:03:38   Expo thing felt like the lowest low. Like, are they going to make it? Microsoft is trying

00:03:42   to bail them out. Wait, is Microsoft not the enemy anymore? And personally, professionally,

00:03:47   that came at a really tough point because that was when they merged MacWorld and MacUser

00:03:51   together. And so we went to that Boston MacWorld Expo where that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates

00:03:54   thing happened. None of us knew whether we would have jobs in a few weeks because they

00:04:01   were going to put the two magazines together. And so, but, and it was literally like, "We

00:04:07   know you're going to Boston next week, so before you go, we want to let you know that

00:04:12   you may not have a job. Bye!" And then we were sent off to cover this event and then

00:04:18   return to figure out whether we would have jobs in the long run or not, which was very,

00:04:22   So it was a very strange thing and I had a vacation plan.

00:04:24   So after that expo, Lauren flew out and we went out to Pennsylvania to visit my relatives.

00:04:30   So it was a very weird time.

00:04:33   But knowing what we know now about what happened in '98 with the iMac, it's hard for me to

00:04:41   at the time that seemed like the low, but now the turnaround suggests that they were

00:04:45   already coming back and they'll think different campaign, which at the time we were like,

00:04:49   this is weird.

00:04:50   what they're marketing, but in hindsight, right, that makes a lot more sense too. So

00:04:56   I might say the endless Gil Amelio keynote instead was like the true low.

00:05:01   That makes logical sense, right, because Steve coming out on stage is the beginning of something,

00:05:07   right? That was it.

00:05:08   That was the beginning.

00:05:09   That was a handoff.

00:05:10   So publicly, that was the lowest point was that moment. I mean, to the company internally,

00:05:15   probably the lowest point was when they decided they had to bring Steve back, right? Like

00:05:19   was when the company was probably at its lowest, right? We're like, "Well, we've got nothing

00:05:22   else we can do now except have him become the CEO again."

00:05:26   And when Steve took over and started killing programs and laying people off and cutting

00:05:30   things, I think people at the time would have thought of that as a low, right? That Apple

00:05:35   is just, Steve Jobs has come in with a chainsaw and he's killing this company. But now we

00:05:39   look at it and we think, "No, Steve Jobs came in with a chainsaw and saved the company and

00:05:44   turned it around. And so what seemed like a low at the time, it turns out is actually

00:05:49   that was reform. They were on the upswing. Killing those products and cutting those jobs

00:05:54   and doing whatever restructuring they had to do, that saved the company. So that was

00:05:58   part of the comeback.

00:05:59   So when was the Wired Prey cover? At what point was this?

00:06:06   Oh, was that '97 or '96? But it was somewhere in that period too where '97. It was June

00:06:14   '97, so it was after the Emilio thing. And that was the beginning of that summer that led to all of this. Yeah, it's true.

00:06:20   Yep, '97 was a crazy year. So the jobs came back, it looked like Apple was gonna

00:06:26   die, and then it sort of got saved, and then it came back on its own.

00:06:32   And then, you know, from my personal life, that was a huge thing. Professionally, we changed jobs.

00:06:39   We moved.

00:06:42   Lauren changed jobs. I changed jobs. We moved to Marin County where we still live that was all in 97

00:06:48   Yeah, that was a that was a really

00:06:52   tumultuous year personally professionally and for me and and for Apple so

00:06:58   97 I don't I don't miss it. It's interesting that it's all it's 20 years ago now Jack

00:07:03   Thank you for that fantastic hashtag snow talk question

00:07:06   you can ask any question to open the show with the hashtag #snailtalk and it will go

00:07:11   into a lovely document. So we do some follow up today, Jason. First off, we were talking

00:07:18   a little bit about some of the notification stuff that could potentially be coming in

00:07:23   iOS 11 with the new iPhone, right? Like if it has all these new cameras in it and stuff.

00:07:29   And Guilherme Rambaud, who is the guy from Brazil who's been digging into the HomePod

00:07:34   firmware stuff along with Steve Trout and Smith. The two of them have kind of been like

00:07:38   really finding a lot of incredible stuff. He listens to the show, I assume, so hi Guillemé,

00:07:43   you're doing some amazing work over there because he tweeted to say that, and to confirm

00:07:47   a little bit more, that he's found strings that seem to confirm that the iPhone will

00:07:52   suppress notification sounds if you're looking at it. And two of them are named Awareness

00:07:57   Observer and Attention Detected. Yeah, yeah. How about that? So it's very interesting sounding,

00:08:02   right? Yeah, because this is the, I mean, I'm reminded of like, Samsung had that feature

00:08:06   where if you looked away from a video, it would stop playing it, which is just like,

00:08:10   no, nobody wants that. No, no, don't do that. But that so that tech existed years ago to

00:08:15   do this. But like Apple, building this tech in and trying to find clever ways that will

00:08:20   be helpful for people not like what can we do to show off this tech, but more like now

00:08:24   that we have this tech, what are the some features we could do that would be helpful.

00:08:28   this is an interesting example that if we can detect that you're looking at your phone

00:08:34   that you know you can change behavior on the phone knowing that because right now it's

00:08:39   more like they could use the sensors to see if you picked it up or they know that the

00:08:42   screen is lit up so maybe you've seen it but maybe you're nowhere near the phone and you

00:08:46   you haven't seen it so once you've got that ability for the phone essentially now has

00:08:50   sensors to detect if you are in the vicinity of your phone if you're looking at your phone

00:08:56   then they can change behavior. So a really good example of that would be that if you

00:09:02   are looking at the phone so you can see the notification, you don't need to have extra

00:09:07   alerts go off because you saw it. That was all that was required. And that's fascinating

00:09:13   to think what stuff could be enabled by this concept of awareness detection.

00:09:22   We also spoke last time about the Sonya Apple Watch and one of the things that you posed

00:09:27   was the idea of how would telephone calls and text messages find their way to the watch

00:09:33   if the phone is at home?

00:09:35   And you were saying that there is a potential for them, for like the carrier to be involved,

00:09:39   right?

00:09:40   Right, like there are these buddy plans or something where for the other smart watches

00:09:45   where that have LTE where you kind of like attach them to your plan and it rings both

00:09:50   devices and so you can answer on either device. But we got some, our good friend

00:09:56   Kyle's the Grey wrote in with an email and and said that he can leave his

00:10:01   iPhone at home and even even off and at the gym or work his Apple Watch will let

00:10:08   him make and receive phone calls. Now I don't even know how that works but yeah

00:10:13   it's this forwarding thing yeah like so there is this SMS and call forwarding

00:10:17   thing and I assume if this is true the way that he's talking about it that's

00:10:21   probably all that you would need is just a beefed up version or an enhanced

00:10:26   version of this because it will work over LTE so it would work all the time

00:10:29   and this would be better in the sense that you would be able to have some

00:10:33   control over it right right so it sounds like I mean is it would it be surprising

00:10:38   are we surprised that Apple may have already figured all of this stuff out

00:10:42   with carriers and they don't need to have a special buddy plan or something

00:10:44   because Apple already worked it out because they wanted all your devices to get text and

00:10:48   all your devices to ring when your phone rings. So maybe this is a largely solved problem

00:10:53   and it's just a matter of integrating, you know, putting your watch on your data plan

00:10:58   and letting this work over LTE.

00:11:02   Also on last week's show we were talking about the potential of having Apple's new kind of

00:11:07   part number, part character keyboard on the iPhone. So this is the new keyboard that's

00:11:12   on the iPad where it has all of the special characters and the numbers on the regular

00:11:17   letter keys and all you need to do is drag on them to make them work, right? So if you

00:11:23   want a number one or whatever you just drag down on the queue or whatever it is. I can't

00:11:27   remember what the other time I had. And you were saying that you didn't think that this

00:11:30   would be something that could work on the phone. But we've had quite a few people write

00:11:35   in to say that there was a much-loved jailbreak back in the day that did this and a bunch

00:11:42   people sent in pictures, including Jonti and Julian, who showed that there is this tiny

00:11:47   little grey label or this tiny label that would fit, actually I think, quite nicely

00:11:51   looking on the keys.

00:11:52   Yeah, I know, right?

00:11:53   What do you think about this?

00:11:54   I think it looks pretty cool.

00:11:55   I think what Julian said was, I think it could fit, but whether Apple wants to do it, probably

00:12:01   not.

00:12:02   But I looked at this and I thought, this is the sort of thing where I don't think you

00:12:05   could put it as the default, but why not make something like that a secondary keyboard,

00:12:10   where like if you really like I know Apple it could be a third-party thing but like why

00:12:17   not have Apple make a you know a swipe keyboard or a you know a swipe the keys keyboard like

00:12:23   in the iPad style available as an alternate keyboard that that would be really an interesting

00:12:29   decision be like well not everybody's gonna want to do this but it's very you can be very

00:12:34   productive with it if you if you really get into it as a preference or just literally

00:12:38   as another keyboard in the keyboard settings because it looks like maybe they could implement

00:12:43   something like this. And maybe we'll see how people take to the iPad version of it, but

00:12:48   not having to toggle between states and being able to sort of do that tap swipe gesture

00:12:53   to get the alternate characters. I mean, I always have been using the, what is it, there's

00:12:59   a flip up that you can do to get quote marks that I've been doing forever, and that's a

00:13:05   a great little shortcut if you know to do it on the iPhone so why not provide

00:13:09   more of this especially if you can fit it in at a size where it's still you

00:13:14   know readable at least if you if you can read small type so yeah maybe they may

00:13:18   never do it but it shows that it could be done and it could be okay so I don't

00:13:25   know and now I message syncing so oh yeah what have we got here so Elizabeth

00:13:31   wrote in to say that, you know, we were talking about this iMessage syncing last time, and

00:13:36   then of course it was said that this is actually being pulled out of iOS, but like, I think

00:13:42   a lot of people are confused as to what this actually entails.

00:13:46   - Right, what Elizabeth said is my messages are already synced between my iPhone and iPad,

00:13:51   what's different about this? And the answer is actually your messages don't sync between

00:13:54   your iPhone and your iPad, what happens is those messages are sent to you and they go

00:13:59   to all your devices. And this is like you said last week, Myke, this is when you for

00:14:03   me, it's when I opened my MacBook Air, because I only open that up, you know, every few weeks,

00:14:09   I don't use it very much anymore. And all of these messages start to come in. And a

00:14:12   lot of times they're out of order. They're like, not quite right. And sometimes I had

00:14:17   this happen yesterday where somebody was looking up a message that to show to me, and they

00:14:22   had, they had it on their iPad, and then they opened up their phone, they're like, Oh, it's

00:14:25   not here." It's like, "Well, why is it not here?" So the idea is that the current system

00:14:31   is not as foolproof as you would think in terms of every device getting every message

00:14:37   in the right order, because they go on and off the network and sometimes the message

00:14:41   doesn't go through to some of them, but it goes through to others of them. I've actually

00:14:44   had it where I've gotten a message on my watch and it hasn't shown up on my phone, which

00:14:50   is bizarre, right, because the watch is theoretically getting it from the phone, but not the same,

00:14:57   right? So with this iCloud thing, when they do release it in a future version of iOS 11,

00:15:02   it's not going to be in the shipping version, it sounds like. What's different is all of

00:15:06   those messages are being stored in iCloud and are being synced on the devices from an

00:15:12   encrypted iCloud store, so they're all looking at the truth being in the cloud, right? They're

00:15:18   all looking at that and saying, "How is my messages list different from that?" So theoretically,

00:15:24   when you get a message in, it will go to all those devices, but even if it doesn't go there

00:15:28   right away, they will sync with each other and the whole archive should be all available

00:15:33   in sync in one place. So the goal is that it will be much more consistent and searchable,

00:15:40   and so yeah, we'll see how that works, but that's the idea, is that instead of having

00:15:46   this kind of clever hack that Apple did where every device gets a copy of the message. This

00:15:51   is something where there's an official like "these are your messages" storehouse in the

00:15:58   cloud somewhere.

00:16:00   And finally today before we move on, we've had a bunch of people write in to let us know

00:16:04   that Carpool Karaoke just premiered on Apple Music, so Apple's a version of the Carpool

00:16:11   karaoke series and Will Smith was on the first episode and he talks about

00:16:16   pineapple pizza and my understanding is that he is a fan. He is apparently, I

00:16:21   haven't seen this either but I heard from a bunch of people that yes Will

00:16:26   Smith apparently came out in favor of pineapple on pizza on carpal karaoke

00:16:29   which by the way I saw a review of it that said it was really terrible but I

00:16:34   don't know. Oh god, another one? I don't know. So what I've seen which I agree with like

00:16:40   people talking to again I haven't seen the show I will say that I just haven't

00:16:43   gotten around to watching it yet is that the the James Corden version extremely

00:16:49   benefits from the talk show audience noises so the screams and the cheers and

00:16:57   the laughter which this one does not have I can see that there's no laugh

00:17:03   track no applause track would would seriously affect the feeling of the show

00:17:08   because the the the audience going crazy over it gives it a feeling of being

00:17:14   special yeah yeah no that that's that's and then so it ends up feeling like it's

00:17:19   in a vacuum yeah I can't and I bet really awkward feeling but again I

00:17:24   haven't watched it yet I haven't stayed away from it but I haven't watched it

00:17:27   I've been in Times Square and there are huge billboards for couple karaoke in

00:17:33   Times Square right now yeah it's information for you based upon my

00:17:37   Alright, I'm more likely to watch this show than Planet of the Apps though, I will say

00:17:42   that.

00:17:43   Yeah, you don't need to do that.

00:17:45   Okay.

00:17:46   Alright, today's show is brought to you by Encapsula.

00:17:49   They have website security tools and a content delivery network that will make yours and

00:17:53   any website safer, faster, and more reliable.

00:17:56   This is why over 100,000 organizations trust their website with Encapsula every single

00:18:03   day.

00:18:04   It doesn't matter who you are, Encapsula can help protect you.

00:18:07   They look after huge sites from Fortune 500 companies to just people have one website

00:18:12   of their own, right?

00:18:13   Because what they're doing is making things nice and fast whilst also protecting you.

00:18:17   They have a 24/7 operations team that's always there to give you the help when you need it.

00:18:22   And you can get personal account management and the best service level agreement in the

00:18:25   business.

00:18:26   They have got you covered.

00:18:27   Your site's going to be protected from any type of denial of service attacks or any botnets

00:18:32   or anything like that.

00:18:33   And your site will be lightning fast at the same time.

00:18:36   Now look, as a listener of this show, Encapsular is going to help you out.

00:18:39   You can get one whole month of service for free.

00:18:42   Just go to Encapsular.com/upgrade.

00:18:45   That's I-N-C-A-P-S-U-L-A.com/upgrade.

00:18:48   You'll find out more here about what Encapsular is up to and claim your free month.

00:18:54   Thank you so much to Encapsular for their support of this show and Relay FM.

00:18:59   So Mr. Jason Snell, can you explain to our listeners what the second half of the show

00:19:06   is going to be today? Like, so the thing that you have prepared for our audience.

00:19:11   Right. Okay. So, last week, there was in Santa Clara, California, there was an event, a one,

00:19:16   well, it's a two-day event. One day was like an automation boot camp, and then the next

00:19:20   was the main event. It's called Masters of Automation, Command D, put on by Sal Segoian,

00:19:25   who used to be the product manager for AppleScript at Apple and is now an independent man about

00:19:30   automation. And they put together this presentation with a bunch of great speakers and a whole

00:19:38   day. A lot of it was Sal going into incredible detail on what you can do with AppleScript

00:19:44   and automator and JavaScript on Mac OS. And then also all this stuff he's doing that's

00:19:51   amazing that's being shipped out in new versions of the Omni apps for iOS and Mac OS, which

00:19:57   is all JavaScript based, where they're both completely scriptable via JavaScript and it's

00:20:02   cross platform. So or I guess they said dual platform, Mac, Mac OS and iOS. But the idea

00:20:09   there is that like you can write a script to to build objects in OmniGraffle on the

00:20:14   Mac and also run them on iOS, which is not something you can do right because there's

00:20:19   no system wide scripting in iOS. So the David Sparks did a workflow presentation. Shelley

00:20:26   Brisbane talked about automating her ebook production and also a little bit about accessibility.

00:20:31   There were Allison Sheridan, who's been on a bunch of episodes of Clockwise, was there

00:20:35   to talk about sort of codeless automation, ways to use tools like Hazel. And actually

00:20:40   the Hazel developer was there too. I got to talk to him. It was a real MacPower users

00:20:44   moment when David Sparks was at a table with the Hazel developer and also the guy who was

00:20:49   one of the lead workflow developers who's now at Apple.

00:20:52   Oh, my. It was like all the automation, all the Mac power users and all the automation

00:20:57   is happening right here. So it was it was that kind of a kind of a thing. And the capper

00:21:02   of the night was that I brought five of the speakers on stage. And we did we had a conversation

00:21:09   on on stage about sort of what's important about automation and where automation on Apple's

00:21:14   platforms is going in the future and a little bit about what they talked about during the

00:21:19   during the day. So the last part of this show is going to be that. I recorded it and hosted

00:21:28   it, and so the last part of today's show will be a conversation with those people about

00:21:36   automation and utilities and the Mac and iOS and why it's important and how people can

00:21:43   use it and where all of that is going.

00:21:45   So I guess first off, I'll just extend my thanks to the Command D conference for allowing

00:21:50   us to use the audio, right?

00:21:52   Yeah, yeah.

00:21:53   You know, it was a thing that was put on at the show, so...

00:21:55   It was their idea.

00:21:56   There was like, "We want you to do a podcast at the end of the show."

00:21:59   And I said, "Well, we're doing a lot of travel and weird things because of course it is the

00:22:04   upgrade Summer of Fun."

00:22:05   Summer of Fun!

00:22:06   See, there it is.

00:22:07   It's already here.

00:22:09   And so I could actually do that and make that the next episode of Upgrade.

00:22:13   But it was their idea from the start of like, come and do a podcast talking to people at

00:22:17   the conference.

00:22:19   So yes, it was great by Sal and Naomi, who this was their first conference that they

00:22:24   put together.

00:22:25   They had some help from Paul Kent, who used to do Macworld Expo.

00:22:27   And it was a fun day too.

00:22:29   It was good.

00:22:30   The room was full of people who were really enthusiastic about automation topics.

00:22:34   And it ranged from, like I said, people who write tools that do this all the way down

00:22:39   to people who came because they wanted to learn how to do it and improve their efficiency

00:22:44   on their Mac or their other iOS device.

00:22:46   So just a kind of a meta talk about the conference itself, like how was it made up? What were

00:22:52   the attendees like? What kind of skill levels were they?

00:22:56   It really was all over the place. There were a couple of doctors there that I know people

00:22:59   were saying that they talked to who were very much like, "I want to do more of this to automate

00:23:03   my life, my practice, my personal stuff. It really ran the gamut from there all the way

00:23:10   up to, like I said, the developer of Hazel was there. And there was some great stuff.

00:23:17   One of the last events before the podcast recording was kind of a bake-off where it

00:23:22   was basically just people showing cool automation things they did. And I went up and showed

00:23:26   that I've got a bunch of workflow stuff that lets me do photo uploads from iOS. I mean,

00:23:31   nothing at the Federico level, but it was, you know, I have a live blog workflow that

00:23:36   were that resizes an image puts a watermark on it, uploads it and puts the HTML to refer

00:23:43   to it on my clipboard so that I can paste it into the story I'm writing. Just, you know,

00:23:49   it's pretty cool stuff and stuff that I could do on my Mac, but I can do on iOS. Now there

00:23:52   was a guy there who was able to take pictures on his camera. And they were on the web, like

00:24:00   his SLR. I was like, how did that happen? And it was like a really amazing magic trick

00:24:07   because in the end he has a camera and there are like three of them out there, I think

00:24:11   now, that one of the things it will do, it's Wi-Fi, it's a Wi-Fi enabled camera and it

00:24:16   has support for SFTP. So basically when you take a picture, it just FTPs the file up to

00:24:22   a server at his house that has Hazel watching it and then Hazel like resizes it and posts

00:24:28   it on Dropbox and puts it in iCloud photo library and puts it in Google

00:24:31   Photos and tags it and sends him a text with the photo on his phone saying that

00:24:37   it's uploaded and then he can take the photo off his phone from messages and

00:24:42   share it if he wants. It was just amazing and like so it was some of it

00:24:46   was stuff like that it's just like see the stuff that you can do on your phone

00:24:49   on your Mac whatever a lot of I got a lot of good ideas and I feel like

00:24:54   people at different levels that's the funny thing is even if you're somebody

00:24:57   who does a lot of this, then like Brett Terpstra was there and some of the stuff that he does,

00:25:01   he's just like, "Oh, yeah, did you know you could do this thing?" And I'm like, "No, I did not know

00:25:05   that." Like, write that down. Just, there's so much here, but it sort of gets spread by word of

00:25:12   mouth a lot of times. So this was kind of a fun way to spread that kind of information about,

00:25:16   "Did you know you could do this thing?" or "Have you ever thought?" One of the points, and then we

00:25:20   make this in the conversation that people are going to hear at the end of this episode, is this

00:25:25   is all about solving problems. Like, I wanted the spirit of like the automation world is

00:25:31   not did you know there's some like like one of the people who did a presentation he actually

00:25:39   ran a script that draws a clock in Illustrator and also in InDesign and I'm not saying just

00:25:46   like a picture of a clock like literally the hands move second by second and it's all just

00:25:52   drawn through a script. Like the script draws the clock and it moves the hands.

00:25:56   It's crazy, but so that is like for kicks but also to show the power of it. But

00:26:03   most successful stuff it's about I have a problem to solve. It's not like, "Oh yay,

00:26:07   Automator, what could I do with it?" If that's how you approach it, it's not

00:26:11   going to be, you're going to just close Automator and be like, "Forget this, why am I

00:26:16   even here?" But then you're working and you're doing something really repetitive

00:26:19   and then you have that moment where you think,

00:26:22   I should not, the computer should do this for me.

00:26:25   Why am I doing all of this extra repetitive work?

00:26:28   And that's the moment where automation becomes powerful,

00:26:30   because then you're like,

00:26:31   I can let me take a little bit of time

00:26:34   to tell the computer how to do this

00:26:36   so that I never have to do it again.

00:26:39   And that's when this stuff shines,

00:26:41   it's actually solving a problem,

00:26:43   not that you're just kind of doing it because you can.

00:26:45   - Yeah, I like the idea of this kind of show off moment,

00:26:49   'Cause I know when I've built a workflow

00:26:51   that I'm really proud of, I want to show it to people.

00:26:53   - I know, right?

00:26:54   - Like, look what I did, I'm so clever, right?

00:26:57   Like, you know, you just have that moment

00:26:58   where it's like, finally, I have tackled something

00:27:02   that I've wanted to fix for a while, right?

00:27:05   And one of my favorite things is if I build something

00:27:07   and send it to Federico, he's like, oh, that's cool.

00:27:09   I feel like, I did it, I did it, I impressed him.

00:27:13   But it's a good feeling when you do this stuff.

00:27:16   So I think that there is, for automation to work,

00:27:20   at least for me, there's got to be a healthy mix of,

00:27:22   one, this is fun to do, and there is an enjoyment

00:27:25   to be had in the problem solving,

00:27:28   but two, there should be an outcome, which is useful.

00:27:31   - Yeah. - Because otherwise,

00:27:32   you've just sunk a bunch of time in.

00:27:33   And it can totally be a hobby,

00:27:35   and a thing you want to play with if that's your bag.

00:27:38   But for me, it has been really important

00:27:40   when I not only get to play with something

00:27:43   and try and fix a problem,

00:27:45   but the problem that I'm fixing actually becomes useful.

00:27:49   - Yeah, and that's, I think,

00:27:50   for people who have trepidation about it,

00:27:52   that's the thing that I keep coming back to about this stuff,

00:27:55   especially things like workflow and automator,

00:27:57   where you don't need to write code,

00:27:58   which was Allison's point as well,

00:28:01   it's about solving problems.

00:28:05   It's not about proving your mettle as a super nerd

00:28:08   and that regular people can do this too and should, right?

00:28:10   Because in the end, yeah, you may not be a programmer, Myke,

00:28:14   but by building a workflow, you are allowing your job to be easier.

00:28:18   And that's, it gives you the power because, I think I say this,

00:28:23   so this will be repetitive when you hear me say it in the interview at the end of the show,

00:28:28   but one of the things about this is it's grassroots.

00:28:32   It's from the ground up.

00:28:33   There is, you're solving your problem because you know nobody else will.

00:28:37   Like this is, there's an app here, there's an app there, there's a service you use.

00:28:40   they don't connect and so who's going to connect them in a way that makes sense

00:28:45   for you you're the only person who's going to do that and so like David

00:28:49   Sparks's examples are all like somebody comes to him as a client says I want to

00:28:53   set up a corporation he has a workflow and what is the workflow do is it

00:28:57   creates a whole bunch of events in OmniFocus of like every step of the

00:29:04   process and it generates an email that he sends to his client and basically he

00:29:08   runs that fills in a couple of things and then all the things that need to

00:29:11   happen happen and that's for David to solve David's problem and it's

00:29:16   connecting email and OmniFocus and all these other apps that are great but

00:29:20   nobody's going to build that. Nobody's going to make a David Sparks app, right?

00:29:25   But David can make it himself using a few steps in workflow and that's

00:29:30   when it really works is when you're taking your own, you know, your

00:29:35   own initiative to solve your own problem and when tools like Workflow exist and

00:29:40   all the apps we use on iOS or Automator and AppleScript and other stuff on the

00:29:43   Mac that let you do that, let you save yourself and solve your own problem so

00:29:49   you don't end up laboriously, you know, copying and pasting or saving out a file

00:29:54   and then renaming it and copying it to a few places and then remembering to go to

00:29:58   your calendar and all those things. Instead you press a couple of buttons

00:30:01   and it's done.

00:30:01   That's great. That's the end goal. Not to brag about it, but to fix your problem.

00:30:07   All right, so coming up after this break will be the roundtable discussion that Jason held

00:30:13   at the Command-D conference. But before we get there, let me take a moment to thank our

00:30:17   friends over at Pingdom for supporting this week's show. You can start monitoring your

00:30:21   websites and servers today at pingdom.com/relayfm. You will get a 14-day free trial when you

00:30:27   and if you enter the offer code upgrade at checkout you will get a fantastic 30% of your first invoice.

00:30:34   Pingdom is all about making the web faster and more reliable for everyone.

00:30:39   We use Pingdom at Relay FM. If there is ever a problem with our website, we know immediately.

00:30:44   Pingdom detects around 13 million outages every single month.

00:30:48   Not on our site of course, on all of the sites on the internet.

00:30:52   monitor so many customers, but this is just the stuff that they monitor, right?

00:30:57   They're finding that many outages.

00:30:59   Things break all of the time.

00:31:00   And when they do, as a Pingdom customer, we get text messages and

00:31:05   push notifications and emails.

00:31:06   We get like, everything goes off, right?

00:31:09   Like everything goes crazy.

00:31:10   I spoke once about like, if you could set up Pingdom to turn a light red in your

00:31:14   house, and it's totally possible to do that with automation, you can do that

00:31:18   sort of stuff.

00:31:18   So that's kind of hilarious to me.

00:31:20   But Pingdom have 70 global test servers that they use to emulate visits to your site.

00:31:24   They check its availability as often as every minute to make sure that things are

00:31:28   running smoothly. And it's not just a simple like is your website up or is your

00:31:32   website down type of thing that they would do.

00:31:34   They can also monitor all of the different dependencies on our sophisticated websites

00:31:39   now. So contact forms and e-commerce checkouts and logins and search functions.

00:31:43   They can all have independent problems to them.

00:31:45   That isn't just as simple as the website up or down.

00:31:47   Stuff breaks on the Internet all the time.

00:31:49   you should be letting Pingdom monitor it.

00:31:51   You just give them the URLs you want them to monitor,

00:31:53   and they'll take care of the rest.

00:31:55   You'll be immediately alerted if there's any downtime

00:31:57   so you can fix it before it affects you.

00:31:59   So go to pingdom.com/relayfm for a 14-day free trial,

00:32:03   and use the code upgrade at checkout

00:32:05   to get that massive 30% off your first invoice.

00:32:09   Check it out today, and you'll be the first

00:32:11   to know when your site is down.

00:32:12   Our thanks to Pingdom for their support

00:32:14   of this show and Relay FM.

00:32:16   Let me introduce here at the Command D Masters of Automation Conference my wonderful guest,

00:32:22   the speakers at this conference.

00:32:24   The man who put this all together, we do this conference in his name, his name is not in

00:32:29   the name of the conference though, Sal Segoian, Mr. Applescript and now Mr. Automation About

00:32:35   Town.

00:32:36   Hi Sal.

00:32:37   Hello.

00:32:38   Thank you for being here.

00:32:39   Thanks for everybody for attending and making this such a great conference today.

00:32:43   Each one of you contributed mightily and we really appreciate that.

00:32:48   Also here on this panel with me, my free agents podcast co-host, but also of course MacPower

00:32:54   users and MacSparky.

00:32:55   It's David Sparks.

00:32:56   Hey everybody.

00:32:57   Sal's name is not in the conference, but the hat is.

00:33:01   That's right.

00:33:02   Sal's hat is his trademark.

00:33:05   I guess now you need to get that trademark though.

00:33:08   Work on that.

00:33:09   Next to me, somebody I've been working with for, I don't even want to count how many years

00:33:12   many, many years when there was a MacUser Magazine, she was at that place and so was

00:33:17   I. It's Shelly Brisbane. Hello.

00:33:18   Shelly Brisbane Hello. And what I like about this crowd is that

00:33:21   many of them remember MacUser Magazine. Not always something that happens in the rest

00:33:26   of my life.

00:33:27   Jim Green No, this is true. This is true. John C. Welch,

00:33:29   who is a master of automation himself, is here. Hi, John.

00:33:34   John C. Welch Hi.

00:33:35   Jim Green He writes and has written for everything with

00:33:40   Mac in the title, I think, ever. Is that accurate pretty much? Mac week?

00:33:45   Yeah, well only the online version. I never made it in print.

00:33:49   But still. And Allison Sheridan, who I've been on many podcasts with, including Clockwise,

00:33:55   but she's here in person this time, so I got to meet her in person. Hello!

00:33:59   So exciting! Real life, you do exist.

00:34:01   I do exist, apparently. Shout out to Micah Sargent, our pal, who is not here, but I'm

00:34:07   sure is listening.

00:34:08   So the conversation about automation, this is Masters of Automation. Sal, I wanted to

00:34:12   start with you. Why should regular users care about automation? Because I hear from a lot

00:34:17   of people who say, "Well, isn't that nerd stuff? Why does it, you know, I don't want

00:34:20   to, it sounds complicated, it doesn't matter to me." Where you seem to make the point quite

00:34:25   frequently that this is the, this is like the grassroots, this is all about the users.

00:34:30   Because automation can make their life so much easier. Their computer, dealing with

00:34:36   computers and interacting with devices, remote devices, mobile devices can be made so much

00:34:41   easier using automation and you don't have to be really technical to do that.

00:34:46   I think the workflow app has really proved that point.

00:34:50   Its success and the idea that Apple would purchase that and it would still continue

00:34:57   to draw sales and downloads considerably.

00:35:00   I think that's a good sign that people are looking for solutions that they have more

00:35:06   control over.

00:35:07   That it's not just buy an app to do something, it's that they want to make it so that it

00:35:12   works for them.

00:35:14   They want to personalize what they do.

00:35:18   And automation is the way to do that.

00:35:20   And it's really easy and approachable.

00:35:23   It can also be very technical if you want to.

00:35:26   But for the average person, there are great tools, as Allison showed, and as the Workflow

00:35:31   app personifies, there's great tools for making it easier for you to use your devices.

00:35:37   Now another misconception I would say that I hear a lot is that when we talk about automation,

00:35:42   we're talking about the Mac and we're talking about AppleScript.

00:35:45   But you mentioned Workflow, and I know you've also been doing a lot of work that you showed

00:35:49   us today with the Omni Group on making their apps cross-platform scriptable using JavaScript.

00:35:56   So there is definitely a place on iOS for automation, and is that a bright future ahead

00:36:03   for iOS automation?

00:36:05   I think there's a hunger for having the ability on iOS to do the kind of things that you used

00:36:11   to do on a Mac only.

00:36:12   I think people want to customize their workflow.

00:36:16   They want to be able to make the device more theirs on a personal level, and automation

00:36:22   gives them that ability.

00:36:24   And the interesting thing about the Omni group's approach to automation is that they're bringing

00:36:31   the max style object model automation abilities to iOS and giving it a parity through this

00:36:38   cross platform or dual platform, I'll call it, JavaScript implementation.

00:36:43   And I think that's a really indicative of a new trend.

00:36:47   I think that people are going to do more of automation because they have more control

00:36:53   over it.

00:36:54   power exists in their hands.

00:36:56   And I think Omni is really leading the way

00:36:59   as to how this can be accomplished.

00:37:02   And that's why I think it's so important the work that they're

00:37:05   doing is going to open the doors for a lot

00:37:09   of different developers.

00:37:10   Now, David, you gave a presentation

00:37:12   that was specifically about the workflow app in iOS

00:37:14   and how you use it to get real work done every day.

00:37:18   So is workflow the thing that's enabled you to get

00:37:22   your job done on your iPad?

00:37:23   Yeah, I always felt like I was pretty good at automation

00:37:27   and scripting on the Mac.

00:37:28   I took Sal's course at Macworld so many years ago.

00:37:31   But I always felt like the iPad and the iPhone

00:37:34   was just the big break.

00:37:36   I hit it, and I couldn't get anything done quickly.

00:37:39   So when Workflow came out, it democratized automation.

00:37:44   You don't have to be a programmer at all

00:37:46   to use the application.

00:37:47   They have built-in scripts that are amazing.

00:37:49   You just download the app and start using them.

00:37:51   Then you can start playing with them before you know it.

00:37:53   You're making some great stuff.

00:37:55   I know that just even from my own podcast,

00:37:57   I get emails all the time from listeners

00:37:59   who have never written an Apple script,

00:38:01   but they took to a workflow on iOS,

00:38:05   and they're making amazing things happen

00:38:07   on their iPads and iPhones.

00:38:08   So I think that's really great

00:38:10   that Apple has acknowledged that.

00:38:12   They purchased the company.

00:38:13   It looks like they're gonna do something

00:38:15   hopefully fantastic with it,

00:38:17   and I can't wait to see what happens next.

00:38:19   - Now, one of the things that I think is great

00:38:20   about automation is not just doing complicated things

00:38:24   or nerdy things, but is doing something fairly simple,

00:38:27   which is letting information from one app

00:38:29   flow into another app.

00:38:31   That's certainly how I got into scripting with AppleScript,

00:38:33   was I had data in FileMaker that I wanted to get out in,

00:38:37   like, Eudora.

00:38:38   And those things didn't talk, but AppleScript let them talk.

00:38:43   And I feel like to this day, when

00:38:44   I see people get excited about something like workflow,

00:38:47   a lot of it is, oh, I didn't know

00:38:49   that I could take stuff from over in that app.

00:38:52   We love apps, right?

00:38:53   But it's like, but this app doesn't talk to that app.

00:38:56   Or if it does, it's very limited.

00:38:57   Like I can share one item.

00:38:59   And workflow and the OmniGroup automation stuff

00:39:02   kind of opens up apps to talk to each other

00:39:04   and share with each other.

00:39:06   - Yeah, one of the samples I did today

00:39:07   was taking four questions of data

00:39:10   concerning producing a podcast,

00:39:12   but you could use it in any context.

00:39:14   And then it took that data,

00:39:15   created a project in OmniFocus to manage and organize it.

00:39:19   It created a calendar entry.

00:39:21   It created a Ulysses document.

00:39:23   It could have created an email.

00:39:25   All the stuff with just one set of data and the observation I made once I got done building

00:39:31   all this was now it's faster for me to do some of the stuff on the iPad than the Mac,

00:39:35   which I never thought would have been the case.

00:39:37   Now, I mentioned this perception that everything involving automation is nerdy when that's

00:39:42   not necessarily true.

00:39:43   I thought one of the great presentations today, Allison, you did the codeless automation,

00:39:48   which there was code that we saw,

00:39:50   but that you didn't have to actually write

00:39:52   'cause you downloaded it somewhere.

00:39:53   But you also, one of the things that I really liked is

00:39:56   when we think about automation,

00:39:57   we think about things like AppleScript

00:39:58   and Automator and Workflow.

00:40:01   And you showed a whole bunch of other Mac utilities

00:40:03   that we might not think of that really do allow you

00:40:06   to automate yourself like Hazel and others.

00:40:09   So tell me a little bit about like,

00:40:12   you don't consider yourself,

00:40:13   or do you consider yourself somebody who's super nerdy

00:40:16   'cause your presentation was like you don't have to be.

00:40:18   Yeah, so I'm nerdy in a lot of ways,

00:40:21   but I hadn't actually gotten into the Apple script

00:40:25   and some of the scripting language stuff.

00:40:27   I am trying to learn JavaScript.

00:40:29   But what I realized was I'm not super deep in any

00:40:32   of these topics, but I've been dabbling in them all so much

00:40:35   just at a shallow depth that now it

00:40:38   goes across everything I do.

00:40:40   I did a tiny tip on my website on podfi.com

00:40:44   where I talked about--

00:40:45   I created a folder on my desktop,

00:40:47   and I named it Delete Me.

00:40:50   This is brilliant.

00:40:51   This is worth the price of admission here by itself.

00:40:54   I wrote it.

00:40:54   I went into Hazel, and I said, if there's

00:40:57   something in here that's eight days old, throw it away.

00:41:00   And the purpose of it is all the stuff

00:41:02   that you think you make a duplicate of,

00:41:04   like you're going to put a photo on Facebook.

00:41:07   Well, you export it at a good resolution.

00:41:09   You edit it.

00:41:09   You throw it out there, and then you drag it up.

00:41:11   Well, you don't need that copy.

00:41:13   And you spend all this mental energy trying to figure out,

00:41:15   wait, that's a picture of my grandson.

00:41:16   I can't throw it away.

00:41:18   But I know it's a duplicate.

00:41:19   I'm telling future me that that's already

00:41:22   good to be deleted.

00:41:23   So just little bitty things like that I've started to do.

00:41:25   And then it turns into the madness that we saw this week,

00:41:29   where you start going, well, if I can do that,

00:41:31   what else can I do?

00:41:32   Oh, I can do that.

00:41:33   What else can I do?

00:41:34   And so I guess I really encourage people to try the

00:41:36   little things.

00:41:37   Get Hazel.

00:41:39   Just start playing around.

00:41:40   Get David Spark's book.

00:41:41   I'm sorry.

00:41:41   I'm going to plug it again.

00:41:42   But you get the video field guide,

00:41:45   and then all of a sudden you start saying,

00:41:46   oh, but I could do a little more.

00:41:47   I could do a little more.

00:41:48   And I think that's where the less nerdy of us

00:41:51   can really get the advantage in just little things that

00:41:54   push over the edge until you're nuts.

00:41:56   I was going to say, to become obsessed with automating things,

00:41:59   what you really need to do is have a little bit of motivation

00:42:02   and a little bit of laziness where it's like,

00:42:04   why do I have to do this?

00:42:06   The same five things over and over again.

00:42:08   Surely there's some tool out there

00:42:10   that will prevent me from having to do this work ever again.

00:42:12   - I think there's probably people listening

00:42:14   who are like me where I'd go, okay, automator,

00:42:16   wow, that sounds really cool.

00:42:18   What do I need to automate?

00:42:19   And I'd look at it and go, I don't know.

00:42:21   You can't just look at the list of things in there

00:42:23   and go, ooh, there's what I need to do.

00:42:25   You gotta find out what's irritating you,

00:42:28   what's slowing you down. - Start with a problem.

00:42:29   - Yeah, yeah.

00:42:30   - And then scratch that itch.

00:42:31   I mean, like I said, that's certainly how I did it.

00:42:33   I imagine that's the motivator for a lot of this stuff

00:42:36   is you've got a problem and nobody else

00:42:38   is going to fix it for you, so you better fix it yourself.

00:42:40   But then you go steal the script,

00:42:42   because somebody else has written it for you.

00:42:44   Well, in the early days of the web, all of us

00:42:46   learned how to write web pages by looking

00:42:48   at the source of the other web pages, right?

00:42:50   And I feel like scripting is the same way.

00:42:52   I follow your theory about that there's one Apple script,

00:42:55   and everybody just copies it and modifies it a little.

00:42:57   Because I know that most of my Apple scripts

00:42:59   started as pieces of other people's Apple scripts,

00:43:02   including a lot of Sal's examples.

00:43:03   And that's good.

00:43:04   I mean, that you can open those and look at the source code.

00:43:07   that is the, you know, look at the script and edit it,

00:43:09   that's part of the beauty of it,

00:43:11   is you don't have to necessarily write it all from scratch,

00:43:14   you can take your little pieces here and there

00:43:16   and string it together into something good.

00:43:17   - That's actually how I learned to podcast.

00:43:18   I downloaded Leo Laporte's podcast feed and I read it,

00:43:22   and I went, okay, he's got item in little brackets,

00:43:24   I'm gonna type that, you know,

00:43:26   and I figured it out from there.

00:43:27   So I guess I'm a little bit nerdy.

00:43:29   - Yeah, that's the incomparable RSS feeds,

00:43:33   I studied Dan Benjamin's five by five RSS feed,

00:43:35   And I was like, oh, that's how that works.

00:43:37   And that's the beauty of so much of this stuff in

00:43:40   computers and on the internet, where you can actually see how

00:43:42   it works, that you can't take apart the source code of that

00:43:45   app that you're running.

00:43:46   But there is stuff that you can take apart and see inside.

00:43:48   And scripting is one of those places, which is really

00:43:51   awesome about scripting.

00:43:52   Now, John, one of the things that you talked about was--

00:43:56   one of the things I walked away from your conversation

00:43:58   was the imperative of developers to understand that

00:44:02   even if they don't entirely get AppleScript

00:44:05   or get why scripting is important

00:44:07   or why automation is important,

00:44:09   that the key thing is that they support it

00:44:10   because it makes their app much more flexible

00:44:13   and lets users, you know, like you said,

00:44:17   I'm not gonna use it if it's not scriptable.

00:44:18   There are other options.

00:44:20   - Yeah, it's kinda weird because,

00:44:23   like y'all were just saying,

00:44:25   I didn't learn how to script

00:44:26   because I wanted to learn how to script.

00:44:27   That's kind of like learning to speak a foreign language

00:44:30   when you're never going to use it.

00:44:31   just to say you did it. Yeah, you might memorize it well enough to get a couple of phrases,

00:44:36   but you don't really internalize it. I took a year of college Spanish, but the reason

00:44:39   I have any Spanish comprehension is I grew up in Miami. And so when an app does that,

00:44:48   when I can automate it, when I can script it, regardless of what language I happen to

00:44:51   choose to use, it lets that app become a thing that's a little bit more than just an app.

00:44:59   not just, "Oh, look, here's Outlook. It sends email. It does calendar events. It can keep

00:45:03   contacts." I mean, there was, prior to Outlook, Entourage had this really bizarre thing where

00:45:09   it had this scheduler, but it wasn't just for email. It would schedule anything. So

00:45:13   if you wanted to run an Apple script every hour on the hour, you could do that from within

00:45:17   Entourage and it made no sense why it was there. I never understood...

00:45:21   Why wouldn't my email program schedule things for me?

00:45:24   Right. And one of the things it could do was run an Apple script. So you could literally

00:45:28   have it do anything. I suppose it had a calendar in it. Maybe that was the rationale. As well

00:45:33   as your calendar, time is a thing that happens. Yeah, they kind of gutted that when they moved

00:45:37   to Outlook and I actually, I was very sad about that. I had so much stuff running. But

00:45:42   like, and it was a lot of it, and people get wrapped up, well that's not practical, but

00:45:46   a lot of really minor kind of dumb stuff like I'm on a lot of mailing lists. And so I used

00:45:52   to have this one scheduled script that ran that was literally just a Reaper script to

00:45:55   go in and if there was any mail in that folder older than 30 days, it just deleted it. And

00:46:01   there's been a bunch of kind of dumb stuff I've done, but that's sometimes that's like,

00:46:06   well, like, and it's not dumb, but like Ray's thing with building a clock in Illustrator

00:46:12   that's creating all this stuff on the fly to create a second hand and all that. Are

00:46:17   you going to come up with a real practical reason for that? Nah. But it's cool. And it's

00:46:23   going to teach you a lot about scripting and a lot about all kinds of neat stuff just so

00:46:28   you can build this silly clock and show it off. And so even if it's something that ultimately

00:46:34   won't change the world or even make your life easier, but if something that makes you giggle

00:46:40   and you learn how to do this just by making this really kind of foolish thing, that's

00:46:44   still pretty cool. And if developers give you the ability to do that, then of course

00:46:49   you're going to use their app more, because you can. I mean, why are you going to use

00:46:53   that takes that away from you.

00:46:55   - These days, also, the Mac is a fairly mature market.

00:46:58   There aren't a lot of new apps coming out.

00:47:00   There are some.

00:47:01   There are a lot of existing apps

00:47:02   that are being updated and all of that.

00:47:04   It feels like this is the perfect,

00:47:06   like Mac apps are the perfect place for scripting support

00:47:10   because this is the platform where

00:47:12   there aren't 50 new apps coming in,

00:47:14   but the people who are here are using this stuff

00:47:16   and they're really serious about it.

00:47:18   - Yeah, there's a couple of advantages.

00:47:20   is one, it is definitely easier on the Mac, in the Mac OS to implement this stuff. You

00:47:25   don't, you know, pondering the work behind what Omni's done makes my head hurt. It's

00:47:31   not easy. It's not easy to do it on the Mac, but doing that kind of thing is like orders

00:47:35   of magnitude harder. And yeah, the great thing is it is a mature market. You don't have to

00:47:41   worry about the entire thing changing tomorrow to some other thing and no one cares about

00:47:46   it. You know, like a couple of years ago, everybody on the iPhone was writing note-taking

00:47:50   apps and now no one cares about those. And so, you know, on the Mac there's, it's a mature

00:47:56   market, there's not a lot that's going to radically change it. I mean, the big change

00:48:00   in the new operating system is the file system, for goodness sakes, you know. And so it gives

00:48:06   you the flexibility to update an app without having to radically jack it around and it,

00:48:12   it's weird, it's just a very comfortable environment that you can play with a little bit easier

00:48:16   and take risks. And also Mac users are kind of used to paying for stuff, which is kind

00:48:21   of cool if you're a developer.

00:48:23   Indeed. Shelley, one of the areas that you talk about a lot is accessibility. And you

00:48:28   talked a little bit about accessibility and scripting and how they go together or don't

00:48:33   go together. I also want to ask you about eBooks, because boy, that is a bottomless

00:48:36   well of pain that you've tried to automate a little bit. But I want to throw a little

00:48:41   light on accessibility, because I think it's worth it, and I think Apple does that themselves

00:48:46   too. So what's the, can scripting help people make, who need accessibility features better,

00:48:55   or can it help apps be more accessible?

00:48:58   It can help apps be more accessible. I think the thing that surprises people most is that

00:49:03   automation per se doesn't function as an accessibility tool. Most people who use accessibility features

00:49:10   automate the kind of stuff that everybody else automates. They want to make complex

00:49:14   process is simple, they want to do keyboard shortcuts, they want to make clocks in Illustrator

00:49:19   I suppose, you know, all those fun things. And VoiceOver, which is the screen reader

00:49:24   on Mac OS, is scriptable, but most people I know who use VoiceOver have never scripted

00:49:30   it. However, they've scripted a lot of apps to do things related to speech and related

00:49:35   to VoiceOver, so they, again, going back to moving data from one place to another and

00:49:40   sometimes transmogrifying it into speech, and that's especially true with iOS as well.

00:49:45   And then there are little things that one might want to automate because they have a

00:49:49   specific accessibility need, like I say, speech.

00:49:52   So you might want -- people would typically kind of want an output in text, but somebody

00:49:57   who has an accessibility need might want it in speech.

00:50:00   I know podcasters who use it to do things within their shows so that they don't have

00:50:04   to use VoiceOver to switch between a bunch of applications.

00:50:07   They have keyboard shortcuts that will quickly take them to a place they want to go and have

00:50:11   voiceover, give them information that they need so they can continue running their podcast.

00:50:15   Talk about a nerdy subset.

00:50:17   Blind podcasters, man, I tell you.

00:50:20   So I think -- and the nice thing to point out finally is that all of the automation

00:50:24   tools that we talk about, AppleScript, Automator, and certainly all the languages that you interact

00:50:29   with through some sort of script editor are accessible, as is workflow on iOS.

00:50:34   So there's been a lot of acceptance and embracing of automation tools by folks with accessibility

00:50:40   needs.

00:50:41   Okay, let's talk about ebooks for a minute.

00:50:43   Yeah!

00:50:44   Now, I know lots of people, surprisingly, who have fallen down the bottomless pit of

00:50:49   ebook production, and it is, you would think like, "Oh, well, there's a standard EPUB,

00:50:54   it's all gonna be good, there's gonna be tools and all that."

00:50:56   Nope.

00:50:57   Not true.

00:50:58   Serenity Caldwell's dealt with it when she was at Macworld, and then a little bit at

00:51:00   I'm more Adam and Tanya Anks dealt with it for all for many years at take control you have a

00:51:05   Book that you do, but you produce it and that means that you get to learn all those lessons, too

00:51:11   So can can automation help you has that been one of the ways that you've been able to get your book out

00:51:16   Oh, absolutely

00:51:17   well

00:51:18   the first thing that I had to learn was how much I had to learn and

00:51:21   When somebody says you can export to ePub and it's easy don't believe that's a lie. It's a lie

00:51:28   Sorry, pages, love you, but not going to happen.

00:51:31   And I guess it may be ironic, maybe it's not, but once you

00:51:36   break EPUB down into its elements, which are basically

00:51:40   a bunch of files with XML and CSS and all the things that we

00:51:44   know from HTML and web markup languages, then it's much

00:51:48   easier to automate.

00:51:49   It's much easier to make it behave.

00:51:51   And pretty important from my perspective when I was doing

00:51:54   it for the first time, also get information back about

00:51:57   where you screwed up.

00:51:58   So you can validate your book and have it say,

00:52:01   well, okay, you need to go to line 306 at position 27

00:52:05   and you forgot to call out,

00:52:09   your subsections are numbered incorrectly

00:52:12   or something like that.

00:52:13   But I almost felt like a programmer for a minute there.

00:52:16   And it gets easier over time

00:52:18   because once you've sort of committed

00:52:20   to that sort of coding-based lifestyle of book creation

00:52:23   and you have all those pieces in place,

00:52:26   including a lot of automation that I have to say came from

00:52:30   the real big brains of people like Adam Anks and other

00:52:33   people out there who had done EPUB-related Apple scripts

00:52:36   and automator workflows.

00:52:38   Once you've done that, the revisions become simpler.

00:52:41   And I also say that whatever changes I made to any of those

00:52:44   workflows in Apple scripts I found out there were motivated

00:52:49   by the fact that when I dug in to see how these things

00:52:52   worked, I learned so much about--

00:52:55   And again, like other people have said,

00:52:59   I had something to do.

00:53:00   I had a problem to solve as opposed to,

00:53:02   I mean, I'd stared at Automator for hours,

00:53:05   not hours on end, but for long periods of time going,

00:53:08   I wonder what I could do with this.

00:53:10   I bet I could do something really cool

00:53:11   if I could figure out what it was.

00:53:13   But once I had a project, I learned a lot more

00:53:16   because I opened up all the scripts when things would break

00:53:18   or I tried to figure out how they interacted

00:53:20   with one another and that made me more intelligent

00:53:24   about scripting other things and made me more eager to do automation. So once you've got

00:53:27   that bug, once the problem to be solved has been resolved, then you're like, "You know,

00:53:33   I bet there's something else I could do with this stuff."

00:53:35   Oh, hello. You thought you'd gotten rid of me, but not yet, because I want to talk to

00:53:39   you about Squarespace. You want to enter the offer code UPGRADE at checkout and you will

00:53:43   get 10% off your first purchase. Make your next move with Squarespace with the ability

00:53:49   to grab a unique domain name with award winning templates and a 24/7 customer support team.

00:53:55   They have everything that you need to let you easily create that website for your next

00:53:59   idea. No matter what type of site you want to make, whether it's a blog or portfolio

00:54:03   or an online store, a website for your band, a website for your restaurant, no matter what

00:54:08   it is, Squarespace is the all in one platform that will let you handle just that. You don't

00:54:13   have to worry about anything. They've got it all covered. There's nothing to install.

00:54:16   There's no patches to worry about, no upgrades needed.

00:54:19   This is why I have used Squarespace for various projects, personal projects and business projects

00:54:22   for years because it is just for me the most simple way to get something online.

00:54:28   It's all drag and drop, the templates are beautiful, everything's fantastic.

00:54:32   I love Squarespace.

00:54:34   I've used them for so long.

00:54:35   I've been using them probably for like 10 years now and I have ideas for projects and

00:54:39   for things that I need to do.

00:54:41   If I want to spin up a website, I just go to Squarespace.

00:54:44   They have a fantastic free trial that you can take advantage of right now.

00:54:47   There's no credit card required to do that.

00:54:49   Just go to squarespace.com.

00:54:50   Their plans start at just $12 a month.

00:54:53   You can sign up and use the offer code upgrade when you sign up for a plan and you will get

00:54:57   10% of your first purchase and show your support for the show.

00:55:00   So that's the offer code upgrade to get 10% off your first purchase.

00:55:03   We thank Squarespace for the continued support of this show.

00:55:06   Squarespace, make your next move, make your next website.

00:55:09   Now let's go back to Jason and the team for the rest of our automation discussion.

00:55:13   Yeah, you know, one thing that I think people don't know about Automator is Automator is

00:55:18   like a secret weapon that has these hooks.

00:55:20   I don't know how you did it, Sal.

00:55:22   I don't know what went on behind the scenes at Apple, but like the places that Automator

00:55:26   has hooks are one of the most amazing things about it.

00:55:29   Like I use Automator every day and I use it in a very weird way, which is as a finder

00:55:37   plug-in basically. And what does it do? Mostly it runs shell scripts, but you know, which

00:55:46   I could run from the terminal and I have friends who have written these scripts and given them

00:55:50   to me because again I don't want to write those myself, and they run them from the terminal

00:55:54   and I say to myself, I'm not going to do that. I want to be able to like right click

00:55:58   on a file in the finder and say do this thing and then invisibly with no terminal windows

00:56:03   opening magic things happen. And that's, I was having this conversation with Brett

00:56:07   Terpstra earlier where I joked, because the stuff he does is next level in terms of wheels

00:56:14   within wheels within wheels. But like Who Among Us, I said to him, hasn't had an automator

00:56:20   action that runs a shell script that runs an Apple script inside it. But that is some

00:56:25   of the power that's in automator. It's not just necessarily the blocks that we think

00:56:31   of the building blocks, but it's all the Unix stuff that's inside and the fact that

00:56:35   you can take terminal commands and embed them in Automator and you can take AppleScript

00:56:40   commands and embed them in the terminal and Mac OS allows you to do that because it's

00:56:45   not one system, it's a whole bunch of contained systems. Like you said, that's part of its

00:56:51   power.

00:56:52   Yeah, Automator is language agnostic. It really doesn't care what language you're using.

00:56:56   It's really a window into the frameworks and all of the abilities of the OS.

00:57:03   And so if you choose to write your action using Objective-C or Shell or AppleScript

00:57:11   or Perl or Python or Ruby, they're all supported.

00:57:15   And Automator really doesn't care about it.

00:57:17   Its job is to transfer data between different actions and to pass on information that's

00:57:24   brought to it and it's integrated into the system services architecture which

00:57:31   gave us exposure points like as a finder plug-in, as contextual text plug-in and

00:57:38   because we implemented it that way you have basically all of the frameworks

00:57:44   exposed on a text selection and it's for a user to do whatever you like. It's very

00:57:52   much, you know, I watch a lot of HGTV and I see people that there's this big trend

00:57:58   of people buy these houses and they want to do it themselves. They want to take it

00:58:03   apart and they want to put it back together the way that they want to. And

00:58:08   if you take that philosophy of doing it yourself and you look at the computer or

00:58:13   the mobile device and you're looking, okay, what can I do short of having to

00:58:19   learn how to program code to make this mine, to do what I want with this device,

00:58:25   then there's pretty much a couple solutions. You go with like Workflow or

00:58:30   Automator or Hazel at a top level and then if you want to get into the more

00:58:35   nitty-gritty, you know, like a fancy backslash tile or something, then you're

00:58:40   going to get into the scripting and there's plenty of options, especially

00:58:45   like with the JavaScript for automation. There's AppleScript. There's, you know, any of the

00:58:50   other languages you can use in the OS, and it's all supported.

00:58:55   >> You can convert text. This was an example that came up several times today. You can

00:58:58   convert text and make it all uppercase or all lowercase or title case. You can do that

00:59:03   using Cocoa. You can do that using JavaScript. There's like so many different ways that you

00:59:09   can do it. I'm sure that you could run a Perl script in, you know, in a do shell script

00:59:13   command or something like that. There's so many different ways to do it, which is part

00:59:16   of the power. It's a, this is one of the great things, if you are a little like a magpie,

00:59:20   which like Allison was talking about, collecting these little bits here and there on the internet,

00:59:25   one of the nice things about it is that you can stick it all, on the Mac at least, you

00:59:28   can use those little bits and they don't have to be in the same language or from the same

00:59:31   people. They all just kind of chain together and let you do what you want.

00:59:34   The purpose of Automator when we created it was to expose functionality, not a particular

00:59:40   It so happened that my abilities were greater in AppleScript and my job in the Automator

00:59:48   team was I was writing all of the actions.

00:59:51   And so I wrote them in the language that I knew best, which was AppleScript.

00:59:55   And unfortunately, a lot of people then thought that Automator was a front end to AppleScript.

01:00:00   But that's not the case.

01:00:02   Automator is really language agnostic and it's about exposing functionality.

01:00:06   Okay, let's talk about iOS a little bit more because Mac has had these powers for a while

01:00:13   now. I was thinking, by the way Sal, you did a terrible thing which is you put a quote

01:00:18   by me on a slide and it's an 18 year old quote which is shame on you. Do not remind me that

01:00:27   I said that 18 years ago when we were really trying to keep AppleScript alive in the transition

01:00:32   OS X, very disturbing. But now, so now it's not 1999 anymore, we've got iOS 10 verging

01:00:40   on 11, and I'm excited by what Sal is doing with the Omni group. It's like a first step

01:00:49   with the JavaScript stuff in there. I have a lot of questions, but I'm curious what you

01:00:55   think and also what other people think if you want to jump in here about like the future

01:00:59   of that sort of thing on iOS. We have Workflow, which was bought by Apple. We've got JavaScript

01:01:03   and the Omni Group. What needs, you know, where does this go from here? Because it looks

01:01:06   like these are great promising steps, but there's a lot more that needs to be done for

01:01:10   iOS to really come into its own, I think, in terms of automation. What do you think,

01:01:14   Sal? Where do we go from here?

01:01:15   - It's gotta be ubiquitous at the end. It has to be something that's available across

01:01:21   the entire platform in order for people to be satisfied with what they can do with the

01:01:26   Again, I think that there's a growing trend of people wanting to roll their own, that

01:01:32   want to make the device personal.

01:01:35   And they don't want to actually have to write code to do that.

01:01:38   They want something in between.

01:01:41   And I think that the work that the Omni group's doing is a first step in that direction of

01:01:47   providing a standardized language that's going to work across both Mac OS and iOS.

01:01:55   And I can easily foresee that other developers will look at this and go, "Oh, that's an approach

01:02:01   I want to take too.

01:02:02   I get a lot by doing that."

01:02:05   I was thinking, watching Sal today, that for so long on iOS we've been directionless in

01:02:12   terms of automation.

01:02:14   There's a lot of us that wanted to automate.

01:02:16   There was really, it was a wasteland, then workflow showed up, which gave one path.

01:02:21   But it is the automater of iOS, whereas the stuff you're doing with OmniGroup is deeper

01:02:28   in a lot of ways.

01:02:30   And like I said, we were directionists.

01:02:32   We really didn't know where to go.

01:02:34   My hope is that the stuff you're doing with OmniGroup, that people are going to pick up

01:02:37   on it.

01:02:38   Because the way it's being done, the JavaScript underpinnings of it can be copied by any application.

01:02:44   And as Sal has demonstrated today here, it works both on iOS and Mac.

01:02:49   So it solves a problem for a lot of developers.

01:02:51   I mean, I was watching you today thinking Microsoft needs to use this.

01:02:56   I mean, Microsoft makes productivity apps that need scripting and this is a very easy

01:03:01   way to implement it.

01:03:02   So hopefully this thing with Ami takes off and other developers, big developers, will

01:03:08   recognize that it's a cost-effective way for them to bring automation to something.

01:03:14   Was it now 100 million device?

01:03:16   How many iOS devices have they sold?

01:03:18   I think that they're approaching a billion.

01:03:19   I've lost track.

01:03:20   I think it's officially lots and lots.

01:03:22   Many.

01:03:23   Big number.

01:03:24   Yeah, so there's a lot of people out there that could use that, and it's not that difficult

01:03:27   to implement.

01:03:28   So I'm very encouraged by it, but we're still at the, it's the baby steps, and we've got

01:03:34   this little thing, we need to nurture it.

01:03:36   In the community, I think we all need to give as much support to it as we can, and hopefully

01:03:40   a year from now we can talk about all of its success.

01:03:43   I sort of wonder what the way people use iOS devices versus the way they use computers

01:03:50   will have to do with how automation develops. I mean, there are a lot of people who have

01:03:55   gone completely iOS and there are people who use it as a subsidiary device. And it will

01:03:59   be interesting to see how much the way people continue to evolve in the way they use iOS

01:04:06   will affect automation and what it does. Does automation allow you to do an iOS, the kinds

01:04:11   of things that are "easier" to do on a computer or that people are more used to doing on a

01:04:16   computer, or does automation on iOS create a whole new field that allows you to change

01:04:22   the way you interact with the world based on the fact that the iOS device is so portable

01:04:27   and so flexible in terms of its, you know, the way you can use it in different physical

01:04:32   environments.

01:04:33   And I don't know the answers to those questions, but that's what fascinates me is whether the

01:04:37   development, the kinds of things that people will want to automate are going to be different

01:04:40   on that platform than they are on the Mac.

01:04:43   So I just checked, the official term is they've sold a buttload of iPhones.

01:04:46   Alright, good.

01:04:48   We'll chart that later.

01:04:51   So I love what Omni's done

01:04:55   and from their point of view this would be awful, but from the point of view

01:04:58   of the users and everybody who maybe uses things that aren't Omni Outliner

01:05:03   and OmniGraffle,

01:05:04   one of the best things that could happen is for that to get Sherlocked.

01:05:08   And you know, when

01:05:10   Sherlock got Sherlock'd. The developer took it in the shorts, but the overall user community

01:05:16   really benefited from that, because now it became available outside of a single application.

01:05:21   And so, if Apple integrates that kind of thing as part of the OS, then everybody wins. And,

01:05:28   you know, Omni might be stuck with, "Well, we did it first," which is still kind of cool.

01:05:34   But it does create a groundswell that helps, because Apple's like every other company.

01:05:38   They have to do what's best for Apple at the end of the day.

01:05:40   And if they see a lot of people using this,

01:05:43   and again, like I said, this is a really clear indication

01:05:45   of them, hey, this is a direction we need to go

01:05:48   because people clearly want this

01:05:50   and they're starting to buy apps based on this.

01:05:52   And they're starting to use apps

01:05:53   based on whether they can do this kind of thing.

01:05:56   And so the more people that use it

01:05:57   and the more developers that do this kind of thing,

01:06:00   and I don't care what approach they solidify behind

01:06:03   from my point of view, but solidify behind one

01:06:05   'cause I don't wanna have to deal

01:06:06   with like 33 different URL schemes. We already have CSS, one is enough. So that kind of thing

01:06:13   is what actually changes a lot of a platform. It's a huge motivator for the platform keeper,

01:06:22   in this case Apple, to actually build that functionality in and possibly make it even

01:06:27   richer once it's demonstrated that, yeah, no, this won't cause the end times if you

01:06:31   do this.

01:06:32   I'd like to go on top of what Sal said about it needing to be ubiquitous on the operating

01:06:40   system.

01:06:41   If I look at my third app that I load on a new Mac is TextExpander.

01:06:46   Dropbox is first, but then I try to get into Dropbox.

01:06:48   I'm sorry, one password is first, but then I can't get into one password, so I've got

01:06:51   to turn on Dropbox.

01:06:52   And then it's TextExpander after that.

01:06:54   But I don't use it on iOS because it's not everywhere.

01:06:57   Until it is everywhere, I don't think it really, it can't really get the traction.

01:07:01   So maybe Apple buying workflow is the best possible thing

01:07:06   that could have happened, because that says that they're

01:07:08   going to hopefully build it in.

01:07:10   It'll be built into everything that we have on that.

01:07:12   And I think that is the only way it's really going to--

01:07:15   can take off.

01:07:16   But I do wonder, like Shelley was saying,

01:07:18   there's a lot of people--

01:07:20   well, actually, I might be putting words in your mouth,

01:07:22   but there's a lot of people who see the iPad as just--

01:07:25   it just does these three things, and that's it.

01:07:28   they say, "I get my email and I get my Facebook

01:07:31   "and I'm done."

01:07:32   So I wonder how big the community is of people

01:07:35   who will want to automate on that platform

01:07:37   versus on the Mac.

01:07:38   I don't know, it feels like a little nerdier

01:07:40   on the Mac side.

01:07:40   - Apple is definitely trying with the iPad Pro, right,

01:07:42   to say, no, no, serious.

01:07:44   Like, with the new distinction between the iPad

01:07:46   and the iPad Pro, it feels like Apple saying,

01:07:48   "All right, there are two iPads now.

01:07:51   "There's the one that you can get that's pretty cheap,

01:07:52   "and then there's this one that we are gonna put

01:07:54   "all of our cutting edge tech into."

01:07:56   And, you know, for that to be a success at the high end of the iPad, I do think that

01:08:01   it doesn't have to have automation, but it would make it a lot easier for people to embrace

01:08:05   it. And there are people who are trying, and we know the ones who say they're succeeding,

01:08:08   but there are also, I think, a bunch of people who sort of fling themselves at the iPad and

01:08:12   bounce off, because it's just not all there yet.

01:08:16   There's also an interesting parallel on the Mac for what Omni's doing, and it's Photoshop

01:08:22   and scripting Photoshop. Because people tried for years to explain to Adobe why being able

01:08:26   to automate Photoshop would be completely awesome. It's a totally useful thing. And

01:08:29   Adobe literally would say, "It's a creative app. You can't automate creation." And that

01:08:33   would be the rebuttal. And then Cal Simone and a couple other people write that plug-in

01:08:38   that let you script Photoshop. And Adobe's going, "People are building businesses around

01:08:44   automated Photoshop. They're building businesses around..." Someone hands them all these Photoshop

01:08:49   files and they crank out JPEGs for websites and they're making money at this. Wow, we

01:08:55   were really wrong. Let's make everything scriptable because obviously there's all these use cases

01:08:59   we can't anticipate. And I kind of see the same thing with what Omni is doing and with

01:09:05   Workflow is it's a way to show Apple, yeah, you can't imagine that but there's like, again,

01:09:11   a buttload of us out there and if 10% of a billion people are using something that from

01:09:18   a percentage wise you don't think about it as a lot, but that's a lot of people who are

01:09:22   interested. And even if it's 1% of a billion people who want to do this, that's a lot of

01:09:25   people and that's a lot of money.

01:09:27   Jared: Shelley, something you said that I really liked is we don't know what form this

01:09:32   will, you know, where does it go from here? We don't know what form it will take. But

01:09:35   I think you may be right that automation on iOS, automation on an iPad, but let's not

01:09:41   forget automation on a phone. I did a demo tonight of taking a picture and then running

01:09:46   through a share extension running a workflow on it.

01:09:51   Who knows what form this will take?

01:09:52   It will probably be more appropriate,

01:09:54   not just to a touch interface, but to mobile devices.

01:09:56   And it may-- you know, it doesn't

01:09:57   have to look like the Mac.

01:09:59   But the spirit of being able to assemble things together

01:10:03   to solve your own problems that somebody is not

01:10:04   going to solve for you, I think, has to remain ultimately.

01:10:08   But it might be very different.

01:10:10   Well, and two, there are things that are fundamentally

01:10:12   more difficult on a mobile operating system

01:10:15   because you don't have the space to move between windows

01:10:19   in the way that you might if you had your laptop on your

01:10:21   lap instead of a phone, or especially a phone.

01:10:23   You're going to want to find ways to simplify processes or

01:10:27   automate processes so that you don't even have to interact

01:10:30   with a particular app, because something goes through two or

01:10:32   three apps in an automated process and ends up where you

01:10:35   want it to.

01:10:36   And it makes it easier to get work done on the phone than it

01:10:41   otherwise would, a task that would be pretty

01:10:43   straightforward on the Mac.

01:10:45   may take a couple of extra steps on the phone.

01:10:46   If you can convince somebody that that is a good thing

01:10:49   to automate, or if you can create automation

01:10:52   that is sufficiently canned that you can make it available

01:10:54   to people who aren't gonna actually be writing scripts

01:10:57   or even workflows for themselves,

01:10:59   that's a potential way of looking at the market too.

01:11:02   - Well, one of my favorite workflows is a stock workflow

01:11:06   that comes with the app that you can just get it,

01:11:08   it's free, and you can put it on your home screen.

01:11:12   And it's the how long will it take for me to get home.

01:11:16   And it's literally--

01:11:17   I use that all the time when I'm somewhere and I want to

01:11:19   let my new wife know when I'm going to be home.

01:11:21   And you tap it and you run it.

01:11:23   And all it does is send her a text.

01:11:24   It uses location services, which again, you wouldn't

01:11:27   really think about on the Mac.

01:11:28   It uses location services and the map API in order to dig up

01:11:32   the driving distance between you and the address you set as

01:11:35   your home, and then goes to messages and sends a text to

01:11:38   the person you designate and says, I'm at this address and

01:11:41   I'll be home in an hour and 10 minutes.

01:11:44   And that's automation on a phone.

01:11:47   It's not something you'd build on the Mac,

01:11:50   and it's not something you necessarily even have to build.

01:11:52   You can just download it, and it solves a problem,

01:11:54   because it's in the gallery of workflow.

01:11:56   And that's iOS automation.

01:11:59   It's just not what we would think, I guess, on the Mac.

01:12:03   Sal, I have a question for you about--

01:12:06   you demoed a bunch of JavaScript in BBEdit,

01:12:09   building it in BBEdit, and then deploying it

01:12:11   in the OmniGroup apps.

01:12:13   This is properly a question for the OmniGroup,

01:12:16   but I'm going to throw it at you, which is the first thing

01:12:18   I thought is, first off, I want that JavaScript console

01:12:21   in the OmniGroup app to be splitable so that I can see

01:12:25   the canvas and type in my JavaScript simultaneously,

01:12:29   which it doesn't do.

01:12:30   And the second thought I had was, what's my JavaScript

01:12:33   development app that I can run side by side with OmniGraffle

01:12:37   so that I can build my JavaScripts on my iPad, and

01:12:41   then like with a keystroke convert it to a URL and open it and test it out and I

01:12:45   think you know I'm getting it's 1.0 I'm getting ahead of myself but I immediately

01:12:50   started to think I want more I want more here I want to do even more well if you

01:12:53   go to the omni-automation website there's a link there for a web console

01:12:58   and in that web console you can open up scripts into that web console and

01:13:04   convert them to links right there copy them and run there so right from a web

01:13:09   you can create your JavaScripts and write them and I quite oftentimes do that.

01:13:13   I anticipate now that the Omni group is this has been an accepted app and it's

01:13:19   in the App Store that maybe some of the editing apps for JavaScript would think

01:13:24   about oh well we can add support for this pretty easily because it's core

01:13:28   JavaScript it won't take as much to add in this that make this and convert it to

01:13:33   a URL and send it across to the Omni app. I'm gonna send a message to panic

01:13:39   about Coda like tomorrow about this because I can picture it. But you mentioned something

01:13:45   there about it being accepted and there's this thing where was it going to be accepted

01:13:51   and we talked about workflow today. David said maybe there's incriminating evidence

01:13:56   that the workflow guys have about somebody at Apple because how did this thing get accepted

01:14:00   into the App Store? And it's come up a few times. I think it's worth at least kind of

01:14:04   calling it out, which is sometimes, don't we all wonder if Apple is the, you know, Apple

01:14:10   could be the enabler of this, but Apple can be the killer of this stuff too. And it sounds,

01:14:15   you know, everybody is really worried about Apple's power over stuff like this, but by

01:14:20   all accounts, what we've seen is that Apple's good with it. Like, Apple did approve Workflow.

01:14:25   Apple did approve the OmniGroup apps. So, you know, I guess friend or foe would be the

01:14:31   headline? What do you think about how Apple feels? Sal, you may have to recuse yourself,

01:14:35   I don't know, but how does Apple feel about automation in general and automation on iOS

01:14:40   today? What do you think? What are the signs?

01:14:42   I think Apple's interested in expanding their markets. And one of the markets I think

01:14:48   that Apple's particularly interested in is the enterprise market and professional services

01:14:55   market like medical and things like that because they see great potential to help people. They

01:15:01   They see that their devices will change the world that can make a real difference.

01:15:08   And in those markets, there is a need for the level of ability that automation brings.

01:15:15   If you're selling iPads into the enterprise, you want to make sure that that device can

01:15:21   be constructed and adapted to do the kind of workflow that they need.

01:15:28   And I think Apple's very interested in that, and that might reflect in their change, apparent

01:15:34   change in attitude.

01:15:35   I think it's a good thing, and I think Apple's headed in an excellent direction and for noble

01:15:41   reason as well.

01:15:42   I would add to that capitalism.

01:15:45   The iPad has not been the seller that they wanted it to be.

01:15:49   And they've got advertisements where they're saying the iPad can replace your laptop.

01:15:53   So internally, they must be thinking, "We need to make this more powerful."

01:15:58   The response to iOS 11 in our geek community has been great.

01:16:03   I think when normal users see the split screen, I think

01:16:05   they're going to love it too.

01:16:07   And this seems like a natural extension of that.

01:16:09   I mean, the idea of making--

01:16:11   to take on John's point, to take workflow and put that

01:16:16   into the system where there's APIs where every app developer

01:16:20   in iOS can now have workflow access.

01:16:22   And those kinds of things, I think, are only going to make

01:16:24   the platform a lot more valuable to people and

01:16:26   hopefully sell more iPads.

01:16:28   When Apple acquired Workflow, a lot of us who were on podcasts

01:16:33   wondered out loud, because that's what podcasters do.

01:16:36   That's the very definition.

01:16:37   Right, exactly.

01:16:38   Whether they were going to kill it

01:16:40   or whether they were going to raise it up, as it were.

01:16:43   And I honestly was on the side of thinking they were probably

01:16:46   going to kill it.

01:16:47   And I don't know whether it was just generalized Apple

01:16:49   pessimism or what.

01:16:51   But I think the fact-- it's not only that they didn't kill it.

01:16:54   It's the fact that they made their intentions known

01:16:56   quickly as they did because they just could have sat on it.

01:16:59   The middle ground, if they weren't going to kill it or

01:17:03   give it love, was that they would just sort of let it hang

01:17:06   out for a while.

01:17:07   And maybe they would come up with a shiny new 2.0 or 3.0

01:17:11   workflow a year from now.

01:17:13   And it would be too late for it to have the advantages that

01:17:16   it does now.

01:17:16   But that doesn't seem to be the case.

01:17:19   It doesn't seem like they're doing anything on the Mac

01:17:20   side, it seems like AppleScript and Automator will

01:17:22   be what they are.

01:17:23   but on iOS at least, it can only be positive.

01:17:28   And I hope that however it manifests itself,

01:17:32   that some of the--

01:17:33   I think what Sal says about the enterprise makes absolute sense

01:17:36   in terms of ways to use--

01:17:39   ways to get workflow--

01:17:41   get iOS into places and doing things

01:17:43   in a very consistent way, which is what the enterprise is all

01:17:46   about, right?

01:17:47   Making something that you can deploy in a large scale

01:17:50   consistent way happen.

01:17:52   and it seems like automation is kind of perfect for that.

01:17:54   - Yeah, as someone who's spent his entire career

01:17:57   in various forms of enterprise IT,

01:17:59   the being able to, and it doesn't have to be huge things,

01:18:04   right, you don't have to, you know,

01:18:05   what's the line from the early days of AppleScript,

01:18:07   they're not trying to patch the world.

01:18:09   But to be able to customize things

01:18:11   to work in your environment and things like that,

01:18:14   and I think anyone who's not tried

01:18:16   to write PowerShell on Windows,

01:18:18   doesn't get how phenomenally non-painful automation

01:18:22   on the Mac or even iOS now is compared

01:18:24   to the multiple levels of authentication

01:18:27   and the outright fear you have of automation on Windows.

01:18:30   There's a huge fear component because it has been used

01:18:33   for evil so many times in so many ways.

01:18:35   And that's never happened on the Mac,

01:18:37   it's never happened on iOS.

01:18:38   So enterprise IT based on that fact alone

01:18:41   is far more open to that kind of thing

01:18:44   because they don't have to have the three layers

01:18:46   anti-malware, ensuring that the script doesn't do the wrong thing or that a script doesn't

01:18:51   do the wrong thing. And between that and being able to automate things as needed by a given

01:18:55   company, that's a huge win for Apple in that market.

01:18:59   I stopped making predictions about Apple back when I said that I didn't think there was

01:19:03   any need for a color screen or one bigger than the 512k IMAP.

01:19:10   You might have been right about that.

01:19:13   Let me look at my watch.

01:19:16   Well, we're just about out of time. I had one last thing, which was just to say, Sal

01:19:21   Sagoeyan, thank you for all you do for Apple's platforms, for the users, for the cause of

01:19:28   automation, and for putting together this event today.

01:19:31   Yay!

01:19:32   Thank you.

01:19:33   Thank you all.

01:19:34   Yay!

01:19:35   Sal.

01:19:36   And that's how it ended, Myke. That's it. That's the wrap from the Masters of Automation.

01:19:41   I feel like a master of automation now.

01:19:43   Yeah, well, that's -- I think you're more that than a programmer, if I'm being honest.

01:19:47   Oh, most definitely.

01:19:48   You're a master.

01:19:49   I am an automator.

01:19:50   I'm not a programmer.

01:19:51   That's fair.

01:19:52   I've never said that people put that hate on me, Jason.

01:19:53   Yes.

01:19:54   I don't want it.

01:19:55   I'm an automator, and I'm proud of it.

01:19:56   Good, good, good, good.

01:19:58   That makes me happy.

01:19:59   So next week, very special episode.

01:20:02   Summer of fun!

01:20:03   Yes, that's right.

01:20:04   The upgrade summer of fun continues with a very special episode.

01:20:10   Yeah, I'm kind of thinking of like a double feature we've got coming next week.

01:20:17   It is. That is the perfect way to describe it. It's sort of two in one. We're giving

01:20:22   you some value next week. Two podcasts in one where we're going to have, I don't

01:20:27   want to give too much away, but we're going to have a draft with some very special guests.

01:20:33   Very special. The most special.

01:20:34   And then we have the first unprecedented, in fact, follow-up mic at the movies, where

01:20:41   we revisit a mic at the movies with a fan of a movie who thinks we did it wrong.

01:20:47   And we had to watch a different version of that movie.

01:20:49   I feel like we should say what it is so people can prepare, right?

01:20:52   So if you want to follow along at home.

01:20:54   We love you who listened to that entire automation conversation and are still listening to this

01:21:00   podcast.

01:21:01   John Syracuse is gonna talk to us about Blade Runner the final cut next week. So if you want to follow along

01:21:07   You can listen you can go watch that and you wait to listen

01:21:10   I'm sure if you've seen the movie you'll be able to get the same outfit

01:21:14   But you want the full experience maybe consider watching the final cut version of Blade Runner if that yeah

01:21:19   So desire and before that will drafting so, you know, it's all good

01:21:23   We will if you want to find our show notes for this week head on over to relay.fm/upgrades/154

01:21:28   I want to thank again our sponsors

01:21:30   the great folk over at Squarespace, Pingdom and Encapsula and also I just

01:21:35   expect one more thanks to the Command D conference for allowing us to well

01:21:40   allowing Jason to have that panel and then for allowing us to give it all to

01:21:44   you and I hope that you enjoyed it. Jason thanks for putting all that together if

01:21:47   you want to find his work online go to sixcolors.com and you will find all of

01:21:51   the Jasonelle that you're looking for and that's his twitter handle by the way

01:21:54   Mr. Jasonelle not mister there's no mister in it it's just J S N E double L

01:21:59   No, it's not Stell Zone either. Don't go there.

01:22:01   It should be though, but there is one.

01:22:03   Stell Zone. Stell Zone forever.

01:22:05   And I am @imike.

01:22:07   We'll be back next time.

01:22:09   Until then, say goodbye Jason Stell.

01:22:11   Summer of fun!

01:22:13   [MUSIC PLAYING]

01:22:17   [Music]

01:22:19   [BLANK_AUDIO]