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FastScripts 2.6.8: Fix Folder Aliases

October 24th, 2014

FastScripts 2.6.8 is available now from the FastScripts home page, and will soon be submitted to the Mac App Store for review by Apple.

For years FastScripts has supported the ability to follow Mac OS X aliases, so you can drop an alias to a script, or an alias to a folder of scripts, and it “just works.” For example, some folks found this to be a handy way of keeping a bunch of scripts on Dropbox that would be accessible from whatever computer they use FastScripts from.

At some point along the line, this functionality started breaking in subtle ways that I didn’t track down until now. The long and short of it is Apple has moved away from “alias files” in recent years, and now favors a format they call “bookmarks.” To users, the files behave the same way, and Apple continues to call them “aliases” e.g. in the Finder when it offers to make an alias to a file. However, the older system service for “resolving an alias file” does not work on bookmarks. Thus, existing aliases in your FastScripts tree may have worked, but new aliases created recently would actually be “bookmarks” and thus not work.

The problem was compounded at some point, maybe as recently as OS X Yosemite, when Apple started aggressively converting old alias files into bookmarks. So even if you had an old, functional alias to a folder in your script tree, it may have recently stopped working in FastScripts because Apple converted it … helpfully … to a bookmark.

FastScripts 2.6.8 solves this problem once and for all by using newer system services that resolve both alias files and bookmarks. You should now be able to make an alias to a folder or script, drop it into your Scripts folder, and have it show up as expected.

This update also addresses a cosmetic issue with 2.6.7, where my efforts to update the FastScripts icon for Yosemite’s “dark mode” caused it to appear inadvertently too light when running in standard mode.

FastScripts 2.6.8

  • Fix a bug from 2.6.7 that caused the menu bar icon to draw too lightly in OS X Yosemite
  • Restore proper functionality of aliases to folders within the script hierarchy
  • Fix a typo in the first-launch welcome message

Let me know if you run into any issues!

4 Responses to “FastScripts 2.6.8: Fix Folder Aliases”

  1. RR Says:

    How does it handle the Progress Bar in Yosemite? With the “Automation” menu as in the default Script menu?

  2. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Hi @RR – unfortunately it doesn’t handle the progress bar information that scripts in Yosemite can now convey. I’ve asked Apple about the possibility of getting access to this information and so far I haven’t heard anything about how to do it.

    If it’s important to have a script display progress, I would recommend saving it as an applet, which FastScripts can also open and run for you. Although you’ll lose some of the benefits of FastScripts (namely, keeping the script real streamlined and in memory), you’ll gain the standard behavior of the system’s script running behavior because it’s all handled inside the applet.

  3. RR Says:

    Thanks of the explanation. I prefer how Progress Bar looks in applets anyway. The “Automation” menu approach leaves a lot to be desired.

    Another question: I’m looking for a summary of all FastScripts advantages over the Script Menu. I see the features list. But do you have a comparison page? Thanks.

  4. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    I don’t really have a feature comparison. Over the years FastScripts has been more of a product of passion than something I’m really pitching as an alternative to the Apple script menu: I think you should use whichever you like better, and try them both. Off the top of my head two big differences are that FastScripts supports keyboard shortcuts, and makes an effort when running scripts to “put you back” in the app you were in when the script is done running. As a rule probably most if not all of the “features” for FastScripts are in fact distinctions from Apple’s script menu.

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