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zScript FUQ

Copyright © 1996-2003. Zeus Productions. All Rights Reserved.
(This page last revised February 26, 2003)

Please consult the following list for answers to the most common pre-sales questions regarding zLaunch, as well as additional technical information not covered on the zScript Summary Page.

General Questions About zScript

Q. What is zScript and why would I use it?

A. zScript is an Xtra that adds the power of AppleScript to Director for Macintosh. zScript allows Director to send and receive Apple Events, and communicate with other AppleScriptable applications.

Q. Is there a trial version?

A. You can download a fully functioning trial version for Mac OS 9 (Classic) or Mac OS X (native) from our Download Center.

Q. Is there a Windows version of zScript?

A. AppleScript is specific to the Macintosh, so there is not a Windows version. zOpen for Windows may provide the desired functionality depending on your needs. Click here to download an example that opens a document using zScript on the Macintosh and zOpen on Windows.

Q: How much does zScript cost?

A. See here for pricing.

Q: How do I obtain zScript?

A. Click here for complete Sales, Ordering and Contact Information.

Q. Can zScript open a document without my specifying the application to open it with?

A. If the user has the Finder Scripting Extension installed (which is installed by default with the Mac OS), then you can just specify the path to a document without an application at all. It will find the application, as if you double-clicked on the document.Click here to download an example that opens a document using zScript.

Q. What is your upgrade policy?

A. We generally provide upgrades for free. If you bought zScript after October 26, 2002 and before February 26, 2003, the upgrade to the Mac OS X native version for Director MX is free. See here for other upgrade pricing.Click here for details on our upgrade policy.

Q. Does zScript work with all applications?

A. If an application is not AppleScriptable, zScript may have no effect. Some applications may respond to a core suite of AppleEvents, even if they are not fully AppleScriptable. Other applications may implement detailed suites of AppleScript events. Some applications will obey commands sent to them by the scriptable finder.zScript adds some AppleScript capabilities to Director, but cannot add any AppleScript capabilites to other applciations.

Q. How do I tell is my applications is scriptable and what AppleEvents my application understands?

A. Use the Apple Script Editor's Open Dictionary command. The Apple Script Editor comes with the Mac OS.

Q. Where can I learn more about AppleScript?

A. Seach Amazon.com for books on AppleScript, or try AppleScript in a Nutshell

Q: Is zScript easy to use?

A. zScript is very easy to use because we've already written the Lingo for you! Click here to download an example that opens a document using zScript.

Using zScript for other purposes is not difficult to use for someone who is familiar with Lingo scripting and AppleScript. If you are new to Director or AppleScript programming, you should allow more time. Either way, complete example Lingo code and thorough documentation on how to use zScript is included to ease the process.

It helps somewhat if you have a working knowledge of:

Invariably, multimedia projects are behind schedule. If you are in last-minute panic mode (and who isn't?), please be sure to discuss your particular requirements with a sales representative before ordering.

zScript is used in many scenarios and Zeus Productions can not guarantee its suitability for your particular use. Allow time to implement zScript and debug any issues related to your use of AppleScript with an external application.

Q: Does Zeus Productions write the code to make my applications work with zScript?

A. We have some example code that shows you what to do. You can Click here to download an example that opens a document using zScript which includes a drag-and-drop behavior that you can use "as is". Using zScript is not very hard if you are proficient in Lingo and familiar with AppleScript. Zeus Productions offers Technical Support to registered users. Click here for more information on our Consulting and Custom Development Services

Q. What about Examples, Documentation and Technical Support?

A. zScript comes with complete and thorough documentation. If you don't like reading documentation, Click here to download an example that opens a document.

If you have trouble getting your application to work with zScript, be sure to take advantage our World-Class Tech Support.

Q. What if zScript does not meet my needs? Is there a return policy?

A. Zeus Productions offers a money-back guarantee, but we can not guarantee that your intended external application is AppleScriptable or that it performs the desired functions. You should attempt to determine this ahead of time, or with the demonstration version of zScript.

If you have purchased zScript and are having trouble, even with the assistance of our World-Class Tech Support, the problem may be in your Lingo code, or your application may not obey Mac OS guidelines. Not all applications respond to the required or "core" suite of AppleEvents.

Although your application and projector may run independently of each other, there may be something in the interaction between the two that causes a problem, such as an extension conflict.

If the version of zScript that you have does not meet your needs, there is a good chance that obtaining the latest version of zScript will address your situation, as zScript is updated frequently to provide additional functionality.

We do offer a 30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee, but we ask that you make a good-faith effort to resolve your issues with our technical support staff before returning the product. If we are unable to resolve the conflict, your purchase price will be refunded if you choose to return zScript. This policy applies only to your first usage of zScript, not subsequent projects. No other remedy is promised or offered.

Click here for more information on our Return Policy.

Q. How do I install zScript?

A. Simply copy the zScript Xtra file into your Xtras folder and restart Director. Type "showXlib" in the message window to see if zScript has been installed properly. You need to also distribute a copy with your Projector.

Q. zScript works in Director, but not in my projector. Whazzup?

A. Xtras for your projector need to reside in a folder called "Xtras" within the same folder as the projector. Projectors do not check for Xtras in the typical Director Xtras folders.

Q. Do I need to include anything with my projector?

A. You need to include the zScript Xtra itself in an Xtras folder adjacent to your Projector. We recommend against bundling Xtras into the Projector, although Macromedia supports this.

Q. Does the user need AppleScript installed? How can I tell if it is installed?

A. Yes. zScript has a method to determine whether AppleScript is installed. If not, the user would need to activate AppleScript and restart their Macintosh. You can assume that users have it installed, as it was first incorporated into the Mac OS software in "System 7 Pro", which was version 7.1.1. Every version since then has included AppleScript. System 7.1 did not *include* the AppleScript extension, but it can be installed manually and it will work. (It was implemented as an Extension since the beginning). System 7.1 is over seven years old, and predates PowerPCs by several years, so all modern users should have AppleScript installed.

Q. The text file is not working with the SetScriptFile method.

A. Make sure it is a simpleText document

Q. How do I use zScript to open an application by its creator code?

A. Create a resource file and use ResEdit to modify the creator code to match the code for the application you want to open. Save these resource files in a folder whose pathname you can get from Director (like a subfolder below your current folder). Then use zScript and the 'tell application "Finder" open alias...' AppleScript command to open the appropriate resource file, which opens the application without you having to supply a pathname. (Thanks to Mark Halliday of Postmodern Media for this tip)

Q. Can zScript make my application do [fill in the blank]?

A. zScript really just passes the events onto the target application, it doesn't add new feautres to an application. If it cannot already perform the operation via AppleScript, zScript probably won't help. One exception is Director itself, in which a simple command queue is made possible by the zQueue helper app. This allows Director to receive AppleEvents.

Q. Are there any known bugs?

A. There are no known bugs in version 2.0. There was a bug in the1.5.1 demo version when it was used with D8.x (it might crash Director if you checked the return value of a command that didn't return a value). Click here for our philosophy and policy on bugs.


Q. How can I send a text variable obtained in the Applescript to somthing in director? How could I transfer the data in the Applescript string to a Lingo string?

A. To send a string via AppleScript to Director, you actually send the event to "zQueue" which holds the event until you ask for it from within Director using zScript.

Therefore, do this:

1. Send an "Enqueue" event to zQueue from your AppleScript script (see below).

2. Use zScript from within Director to send a "dequeue" event to zQueue, thus retrieving the event (see below).

Refer to the example DIR file included with zScript (see "Test Enqueue Event").

From your AppleScript, use:

tell application "zQueue"
Enqueue "whateverstring"
end tell

From Director use:

zScriptObj = new (Xtra "zScript")

setScriptText (zScriptObj, "tell application" && QUOTE & "zQueue" & QUOTE & RETURN & "Dequeue" & RETURN & "end tell" & RETURN)

put getStatus(zScriptObj)
results = getResult(zScriptObj)

alert "Received string" && results

Thus the string will be retrieved.

You can execute it using the Lingo "do" command, if the string is a valid Lingo command.

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Copyright © 1996-2003. Zeus Productions. All Rights Reserved.

(This page last revised February 26, 2003)