24 February 2017

Two-dimensional progress bars for scripts in OS X Sierra

As BBR’s typesetting and editing prep scripts run many hundreds of checks on an InDesign document, and can tie up a machine for quite a while, especially on large books, it makes sense to provide progress feedback while a script is running.

Our prep scripts run through a suite of different checklists so they need two progress bars, the first showing the number of checklists completed, the second showing progress through the current checklist. Under OS X 10.10 Yosemite, this functionality was achieved by integrating Mac OS X Automation’s ASObjC Runner into the scripts, but now we’ve upgraded to OS X 10.12 Sierra this no longer works.

Despite the significant OS upgrade, AppleScript’s built-in progress commands still only show one-dimensional progress, so the need for a third-party helper app remains.

Fortunately, ASObjC Runner’s developers kindly provide a link to an alternative utility, Stefan Klieme’s scriptable faceless background application SKProgressBar, which offers all the functionality we enjoyed with ASObjC Runner.

A well-commented demo script comes with the app, making it straightforward to modify the way the progress bar is invoked and updated by our scripts, and we were back up and running again in no time:

There’s no web page for SKProgressBar, but the direct download is here.

Cheers, Stefan!