The New Face of FaceSpan
The New Face of FaceSpan — After a long hiatus, FaceSpan has returned in a new version completely rewritten for Mac OS X. FaceSpan 4.0 is an application construction kit with AppleScript as the programming language: you "draw" your interface, you write AppleScript code in scripts attached to the interface items, you compile, and presto, you’ve got a stand-alone application. Like Apple’s AppleScript Studio, FaceSpan is written in Cocoa, it builds Cocoa applications, it can call Cocoa (Objective-C) methods, and it uses the AppleScriptKit dictionary.
Of course, AppleScript Studio has the advantage of being free (see "AppleScript’s Studly Studio" in TidBITS-610). But FaceSpan is small (less than 8 MB), self-contained, and easy to use – so easy that I wrote my first application without even reading the manual. (Okay, so all it did was add two numbers together, but that’s a start.) One reason for its simplicity is that the interface is remarkably intuitive; another is that a script can be attached to an individual control, and stands in an inheritance relationship with the container of that control – for example, a button in a window has a script that can "see" the window’s script, similar to HyperCard. Optionally, FaceSpan also integrates with Late Night Software’s Script Debugger 3.0.8 for much better debugging than Apple provides. FaceSpan comes in two versions: the full version is $200; the "lite" version is $90, and limits any compiled applications to running on a computer where FaceSpan is installed. Owners of previous versions can upgrade for $100. [MAN]