“Super Important”

There’s a small tidbit at the end of John Gruber’s post about the new Mac Pros.

I asked about scripting and automation — whether Apple still sees scripting and automation as an important part of the pro market. Federighi: “We think scriptability and automation of the system remain super important.”

I’d agree. Power users and large company deployments all rely on scripting to get their work done faster. Craig Federighi’s affirmation about scriptability and automation here is re-assuring but, at the same time, Apple is sending some mixed messages:

  • Apple laid off Sal Soghoian, the biggest advocate of automation and scriptibility. Sal not only got users excited about these tools, he was also fighting the fight inside Apple to make sure automation and scriptibility got updates with the operating system and inside Apple’s own software.
  • Apple not only laid off Sal, they eliminated his position. As Sal explains, “Recently, I was informed that my position as Product Manager of Automation Technologies was eliminated for business reasons.”
  • Apple has been very slow about pushing automation forward on iOS. The current URL-scheme automation methods exist because of clever developers, not Apple. While extensions are a start, there needs to be more.
  • On the plus side, Apple purchased Workflow, a leading automation app for iOS. Some are worried that this acquisition spells doom for the future of Workflow. I think they are going to fold it into the operating system making it (possibly?) even better.

I agree with Craig Federighi that automation and scripting is “super important” but I’d also remind him that if that is the case, we need more than words right now. WWDC is just a few months away and it sure would be nice to see that Apple is moving the ball forward for automation and scripting.