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ExtendScript in Xcode

Apr 8, 2012 10:38 AM



The Adobe SDK describes how to set a target release build in Xcode 3.1. Does anybody have an insight into how to set up an ExtendScript project in Xcode 4.2?





  • John Hawkinson
    5,572 posts
    Jun 25, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 8, 2012 11:46 AM   in reply to RLind1

    You sound confused...


    ExtendScript has nothing to do with Xcode. ExtendScript is an interpretted JavaScript derivative that is run directly inside Creative Suite products without any for compilation, or for Xcode. It's easiest to use the ExtendScript ToolKit (ESTK) to edit it, though you could conceivably use any editor, including Xcode. But then you wouldn't get the IDE integration features like breakpointing and single stepping and object model viewing, etc.


    "target release build" implies you're building a C++ plugin. But that has little to do with ExtendScript, though of course it could leverage it.


    If this is a C++ question it's better in the SDK forum.

    If this is an ExtendScript question it's better in the scripting forum.

    I'd be happy to move your thread to either, but I can't tell what your question is really about.


    Give us some examples of what you're trying to do.

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  • John Hawkinson
    5,572 posts
    Jun 25, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 9, 2012 8:27 AM   in reply to RLind1

    (Moved to the InDesign SDK forum)


    Wow, sorry, I got stuck on your confusing thread Topic and didn't really make it to the core of your question, I'm sorry.


    The InDesign SDK does not support Xcode 4.

    If you try hard enough you can make it work but you're on your own.

    Not a good idea if you're just learning.

    Install and use Xcode 3.

    See Re: How to setup Xcode 4.2 for indesign plugin development, etc.

    Yes, it is possible to install Xcode 3 under Lion.



    Basically I'm just interested in exploring plugin creation for InDesign, mostly for the Mac, but also PC. I have a fair amount of experience in AppleScripting InDesign, as well as JavaScripting. I've been working in Xcode, and since there were Xcode examples included in "Getting Started", I thought it made sense.


    I'm still unclear.


    Are you trying to write C++ plugins?


    Are you trying to wirte InDesign Extensions in ActionScript3?


    Are you trying to write ExtendScript scripts?


    Those are roughly in order of difficult. C++ plugins are much much more difficult to learn than extensions in ActionScript3 which are more difficult than ExtendScript scripts.


    If ExtendScript can do what you want, you should probably use it. If it can't, telling us what you're trying to accomplish would make it a lot easier to advise you.

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  • John Hawkinson
    5,572 posts
    Jun 25, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 9, 2012 9:58 AM   in reply to RLind1

    (Moved to InDesign Scripting; my head is dizzy!!)


    1. What's the best IDE for ExtendScript, on the Mac, for creating scripts that will run on both Mac and PC.

    Unambiguously, in my mind, it is Adobe's ESTK, the purpose-built tool for the job.

    Some people like other editors because they have more powerful editing features, like syntax highlighting and source control system integration, etc.,etc. But no other tools have the ability to single-step scripts, set breakpoints, use the interactive JavaScript console, etc., etc. Learn the ESTK first. If you want to use another editor to write and type your code in, that's great, but don't avoid the ESTK until you undertsand how to use its extremely powerful debugging features.


    Sometimes I wrote code in Emacs and then test/debug it in the ESTK, for instance.

    Jongware is a big fan of TextMate. Etc.


    2. What's the benefit of ActionScript3 over ExtendScript.

    Well, Flash has an extremely rich set of APIs for doing things outside the InDesign DOM. Cryptography, networking, animation, you name it. Also asynchronous operations. If you need a snazzier UI than ExtendScript+ScriptUI can provide, then you may want AS3.


    Some people love Eclipse as a development environment and the code hinting and completion that it provides (e.g., Bob Stucky).

    But in my experience, AS3 is much harder to work in that ExtendScript, in large part because it's not interpretted and you don't have the freedrom to play that the JS Console gives you.


    3. Is ExtendScript on its way out?

    I don't think so.

    There's a huge deployed base and none of the other solution really have its flexibility. Even when you write Creative Suite extensions in Flash Builder with Extension Builder, you often still end up writing ExtendScript that you call from AS3.


    Adobe has certainly been putting more resources into CS extensions with Flash than they have with ExtendScript (e.g. ExtensionBuilder). Sometimes it makes ExtendScript feel a bit unloved.


    But then we have this year's announcement about the future of Flash, and now Flash really has the potential to be unloved.


    Above all, we need more information on what you are trying to do in order to advise you better.

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