Scripting allows for a lot of functionalities that are elusive to straight Actions – conditionals for example.
Some of the annoyances you have noted there Jeff, are very old problems and you are completely right to pick up on them.
I agree, the inability to select documents by NAME is something that is massively overdue and would enhance Actions very much. Perhaps another suggestion of how to implement this would be that in the case of choosing documents from the Window menu, that it would record the document name. To keep existing behaviour (previous and next) also intact, selecting tabs or clicking documents to activate them could record as 'previous' and 'next' still? It would be necessary to keep this behaviour, because sometimes Actions need to be contextual. Also existing Actions need to work in future versions.
I don't think "the whole of Actions need an overhaul" - because the way they are implemented at present is extremely clever and workable and fast. A new feature written from the ground up, with many of the present team - ahem, lets just say you may end up losing more than you gained. Actions I believe were first brought about by Russell Williams - and that concept of how they work, is extremely cleverly implemented, they are still an underused feature, many users having no idea of their power.
Now the Actions PANEL - now yes that could be overhauled with sub-sets and easier assigning of shortcuts. Make it more accessible wouldn't hurt. Well not too much lol ;-)
New features should always be run through the Acttions, making sure that they work within Actions completely.
To learn Java would sadly, not be an option for me.. I simply haven't the time (nor the aptitude, I might add) to undergo this kind of training.
Although, I'm semi familiar with working in VBA, ie: Excel scripts.
If there was a program which would allow me to edit an Action, I might be able to recognize areas, and make changes there.
Where might I find such an editor or information on this kind of process?
It wasn't my intention to disrespect Russell Williams for his contributions. Actions are a Godsend!
My extended rant was more for dramatic effect than anything else. Still, I've been working with Actions for a very long time, and noticed that there has been little change an all these years, despite how necessary they are.
xbytor has created Scripts (»ActionFileToXML.jsx« and »ActionToXML.jsx« for example) that allow to edit Actions outside of Photoshop (and return them with »ActionFileFromXML.jsx«); those Scripts are freely available on www.ps-scripts.com somewhere.
But I don’t know if that will be any help here.
Thanks for the info!