Scripting News: 6/29/2005

Dave points out that there’s not way to get a subscription list out of iTunes. Well, there’s no real way to get a subscription list out of Safari RSS either. Sure, one can save their bookmarks, but they’re all mixed in with everything else. It’s not the mixing that I think is a problem, but the inability to usefully get them out again.

Isn’t this a job for Applescript? I mean, yeah, there’s no reason not to have this built in, but … frankly, I want a unified store for these things. I don’t want to have to get my subscriptions and import and export them to every freakin’ application. That’s the pain of bookmarks all over again. This is another topic, but Netinfo was a great way to store things like these in a uniform and independent way for users. Something like that would be an idea way to store everything, from addressbooks, bookmarks, RSS subscripts, etc … Of course, some kind of network capable store that included not just links to the data, but the data itself would be even better. This leads to a framework that bootstraps applications like DevonThink across any application. There’s a clear opportunity here, and I realize that the ODB in Frontier had that potential, if it hadn’t been ignored, for whatever reason.

So, there is already some useful scripting for getting an OPML subscription list into iTunes. That’s a start. Check out the instructions at OPML2iTunes : AppleScript to import OPML podcast subscriptions into iTunes.

Then again, Apple seems to have been trying to leave Netinfo behind. That’s not such a bad idea, since it seems like it wasn’t very scalable for large data sets. I have to say, however, that I really felt that Netinfo, as I experienced in a NeXT-based network was quite intuitive, impressive and I longed for it on my Linux boxen. Unfortunately the Linux version was in proprietary production by a company in Australia. As far as I know, it was never released for Linux, and now days I think anyone that cares has OpenLDAP on the brain anyway. If I understand correctly, Netinfo is still used on local machines, and I suspect that it’s still used on the server in Mac OS X networks to handle much.

I’ve lost my train, or rather I’ve derailed my train.