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AppleScript: The Missing Manual by Adam Goldstein

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Noting Important Events

If you want a notification when something important in your script happens, the display dialog command (Sidebar 4.2) is always a good choice. In a script like the following, for example, careful use of display dialog can let you figure out how many times a repeat statement is running:

set currentIteration to 1 --How many times the repeat statement has run
repeat 10 times
    tell application "Finder"
        make new Finder window
    end tell
    display dialog "Made new Finder window #" & currentIteration
    set currentIteration to currentIteration + 1
end repeat

Each time that script creates a new Finder window, you'll see a dialog box like the one in Figure 14-2. That way, you can keep track of how many times your repeat statement has run so far—and stop your script if you've seen too many Finder windows appear.

This dialog box lets you know that your script has just created a seventh Finder window. And that information, along with $130, will buy you a retail copy of Mac OS X.

Figure 14-2. This dialog box lets you know that your script has just created a seventh Finder window. And that information, along with $130, will buy you a retail copy of Mac OS X.

Of course, there's one big disadvantage to using display dialog: it interrupts your script's progress. You have to stick around while your script is running, so you can click away each dialog box. And if your display dialog command is inside a long repeat statement, you could be spending the rest of the week just clicking OK.

The Event Log

Luckily, you don't have to use bothersome dialog boxes ...

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