Can I use Applescript to do this?

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by Caezar, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. Caezar macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Location:
    Between a rock and a hard place
    #1
    Note: I initially posted this message on the Google group comp.lang.python, as I initially intended to write the program in Python. I post it again on this forum, to submit my question to Applescript programmers

    I am by no means a serious programmer (which will become evident as you
    read this very message), except that I use VBA almost daily to automate
    Excel spreadsheets.

    I do enjoy programming however and the only thing that prevented me
    from learning a language other than VBA is the lack of a project. Until
    today, I was not sure what I would do if I knew how to program in a
    language such as Applescript.

    I now feel the need to develop a small program for myself. I have a
    free subscription to Factiva (www.factiva.com), which gives me online
    access to virtually all newspapers, magazines, etc. using a normal
    internet browser.

    The bad thing is that I can only access the articles one by one. I wish
    I could write a program that would:
    - prompt me to choose a publication (let's say The Economist),
    - find the latest publication,
    - download automatically all the articles in that edition and finally
    - combine and format the articles in a single Word document.

    This way, I will be able to print the magazine and read it on my way to
    the office.

    Can I use Applescript to automate this task?
     
  2. Sayer macrumors 6502a

    Sayer

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #2
    Yes. Maybe with Automator + some AppleScript bits., yes. So a qualified "yes."
     
  3. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #3
    Yes, you can do it in AppleScript (no need for Automator), but it's going to be difficult. It'll be especially difficult if Factiva doesn't have an interface to their website that's easily accessible programmatically, because you'll have to parse html (or whatever) to get your data, and that's kind of nasty.
     
  4. Unorthodox macrumors 65816

    Unorthodox

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    Location:
    Not at the beach...
    #4
    It definitely is posable to do that.
    But you're on your own as far as writing it. Since you need a subscription to access the site.
     
  5. Caezar thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Location:
    Between a rock and a hard place
    #5
    Thanks for your responses. I realize that this undertaking is probably beyond my skills. :eek:

    The good news is that after going through Factiva's technical documentation (which I should have done in the first place), I found that it offers a way to compile all the articles from a publication for a given date, through their search engine.

    I can even save all the articles in one single document under the PDF or RTF formats. The only downside is that the resulting documents contain as many as 200 pages for one edition of The Economist.

    I will now focus on using Applescript to:
    - open the RTF file in Text Edit,
    - reduce the font size
    - remove page breaks
     
  6. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #6
    That will be significantly easier to do. I recommend AppleScript: The Missing Manual if you're looking for an AppleScript book.
     

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