The last major changes to AppleScript came with Mavericks and Yosemite.
which is the underlying framework for all AppleScript functionality.
Because this is a mouthful, it often abbreviated as JXA.
Then Yosemite (10.10) made the AppleScript-Objective-C bridge available everywhere in AppleScript.
Previously, the Objective-C bridge was only available when you built AppleScript GUI applications using AppleScript Studio in Xcode.
The Objective-C bridge allows scripters to access most of the functionality of the system frameworks using AppleScript or JXA.
One reason python became so popular with MacAdmins, was that the pre-installed python on Mac OS X, also came with PyObjC, the Objective-C bridge for python.
This allowed python to build applications with a native Cocoa UI, such as AutoDMG and Munki’s Managed Software Center.
It also allowed for short python scripts or even one-liners to access system functionality that was otherwise unavailable to shell scripts.
working with any Objective-C bridge is always fraught with strange behaviors, inconsistencies and errors and the JXA ObjC implementation is no different.
To call JXA from a shell script, you use the same
osascriptcommand as for normal AppleScript, but add the
For convenience, you can wrap calls like this in a shell function
Putting together a Command Line Tool written in Swift feels like a much more solid (for lack of a better word) way of solving a problem.
However, the Swift binary command line tool has one huge downside: you have to install the binary on the client before you can use it in scripts and your management system
Dependencies add friction.
This is where JXA has an advantage.
Since AppleScript and its Objective-C bridge are present on every Mac (and have been since 2014 when 10.10 was released) there is no extra tool to install and manage.
You can “just share” scripts you build this way, and they will work on any Mac.
you can write scripts with a swift shebang
However, scripts with a swift shebang will not run on any Mac.
They will only run with Xcode, or at least the Developer Command Line Tools, installed
Another area where JXA is (not surprisingly) extremely useful is JSON parsing.
There are no built-in tools in macOS for this so MacAdmins either have to install jq or scout or fall back to parsing the text with sed or awk.
We could each conveniently identify ourselves by our fingerprint.
But biometrics cannot, and absolutely must not, be used to authenticate an identity.
For authentication, you need a password or passphrase.
Something that can be independently chosen, changed, and rotated.