Adobe’s Applescript API: Their near lack thereof.

I have this working draft of a post explaining how badly broken Applescript is from purely an Apple-owned technology perspective, and imploring Apple to do something about it. It’s a bit long. But, since Adobe’s Creative Cloud has been released and I got my grubby little hands on a copy, I decided to look at the state of Applescript support in my most-used applications. It’s not that I have high hopes of anything improving given support since Creative Suite 5, but this is my bread and butter so it’s worth a look to see what I have to workaround in future upgrades of scripts, if upgrading a script is even worth the time.

Currently, my Applescript “support” of in-house that utilize Adobe applications has been relegated to using one call—doJavascript:withArguments:showDebugger: within the Scripting Bridge header, if one can be generated. (As I explain in my as yet unfinished post) Adobe’s Applescript support is rather dodgy in its implementation—there are some long-standing, show-stopper bugs (I’m looking at you open command in Photoshop—so I thought it best to migrate over to their Javascript APIs. Interfacing with other applications like Excel and a couple others of my own devising centered around XML parsing is paramount to my workflows.

Here is what we have to work with.

  1. Photoshop: Line 1280.
  2. InDesign: Does not exist in the header.
  3. Illustrator: No header could be generated because the sdef (scripting dictionary) file does not exist.

I took a look at some other apps, like Bridge, and things go generally downhill from there. Essentially, any Applescript-related support is rendered useless in Creative Cloud. This is infuriating, back-stabbing bullshit. I would also like to say this is also unacceptable but that would ring hollow since the state of publishing technology is such that I have no choice but to use Adobe software. Nowhere on their site do they formally announce the drop in support in Illustrator, and given the dodgy performance of their Applescript API.

I wish Adobe would do three things:

  1. Formally announce that Applescript, if not OSA support in general, is going away.
  2. Pick a date well in advance (like a year) for developers to prepare.
  3. Turn it off all at once so I can stop having to hunt for the state of their API.

This unannounced erosion in API support by inconsistency is poor form, though I expect nothing less from Adobe these days, and reflects their general customer support as well.

Adobe’s Security Breach

From Adobe’s blog (emphasis mine). . .

Our investigation currently indicates that the attackers accessed Adobe customer IDs and encrypted passwords on our systems. We also believe the attackers removed from our systems certain information relating to 2.9 million Adobe customers, including customer names, encrypted credit or debit card numbers, expiration dates, and other information relating to customer orders. At this time, we do not believe the attackers removed decrypted credit or debit card numbers from our systems.

The issue of these major security breaches are really starting to hit home, and I will likely review my own security standards for the family in the near future. I use Adobe products much more than I ever did LinkedIn, and I get tremendous value out of Adobe. Hell, my career universe has Adobe products firmly at the center. Luckily for me, my Adobe purchases are managed by my company so there is no direct financial risk for me, but there is only so far one can get with their software without at least an Adobe ID.

This does bring to bear a challenging implication about their new subscription model with Creative Cloud. When Adobe writes “At this time, we do not believe the attackers removed decrypted credit or debit card numbers from our systems” there is an implied “yet” in that statement based simply on the fact that they now store financial information on their servers until told otherwise by customers due to the new subscription service.

I don’t want to imply that Adobe doesn’t take security seriously, but with the amount by which they are effectively raising their prices (read as: more than doubling their annual cost) and with the responsibilities that Adobe voluntarily took on by requiring thousands, if not millions, of people to store their financial information on their servers, customers should get better services than this.

2.9 million. I await my email from them.

UPDATE: I got an email for a long-forgotten account. Joy.

UPDATE: BBC: Adobe hack: At least 38 million accounts breached. Joy.