Associated Press promised their subscribers the ability to browse the AP website for easy hierarchical viewing and retrieval of AP graphic files. AP's graphic artists create their graphics in FreeHand 7 and distribute them as FreeHand 3.11 files.
This required AP's graphic artists to manually:
- Create an enclosing folder in the Finder for the FreeHand file, using the file's name to name the folder.
- In FreeHand save the FreeHand 7 file as a FreeHand 3.11 file.
- In FreeHand save a pdf version of the file.
- In FreeHand save the text in the file to an ASCII file.
- Open the pdf file in Adobe Acrobat.
- In Adobe Acrobat copy the pdf file to the clipboard.
- Open clip2Gif and create a preview and thumbnail gif from the data in the clipboard.
- Open StuffIt Deluxe and create an .sit and .sea archive of the FreeHand 3.11 file.
- Open the ASCII file in a text editor and type the HTML for the web site.
- All the above files are saved into the containing folder.
- In the Finder use the Chooser to log onto the web server Macintosh and copy the containing folder to its correct location on the web server.
Because the required tasks were so manually intensive and time consuming they forced AP's graphic artists to take their valuable time and attention away from creating graphics.
AppleScript to the rescue - AppleScript was used to automate virtually every step described above! AP's graphic artists simply save their completed FreeHand 7 files into an AppleScript watched (hot) folder and AppleScript does the rest. It takes longer to describe what AppleScript does than it does for AppleScript to do it! (From start to finish it takes about 20 seconds on a Macintosh 8600).
AP is now delivers its graphics instantaneously and automatically to its subscribers via the web with no extra time whatsoever required by its graphic artists!