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Coming from FaceSpan 3

A few messages on the FaceSpan 5 Alpha mailing list have described the difficulties FaceSpan 3 users face when trying to get up and running with FaceSpan 5.

I’m going to use this blog post to collect a summary of the differences between FaceSpan 5 and FaceSpan 3. This list will no doubt grow over time as we learn more about how best to program FaceSpan 5.

So here we go:

  1. The names of many properties have changed. When the FaceSpan 5 dictionary settles down, I’ll prepare a table that maps the old FaceSpan 3 names to the new FaceSpan 5 names. Until then, you’ll have to use the FaceSpanKit dictionary to find the new names.

  2. You can safely ignore FaceSpan 5’s delegates when starting out with FaceSpan 5. FaceSpan 3 message dispatching is identical to FaceSpan 5’s default way of dispatching events (i.e. upwards the containment hierarchy: view -> window -> application).

  3. FaceSpan 3 allowed you to reference any view from any other view. This allowed you to say things like text view “myViewName” in any other view’s script and FaceSpan would search the window for you.

    In FaceSpan 5, you have to explicitly reference the window using my window‘s text view “myViewName” (or more directly: my window’s myViewName).

  4. There are no storage items. However, you can simulate storage items using Bag objects. Just create Bag instances at the application level in the IDE. You can then use the Bag‘s persistent data property to store information that should be retained between application runs.

…more later


  1. The transition from FS3 To FS5 is worse than Mac moving from OS 9 to OS X. While I purchased FS5 with the intent of importing all of my FS3 directly; I was extremely disappointed to find no easy import/export forthcoming. I have been forced by time constraints to keep my old macMini running with OS 9 in order to continue using FS3.

    I have invested literally hundreds and hundreds of hours fine tuning complex scripts for extracting and repurposing public information for clients.

    Just last week I pulled out the FS5 manual and within 20 minutes managed to reaffirm my conviction that the FS5 manual is best used for a door stop. What I EXPECT is a tutorial that concentrates on exporting what already works into the new FS5 with elaborate emphasis on making me a HAPPY EVANGELIST instead of a lost customer.

  2. FaceSpan 5 is still in the Alpha stage and is not yet feature complete. This page represents an on-going exercise in documenting the differences between FaceSpan 5 and FaceSpan 5.

    FaceSpan 4 contains tools for importing FaceSpan 3 projects which I may be able to integrate into FaceSpan 5. However, the FaceSpan 3 scripting interface is significantly different from that of FaceSpan 4 and 5 so the code in imported projects will have to be re-written.

    Given that it has been many years since FaceSpan 3 was available, I believe that most of the existing FaceSpan 3 user base has been lost to products such as RealBasic and AppleScrip Studio. As a result, I’m cautious about devoting significant development resources to FaceSpan 3 support.

    As time progresses, we will provide more tools and documentation convering the conversion of FaceSpan 3 projects to FaceSpan 5. Its just not clear at this stage how far I’ll be able to go.

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