From the "Ole is not too stupid for this" department

by Volker Weber

Ole Saalmann took me to task on the Automator rant. He wrote an elaborate workflow which was designed exactly as I had imagined. However it turned out that it did not really work. Photos where imported into the ~/Pictures folder and not into the appropriate directories within the iPhoto Library tree. I fooled around with moving the files to my temporary directory, then fixing them with exifcleaner, importing them to iPhoto and then removing the files from the temporary folder. But this also did not work. The library only had zero kb files and thumbnails in iPhoto. Ole gave it another go, but it only worked when he removed exifcleaner, which was the only reason to build this workflow in the first place.

It was also possible to import pictures that where already on the computer and did not have to be imported from the camera. But that was again not the original idea. Today Ole took the detour with AppleScript. The only original Automator action is the download from the camera via Image Capture (Digitale Bilder). I now have saved the workflow as an application and told Image Capture to call it when a camera is connected. Works like a charm.

However, this completely defies the original idea that it would be easy to slap together this workflow with Automator. But we don't want to to give up. Maybe you can come up with a working solution that does not rely on AppleScript. This workflow assumes you have a perl script called in a subdirectory called bin inside your home folder (~/bin/

Update: Pascal Behrend recreated exactly the same workflow that did not work well for us. I make it also available for testing purposes. The not so funny thing is: This workflow works most of the times. Not all of the times though. Since we don't delete pictures from the camera, it can happen that it hits the duplicates dialog. Depending on whether you had deleted the last imported pictures from iPhoto or not, this happened sometimes while testing. Another side effect is that the workflow does not clean out the temporary folder before starting. If it still exists because an old workflow stalled, you get more side effects. Again I started to see imported pictures in ~/Pictures and zero kb pictures in iPhoto Library.


There's a shell script here which dows the grunt work. What I did not want to look up is the stoopid
"tell iPhoto not to care about things it should not and simply import folder ${IMPORTED}" invocation for ElementarySchoolScript^WAppleScript. Man osascript.

Batches, workflows that work: shell scripts.
Automator? Yuck. It's a farce. Sorry to say that, since Apple came out with very good ideas in the last years but Automator simply sucks.

Karsten W. Rohrbach, 2005-10-25

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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