Sal Soghoian has left the building

Apple has abolished the position of Product Manager of Automation Technologies What that means for AppleScript is uncertain — it’s fair to say that most of us are nervous. But for those who have been involved in AppleScript for many years, it is more than just another “business decision” — it’s also the loss of a character and personality, and a tireless advocate.

Before Sal joined Apple, he was already well known in scripting circles. He ran a small publishing business and was active on what passed for the online world in those days — places like AOL and CompuServe. Here, scripters would congregate, passing on tips and tricks. And Sal was more than a participant — he was a presence, a personality.

Sal joined Apple at the beginning of 1997 as Product Manager for AppleScript, six months before Steve Jobs returned. His tenure might have been very short, with AppleScript on the list of things Apple was considering abandoning as part of its recovery plan. In the event, Sal and the AppleScript community rallied and lobbied, and AppleScript survived.

Sal has been a tireless advocate of automation, and AppleScript in particular, both within Apple and outside. For 20 years he encouraged, enthused, and cajoled. He stood up for the scripting community, sometimes in the face of stiff resistance.

As scripters, we owe Sal a debt of gratitude. There will be plenty of time to consider what the decision means in terms of scripting’s future, but now is the time to say, simply: Thank you, Sal.

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