Sal Soghoian

Correct. I joined Apple in January of 1997, almost twenty years ago, because of my profound belief that “the power of the computer should reside in the hands of the one using it.” That credo remains my truth to this day. Recently, I was informed that my position as Product Manager of Automation Technologies was eliminated for business reasons. Consequently, I am no longer employed by Apple Inc. But, I still believe my credo to be as true today as ever.

I’ve known Sal for years, and he is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. He cared about Apple and the user.



  • Mayson

    This begins to convince me that the “Tim Cook is ruining Apple” crowd is not totally bonzo.

    • how on earth do we know what really happened? did everyone already forget the recent developer booted from the app store and how it turned out there was a lot more to the story?

  • Mo

    I rarely used Applescript or Automator, but I was glad it was there. I’d be sad to hear they were being deprecated.

    And I’ve heard a lot about Soghoian over the years. He sounds like a hell of a person.

    • I read that as “…I was sad to hear…” and went looking for the news I’d missed.

      But I misread. Not yet, at least.

      • Mo

        Sorry about that.

        Also, amend what I said to “sad to hear they might be deprecated.”

        • Oh, you’ve heard that? Damnit. I think I’ll send an email to Apple about how important automation is to me.

          • Mo

            All I’ve heard is what Gruber, Doug Adams, and Soghoian collectively intimated.

  • DanielSw

    I’ve used Applescript with Adobe apps to good results. Not sure if this signals important changes at Apple. But worst case, Adobe apps are also Javascriptable, so I could learn that if I had to.

    • I imagine if Apple actually dropped AppleScript other developers would add Javascript support to their apps. Some already have it; I think Acorn does, too.

      If that became popular enough, real support might come from Apple as well. If Apple were to drop AppleScript it could end up a good move.

      Not that I’m counting on them dropping it OR Apple adding JavaScript support, mind.

      • David Stewart

        When developers add scripting support via Apple’s supported methods the scripting hooks are language agnostic and can be accessed via AppleScript or Javascript.

        • I haven’t tried Javascript for automation yet. I really should, because the part of AppleScript I hated the most was the almost-HyperTalk-but-not-really syntax.

      • DanielSw

        Adobe has supported Javascripting of its apps for many years, in parallel with AppleScript

  • drx1

    Maybe they could hire the Woz now? I mean he pulls a few $ from Apple, yet I know he could help Apple.

    • This….literally makes no sense whatsoever…..what does Woz know about present day Apple automation technology?

      • I’m fairly sure Woz is running on about 25% of the brain he had before. Which is fine, because Woz’s 25% beats all of us commenting on this article.

        But I don’t think he’s a good choice to build automation.

  • Cook keeps systematically ruining everything Apple stood for just five years ago. Sad to see he has no respect at all for Jobs.

    Yeah, i know, Apple makes sh*tload of money, but it hurts how quickly they are alienating their core users.

    • Sincere request:

      Could you give some examples of how he’s “systematically ruining everything Apple stood for”?

      • JimCracky

        You just read one. Then there’s the laptops, and the… just pay attention please.

        • We read rumour and speculation. Funny thing is that’s not evidence about an actual change.

        • oh, you mean the laptops that actual users and reviewers say is very, very good? that laptop?

          you do realize that online whiners and pundits don’t represent anything in the real world, right?

        • I asked for examples of how Apple’s being systematically ruined. Any chance we could have a real conversation about that?

          FWIW, we probably agree on more than you think. I’ve got longterm skin in this game, and there are many things going on that I don’t care for or completely understand as a s/h and as a customer.

          • Corey Reynolds

            I have real concerns (sorry if you think I’m a bigot) that Tim Cook as a gay man just doesn’t care about parental controls in macOS like Jobs did (as a parent). Rather than continue to innovate in that space, they have let it stagnate. They are also heinously allowing the iWork suite to become less and less viable. Now Automator…Crap, almost ALL of the cool Apple software that first attracted me to the ecosystem is being downplayed and forgotten. Apple (to me) used to be about a differentiated choice of how you wanted to work. That included hardware, OS, and software (Final Cut vs Premiere, for example). Now it seems like it’s just becoming a choice of whether you want to pay $$$$$ for a machine that does far less than Microsoft’s offerings. If there’s no Apple software to keep me interested, then I can spend $800 and build a Windows machine that runs very good software from third parties AND all of the games I wish I could play on my Mac. Looks like that’s where I’m headed.

          • “Tim Cook as a gay man just doesn’t care about parental controls in macOS like Jobs did (as a parent).”

            For realsie? I know The Times They Are a-Changin’, but there are lots of other ways to say that you’d like Apple to improve parental controls.

            I say that as a parent myself.

            And, yes, I agree about the potential impact of certain software stagnation at Apple. Particularly in regard to iWork.

          • Corey Reynolds

            Well, I think about it this way: Jobs had children, and he cared about what they encountered on the internet. Thus he developed – or pushed to have developed – a robust set of parental controls (Microsoft’s new CEO has done the same thing). One of the things that I do not want my children to see is anything homosexual. How important do you think it is for Tim Cook to continue to push to develop technology that filters out his own chosen lifestyle as if it is somehow offensive to anyone (children included)? Call me crazy, but I don’t think that’s going to be a priority for him. It is, however, a priority for me.

          • Yes. I got that from your parenthetical the first time around.

            I’m pretty sure directly spawning offspring isn’t requisite to actioning meaningful parental controls.

            This debate’s an old one: Is it up to business or parents to manage what our children experience?

            The answer’s pretty easy if you ask me.

          • “One of the things that I do not want my children to see is anything homosexual.” I hate to break this to you but I promise – they already have. And, unless you teach them to hate it (which, I bet you have), they will be OK with it, even if you’re not.

          • DMac

            You don’t want your kids to see anything homosexual? What if your kids are gay? You do realize you don’t get to control whether your kids are gay or not? It’s mostly brain chemistry and a bunch of factors you can’t plan for.

            Do you want your kids seeing heterosexual sex online?

            Now don’t get me wrong, I hate seeing Apple abandon routers and displays, (I appreciate both my Apple Thunderbolt Monitor and AirPort routers) but Tim Cook isn’t out to corrupt your children. And from what I understand you can get a log of everything your child visits. So you should get a heads up if your kid googles, “How do I tell my backward homophobic parent that I’m everything they hate?”

          • “One of the things that I do not want my children to see is anything homosexual.”

            That’s cute, honey. Better never let your kids on the internet, or near a television, or near the theatre, or listen to music, or out in public lest they “choose the gay lifestyle” themselves.

          • “I have real concerns (sorry if you think I’m a bigot) that Tim Cook as a gay man…” A bigot? No. Painfully misinformed and narrow minded? Yes.

          • Corey Reynolds

            Oooh, I can play this game too! And I say you are suffering under a powerful delusion crafted by a society under the sway of evil forces working futilely against the God of creation. One day you will bow the knee and confess that Jesus is Lord, and you will wish with all your heart that you believed His Word earlier in your life. Is that helpful for me say it like that? I express my concerns as a parent, and I get called ‘painfully misinformed and narrow minded’, ‘cute’, and ‘backward homophobic’. How about ‘Christian’, ‘orthodox’, or ‘Biblically faithful’? Are you so fearful of the truth that you have to call me names? Actually, I legitimately think you are. The Bible says that you ‘suppress the truth [that you are aware of] in unrighteousness’ (Romans 1:18). That means that you know deep down that such things are wicked, but you would rather believe the lie that surrounds you because it also tells you that your own disobedience to God’s Law must be acceptable. I mean, if we are laying our philosophical cards on the table instead of having an ‘honest discussion’ about the things that we are personally upset at Cook & Co. for doing to Apple. That’s okay, though, I’m sure some mod will come along and remove me from your precious echo-chamber by banning me or something.

          • “I get called ‘painfully misinformed and narrow minded’, ‘cute’, and ‘backward homophobic’. How about ‘Christian’, ‘orthodox’, or ‘Biblically faithful’?” Tomato, tomahtoe…..

          • “One day you will bow the knee and confess that Jesus is Lord, and you will wish with all your heart that you believed His Word earlier in your life.”

            No, I won’t. Not everyone believes in the same fairy tales, friendo.

          • Corey Reynolds

            It doesn’t really matter if you do or not. It will still happen. See, I don’t believe in the myths that you accepted to attempt to ignore the truth. It’s called having a different worldview. You see everything through glasses crafted for you by a humanistic culture that hates God. I see everything through glasses crafted by reading the Bible and letting it inform all of life. It’s an honest choice that we have to make as to what we believe. I have actually held to your worldview in the past and have worn your glasses. Have you ever tried mine?

          • Atheists don’t hate god. We’d have to believe it exists in order to hate it. I like how you think non-belief = myths though. Funny stuff.

            If “your glasses” means have I ever read the bible, then no. I tried once when I was bored at a hotel, but I couldn’t get past all the ‘begat’ crap at the beginning. Greek mythology is much more my bag.

          • Corey Reynolds

            Fair enough. There are versions that don’t use the word ‘begat’. Ancient writing styles can still be a little difficult for modern readers, though, even with more modern translations. The English Standard Version (ESV) is free on the iBookstore. If you get bored (or intrigued) again sometime in the future, check that one out. At the very least, you would never again have to say that you hadn’t read it. And who knows, you may actually find something there that really speaks to you. I started reading it in college because a) I had a lot of time to kill, and b) I had never read it, and didn’t want people to hold that over my head. What I found there greatly surprised me. The God of the Bible is not like the weird mixed bag you get when you watch religious TV or walk into some random church. He’s actually very awesome. (And I was/am a fan of Greek mythology too.)

          • “I’m sure some mod will come along and remove me…” FYI, I am one of the mods on this site.

          • Corey Reynolds

            I promise, they shtarted it occifer!

  • eilfurz

    His position was eliminated for “business reasons”. Bad business reasons, i guess. If the mac loses automator and apple script (or the terminal, but that’s unthinkable), i’m gone.

  • John

    Merde.

  • Tom_P

    Automator is one of the tools that make macOS far superior to Windows, this is very sad news. I’m pondering a future without a Mac in my home. (I won’t switch now but I will say a future with macOS doesn’t look very bright)

  • David Stewart

    I’d be interested to know how many Mac users ever opened Automator or even knew it existed. I know people who have used it pretty heavily, but these days I think it makes the most sense to use a scripting language to accomplish the tasks Automator was used for.

    • JimCracky

      There is no other language with hooks into the complete Mac OS.

      • David Stewart

        Since Yosemite Javascript has been considered an equal to AppleScript by Apple. Since then Apple has continued to push Javascript for automation, so I think it’s pretty clear they are moving towards using Javascript, which is widely known and has a huge variety of libraries, for their preferred automation language.

        I also think there is a huge advantage to moving automation out of Apple’s domain and into the user domain. Using Javascript (or any other scripting language) allows application developers and workflow engineers to handle advanced automation without having to rely on Apple for support.

  • JimCracky

    I’m sure Sal’s budget was astronomical, like maybe pocket change to Apple. On more ways that Apple is saying screw you to its partners.

    • says a guy who’s never set foot in their offices and has no idea what’s really going on behind closed doors. but yeah, totally, bad apple! boo! hiss!