KosmicTask Learn

An Introduction to KosmicTask

KosmicTask is a secure Integrated Scripting Environment for OS X that enables users to create, edit, execute and share script based tasks using a wide range of scripting languages. KosmicTask provides the following basic functionality:

A central repository of script powered tasks.

Each named task contains a script that is executed whenever the task is run and related tasks are commonly arranged into easily identified groups. Tasks can accept a wide range of configurable inputs and can return complex data types and files as task results. KosmicTask utilises a plug-in architecture that permits the creation of tasks in more than twenty different scripting languages.

A sharing idiom that allows for public and trusted user access to tasks.

A shared task is one that is made available to all KosmicTask users via their local network. This enables common functionality to be made public. Tasks that are not explicitly shared can be accessed only by users that can authenticate using a valid username and password.

A multi-tabbed iTunes like interface.

KosmicTask supports the simultaneous execution of tasks on multiple machines. Each task executes and displays its results within its own detachable tab. An iTunes like control panel displays the task status and enables tasks to be executed, paused and terminated.

A comprehensive history of task requests and results.

Consecutive tasks can be executed within the same tab and KosmicTask retains a full history of all user inputs and results. A separate global history maintains a persistent record of network wide task requests and inputs.

Local and remote task editing and configuration.

Users can create, edit and configure tasks on their local machine and share them to the network as required. Users that are able to authenticate using a valid username and password can also create, edit and configure tasks on remote instances of KosmicTask.

Integrated file transfer capabilities.

Tasks can accept files as inputs and can return files as task results. File inputs and results are automatically transferred via the network when required and KosmicTask makes temporary file handling easy and efficient.

Flexible representation of task results.

Tasks can return a wide range of result types including plain text, styled text and files. KosmicTask can display results in various formats and provides Quick Look previews for many file types. Task results can be saved directly to disk or forwarded to a range of other applications for further processing.

Full local and remote search capabilities.

KosmicTask uses Spotlight to provide wide area searching that enables users to seek out desired tasks on the network. Searches can be restricted to individual machines and can also target the scripts that power each task.

Advanced automation capabilities.

OS X application automation is commonly achieved using AppleScript but KosmicTask provides access to a much wider range of automation technologies. Tasks can also access the core OS X Cocoa frameworks to enable the creation of more advanced and powerful solutions.

Secure network communication via SSL.

Tasks are capable of accessing user data and information and thus by default KosmicTask secures all of its communications.

A comprehensive resource of script templates.

The application Resource Browser provides access to a wide range of script templates for each of the supported scripting languages. These templates serve as starting points for new tasks and illustrate how to accomplish basic operations such as accessing arguments, formatting results and dealing with files.

Bonjour support for automatic discovery over local networks.

The use of Bonjour means that networked instances of KosmicTask become automatically available to all other network users as machines are powered on.

Support for task sharing over the Internet.

KosmicTask can be configured to accept incoming connections from the Internet to permit remote task access. This functionality is implemented using an integrated port mapper that works with a wide range of domestic Internet routers.

For an in depth discussion of these features see the help book.

Typical Usage Scenarios

KosmicTask can be used in a wide range of different situations and has features that appeal to various classes of users.

Home. Use KosmicTask on a single Mac or home network to carry out repetitive administration and automation tasks. Non technical users can easily utilise existing tasks. More technical users will find that there is a wealth of scripts available on the Internet that they can easily adapt to their purpose.

Business. KosmicTask is an effective tool for sharing business automation tasks with end users. Document processing, file processing and automation based services can all be configured from within the application and shared out to clients on the network.

Education. KosmicTask provides a great way of introducing students to a wide range of scripting languages. The application comes with a range of both native OS X and embedded scripting languages. Students can develop and test scripts on their own machine whilst educators can review and appraise their tasks via the network.

System Administration. Systems and network administrators will find that the application is a convenient and secure method of providing user scripts and performing script based network maintenance.

Software Development. Developers can use KosmicTask to quickly prototype code ideas. It is also useful for building and organising a library of executable code samples and snippets.

Science and Technology. The distributed task model means that the application is ideally suited to data acquisition and processing projects. Tasks can be configured to collect and process data on the remote target before returning the results for further analysis and persistence.

KosmicTask Documentation

The KosmicTask help documentation is available online as is the faq.

In-application help is also available from the Help menu as are the Release Notes. Also note that specific documentation for each of the supported scripting languages is available in the application Resource Browser.

To access this information open the Resource Browser window and expand the required scripting language Application entry. The displayed Documents entry will contain one or more documents detailing KosmicTask's support for that language. A list of useful links is also provided.