What makes it so surprising that AppleScript survived and remains a fully-supported-by-Apple technology today (including in OS X Mountain Lion) is that it was never loved by anyone. It was a fine theory and noble experiment, but it turns out that an English-like programming language didn’t really enable a large number of users to become programmers. And conversely, AppleScript’s English-like syntax often made (and to this day continues to make) things more difficult and confusing for scripters, not less.
Put simply, the number of programmers in the world who consider AppleScript their favorite language could fit in a very small car, or perhaps even share a bicycle. But, as noted, AppleScript was the only OSA scripting language that ever gained any traction.
Automator, Services, Applescript and it’s UNIX base which allows other automation sequences using UNIX pipes, is what i love most of Mac OS X, and why i currently consider it the best (( or at least the less bad )) current operating system.
Applescript is indeed hard to master because of its lack of resemblance with any sort of standard programming language but Automator very decently allows for a quick way of putting an automatized workflow in place.
Just hope that Apple not only not kills it with its iOS’ification but takes some time to make it stronger, correct its deficiencies and implement some other decent scripting language support, such as Python.