Running a multiline shell command

Bob Sneidar bobs at
Mon Dec 12 14:57:32 EST 2011

Well I determined that whatever Livecode is using on a Mac is what the shell expects for newline characters. I determined this by manually replacing all newlines in the property inspector (where I keep the shell code) with whatever the return key produces. I then copied the value from the property editor and then pasted it into the terminal window. I got EXACTLY what I expected, that is, the output of the telnet session. 

HOWEVER... When I try to use the Livecode SHELL() to pass the property that way, the shell command returns:

Connection closed by foreign host.

The file contains:

Connected to
Escape character is '^]'.

This tells me that for whatever reason, everything that telnet is saying is NOT being sent to the file. The file gets everything before telnet kicks in, and the SHELL() function returns everything AFTER telnet exits, but everything between is hidden from the shell command. 

Now here is where things get interesting. I opened the applescript dictionary for terminal, and discovered they had a do script command. Hmmm... So I fiddled with the editor until I got an applescript that did essentially the same thing. I ran it, and lo and behold my text file output of my mac addresses appeared, amidst some garbled stuff, but then I can do lineoffsets and clean all that up fine. 

Next, I copied the successful code into my Livecode property, and instead of using the Livecode SHELL() command, I used do myScript as Applescript. Dammit if it didn't work just fine!!

So then, I think this establishes that there is some kind of problem with the way the shell command interacts with the terminal. I would call this a bug, but I don't know enough about what is going on in the background to do so. It may be some kind of internal OS security issue, but then why would Applescript work fine doing essentially the same thing, which is telling the shell process to run a script? 

Anyway, I have a solution, and others may profit from what I have discovered. Here is the Applescript I produced:

copy "telnet >" & quote & "/Users/Shared/scanout.txt" & quote & return to theScript
copy theScript & "theUser" & return to theScript
copy theScript & "thePassword" & return to theScript
copy theScript & "print " & quote & "show mac-address" & quote & return & return to theScript
copy theScript & "exit" & return & "exit" & return to theScript
copy theScript & "y" & return & "n" & return to theScript

tell application "Terminal"
	do script theScript
end tell

Before sending this I replace theUser and thePassword with the actual ones of course. 


On Dec 10, 2011, at 4:53 AM, Bernard Devlin wrote:

> Could it be an issue with the "return" character?  As you know, they are
> different on each platform.  You could try variations between ascii 10 and
> 13.

More information about the Use-livecode mailing list