Tasks can be run either within a task tab or within a separate task window. Running a task is simple and straight forward.
- Select a task either from the sidebar or from the task browser. Tasks selected on the local machine will be run on the local machine. A task selected on a shared machine is run on the shared machine.
- The task header will appear in the left pane of a task tab. If the task requires inputs they will be displayed below the header.
- Once any required task inputs have been entered click the run toolbar button or select menu item Task - Run (command-R).
- The task will execute. Execution may be paused, resumed or stopped using the toolbar controls or menu items. The tasks progress will be displayed in the toolbar status panel and, if it is visible, the task status view.
- Once the task completes, the task results will be displayed in the right hand pane of the task tab.
- To save the task results select File - Save As… from the menu. To send the results to another application select File - Send To from the menu.
A task runs within a tabbed instance of the task pane. You may run multiple tasks at once, either locally or remotely, and each task will run in its own tabbed task pane. Each tab also maintains a history of the tasks that were run within it and the results that were returned. A task window is merely an instance of a task tab detached into a separate window.
When a task is selected in the sidebar or task browser it may replace the task in the currently selected task tab (the previous task will be retained in tab's task history). This behaviour makes it possible to run a sequence of different tasks from the same machine all within the same task tab. This helps to minimise the number of tabs required when running multiple tasks on a large number of connections. A newly selected task will not be displayed in the currently selected task tab under the following conditions:
- The selected task already exists in another tab
- If the selected task already exists in another task tab then that pre-existing tab is displayed and made the current tab.
- The currently selected tab represents another machine
- A tab can only display a task for the machine identified in the tab's title. A new task tab will be created.
- The currently selected task tab contains a running task
- If the currently selected task tab contains a running task then a new task tab will be created.
- The currently selected task tab is pinned
- A new task task will be created. A task within a pinned tab cannot be replaced by another task until the tab is unpinned. This behaviour is often useful when running multiple concurrent tasks on the same machine. The Tabs preference panel contains an option to automatically pin all new task tabs.
A task can be explicitly opened in a new task tab or a new task window using the sidebar and task browser context menus. Alternatively use command-click to open a task in a new tab and option-click to open in a separate task window. A task tab may also be detached as a separate task window via the task navigation bar.
A task result is the displayable effect of having executed a specific task. A task can have an effect without producing a displayable result, say a task that mutes the volume on a remote machine.
KosmicTask provides flexible management of your tasks and results with the aim of providing an efficient workflow that makes it easy to manage multiple tasks and numerous result sets. The task tabs and task histories make it easy to copy and paste the results of one task as inputs for another. KosmicTask also includes an integrated file transfer capability that makes it easy to return the contents of a file as a result. Task Results may consist of two types of data: textual data and file data.
- Text result type
- The task result can be interpreted as text. Text results can include plain text, styled text, numbers, dates, lists and complex data structures. KosmicTask will format and display the result textually.
- File result type
- The task result contains data that is to be interpreted as the contents of one or more files. KosmicTask will display an icon representing the file contents in its icon view and use Quick Look to display the actual contents if possible.
A script may also return a result that contains a combination of both textual data and file data. In this case KosmicTask formats displays each component of the result accordingly.
Formatting Task Results
The results for a particular task will be displayed in the right hand pane of the task tab. Results may be displayed in a number of different formats using the navigation bar format controls:
- Displays textual task results as a document. A popup control enables formatting as text, XML, or plist.
- Displays a representative image of file results. A Quick Look preview will often be available.
- Displays textual results as a hierarchical list.
- Displays the results exactly as returned by the task script.
It may not be possible to display some or all of a particular result set in every format. KosmicTask will display whatever portion of the results are compatible with the selected format.
Saving Task Results
Results may be saved to disk or sent directly to another application. Select the gear icon in the bottom left corner below the results view. Alternatively right (or ctrl-left) click in the results view to display the results context menu.
- Save As...
- Save the result text as plain text, PDF, RTF, property list or XML.
- Save any files returned by the task.
- Send To
- Send the result text to either Excel, Mail, Pages, TextEdit or Word.
These results processing features are implemented as a series of extensible plug-ins.