32 - A Bitter Pill to Swallow


#1

Hello Jim,

The local newspaper today has an article about Apple’s Mojave OS update. The article is syndicated, so I’m sure many others here have seen it also.

In it, the article suggests that although 32-bit applications will work for the initial Mojave release, they won’t work after OS 10.15 ships in 2019. Does that mean 2019 in the “drop-dead” year for Pan6?

I had been putting off converting all my files to PanX until some very important (to me, anyway) PanX issues were corrected. Colorized records in the Data Sheet, font flexibility in the Data Sheet, single-step debugging, report tile creation as in Pan6, etc. are things that I rely on quite heavily. I am obviously alone or rare in that, or you would have altered your schedule for addressing these items. Other issues with PanX are clearly more important to the majority of users.

Will there be a “Pan6 workaround” for some period of time with OS 10.15? Is such a workaround even possible? Do you think that by early next year you will have the time to get to the items I mentioned above? Are those items even on your “To Do” list? They may be so little used by the majority that you won’t ever bother with them.

By the way, I’m not putting off a purchase of PanX. I signed up for PanX shortly after it was released. And I do not regret doing so.

Regards,
Vic


#2

You’re not alone, Vic; I would appreciate single-step debugging and report tile improvements. I’m also keenly aware of Jim’s punishing schedule: he’s supposed to be going full tilt at the server and yet he made time for the latest powerful updates.


#3

One of my friends pointed out that software has a shelf life. Panorama 6’s and its predecessors’ have been exceptionally long.

I am learning that I need to go back and learn to do things in ways that are newer than Panorama 2 in many cases. On the other hand, some of the techniques that I came up with years ago end up being legitimate workarounds.

However, I do not think anyone knows for certain what will happen with MacOS 10.15 yet, not even Apple insiders. I am pretty sure that 32-bit applications will not be supported, but that does not necessarily mean that they will not run at all.

There is always the option of running an earlier operating system in emulation. But the writing is on the wall, no matter what.


#4

I’m in the same position. But this is Apple’s spruik of Mojave:

“Using a Mac has always inspired great work. Now macOS Mojave brings new features inspired by its most powerful users, but designed for everyone. Stay more focused on your work in Dark Mode. Automatically organise files using Stacks. Take more kinds of screenshots with less effort. Try four handy new built-in apps, and discover great new ones in the redesigned Mac App Store. Now you can get more out of every click.”

It’s hardly a ‘can’t live without’. Staying with High Sierra or even using dedicated machines for Panorama 6.0 are painless solutions. As Bruce says, everything has a shelf life.


#5

I’ve been a Panorama customer since version 1, just after the name change from Overvue, and I am BITTERLY disappointed in Provue for making the transition Pan 6 to X so difficult in my case. I’m a savvy Mac user since 1985, but I’m not a geek nor a programmer. My non-profit uses Pan 6 to maintain a mailing list, record donations and issue YTD receipts. Some of these functions are automated.

My use is quite simple and ought to port straight to Pan X and just work. But since the majority of users who communicate with Jim are sophisticated users, I think he assumes the average Pan user has more programming knowledge than is actually the case.

I will need to upgrade to Mojave, but I am so heavily invested in Panorama that I’d lose all kinds of donation records, which would cause our little organization some huge legal problems.

The video tutorials are too complicated for me to even learn the names of the functions I need to change. The bottom line is that Provue has assumed WAY too much with regard to customer transition to Pan X. This is like being held hostage.


#6

Admittedly, the upgrade is not as straightforward as any of us would have liked, but Pan X has been rewritten from the ground up so we are lucky it carries over as much as it does.

Not that it’s any of my business, but why do you “need” to upgrade to Mojave? As an alternative, do you have a second Mac you can run Panorama 6 on with an older OS?


#7

Jimginfl, I am a Certified PanoramaX developer and a mostly retired attorney. I volunteer to help non-profits use PanX. If you would like to chat, I would be happy to discuss whether I could help your organization. Please send me a message through the Forum and I can contact you. Tom


#8

The important thing to remember is that your data is not going away. The big differences are in the interface elements, and some of them are less stable than we might like. That should get better with improved versions.


#9

Thanks so much for your gracious offer. Would you mind contacting me privately at jimgilbert AT mac DOT com?


#10

This is not a new story, and has been covered here before. At WWDC in 2017 Apple announced that macOS 10.13 would be the last version that supported 32 bit apps w/o compromise. They didn’t really say what that meant. This June, they announced that 32 bit apps would not run at all on macOS 10.15. So yes, Panorama 6 for sure will NOT run on new systems starting in the fall of 2019. At this time, I am not sure whether Panorama 6 will run on macOS 10.14 or not.

I announced some time ago that colorized records in the data sheet, as implemented in Panorama 6, will never happen. That was a bad feature, very limited, with a poor user interface. Some time ago Gary Yonaites showed how to use emojis in the data sheet, I think that is a much better solution, and it works now. This can be combined with the new ability to have a pop-up menu appear when clicking on the data sheet for a very nice solution.

When this came up a year or so ago I mentioned that someday it may be possible to use rich text in the data sheet, that is still on the “maybe someday” list but is definitely not on the top priority list.

I guess “font flexibility in the Data Sheet” means being able to pick a different font? That may happen eventually, but it is way down on the list. I hope you already are aware that you can change the text size in the data sheet, with choices from 9 to 24 points. This is done from the Window menu.

Single step debugging will be fixed at some point, but certainly not before Panorama X Server is done.

I don’t know what you mean by “Report Tile Creation”. The Automatic Report Construction dialog added in Panorama X 10.1 far surpasses the report creation tools in Panorama 6.


Right now, by far the biggest hole in Panorama X is the lack of a server version. This lack is preventing our biggest and best customers from moving forward with Panorama X, and is also a huge barrier to many potential customers that might want to switch to Panorama from other programs.

Personal note: After Panorama X shipped last year, my intention was to go full tilt on Panorama Server, it’s clearly the top necessary priority. But then both my mother and father-in-law went into lengthy hospital stays, at one point we were shuttling back and forth between ICU’s in different counties. Unfortunately they both passed away, three weeks apart.

Obviously this was a very stressful time. For a while, I could not focus my mind at all – programming was out of the question. So to get back on the horse, I started by catching up on the printing documentation that hadn’t yet been completed for Panorama X. Working on the server is extremely complex, especially since the pieces have to fit together across multiple systems. By April I was ready to program again, but still did not have the focus I felt was needed for complex client/server work. So that’s why 10.1 happened with crosstabs, summary tables and charts. I think this wound up being a really great release, but that wasn’t the roadmap. Life happens. Now, I’m back to my full self so back to the roadmap, i.e. Panorama X Server.


#11

Typo on the blue type…Reort should be Report


#12

Yes, the title on that documentation page has the typo, I already submitted the correction.


#13

I’ve never understood this. No one needs to upgrade. I still have a mac on mountain lion and it works really well. I’ve only upgraded my main mac to High Sierra in the last month. Ever since apple made OS upgrades free everyone thinks they must upgrade. My recommendation is that you create a snapshot (!superduper) of your system how you need it and you keep it. Backup your apps for your different OS versions and keep them. It is not difficult to do. You can then run your system for as long as you want to not someone else’s schedule.

I personally find MacOS upgrades are increasingly buggier with each iteration. I never saw a beachball on Tiger, I see them all the time now. Also, Apple is clearly closing the door to apps that are not signed by them much in the way iOS operates. Every new macOS takes away more control from the user (just take a look at SIPS or try installing apps that are not from an Apple developer).

The bottom line is that the computer and OS is here to serve you, not the other way round. If your system works try not to keep tinkering. Pan6 worked for many many years. More than many applications. High Sierra will be working on many systems for many years to come, but which PanX will be way ahead.


#14

That works as long as there is no interaction with other things that change. If you use Panorama with the internet, for instance, you may find that there are incompatibilities what will crop up as the internet changes. That is why zipinfoplus does not work.

Additionally, as processors change, they may drop some features that worked with earlier processors. So if you ever need to replace your computer, old software will not work on the replacement.

So you can avoid upgrading for a while, but you should spend some of that time preparing for when you have to upgrade.

Personally, I find trying to maintain an older system while working with newer systems becomes more trouble than it is worth. I am not certain that older systems work better than newer ones, because I do not remember everything about older systems. As Red Green said, my memory may not be getting worse, I may just not remember how bad it was!


#15

I agree that technology is always changing. However, major changes such as USB 2 to USB 3 or Bluetooth 3 to Bluetooth 4 are not as often as people think. I appreciate that some technological change will precipitate needing to update software. What I’m not convinced over is the regularity at which that needs to happen. Internet changes where mentioned, but here the change is to an ever increasing number of web apps. These will work on very old systems as they are browser not OS dependent. Look at how many systems are still on running on Windows XP.

I think this is an undervalued statement. Because upgrading your OS costs you nothing in terms of purchasing the upgrade, it might cost considerably in compatibility. I ran into this when an OS upgrade meant I would lose my Adobe CS6 suite. The implications where an extra £45 a month for Adobe’s CC offering. These are not inconsequential. Software is here to stay and needs as much budgeting and planning as any physical tools you might use.

There are, of course, many people who are running an old system for a single application. Many are doing this via virtual machines, which might be something to consider if Pan6 is an absolute must. However, I would suggest you need to develop an upgrade path from Pan6 to PanX. You still have at least two years before you “must” upgrade (High Sierra will survive at least that long). The recent 50% discount from Provue for their training videos was a tremendous blessing. Spending 33 hours going through the videos may well present solutions for moving your Pan6 to PanX. It is unlikely to directly port, but you can build something that does the same thing better with PanX. I know this requires effort and there is the inevitable frustration of, “it was working, why did they have to break it”, but believe me from everything I’ve read PanX really is better. It’s also great to see the generosity on this forum of people willing to help. This makes the whole process even better. I also commend Jim for his most detailed documentation. I use many apps with absolutely no documentation, where everything becomes trial and error. I would strongly encourage you to break down what your Pan6 DB does and then look for ways of doing those things in PanX. Use the documentation and the forum and you’ll be surprised how quickly you check off each requirement.

On a lighter note, I do remember older systems. My favourite of all time was Windows 2000 professional. The most solid operating system I have ever used. In two years of using it it only crashed once and never beach-balled.


#16

I would also like to offer that sometimes planning ahead means purchasing hardware today that is likely to be discontinued tomorrow!

One of my Enterprise Servers is running on a very old Mac mini. While the rumors are that the Apple mini is soon going to be replaced, the OS that will compatible on that new mini will likely be non-compatible with the current Enterprise Server, thus I am purchasing today a current, old technology, Mac mini to maintain ongoing reliability. This is life. We deal with what is, rather than what we would like it to be.