WWDC announcements and the future of Panorama 6

As I’m sure most of you know, Apple just finished a blockbuster WWDC. At a local developer meetup yesterday some of the other programmers were saying that they thought this was the biggest WWDC ever. I’m not sure about that, but it was a jam packed week.

In all of the hoopla, you may have missed a critical announcement in regard to Panorama 6 – Apple will be phasing out 32 bit applications on macOS.

The good news is that they are not springing this on us like they have sometimes done in the past. There will be no change in macOS 10.13 High Sierra. So as far as I know, Panorama 6 will continue to work on the latest system for another year (I haven’t tested it yet, and with Panorama 6’s old code, it’s always possible that some other change could cause problems).

In the long run, however, Apple has put a definite sunset on older applications like Panorama 6. For now they are saying that macOS 10.14 will not “fully support” 32 bit applications. They didn’t make it clear what that means, so maybe Panorama 6 will continue work, maybe not. But they definitely stated that they are planning to completely discontinue 32 bit applications, so you need to plan for a world where Panorama 6 will not launch at all on the latest Apple software and hardware. That might be next year, it might be 2 or 3 years (or possibly even this fall, as I mentioned above), but it’s no longer speculation, at some point Panorama 6 will no longer be usable.

Of course the really really good news is that I anticipated this, and that has been the reason for the huge investment I’ve made in the development of Panorama X. Panorama X is 64 bit and uses only the latest modern APIs, so I’m looking forward to a long future with this codebase.

The other good news, of course, is that Apple has really made it clear that they are committed to the Mac platform, and that they intend to continue to support it and move the platform forward over the long term. As someone that is fully invested in the Mac platform, I’m thrilled to see the new Mac hardware and software. They also had very exciting announcements of new capabilities for Xcode and the developer tools in general, which I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on.

Thanks Jim for planning for a future that is 64-bit only and for investing a lot of time and money in the re-architected modern codebase of PanoramaX. Hopefully PanoramaX will be ready to replace Panorama 6 before macOS pulls the plug on 32 bit apps.

As reported before, I make heavy use of CrossTabs which are still missing in PanoramaX. I may have to develop a C++ app that generates the CrossTabs if depend on if Panorama 6 were to fail in a future macOS before CrossTabs are supported in PanoramaX. I also realize that CrossTabs may not be the top priority for most of your installed base but it is definitely one of your most unique assets.

Also as already reported before, I have a long list of choices in my accounting database that don’t all display when I click on a field that uses these choices. I don’t want to change this to a regular text field because not limiting the entries to a precooked list of choices is much too error prone. In addition, the choices displayed do not scale with a smaller font size selected for the database. Making the choices pop-up resizable into multiple columns and scale with smaller fonts would be extremely helpful and welcome.

More of an annoyance is that the behavior of RunningTotal has changed in PanoramaX. When you “group” by one field and then execute RunningTotal on another field, the RunningTotal in Panorama 6 resets to zero at the start of a new group and then hierarchically sums the subtotal of all nested groups to show the correct total at the bottom of the database. RunningTotal in PanoramaX completely ignores the group boundaries and continues as if there were no groups.

I’m still using Panorama 6 on a daily basis and have used PanoramaX mostly to monitor its progress but the WWDC 2017 announcement of the demise of 32 bit apps means that I may have to dive a little deeper into what else I need in PanoramaX to make the transition and invest some time to be prepared for a life without Panorama 6.

Guido, a user of OverVUE and Panorama since you first announced your wonderful database.

Hi Jim,

I’m working to convert most of my databases to Panorama X. However, one database I use in my business makes use of the Panorama 6 function of being able to be used in Windows. I do any design work at home on my mac, and then my staff use it at work on their PC’s. I am hoping to keep this database as is, and use it uniquely in Windows when the dreaded time comes that it can’t run in macOS. I only have limited licenses for my windows computers. When the time comes, would you be agreeable to transferring my developer license from Mac to Windows so I can continue any tweaking in the future? (On that question, do you see any time limitation to it working on the Windows platform??)