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A Note About RapidWeaver's OS X Support

NikNik Brighton, EnglandPosts: 2,159Realmac Staff
edited 8:17AM in Announcements
Hello everyone

With RapidWeaver 5.2.2 now available, I wanted to talk about our plans going forward - specifically the next (free) update we'll be making to RapidWeaver 5. Whilst it's still too early to offer details or a release date (we've been fully focused on making RW 5.2.2 as stable as it possibly can be) there is one important change coming in RapidWeaver 5.3 that I wanted to let you know about right now.

Over the past 2 years, we've been closely watching the user stats for RapidWeaver that are optionally sent each time a non-Mac App Store customer's copy of RapidWeaver checks for updates[1]. Each time a new major update to Mac OS X has launched, the rate of adoption for the OS has increased significantly. It's become even faster with the launch of Mac OS X Lion, with 49% of customers whose copies of RW have checked for updates in the last six months already using Mac OS X Lion. To give you a more complete breakdown, Mac OS X 10.6 and 10.7 make up 97% of all software update checks.

Given this huge uptake in Snow Leopard and more recently Lion, as well as our desire to bring the latest OS X features to RapidWeaver as quickly as possible, we're going to be dropping support for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard in RapidWeaver 5.3. Whilst Mac OS X 10.5 support is something that we'd love to continue, the disproportionate amount of resources that are required to support, test and develop on 10.5 for 3 out of every 100 users ends up hampering our ability to bring awesome features to the other 97%.

We're still a way off launching 5.3, however I wanted to let you know about this major change now to be completely transparent about our decision process. If you've got any feedback on this change, feel free to post below. I'd love to hear feedback, both positive and constructive.

Cheers,

Nik

[1] As RW is not permitted to check for updates in the Mac App Store build, we don't have numbers for that: however, the Mac App Store is only available on Macs running Mac OS X 10.6 or 10.7, and judging from the diagnostics we get (crash logs, user reports, support logs etc) the uptake of Lion has been even stronger from Mac App Store customers.
Nik Fletcher, Product Manager, Realmac Software
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Comments

  • JohnJJohnJ cyberSpacePosts: 542Members
    edited 8:17AM
    I believe a software company needs to make decisions like this based on what their users are doing. When you talk about only 3% of users benefiting from expensive R&D there isn't much to think about. You are making the right choice. The people that purchased RapidWeaver can obviously continue to use the product they actually purchased. I would much rather have you develop what is best for the current OS. Software is an ever evolving entity. To spend money on the past doesn't make sense.

    Thank you for keeping us in the loop.
    progress.gif Still working on it...
  • Patrick HoulihanPatrick Houlihan Posts: 438Members
    edited 8:17AM
    I agree completely with JohnJ. Although some RapidWeaver users may be unable to upgrade the OS for various reasons, this is a reasonable decision.
  • jhmjhm Posts: 100Members
    edited 8:17AM
    It's a problem for anyone still using a PowerPC Mac, such as me, as 10.5 is the last one to support that. But I expect to finally upgrade to an Intel-based Mac at some point in the next several months, and I imagine many of us PowerPC users will, as dropping support for PowerPC is becoming pretty widespread now.
  • PrycePryce Lincolnshire, UkPosts: 532Members
    edited 8:17AM
    Nik,

    I just have to respond.

    Firstly - I'm amazed at how readily your statistics are believed. I can think of a number of reasons for the dubious numbers/statistics - but of course, there is nothing like Statistics for justifying removal of backwards compatibility. You are no worse than are politicians.

    Secondly - Your real reasons are as part of the Paradigm called "Technological Determinism" (you may, of course not, realize this). A renowned economist called Vance Packard, argued this well in a book called the "Waste Makers". We no-longer bin perfectly good motor cars anymore but good software instead, to push the new processors to their limits.

    Whilst I have upgraded my iMac to Lion, I really can't understand why, as I've now lost some very good software, and in terms of Applications, cannot see any improvements in anything. The only real benefactors - seems to me are Apple - who are hell bent in selling everything through the App Store. Fortunately I've kept my MacBook on Snow Leopard.

    But - I bow to the inevitable.

    Regards

    Ken
  • NikNik Brighton, EnglandPosts: 2,159Realmac Staff
    edited 8:17AM
    Hi Ken
    on 1319480973:
    Firstly - I'm amazed at how readily your statistics are believed. I can think of a number of reasons for the dubious numbers/statistics - but of course, there is nothing like Statistics for justifying removal of backwards compatibility. You are no worse than are politicians.

    In my original post you'll note that I fully explained how the stats are determined (and the relative weighting given that we don't receive information from the App Store). There's obviously a number of caveats - update checking could be turned off by the user being one of them.

    These stats were posted straight from our database: no manipulation, bluffs or tricks to try and mislead anyone. If anything, I was incredibly surprised myself as to how low the Leopard user numbers were.
    on 1319480973:
    Secondly - Your real reasons are as part of the Paradigm called "Technological Determinism" (you may, of course not, realize this). A renowned economist called Vance Packard, argued this well in a book called the "Waste Makers". We no-longer bin perfectly good motor cars anymore but good software instead, to push the new processors to their limits/

    I can certainly understand the perspective (and am familiar with the term), however in coming to this decision the thought process was very simple: we want to be able to offer new OS X features in a much more timely fashion that we've been able to in the past.

    As always, thanks for your feedback. We're still a ways off 5.3, however all the feedback and discussion is much appreciated.

    Kind Regards,

    Nik
    Nik Fletcher, Product Manager, Realmac Software
    Follow me on Twitter
  • vgvg Posts: 89Members
    edited October 2011
    As long as the last version to support Leopard (which would be including PPC) is stable without any pending glitches, it makes good sense to move on with 5.3. This way, at least those people staying behind will have a version they can still use reliably without issues unable to be fixed. Nice to hear you are working to make 5.2.2 as stable as can possibly be, as you said, Nik. The marks of a conscientious developer, in my book.
    Hundreds of posts on old forum.
  • IsaiahIsaiah Santa Cruz / AustinPosts: 945Developers
    edited 8:17AM
    My Stacks user-base has very similar distribution of users. And I indipendantly came to the same conclusion at nearly the same time.

    It's great to see that we're on the same page.

    Onward!

    Isaiah
    I'm Isaiah and I run YourHead Software.

    We make RapidWeaver plugins like Stacks and Blocks and Stacks Cloud.

    Need more? Follow isaiah on Twitter.
  • pl_svnpl_svn Posts: 416Members
    edited 8:17AM
    ... I never understand, when similar decisions are taken, what those "left behind" mourn about. as if their copies were forcefully deleted and they could no longer use the app they paid for :-/

    as Isaiah wrote... onward!!! ;-)
    (ehm... btw... still waiting Stacks 2 ;-p )
  • tazmuntazmun Posts: 20Members
    edited 8:17AM
    Although I have one intel mac running snow leopard, I have no plans to update to lion on that machine...there is no gain for me only losses. My issue is 2 other macs including my main laptop that is PPC. I realize progress can't be stopped and I appreciate the notification here. Just please make sure that when the download comes out it is labeled with the PPC and leopard warning. Also please make the older versions available for download labeled with proper compatibility.

    Thank you

    Shame on you YourHead and YabDab, twice now you have not afforded us this courtesy...no labels just suddenly I have software that doesn't work! Carousal and Tabloom! Please guys it only takes a second to document this stuff.

    David Miers
  • NikNik Brighton, EnglandPosts: 2,159Realmac Staff
    edited 8:17AM
    on 1322617318:
    Although I have one intel mac running snow leopard, I have no plans to update to lion on that machine...there is no gain for me only losses. My issue is 2 other macs including my main laptop that is PPC. I realize progress can't be stopped and I appreciate the notification here. Just please make sure that when the download comes out it is labeled with the PPC and leopard warning. Also please make the older versions available for download labeled with proper compatibility.

    Thank you

    David Miers
    Hi David

    Thanks for your feedback! We know that there will be some folks who will (for reasons that are, rightly, important to them) stick with 10.5. The purpose of this notification is part of our longer plan to ensure that everyone knows what's going on with RapidWeaver 5.3. When we're closer to launch we'll be doing some further work to ensure:

    a) people are warned of the update
    b) 10.5 customers are easily able to download 5.2.1 in the future.

    Amongst other things.

    Thanks again for your feedback: it's much appreciated.

    -N
    Nik Fletcher, Product Manager, Realmac Software
    Follow me on Twitter
  • tazmuntazmun Posts: 20Members
    edited 8:17AM
    on 1322622756:
    b) 10.5 customers are easily able to download 5.2.1 in the future.


    I'm currently running 5.2.2 on Leopard with PPC G4 Powerbook 1.67Ghz. Should I be only running 5.2.1? It does crash from time to time...
  • NikNik Brighton, EnglandPosts: 2,159Realmac Staff
    edited 8:17AM
    on 1322626376:
    on 1322622756:
    b) 10.5 customers are easily able to download 5.2.1 in the future.


    I'm currently running 5.2.2 on Leopard with PPC G4 Powerbook 1.67Ghz. Should I be only running 5.2.1? It does crash from time to time...
    Slip of the fingers: you should, of course, be running 5.2.2.

    Sorry for the confusion!

    -N
    Nik Fletcher, Product Manager, Realmac Software
    Follow me on Twitter
  • buffalosevenbuffaloseven Posts: 5Members
    edited December 2011
    Sounds great to me; although I'm running 10.7 so it will only bring me benefits :-)

    As for dropping support for older machines, I think it's a great idea. I do a lot of web development, and I can say for sure that it has nothing to do with throwing away good cars and pushing new processors to the limit. It has entirely to do with new frameworks and tools made available to developers.

    Dropping support for 10.5 (likely) has nothing to do with it being to "weak" to handle Rapidweaver (it's a text editor, come on). The bigger deal is that there have been *substantial* improvements to the underlying framework in OS X 10.6 and 10.7, as well as a lot of really exciting new features made available to developers to put into their software. The new frameworks that exist help developers make their software run as efficiently as possible and provide a better experience to the user.

    Ultimately, if you're running a PowerPC mac it's at least 5 years old now, which is getting on in terms of desktop lifespan. Kudos to Apple for making products that have the build quality and components to be able to be people's workhorses for so long. In terms of software, though, especially over the past few years, 5 years ago is ancient.

    I fully believe that RealMac will be able to dramatically improve RapidWeaver by utilizing a lot of the great new tools provided to them in more recent OS releases. I look forward to it. If you're running a PowerPC mac, nothing will stop you from using 5.2.2 as long as you want. I haven't noticed any huge bugs in 5.2.2...just it not feeling quite like a completely modern application. I still love using it though!

    Request for 5.3: Syntax highlighting for Javascript/CSS in the JS/CSS inspector windows, as well as within [removed][removed] [(script)(/script)] or <style></style] tags in HTML views.
  • PrycePryce Lincolnshire, UkPosts: 532Members
    edited 8:17AM
    on 1323114109:
    Sounds great to me; although I'm running 10.7 so it will only bring me benefits :-)

    As for dropping support for older machines, I think it's a great idea. I do a lot of web development, and I can say for sure that it has nothing to do with throwing away good cars and pushing new processors to the limit. It has entirely to do with new frameworks and tools made available to developers.

    Dropping support for 10.5 (likely) has nothing to do with it being to "weak" to handle Rapidweaver (it's a text editor, come on). The bigger deal is that there have been *substantial* improvements to the underlying framework in OS X 10.6 and 10.7, as well as a lot of really exciting new features made available to developers to put into their software. The new frameworks that exist help developers make their software run as efficiently as possible and provide a better experience to the user.

    Ultimately, if you're running a PowerPC mac it's at least 5 years old now, which is getting on in terms of desktop lifespan. Kudos to Apple for making products that have the build quality and components to be able to be people's workhorses for so long. In terms of software, though, especially over the past few years, 5 years ago is ancient.

    I fully believe that RealMac will be able to dramatically improve RapidWeaver by utilizing a lot of the great new tools provided to them in more recent OS releases. I look forward to it. If you're running a PowerPC mac, nothing will stop you from using 5.2.2 as long as you want. I haven't noticed any huge bugs in 5.2.2...just it not feeling quite like a completely modern application. I still love using it though!

    Request for 5.3: Syntax highlighting for Javascript/CSS in the JS/CSS inspector windows, as well as within [removed][removed] [(script)(/script)] or <style></style] tags in HTML views.


    Hi,

    Its never "Great" to drop support for older machines - It just becomes an economic necessity for developers moving forward with new and emerging technologies.

    I would hardly describe RapidWeaver as a "text-editor". There are lots of them about, but they will not support HTML & CSS in the Web Browsers. It is actually extremely very powerful software designed in accordance with world Wide Web standards. The inclusion of new Web standards is a huge subject requiring co-operation from companies like Microsoft et al. As for Apple, read up on the conflict between them and Adobe over the Flash plugin and their support on the Web for swf files. The only losers in Apple's stupid stance are us - but Adobe have also commercial reasons.

    Some people, however, only move over to new equipment/software when they really have no other option. The UK MOD, for example are still using Office 97, despite the numerous upgrades.

    Me - I'm an upgrade nutter, and jump in at the Beta stages of new software - have I got more money than sense? No - just a natural desire to see progress.

    Ken
  • Trilo ByteTrilo Byte San FranciscoPosts: 13Members
    edited 8:17AM
    Sounds fine by me. Leopard is now two major revisions (and more than four years) old. Those still using it (either by choice or because they're on an even older PPC Mac) have already made a fairly big decision on passing over the 'latest and greatest' in tech and should be familiar with doing the OS compatibility dance. So long as the last version available to Leopard users is solid and strong (and it is, in my opinion), I don't think you're doing legacy users any kind of disservice.
  • PrycePryce Lincolnshire, UkPosts: 532Members
    edited 8:17AM
    on 1323131908:
    Sounds fine by me. Leopard is now two major revisions (and more than four years) old. Those still using it (either by choice or because they're on an even older PPC Mac) have already made a fairly big decision on passing over the 'latest and greatest' in tech and should be familiar with doing the OS compatibility dance. So long as the last version available to Leopard users is solid and strong (and it is, in my opinion), I don't think you're doing legacy users any kind of disservice.

    Trilo,

    My iMac is Lion, but I've left my MacBook at Snow Leopard because I have a number of Rosetta programs I still use which are unlikely to be upgraded for awhile. Pure luxury I know.

    Ken
  • buffalosevenbuffaloseven Posts: 5Members
    edited 8:17AM
    on 1323131354:
    Hi,

    Its never "Great" to drop support for older machines - It just becomes an economic necessity for developers moving forward with new and emerging technologies.

    I would hardly describe RapidWeaver as a "text-editor". There are lots of them about, but they will not support HTML & CSS in the Web Browsers. It is actually extremely very powerful software designed in accordance with world Wide Web standards. The inclusion of new Web standards is a huge subject requiring co-operation from companies like Microsoft et al. As for Apple, read up on the conflict between them and Adobe over the Flash plugin and their support on the Web for swf files. The only losers in Apple's stupid stance are us - but Adobe have also commercial reasons.

    Some people, however, only move over to new equipment/software when they really have no other option. The UK MOD, for example are still using Office 97, despite the numerous upgrades.

    Me - I'm an upgrade nutter, and jump in at the Beta stages of new software - have I got more money than sense? No - just a natural desire to see progress.

    Ken

    I'm aware RapidWeaver is more than "just" a text editor. As far as I can tell, the web preview function compiles the webpage and then displays it using an embedded web view using Webkit (supplied in OS X). All I was trying to get at is that RapidWeaver certainly isn't straining processors or anything.

    I'm all for web standards. So far, they're enabling high-quality websites that work cross-platform, cross-browser. They're great. If you choose to stay on Internet Explorer 7 or Firefox 2 for technical reasons, all the power to you. You will be missing out on great new features. The UK MOD I'm sure has their reasons to sticking to Office '97. They are choosing to not utilize many of the new features introduced into Office since then. It certainly hasn't stopped Microsoft from pushing forward and developing new features that need new software. Internet Explorer 9 is a great example of that. Microsoft dropping support for older OSes to push forward with new technologies.

    All I'm trying to say is that RapidWeaver 5.2.2 certainly isn't going to stop working for anybody. Personally, since I've seen the benefits of some of the improvements to Apple has included in OS X 10.6/7 in some of the other applications I use. If it means dropping support in future versions for 3% of the RapidWeaver user base, I think it's probably worth it for the benefits that the other 97% could have.
  • buffalosevenbuffaloseven Posts: 5Members
    edited 8:17AM
    on 1323133584:
    Trilo,

    My iMac is Lion, but I've left my MacBook at Snow Leopard because I have a number of Rosetta programs I still use which are unlikely to be upgraded for awhile. Pure luxury I know.

    Ken

    Out of curiosity, what applications are you still using that are Rosetta? I've heard that from several people, but often there are non-rosetta apps that can take their place. Unless they're specialized apps for things like calculating core temperatures in a nuclear reactor, I really can't think of many programs that don't have intel-based equivalents.
  • PrycePryce Lincolnshire, UkPosts: 532Members
    edited 8:17AM
    on 1323133981:
    on 1323133584:
    Trilo,

    My iMac is Lion, but I've left my MacBook at Snow Leopard because I have a number of Rosetta programs I still use which are unlikely to be upgraded for awhile. Pure luxury I know.

    Ken

    Out of curiosity, what applications are you still using that are Rosetta? I've heard that from several people, but often there are non-rosetta apps that can take their place. Unless they're specialized apps for things like calculating core temperatures in a nuclear reactor, I really can't think of many programs that don't have intel-based equivalents.

    Now that's a tricky question if you havn't used Mac The Ripper.
  • SundogSundog ArizonaPosts: 658Moderators
    edited 8:17AM
    on 1319673776:
    My Stacks user-base has very similar distribution of users. And I indipendantly came to the same conclusion at nearly the same time.

    It's great to see that we're on the same page.

    Onward!

    Isaiah

    I vote "onward" too. Lion is inexpensive and should be adopted by all.

    Of course there are always folks with older machines and are likely to complain. But you can't please all. For the future of RW it's time to keep moving forward.

    (Stacks 2 caused a lot of work for everyone but it was well worth it to have the new version and ease of us IMHO)
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  • Rusty WoodRusty Wood LondonPosts: 1,178Members, Moderators
    edited 8:17AM
    Does this not work on OS8.6 maybe time to upgrade .. =-)
  • Allison NelsonAllison Nelson Posts: 67Members
    edited 8:17AM
    Well for the record, Stacks 2 and all other updates are working just fine on my MacBook Pro Snow Leopard, so I am asking no questions and saying thank you! Isaiah already told us, (in spite of his more recent posts) that he's going forward in his thinking, BUT he's also backwards compatible in reality. To me that is the best of both worlds. My bottom line is go forward if you can afford it, but the reality is most of us cannot afford to drop the kind of money required into upgrading everything every couple of years.
    Allison

    The Bodachs - illustration by my dad - Rodney C. Mackay
  • NikNik Brighton, EnglandPosts: 2,159Realmac Staff
    edited 8:17AM
    Hi Guys

    Thanks for your continued feedback!

    Kind Regards,

    Nik
    Nik Fletcher, Product Manager, Realmac Software
    Follow me on Twitter
  • JohanJohan Posts: 11Members
    edited 8:17AM
    Shame on you YourHead and YabDab, twice now you have not afforded us this courtesy...no labels just suddenly I have software that doesn't work! Carousal and Tabloom! Please guys it only takes a second to document this stuff.

    David Miers[/quote]

    I have the same problem with Tabloom, altough Dateloom worked well. Didn't find a warning so went on and bought Tabloom as well

    JHJ-The Netherlands
  • zen_learnerzen_learner Posts: 16Members
    edited 8:17AM
    I cannot believe people are complaining.... Well to be honest, I complained when apple dropped support for iWeb, but after being silly, I found Rapid Weaver and I am sooo pleased! I may agree that Lion has added very little, I still don't like this saving versions, but perhaps I am already too old... I closed a large Numbers Spreadsheet and I notice there was no Do you want to save? question ...it was already done for me.

    In short it is an OBVIOUS move forward.... (and I have lost all the Kagan Software that no longer works, but ... that's reality).

    As for the comparison with cars.. we don't notice how good the new one is until forced to use the old one! So even that was a badly picked example!

    Thanks for having a great product!
  • zen_learnerzen_learner Posts: 16Members
    edited 8:17AM
    As for what people are doing I found through GoSquare that 50% of the visitors of our website were using EXPLORER 7!! What can I do? Our page looks AWFUL there; I've told them to upgrade... They are just averse to technology... Well, Still, I'll use my iMac and to hell with Explorer
  • soren_ladegaardsoren_ladegaard Posts: 39Members
    edited 8:17AM
    Will RW5.3 allow Mac App Store customers to have RW automatically check for page plug-in updates like the non-MAS version? I would REALLY like this feature because I've lost data in RW projects because I had older plug-ins installed that caused RW to loose data.

    With all the plug-ins and stacks it's nice not to have to worry about if you have the latest version or not. IIRC Stacks does check for updates to 3rd party stacks automatically. Also in the MAS version.
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  • NikNik Brighton, EnglandPosts: 2,159Realmac Staff
    edited 8:17AM
    on 1326389269:
    Will RW5.3 allow Mac App Store customers to have RW automatically check for page plug-in updates like the non-MAS version? I would REALLY like this feature because I've lost data in RW projects because I had older plug-ins installed that caused RW to loose data.

    With all the plug-ins and stacks it's nice not to have to worry about if you have the latest version or not. IIRC Stacks does check for updates to 3rd party stacks automatically. Also in the MAS version.
    I can't comment on this currently - it's something we're having to discuss with Apple.

    As Stacks isn't sold via the Mac App Store, it's not subject to Apple's block on update checking - hence the difference.

    We're working on this, and I'm really hoping we can work out a solution to it, however I can't really comment much further I'm afraid!

    Nik
    Nik Fletcher, Product Manager, Realmac Software
    Follow me on Twitter
  • markadrianmarkadrian Posts: 13Members
    edited 8:17AM
    Now that I have upgraded to Lion, and familiarised myself with the new way of working, I have concerns about the next RW upgrade - RW 5.3
    Please tell me that it will not go the way of Numbers and Preview by doing away with "save as" and replace it with "save a version" and "duplicate".
  • PrycePryce Lincolnshire, UkPosts: 532Members
    edited 8:17AM
    on 1327311300:
    Now that I have upgraded to Lion, and familiarised myself with the new way of working, I have concerns about the next RW upgrade - RW 5.3
    Please tell me that it will not go the way of Numbers and Preview by doing away with "save as" and replace it with "save a version" and "duplicate".

    Never mind RW 5.3 - its Lion that needs sorting out. I just had my first OS X Mega Crash, requiring a complete rebuild. I'm not impressed with the Lion restore process one little bit. My "so-called" restore stick didn't work - created as per MAC instructions; my downloaded restore stick (downloaded on my Macbook failed as well. I got there eventually after reformatting main hard disk via Disk Warrior/Disk Utility and somehow managed to download Lion directly. Then it came to Time Machine restore which failed 3 times, requiring me to do another full Lion download. I'm slowly getting back to normal restoring programs piecemeal from Time Machine, which doesn't include the Serial Numbers, so a big hunt for those in my document folder that fortunately did restore.

    At the time of my disaster I was working with RW 5.2 which kept crashing on me - but rather than attribute it to Realmac I've decided to rattle Tim Cook's cage to see if he upholds the Job's ethos.

    Ken
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