Topics

64 bit MAC software.

Cecil Bayona
 

Someone that sells Mac software told me that the limit on 32 bit Mac software is at the store, the OS will be able to run 32 bit software just fine except one will have to install it manually. Is this true? If so there isn't much of a hurry to convert to 64 bit.

--
Cecil - k5nwa http://thepartsplace.k5nwa.com/

Richard Russell
 

On Sun, Jan 28, 2018 at 09:42 am, Cecil Bayona wrote:
Is this true? If so there isn't much of a hurry to convert to 64 bit.
I don't have any inside knowledge.  All I can do, the same as you, is to read the reports of what Apple have said publicly.  Those statements have included:

"Starting in macOS High Sierra 10.13.4, a user is notified on the launch of an app that depends on 32-bit software."
"If you distribute your apps outside the Mac App Store, we highly recommend distributing 64-bit binaries to make sure your users can continue to run your apps on future versions of macOS".

So as of now (Mac OS High Sierra) 32-bit apps will still run but the user will receive a warning.  At some unspecified point in the future 32-bit apps will no longer run.  The article from which I copied those quotes further says: "The next release of macOS after High Sierra will begin to restrict 32-bit apps and will feature 'aggressive' warnings about the coming change. Apple has not said at exactly which point support will be phased out completely".

My personal difficulty is that my mental capacity is deteriorating, so there is a danger than when Apple do eventually remove support for 32-bit apps I will no longer be able to do anything about it.  So I'd rather spend some time now, as I have been, thinking about a 64-bit BBC BASIC whilst I still can.  Unfortunately the compatibility implications are worse than I hoped they would be.

I would ideally like to have a serious discussion with BBC BASIC users about all the issues, but there are too few people who (a) understand them to the degree that would be necessary and (b) care.  The great majority of members here seem content to use BBC BASIC for Windows (Windows probably will retain support for 32-bit apps for some time) so aren't bothered.

Richard.

Richard Russell
 

On Sun, Jan 28, 2018 at 10:33 am, Richard Russell wrote:
I would ideally like to have a serious discussion with BBC BASIC users about all the issues
Unless somebody responds to the contrary, I am going to assume that nobody is unduly concerned about BBC BASIC continuing to be available for Mac OS in the long term, so that when support for 32-bit apps is dropped by Apple it will simply cease to work.  Exactly when that will be has not been announced, but I think it is highly likely to be within the next couple of years.

Richard.

Richard Weir
 

As a person who doesn't use Mac OS, I feel I have no voice in this matter, except to say it seems a shame, but there's only so much small-time users and developers can do when big companies make such decisions.

Richard Weir

Richard Russell
 

On Sat, Feb 24, 2018 at 10:17 am, Richard Weir wrote:
As a person who doesn't use Mac OS, I feel I have no voice in this matter, except to say it seems a shame
At least you are engaging in the issue!  I don't feel that I can - or should - make decisions that will affect the future of BBC BASIC on my own.  I need - somehow - to get people to take an interest in the 64-bit question, even if personally they are content to use only BBC BASIC for Windows.  Perversely, I'd actually quite like Microsoft to announce that Windows is dropping support for 32-bit apps because that would concentrate the mind wonderfully, but I don't expect it to happen soon.

Richard.

dai_m_leeds
 

OK, if you want views, here's mine. A 64 bit version would clearly be of value to the Mac-using community, of whom I am not one. In the longer term it might well be of value to others. From previous discussions it is clear that a 64 bit version would have significant incompatibilities with older versions, but I think we need to bite the bullet and accept that this is a fork-point: the 64 bit version will represent a different path, with its own strengths and weaknesses. Given that, it might offer an opportunity to revisit any other issues where you have gone for compatibility over optimisation, if you wished.

Best wishes,

D

Richard Russell
 

On Sun, Feb 25, 2018 at 04:37 am, dai_m_leeds wrote:
I think we need to bite the bullet
You've said the same before, and I've noted it, but you've been a lone voice in that opinion so far.  If I believed that most BBC BASIC users were prepared to "bite the bullet" - that is to accept the need to modify many of their programs and learn 'new ways' of doing things - the decision would be easy.  But I suspect, and fear, that a large majority of users are in fact quite change-averse.  How many dyed-in-the-wool BB4W users have even taken enough interest in BBCSDL to install it on their Windows PCs, despite the compatibility with BB4W being excellent in comparison?  Even you, I think, have been reluctant to embrace BBCSDL.

Richard.

R NBW
 

Richard
I've installed BBCSDL on Windows, MacOS and Android.  I'm happy to say it works on them all.  I must say, however, that I'm not likely to use it much on MacOS ( a MacMini 2012 bought second hand to try out).  I don't like the MacOS much and I'm always glad to get back to Windows.  In fact I run Windows 10 on the MacMini in Parallels, where the installed version of BBCSDL works well.

I don't think that Mac users associate BBC Basic with the Mac, so I think the user base is likely to be rather small,  so I think your resources are probably better directed to the other platforms.

Ray


-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Russell <news@...>
To: bb4w@groups.io
Sent: Sun, 25 Feb 2018 3:01 pm
Subject: Re: [bb4w] 64 bit MAC software.

On Sun, Feb 25, 2018 at 04:37 am, dai_m_leeds wrote:
I think we need to bite the bullet
You've said the same before, and I've noted it, but you've been a lone voice in that opinion so far.  If I believed that most BBC BASIC users were prepared to "bite the bullet" - that is to accept the need to modify many of their programs and learn 'new ways' of doing things - the decision would be easy.  But I suspect, and fear, that a large majority of users are in fact quite change-averse.  How many dyed-in-the-wool BB4W users have even taken enough interest in BBCSDL to install it on their Windows PCs, despite the compatibility with BB4W being excellent in comparison?  Even you, I think, have been reluctant to embrace BBCSDL.

Richard.

Richard Russell
 

On Sun, Feb 25, 2018 at 07:39 am, R NBW wrote:
I don't like the MacOS much and I'm always glad to get back to Windows.
Me too!   However Linux is even worse, IMHO.  At least Macs are standardised and a self-contained application package (such as BBCBasic.dmg) will install and run on pretty much every Mac since they switched to using x86 CPUs - albeit that recent versions of MacOS will issue scary security warnings!

With the exception of DDRM - and I think he was referring to 64-bit BBC BASIC in general rather than specifically for the Mac - it sounds as though there won't be any great upset when MacOS finally drops support for 32-bit apps, if that means BBC BASIC ceases to be available.

However the same is not, I'm sure, going to be true of Android, which I understand will also mandate 64-bit apps in the next year or so (although it's not clear whether that applies only to App Store validity, and if so when support for 32-bit apps might be dropped altogether).

Richard.

Richard Weir
 

dai_m_leeds said " ...  I think we need to bite the bullet ... ".

I would be happy to do this. I have abandoned all my old projects in recent years due to family stresses* (I am caring for my parents, both in their 80s), and if I were to resume coding I would quite happily use a 64-bit version of BB4W, regardless of compatibility with old versions.

I also feel (without any evidence to support my intuition) that it might aid takeup of BB4W by new coders.

Incidentally, while I can't promise that I will be coding in any particular time-frame, I would be happy to pay for a new license in recognition of the amount of work involved in creating such a new product, and hope I will have opportunity to sit and kick some lazy old braincells back in to life!

Best regards,

Richard Weir.

* (This is one reason I am very quiet in this group and elsewhere.)

Paul Marshall
 

On Sat, Feb 24, 2018 at 02:52 pm, Richard Russell wrote:
I need - somehow - to get people to take an interest in the 64-bit question,
I know nothing of what challenges this involves but in my view it is time to create a new product optimised for 64 bit but compatible where possible. Call it say BB64 with a new logo and new filetype to emphasise it is not compatible and allow opening by 'double-clicking'. ( .B64 is taken but .BB6 is available - just a thought). An incompatible version of the present BBC Basic would be a bad thing.
Even when 32bit support ceases the machines themselves will be around for a very long time and the 32bit and 64bit versions can and should co-exist, in the interim on the same machine. Horses for courses! We have done extremely well to retain backwards compatibility for so long and Mictosoft is to be congratulated for that at least.
I am not a Mac user so for totally selfish reasons I prefer you to focus on windows and SDL
 

J.G.Harston
 

(try posting this again.....)

Richard Weir via Groups.Io wrote:
I would be happy to do this. I have abandoned all my old projects in
recent years due to family stresses* (I am caring for my parents, both
in their 80s), and if I were to resume coding I would quite happily
use a 64-bit version of BB4W, regardless of compatibility with old
versions.
Compatability changes that is a version of BB4W that has features that are not available on old versions is fine, but losing features risks killing the usability of 35 years of carefully accumulated libraries of code. If (eg) in%=OPENIN(file$) or PRINT "The answer is ";total% disappear because you ""should"" do SYS "FileOpen",IO_READ,!^file$ and SYS hwin%,htext0%,GUI_PAINTSTRING,"The answer is "+STR$total% would be a backward step and change what BB4W is.


--
J.G.Harston - jgh@... - mdfs.net/jgh

Richard Russell
 

On Sun, Feb 25, 2018 at 05:28 pm, Richard Weir wrote:
I would be happy to pay for a new license in recognition of the amount of work involved in creating such a new product
What I can achieve is limited by what time I have left and how fast my cognitive ability deteriorates (I have volunteered for a clinical trial of a drug which is hoped might slow the progress of dementia).  Money doesn't help in the slightest, but thanks for the offer.

Richard.

Richard Russell
 

On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 01:59 am, Paul Marshall wrote:
in my view it is time to create a new product optimised for 64 bit but compatible where possible. Call it say BB64 with a new logo and new filetype to emphasise it is not compatible
Created by whom?   To date I've not managed to interest anybody in taking over BBC BASIC from me, not even to maintain and support the existing versions let alone to develop a completely new one.  Isn't this completely pie in the sky?

Even when 32bit support ceases the machines themselves will be around for a very
> long time and the 32bit and 64bit versions can and should co-exist

The machines may be around, but if they've been updated to the latest version of the OS (and often this happens automatically) they may no longer be able to run 32-bit apps.  For example I have a Mac Mini on which I can currently install and run BBC BASIC but within the next couple of years it will receive an OS update from Apple which will prevent it from doing so.

Only by disconnecting a machine from the internet and quarantining it can you ensure continued ability to install and run 32-bit apps, but who is going to do that these days with the need to update virus databases, patch security holes, etc.?  It may be OK for a museum, but not much else.

I am not a Mac user so for totally selfish reasons I prefer you to focus on windows and SDL

Some slight confusion there I think, the Mac OS version of BBC BASIC is BBCSDL!   I have two current BBC BASIC products: BBC BASIC for Windows which runs on Windows only and BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 (32 bits) which runs on Windows, Linux (x86), Mac OSX, Android and Raspberry Pi.  I am, from time to time, experimenting with a 64-bit BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0, the Windows edition of which I have already made available for download (although the full compatibility implications are not apparent because Windows preferentially allocates user memory in the bottom 2 Gbytes so 32-bit addresses are still sufficient).

Richard.

Richard Russell
 

On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 01:59 am, J.G.Harston wrote:
losing features risks killing the usability of 35 years of carefully accumulated libraries of code.
Nobody (I hope) is suggesting "losing" features, but of changes being required to support a 64-bits platform, which introduce incompatibilities.  Here's a more practical example, indeed a change which I have found myself making over and over again in the last couple of days:

      DIM mem% size%
      OSCLI "LOAD " + file$ + " " + STR$~mem% + " +" + STR$~size%

When run on a 64-bit platform this reports 'Number too big' because the address of the memory reserved by DIM cannot be stored in the 32-bit integer mem%, so the first change required is this:

      DIM mem%% size%
      OSCLI "LOAD " + file$ + " " + STR$~mem%% + " +" + STR$~size%

The 'Number too big' error no longer occurs, but now an 'Address out of range' error is reported because STR$~ cannot convert the address to a long enough hexadecimal number.  This requires another change:

      *HEX 64
      DIM mem%% size%

      OSCLI "LOAD " + file$ + " " + STR$~mem%% + " +" + STR$~size%
      *HEX 32


Now the code runs again, and fortunately it's still compatible with 32-bit BASIC (with the extra *HEX 32, anyway).

This is typical of the sort of change that is going to be required, and that requirement is going to be very widespread.

Richard.