Monday, June 27, 2011

The Future of PowerPC and Carbon Support

Next month, Apple will ship OS X Lion (10.7). In order for our engineers to be able to develop and test on Lion, we must upgrade to the latest version of Apple's development tools. The new version does not support PowerPC. Therefore we will have to drop PowerPC support entirely for Real Studio 2011 Release 4 due this Fall. Less than 5% of Mac users are still using PowerPC-based Macs and by the time we ship R4 it will have been five years since Apple switched to the x86 Intel processor. I know for some of you this will cause some grief but you can still use 2011 Release 3 and earlier builds to support PowerPC.

As you know, we are moving our Mac framework from Carbon to Cocoa. Real Studio 2011 R2 includes greatly improved support for Cocoa. Many users are telling us they can ship their apps built with our current Cocoa-based framework. We believe that our Cocoa support will be complete enough to no longer be considered beta starting with Real Studio 2011 R4. At that time, Carbon will be deprecated. That means we will not be fixing any Carbon-specific bugs except for the most egregious. We will continue to support Carbon as a build option until we ship a release of Real Studio that includes a LLVM-based compiler as the default build option. In that release, Carbon will no longer be available as a build option.

Transitions are not always easy, but sometimes they are necessary in order for us to move forward. I know that for some of you these transitions will cause some grief but I think you can see that they are necessary if we are to keep making Real Studio better.


Rogman said...

Who moved my cheese? Darnit, I thought is was right here beside my trusty G4.

Frank said...

With the last update of my big project I did not released a PPC version to see if I got any reactions. I got about 20 mails asking 'Where is the PPC version'.
I have almost 8000 registered users so in the end I decided to stop PPC support after all.
Apple did it 5 years ago, it is time for all devs to do the same.
About Carbon:
I totally agree to leave that ship too. I will not look back anymore.

MacATDBB said...

Forgive my ignorance here - do we have LLVM as an optional build preference right now? It sounded like it was from [paraphrase] "until we release llvm as the default build option".

I'd be very interested to try it out if so, especially if it had support for 64-bit memory space (deep-sigh).

The Colonel said...

I am glad to see the commitment that Real Software is making to the Mac platform. I was worried for quite a long time that it was going to die from a thousand cuts. With all the promises that were made about Cocoa support I am glad to see them get serious over the last year and really deliver.
If the price having RealStudio deliver software for the current market is to abandon dead technology than I am all for it. Thanks for the great work.

anic297 said...

5 years of deprecation don't sound like a died technology to me. Is everyone supposed to buy a new iPhone, iPad, computer, TV set every 5 year? What a mess!

Geoff Perlman said...

@ anic297 - It's purely a question of allocation of resources. With less than 5% of Mac users using PowerPC-based Macs and the fact that we must drop support for them in order to support modern versions of Mac OS X, it simply doesn't make sense to continue to support PowerPC.

Franck said...

That's a sad news for me. I can send you snapshots and movies of my app compiled under cocoa and you will realize how far it is to be usable. It compilse for Carbon and Windows like a charm but the Cocoa compile is a nightmare. I guess my only option is to secure my RealStudio 2011 and not update anymore. I have thousands of mac users and, so far, the RB-cocoa is only a far dream for me.

Geoff Perlman said...

@ Franck - If you haven't done so already, I highly recommend you submit Feedback cases for any Cocoa-related bugs you have found. We are fixing everyone that is reported and reproducible.

TJ said...

@Franck, et al -

Don't forget - there's no demand that you move to 11r3+. As mentioned in the original blog entry, 11r2 will continue to work for you if PowerPC support is required. Heck, I still use 2007r1 to build most of my command line helper apps for OS X and Linux.

Franck said...

Sure, you are right. I will keep preciously older version of RB. But I have an Enterprise license and I am not sure that, at the moment, I will benefit from renewing it. Still hesitating.

I though about it but what I see is so convoluted that I have problem pinpointing the main problem. Sometime when I redesign a project to mimic the problem, it does not show up. Seem to be related to the size a complexity of my project. I will try to generate a comparative screencast (Carbon/Cocoa) to highlight all the problems. I'll send it to you.
And I have sudden crashes (with no error message. Just sudden quit) that I cannot debug at the moment…

This said, I understand your switch to LLVM/Cocoa. I only hope that you will be able to maintain Carbon compatibility a longer time.