Updating Macintosh applications: 32 bit to 64 bit

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Bearboat Software

Inexorable Progress

Macintosh Programs: Where do we stand on April 4, 2021?

  1. BearboatSP: Currently working on a daunting project to create a new version that will be 64 bit compatible.
  2. ListTA: Recently updated and now available.
  3. RAAViewer: A beta version that is 64 bit compatible is now available.
  4. KM_GridPalettes: Recently written and therefore up-to-date.

For roughly the past ten years, I have offered three programs for free on this website — BearboatSP, ListTA and RAAViewer. Over that time, macOS has continued to mature in a way that has finally forced me as the developer to modify the old code in those programs. It was more difficult than I anticipated to refactor code that I had not visited for 10 to 15 years. In many instances, an entirely different approach was required because of changes in the programming language that have occurred over this time interval.

KM_GridPalettes was completed recently and is therefore a "modern" application in no need of updating.

Transition from 32 bit to 64 bit.

The most recent macOS releases (Catalina and Big Sur) require that applications be 64 bit. My older applications were all 32 bit which meant that they could only be used by people who stuck with older MacOS releases Mojave and earlier. I myself have older Mac hardware and still have 32 bit apps that are important to me. Personally I am still using Mojave.

However, I cannot ignore the evolution of macOS. The first challenge is to update the three older applications to be 64 bit. At this time, ListTA has been updated. Soon, a beta 64 bit version of RAAViewer will be released which should make it functional for the users although I still have lots of work to do on the backend. The backend is used by me to bring in additional anatomic series. KM_GridPalettes, created recently, is already a 64 bit application.

ListTA was fairly easy to update. RAAViewer proved to be much more difficult because there is a lot of graphics in that program, and there have been profound changes in how graphics are handled by the Macintosh since the program was written (2007 - 2012). Updating BearboatSP is a monumental task. It is a particularly graphics-heavy program. At the same time, I am trying to morph it into a new version, BearboatXP, with some new functionality and user interface. I would be lucky if this project was complete by the end of the year.

Problems related to tightening security on the Mac platform are becoming more troublesome. Check out the page on Security which explains how to install my applications in this changing world and where this all might lead.