Goldenseal and Macintosh 64-Bit

The current version of Goldenseal is a 32-bit app that will not run on Mac OS 10.16 (Catalina), Mac OS 11.0 (Big Sur), or future Mac OS versions. They require 64-bit apps.

Goldenseal for Macintosh does run on OS 10.15 (Mojave), and anything earlier.

32-Bit Options

All Macs produced before Sept 2019 can run 32-bit software. Macs launched after that date require 64-bit apps, and can't run the current version of Goldenseal.

To use Goldenseal, you will need to use OS 10.15 (Mojave) or earlier. If your computer does not already have it installed, here are some options:

  • Install OS 10.15 (Mojave) on an external SSD, and run Goldenseal from that.
  • Partition your internal drive, and install OS 10.15 (Mojave) on one partition.
  • If you have an older Mac kicking around, run Goldenseal on that.
  • If not, there are cheap ones on eBay.
  • Switch to Goldenseal for Windows. Microsoft is much better at backwards compatibility for its software. Goldenseal has a long future ahead on Windows.

Goldenseal 64-Bit

We started work on a 64-bit update in 2014. It is a major rewrite called Goldenseal Pro.

It turned out to be a much bigger project than we expected. It is still not complete. If you wish to view the gory details, check the TurtleSoft blog.

Most of our difficulties were with Apple's Cocoa library and the Objective-C language that it uses. In 2019 we finally gave up on that, and planned to go Windows-only. However the current Microsoft development tools do not work will for C++ projects. Microsoft plans to change that, but their new development tools are still not ready.

We tried out the Qt framework in 2020. It's cross-platform, compatible with our existing C++ code, and fairly easy to use. Progress is going well. We expect that Goldenseal Pro will finally happen with it, with versions for Mac and Windows. Best guess for completion: winter 2021.

TurtleSoft and Macintosh

TurtleSoft started out Macintosh-only in 1987. Since then, Apple has migrated through:

  • Four different programming languages (Pascal, C++, Objective-C and Swift)
  • Four GUI libraries (Toolbox, Carbon, Cocoa, SwiftUI)
  • Four CPU chips (Motorola 68000, PowerPC, Intel, Apple M1).

Every change has needed more programming time than the prior one.

Most of our competitors died off long ago, in one of the earlier transitions. Ours isn't the only software that didn't make it to 64-bit in time.

If you want to keep software like ours available on Macintosh, please let Apple know that small developers like us can't afford to rewrite every few years. Our market isn't big enough. We need code that lasts decades without major overhauls. Windows provides that. The Mac currently doesn't.

Qt will provide us with a working Mac version for the next decade or so. However, it is a rather small fish swimming in a sea of trillion-dollar sharks. Much as we'd like to avoid yet another rewrite, Qt probably won't be a permanent solution.