Goldenseal(s) and High Sierra (Oct 17)

We recently tested Goldenseal 4.96 with the new Mac OS version 10.13, High Sierra. It worked properly, with one possible exception.

High Sierra uses a new file system called APFS (Apple File System). It is optimized to run on SSD drives, as well as hard drives. We were concerned about how well the original Goldenseal would handle it, but the results were uncertain. The first time we used the Save As Text button to create a file, it gave an error message and did not save. That also happened a second time. After that, it worked fine, and the problem did not repeat again for any of the file-save operations.

The error message sounded like it was related to user permissions or app code signing, rather than a file system error. Unfortunately we did not write down the exact text (and then never saw it again). The error occurred with a fresh install of the OS and a freshly downloaded copy of the Goldenseal app, so it may have been related to some quirk in Apple’s code-signing system. Whatever it was, it went away on its own.

We decided to try testing with a fresh install on a different computer, with hopes of seeing the error message again, and actually writing it down. Unfortunately, High Sierra would not install on an external drive, and we didn’t want to replace the OS on the internal. People are reporting freezes and other problems with High Sierra 10.13.0, and we don’t want to get too committed to the new OS until 10.13.1 or later.

So, there may be obscure problems when the current Goldenseal app first saves files on Mac High Sierra, or there may not be. We will appreciate hearing from any users about this possible problem, whether or not it occurs.

Meanwhile, we installed the latest Mac development software (Xcode 9.0) and used it to build Goldenseal Pro. That went smoothly, and it ran fine on High Sierra after zero changes.

When we build any version of Goldenseal, we use something called an SDK (Software Development Kit). The Mac SDK includes Cocoa and other Apple code. Newer SDK versions add features, but also prevent the app from running on older OS versions. For each release we need to decide which SDK to use, since it limits the range of computers that can run the final product.

For now, we will continue to build Goldenseal Pro on slightly faster machines running OS 10.11 El Capitan. Before releasing Pro, there will be a user survey, to help make a better decision on which SDK to use.

Dennis Kolva
Programming Director


Author: Dennis Kolva

Programming Director for Turtle Creek Software. Design & planning of accounting and estimating software.