We released Goldenseal 1.0 back in 2000, so the software is now about 140 years old (in software years)! During that time we made approximately 45 updates. We hit every decimal from 2.0 to 4.9, with a few extras in between.
Our previous MacNail program went into retirement at this same age, and we are now making plans to move on from Goldenseal as well. Time to begin our next generation!
The good news is, most of our accounting and estimating code has become polished and mature, and we can continue to use it with minimal rewriting. Most likely, we can keep the same file format, or at least provide an easy conversion for existing Goldenseal data.
The bad news is, our business code sits on top of a basic framework that needs a major rewrite, so we can keep moving forward.
- On the Macintosh, it means a transition from PowerPlant and Carbon to Cocoa, and removal of old code left over from OS 9 and Power-PC days.
- On Windows, it means converting the current QuickTime-based code to Windows-native libraries, for better appearance and performance.
This is a big enough overhaul to deserve a new product name. We are tentatively calling the next generation Goldenseal Pro, but may switch to something different before it is completed.
The framework change will greatly improve the screen appearance, allow us to take better advantage of modern OS features, and insure compatibility with future OS updates. It will also let us start integrating with mobile apps, so it’s easier to run one’s business from anywhere.
More discussion to follow!
We have completed all the app files for version 4.9, and will upload them as soon as we get our local Internet connection back! Unfortunately there was a lightning strike Wednesday night that disabled a local relay tower. Right now we do not have any info on when it will be back online.
EDIT– everything is now uploaded.
Turtle Creek Software
As of Thurs July 3, we have successfully built version 4.9 on all Mac platforms (OS9, PPC, Intel). There have been enough major code changes that it may take a few more days before the Windows version builds properly.
Some technical details: over the past month we have been moving gradually to newer versions of Xcode (the program that converts our C++ code to a working application) and the Mac SDK (base code libraries that make things run on Macs).
Version 4.81 was built with Xcode 2.0 and SDK 10.3, but one part of that code breaks with Mavericks, and probably more things will break with the next Mac OS release this Fall. We’re now up to Xcode 3.2 and SDK 10.6, which probably will be enough to run in the next couple of OS updates. Along the way, we’ve had to remove or rewrite a lot of older code that is no longer supported. Most is in other people’s code, so it can be challenging!
We will be using this blog to keep users posted on news from Turtle Creek Software. Most likely we’ll be tweaking it as we go.
Current news: we are almost done with the version 4.9 update. If everything goes perfectly, we will release it in 7 to 10 days. Most likely there will be snags, and it could easily take longer.
We are mapping out plans for work on our “next generation” of software, and will talk more about that after 4.9 is released.