Catalina update coming?

Support for the Solar Eclipse Maestro photography software.

Catalina update coming?

Postby robhawleyastro » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:04 pm

Will SEM be updated for Catalina? I understand the current version will not work, but are you rebuilding as a 64-bit app?
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Re: Catalina update coming?

Postby xjubier » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:48 am

robhawleyastro wrote:Will SEM be updated for Catalina?

In short no. Or else it will have to be a completely new code base, meaning it will take years. Moreover the same is true for Lunar Eclipse Maestro and Mercury Venus Transit Maestro.
Unfortunately Mojave is end of the road, in Catalina Apple has decided to remove most of the frameworks I've been using for the past 15 years. Years ago Apple said that those frameworks would be ported to 64-bit, the fact is I've heard that the work has been completed, and then later down the road Apple overturned its own decision leaving us in the ditch!

robhawleyastro wrote:I understand the current version will not work, but are you rebuilding as a 64-bit app?

My source code is mostly 64-bit compatible, yet the user interface is not and rebuilding that part is extremely complex. Then the rest of the code will need a rewrite as well, we're talking of about a million lines of code, so all this is time consuming. Plus stabilizing and testing everything again will also take time.

For the moment the immediate solutions are:
1) Don't upgrade past Mojave,
2) Run Mojave or any older OS version inside a virtual machine if you need to upgrade to Catalina or newer OSes.

There is always a possibility I'll rewrite everything, yet given my limited resources in the coming years this is unlikely given the minimal support I've received over the years.

Thanks for your support.
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Re: Catalina update coming?

Postby robhawleyastro » Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:58 pm

OK thanks for making that clear

I use a MacBook Air 2013 for my eclipse computer. Since I have worked with VM's for many years that is a good solution not only for this case but for several other apps that may not be updated. I was able to create a minimal macOS Mojave using
https://saputra.org/threads/install-mac ... -apple.83/
There are two important points this page does not mention. First is that all operations have to be run as an administrator. Second the permissions on the resulting .iso file need to be changed so the VM user has access.
The VM does seem to run SEM with the camera (configured as a USB 2.0 device), but I have not tested battery life.

However, I am concerned about running something that heavyweight on that particular machine during the eclipse. Since I upgraded the SSD in the Mac earlier this year I am inclined to put the old SSD back in the MB air and run SEM native. So for at least the Dec 20 eclipse I will have to open my MB Air up and restore the old drive. For 2023 I may opt to replace my then 10 year old computer which something more capable.


Please consider writing a Catalina compatible SEM-lite that only contains the camera controls and sequencer. That is the only piece that is absolutely required to run in real time on battery at the eclipse site. Scripts and analysis can be done on VM while connected to AC power.
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