Dorico 3.5 and Big Sur

Has anyone been able to run Dorico 3.5 with the new MacOS Big Sur?

The first beta of Big Sur wasn’t seeded to developers until yesterday. I’d be very surprised if anybody was in a position to comment publicly on how Dorico runs on it, at this point.

I guess everyone at Apple has forgotten the “joys” of migrating from PowerPC to Intel chips.

They would seem to have given notice that no old software will run on new Macs in a time scale of about 2 years. And what happens to people running Windows on their Macs is another unanswered question.

Windows itself runs on ARM CPUs but that doesn’t answer whether it will run on Apple-customized ARM CPUs. And pretty much no third party Windows software is going to run on ARM.

Maybe this is the beginning of the end-game for Apple as a PC supplier as opposed to a Tablet and mobile computing gadget supplier. Who knows…

Indeed. This is a much more interesting prospect than Big Sur compatibility. This poses a huge challenge to the dorico team now. Now they will effectively have to write code for three platforms instead of two. Fortunately, it seems we have about 4-5 years of “regular” intel mac life left. They won’t full migrate silicone for at least two years and then will have to offer support for intel macs for multiple years after that.

That’s not what I took from it: the new hardware is coming in 2 years, and Rosetta 2 provides a way for ARM Macs to run Intel apps until such time as they remove it.
Windows is likely to run in the virtualization environment that Apple’s provided.

I remember all Apple’s transitions: but technology is better now and Apple has much more money to throw at this.

Compiling for another architecture is a smaller problem these days than it was. A lot may depend on Qt, of course.

As for Windows emulation, it seems that VirtualBox will not be ported, since it can only run on Intel processors. I think I’ve seen Parallels Desktop already ported. Obviously, VB is my preferred one.

The increased investment for developers seems to come in the worse time. While the pandemic is still hitting strong part of the world, software houses are asked to do a greater effort to follow Apple. I hope they can support the increased pace, but can guess it is not really welcome.


Rob Tuley wrote:↑
I guess everyone at Apple has forgotten the “joys” of migrating from PowerPC to Intel chips.

Apple has familiarity and comfort with the benefits of “RISC” or reduced instruction set computing, which was employed by the Motorola processors it used before the switch to Intel and is also used in its present-day ARC chips found in iPhones and iPads, and will apparently be found in Mac computers over the coming months and years. There are clearly questions I am unable to answer concerning the adaptability of ARC processors to operating systems and software we use today, including Dorico, but I am hopeful that Apple is aware it cannot make the processor change without accommodating third party software if it wishes to maintain a viable presence in the modern computing world.

As noted, this will be Apple’s third CPU change, plus the change from Classic Mac to OS X, plus the move from 32-bit binaries to 64-bit binaries. On the whole, these transitions have gone extremely well. Apple puts a lot of effort into allowing old code to run, while providing resources for developers to ‘meet them halfway’.

From the WWDC showcase, I was much more impressed about the transition than I had hoped. Getting Adobe to recompile all of Creative Cloud suggests it’s not that difficult.

At a WWDC some years ago, they showed a button in Xcode: ‘compile as 64-bit’. Lots of people who watched the presentation said ‘Look how easy it is - all you need to do is push a button’. It took us 6 months to port Sibelius to 64-bit. Key companies like Adobe would be given a lot of help. Be wary of ‘magic’ that is shown in demos. Changes like this are huge and will require a lot of development time, which greatly reduces the time available to develop features.

Last week I purchased a new 16" MacBook Pro to be delivered next week. At the time, I was unaware of Big Sur and the new Apple Silicon chip coming at the end of the year. I don’t know a lot about the Apple changes coming this winter, but this has me second guessing this purchase.

Can anyone offer advice whether I should cancel my order and wait for 6 months for one of the new Apple Silicon chip computers, or accept delivery of my new machine next week. I want to be able to upgrade to 3.5 and run Dorico without issues.

I’m hanging onto my 16” MacBook Pro, and it runs Dorico 3.5 beautifully. The transition period for smaller developers is likely to last considerably longer than 6 months, and there’s supposedly a two-year transition period in which existing x86 applications will be expected to continue to run on the Intel processors.

I typically expect to run my Macs for five years, and I can’t really see myself replacing my latest MacBook Pro in the next four to five years. I don’t have any inside knowledge - this is all speculation.

Software compiled to run on Big Sur will be a Universal Binary containing both Intel and ARM code. On an Intel Mac, you’ll be able to run older software without any emulation issues, as well as the latest stuff. That will be true for several years.

Also: Never buy ‘Generation 1’ Apple hardware. There’s always a few things that are… refined, shall we say, in the next design.

Apple also mentioned during the keynote that they intend to support intel macs for a while after the transition. They know that people have invested thousands in their machines. I expect you’ll get a full life-cycle out of a laptop, in particular. An imac pro or mac pro would have me a little more worried, but a laptop in particular? I doubt it will long-outlive the intended support cycle. The hardware will continue to function, but it won’t be “useful” by modern computing standards in 5-6 years anyway.

I think these days laptop lives are longer than they used to be. I have a 2014 MacBook Pro and it’s still meeting my needs (sometimes I have to render midi tracks to audio in Cubase, but that’s always been the case). I don’t expect to replace it for 4 or 5 years as long as it keeps working, provided Apple and third party software continues to be supported.

[OT: I’m not a luddite, far from it, but the older I get the more uncomfortable I feel about this attitude towards hardware life cycles. Consider the rare resources needed to build the things and the circumstances under which they’re (possibly) obtained. Faster machines don’t make our brains better.]

Thank you for the replies to my query about my new computer. I feel a lot better about this purchase now. The help we get on this forum is invaluable. Thanks again.

I’m also on the 15" 2014 MBP, which works well for Xcode development, Dorico, Logic, forays into iMovie, and running Affinity suite and other stuff.

And the 2015 model is all but identical. (Something, something, Intel production schedules…? :smiley: )

I wonder how they propose to guarantee that the Intel and ARM code both have identical bugs. (Of course no software is ever bug free, including the compiler that generates the purportedly identical versions, so that solution doesn’t exist).

I guess just dumping twice the debugging effort onto every third party software developer solves that problem so far as Apple are concerned :slight_smile:

Rob, you know substantially more about this stuff than I do, but historically Dorico’s bugs seem to have been mostly cross-platform. That would (at least to me) indicate that cross-platform support is largely left to Qt.

They may not; but Universal Binaries are hardly new: PPC and Intel, 32-bit and 64-bit binaries have been packaged together on MacOS for decades.