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Mau

We want Big Sur - 2019 support for Vectorworks.

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I just saw a note from Vectorworks. If you are using 2019, you should not upgrade to BigSur - I don't know about everyone else but is almost unacceptable. How are you not providing support to customers using 2019, which is last year? Many of us will not upgrade to 2020 or 2021 for at least another year if not even two years. This is a lot of money for individual users like me, maybe not a lot for a large design company. Everyone is upgrading their Macs to Big Sur. VectorWorks can not ask us to hold on until we buy an update for 2019. 2019 should be supported for this Apple upgrade - it is only a year old. We need support from Vectorworks. You guys never left us, please don't do that now.

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Independent of being good or bad from a customer perspective,

VW always only supported the current macOS release for the current

and the previous Version of VW.

In this Big Sur case, VW 2021 and VW 2020.

 

I can only state that VW 2019 doesn't run well on Big Sur Public Beta at all ....

 

The only workaround I see is running a VM of Catalina, Mojave or previous

in e.g. Parallels on a Mac with macOS 11 Big Sur,

staying on Catalina or previous with the current Mac and not upgrading

to coming Intel Macs or even Apple Silicon Macs,

or switching to Windows.

Edited by zoomer
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We are a big design company, but we are always very hesitant to update the OS, because Apple is prone to release "beta"-Versions of their OS. We are still running High Sierra on almost all our iMacs, because it runs most VW-Versions we need run on it. The new things Apple introduces are hardly worth the upgrade for us.

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Hi Mau,

 

You are correct that at this time we do not recommend upgrading to Big Sur if you are using Vectorworks 2019.  We always like to be proactive and make users aware of the issues that they might face if they decide to upgrade their OS.  We want to be transparent and make sure users can make the most informed decision.

 

As Zoomer mentioned, VW 2019 does not run well on Big Sur.  And thank you to Christiaan for his detailed post, he explained the situation almost perfectly.  We have historically avoided supporting versions two years back and older because of the inordinate amount of effort that it can take and the risk of creating an unstable version of VW that might be worse on the OS versions that it was designed for.

 

Here are some more technical details also if you are interested:
The main difficulty with supporting older versions of VW in the newest MacOS versions is difficulties working with Apple’s tools. VW 2019 was built with an older version of Apple's development tools (Xcode) that does not run on Big Sur.  It is not safe to try and create a new version of VW 2019 using a new version of these tools because this can introduce bugs and make 2019 unstable. This forces us to work with an older development environment running on an older OS, which makes any fixes difficult because you can’t test and work in the OS that you are trying to fix things for.

 

We will continue to keep our users informed as we investigate these issues and Big Sur is officially released.

 

Best Regards,
Ian

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20 hours ago, zoomer said:

or switching to Windows.

@Mau This is one of the things where Windows has an advantage over MacOS, old software often can run on newer Windows versions for much longer than Mac software can run on newer MacOS versions, or said otherwise  newer versions of Windows often still support software released for Windows versions from years ago. I have software from the 1990's that could still run on Windows 10 if I would want to.

 

That being said... newer software versions don't always run on older Windows versions anymore, e.g. Windows 7 is sometimes no longer supported by newer software versions, only Windows 8 and 10 are supported in such cases,  whereas others (mostly 32-bit versions of software) may still run on Windows Vista or Windows XP.

 

As @Christiaan mentioned, your software should dictate the OS updating schedule, not the other way around, unless you really need to run the latest software version and if that would then require updating your OS.

 

VW's support policy is actually quite fair, as there are plenty of other companies which drop support for any previous version on launch date of the newest release (except for major security fixes, if at all), and if they don't do that they often only support the current and previous release only.

 

If compatibility with the latest OS version is important while running older software releases then Windows might be a better option for you than MacOS, otherwise your only option is to refrain from updating the OS until it is feasible to do so with the software you use.

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6 hours ago, Ian Lane said:

Here are some more technical details also if you are interested:
The main difficulty with supporting older versions of VW in the newest MacOS versions is difficulties working with Apple’s tools. VW 2019 was built with an older version of Apple's development tools (Xcode) that does not run on Big Sur.  It is not safe to try and create a new version of VW 2019 using a new version of these tools because this can introduce bugs and make 2019 unstable. This forces us to work with an older development environment running on an older OS, which makes any fixes difficult because you can’t test and work in the OS that you are trying to fix things for.

 

@Ian Lane 

 

Is it possible Apple's upcoming A/S transition will see their OS become less of an issue in this regard? 

 

Also, does Vectorworks, Inc. have a policy on how long they will maintain Universal Binaries? There's a reasonable amount of FUD out there on how quickly developers might drop Universal support. If there's no formal policy, would it be safe to assume Universal Binaries will hang around as long as Apple is releasing their OS's for both platforms?

 

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On 10/12/2020 at 8:42 PM, M5d said:

 

@Ian Lane 

 

Is it possible Apple's upcoming A/S transition will see their OS become less of an issue in this regard? 

 

Also, does Vectorworks, Inc. have a policy on how long they will maintain Universal Binaries? There's a reasonable amount of FUD out there on how quickly developers might drop Universal support. If there's no formal policy, would it be safe to assume Universal Binaries will hang around as long as Apple is releasing their OS's for both platforms?

 

 

Unfortunately I doubt that Apple Silicon will have any affect on Apple's tools regarding support for older versions of the OS, etc.  Apple is very aggressive about pushing the latest updates, and their hardware, software and tools seem to follow this policy as well.

 

As for the universal binary, I would expect that universal binary support will be baked into all releases for a while.  It is hard for us to have an official policy on this because we don't know how long Apple will continue to release Intel based machines and how long they will continue to support those machines.  A given version of Vectorworks tends to have official support for 5 or 6 versions of MacOS.  So for VW 2021, it will run and be supported on 10.12, 10.13, 10.14, 10.15, 11.0 and eventually 11.1 when that is released next year.  I do not expect that to change moving forward.

 

Here is a list VW versions and official OS support that we have maintained through the years.

 

 

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On 10/16/2020 at 1:29 AM, Ian Lane said:

Unfortunately I doubt that Apple Silicon will have any affect on Apple's tools regarding support for older versions of the OS, etc.  Apple is very aggressive about pushing the latest updates, and their hardware, software and tools seem to follow this policy as well.

 

Thanks for the reply.  I assume the aggressive steps taken over recent years were, to some extent, about getting developers prepared for Apple's own silicon. My hope was / is that after the transition,  the OS will be more settled and less likely to break version compatibility on their own chips. 

 

On 10/16/2020 at 1:29 AM, Ian Lane said:

As for the universal binary, I would expect that universal binary support will be baked into all releases for a while.  It is hard for us to have an official policy on this because we don't know how long Apple will continue to release Intel based machines and how long they will continue to support those machines.  A given version of Vectorworks tends to have official support for 5 or 6 versions of MacOS.  So for VW 2021, it will run and be supported on 10.12, 10.13, 10.14, 10.15, 11.0 and eventually 11.1 when that is released next year.  I do not expect that to change moving forward.

 

We definitely appreciate all the unknowns, in the meanwhile, the only and better option will remain planning around Intel macs. And while I don't think the comparisons to Apple's last transition really stack up, we know Apple will be dropping support for Intel macs at some point. So the best we can ask, and hope, for from Vectorworks, is that there's some assurance universal binaries will remain until that eventuality. Then, at least, the only unknown in this transition will be Apple's actions, as per usual.  

Edited by M5d

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Such a shame that, literally one release on, that VWX don't bother supporting 2019 when a new Mac OS comes out.

 

I'm very happy with & work very well on 2019 (apart from the massive render works bug that they get interested then start ignoring after a while). Not exactly a great customer centric company, I believe.

 

 

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