Resisting the beauty of Leopard

In late 2007 we moved from the design phase of the next major version of EasyWorship, which would include a cross platform solution, to proof of concept. We started to pare down core functionality pieces of the playback engine so that we could tackle some of the trickier things like transitions, smooth MPEG playback and doing multiple text, image and video objects on the same slide with different effects.

At the time, Leopard had just been released, so we evaluated what it could bring to the table for the Mac side. At the end of the day we decided to keep EasyWorship compatible with both 10.4 (Tiger) and 10.5 (Leopard), which is more in line with the existing standard of backwards compatibility that we follow on the PC side. So far this decision hasn’t been detrimental, but I frequently encounter aspects of the new UI that could take advantage of some of the frameworks available in Leopard.  For example, just last night I was working to optimize text rendering in one of the custom views we’ll be using. I had to make a decision between using Quartz, Cocoa Text System, ATSUI (Apple Type Services for Unicode Imaging) or break 10.4 compatibility and move forward with Core Text. In short, I will probably continue to use the Quartz/ATSIU services. This will take a little more work from a development standpoint, but it also will ensure wider compatibility for EasyWorship Mac users.

So at what point do we move on and forget about past OS’s as a customer or a company?  Do you just go with the latest and greatest because it’s there, fast and the easy, or do you take the time to support people that haven’t made the switch?

add your comment35 comments so far

  • Sam Ponjican says...

    That’s a tough one! I’d have to give the nod to broad compatability over new features. It’s not as if Tiger is ancient! I’m still running it simply because it works.

    comment added April 30, 2009 @ 11:00 pm

  • Sean says...

    I don’t think Tiger support is necessary, especially when introducing new software for the Mac. We’re seeing more and more software as being “Leopard-only”, and that’s fine.

    With all the tools and freedom Leopard gives you as a developer, I don’t think it’s worth it to try and support the handful of Mac users who haven’t upgraded yet.

    comment added May 3, 2009 @ 10:48 am

  • Isaac says...

    I suppose it all depends on weather your programming for native intel support, or powerPC support also. If snow leopard does what apple says it does, I think we’ll be seeing a pretty huge uptake of the software; I mean who wouldn’t get a software upgrade that made there computer go faster, so that being the case: If your going native Intel, the I would be making it 10.5 only, for sure, but if your supporting the world of PPC, your providing 10.4 support is the responible thing to do!

    comment added May 3, 2009 @ 11:55 pm

  • Larry Leake says...

    Support Leopard only – this is your first Mac product, and Leopard is at least a year old and offers significant advantages. Why build support into a new product for an OS that is already obsolete.

    comment added May 4, 2009 @ 11:08 pm

  • Arko says...

    I agree with Larry,

    At the moment there is no Mac version of EW. So why build a version that is compatible with a replaced OS.

    Did you ever researched or did a poll on how many EW users are using Tiger?

    I’m using Windows XP/7 and Leopard.

    comment added May 5, 2009 @ 8:14 am

  • Jerod says...

    I think that for the most part Mac users tend to keep up to date on the latest versions of the OS such in our case Leopard. So far we haven’t came across anything particular that has necessitated our move to a ‘Leopard-only’ product. But with that said if we find a compelling reason to take advantage of a 10.5 technology I think we should and will. As for the Intel/PPC support, Intel is our target platform.

    Great feedback guys…

    comment added May 5, 2009 @ 10:34 am

  • Jason says...

    The web stats for EasyWorship.com show Leopard at 85% of our Mac traffic, Tiger is at 12%. Not scientific I know, but it could represent general market installs. Anybody know if Apple publishes it’s ubiquity numbers for OS releases?

    comment added May 7, 2009 @ 8:49 pm

  • barry says...

    Leopard only IMHO. Since EW will be new on the MAC and will probably not be out for another 6-9 months you should make it for he current version of Mac OS. By Jan, 2010 Mac will be close (6 months to a year) to another OS (I’ll bet).

    comment added May 11, 2009 @ 7:22 pm

  • Marc Potters says...

    I think that developing for 10.5 and up is worthwile. De costs for upgrading from 10.4 to 10.6 by the time 2010 is released is worth the wile for the users. Snow Leopard is probably going to be released this year and the API for 10.6 is pretty solid at this moment.

    Go for it!


    comment added May 12, 2009 @ 8:21 am

  • NickP says...

    Support 10.5+ ONLY, don’t waste time on having to support Tiger, trust me on that – it’s a pain to support both on app dev side.

    Since it’s your first app you are NOT having to support a legacy Tiger install base, so focus on Leopard base+/Snow Leopard Base

    Also as noted by others, Mac OS upgrades are MUCH more pricing reasonable than on Windows platforms so it’s not a big deal for most Mac users (Intel based) to move to newer OS’s…

    Also ensure you use in built API’s and Quartz – DON’T depend on 3rd party libraries that be obsolete over time. It may save time now but will really hose up development updates later.

    There are a lot of us who use EasyWorship who have mac development backgrounds – ask away on anything you get stuck on. We all want an exceptional Mac product and are more than happy to help.

    comment added May 24, 2009 @ 1:01 pm

  • Blanton says...

    I’m not a mac-head by any stretch but it seems like most folks running EW on any machine (mac or PC) run it on a later version of hardware for increased reliability & performance (required by video backgrounds, etc). So it seems to make sense to go with Leopard only…?

    comment added June 14, 2009 @ 4:23 pm

  • Matt says...

    Will the new Mac version of EW support Keynote? I like Keynote so much more than Power Point. PLEASE SUPPORT KEYNOTE!!!

    comment added June 15, 2009 @ 11:41 pm

  • PD says...

    Now that Snow Leopard has been announced – and it seems that Apple is switching more and more to 64bit – will EW 2009 (2010) be 64 bit as well?

    I agree with Matt: PLEASE SUPPORT KEYNOTE!!! Even better, how about an import keynote slideshow feature like the PC version has for PPT?

    comment added June 20, 2009 @ 11:15 am

  • PD says...

    Also, Apple is only charging $29 to upgrade to Snow Leopard. Since SL is suppose to be released I think in September, by the time 2010 rolls around, there might already be a lot of users who have upgraded from Leopard to Snow Leopard.

    comment added June 20, 2009 @ 11:21 am

  • PD says...

    Wow, I have a lot of questions/comments today lol:)

    Will EW (mac version) be compatible with quicktime?

    Has the announcement of Quicktime X changed anything?

    comment added June 20, 2009 @ 11:24 am

  • Mike says...

    I vote for Leopard only, by the time Easyworship 2010 is out, Tiger will be 2 versions old. I’m afraid that you will end up rewriting much of the code base if you try to make it backward compatible.

    comment added July 1, 2009 @ 1:30 pm

  • Kristoffer says...

    Yeah, I also agree with the rest: drop Tiger support, and focus on developing a product for the future and not for the past.

    What’s below this line applies to both Win and Mac versions. :)

    I don’t agree with those saying that backwards compatibility is the “big” thing.

    Always go for the newest technology, that way you will never get into a situation where backward compatibility is starting to hinder you from developing new features.

    Just look at M$: all backward compatibility is making their product really bloated nowadays, because they have to support old standards, old hardware, old technologies etc. Either you end up with a product that supports both new and old, but also is bloated and oversized due to this, or you end up with a product that is loosing users because they can’t compete and renew their systems fast enough compared to competitors.

    So, go for the new technologies all over the product, at all times, and never look back! That way you will always be pioneers, and not the opposite! :)

    Also, if backwards compatibility count, why not do as Joomla: they have a legacy plugin where all legacy support is placed into, but the legacy plugin never supports more than one version backwards (ie v. 1.6 have legacy support for 1.5, but not for 1.4 or older). This way, legacy won’t brake your back when you’re developing. ;)

    Lastly, when you develop EW, make sure it is localisable (all language strings in separate files for easy translation to other languages), separated into different components for easy maintanance, plugin support (so 3rd party can develop plugins for the system), update manager that check for updates to the system (preferably with the ability to download incremental version of EW so that bandwith usage will be as low as possible), lots of APIs, hooks etc. and the list goes on, but these are some of the things I think you should have in mind when you develop, both in Windows version and MAC version. :)

    Lastly: will the new EW have dual-monitor support? By that I mean, will it support running EW over 2 monitors, so that you can have for example schedule, media library and search on monitor two, and the rest of EW on monitor 1?

    DVD profiler (from http://www.invelos.com) has such abilities. It’s very nice for people having extended desktops. :) Also, ability to have drag & drop support for the different UI elements in EW would be nice, so we can move things around as we like. :)

    Thanks for listening to me. :)

    Kind regards
    Kristoffer :)

    comment added July 3, 2009 @ 9:40 am

  • Brent says...

    Please go with Leopard – I don’t know anyone who has a work computer (church/design) that doesn’t keep things updated. I know plenty of home users (including one of my old g5′s) that have older OS on them, but I haven’t seen a church that doesn’t keep it up to date.

    In the apple world, its universally accepted that you get 1 year to upgrade or you are left alone. The problem is all the things that make apple great (drag and drop, unified UI) is all tied to the os. What happens is, if you don’t keep up to date, then lots of software starts feeling really old and sluggish, and incompatible with new stuff.

    Just MHO of course…

    comment added July 11, 2009 @ 6:31 pm

  • Dave West says...

    Forget Tiger… go with Leopard. Use the “Core” technologies that Apple has designed for the future or you will be stuck with a bigger problem later. Makes even more sense since this will be the first release of EW for the Mac.

    I have been in IT for many years and have seen this kind of dilemma repeating itself over and over. Most of the time we’ve chosen the old technology, we have come to regret it.

    comment added July 12, 2009 @ 10:39 am

  • Jeff W says...

    I guess with the $29 upgrade price for Snow Leopard, the question of whether to develop for Tiger or even Leopard is pretty much moot IMHO.

    comment added July 16, 2009 @ 2:23 pm

  • Jon M says...

    Wow. Ok I read everyone of the previous comments and really kinda think people are missing the point of EW. I’ve been leading worship for a few years around the U.S. and realize something previous posts seem to have missed… the REST of the world.
    I work full time for a church in a rich fancy area of Richmond and yeah we have stuff and can buy stuff but I also do about 75% of my outside worship (about 6 times a month) in churches in the downtown and project areas of Norfolk and surrounding areas…

    Dude most churches barely have A/C let alone the $$$ to shell out and buy the latest stuff, so guess what? they do without! I am currently working on providing some of these churches with older media systems and shareware just so their services and youth have a better chance at experiencing worship in a new light to compete with the media bombardment thrown at them by the world.

    Please keep backwards compatability around as long as it is still cost effective to do so. Or at least keep the older versions available to DL at your site. I have been using and promoting EW since about ’06. and will still continue to do so.

    Thanks for reading my rant from the battlefield..
    Jon Marshall

    comment added July 27, 2009 @ 2:23 pm

  • Chris H says...

    Jon makes a good point, but forgets a central piece in his argument: we are talking about macs. Churches that can’t afford AC don’t even dream about macs. The only way they would have some is if the pastor has a personal one, in which case the $29 upgrade for Snow Leopard shouldn’t be that bad. Furthermore, you don’t want to end up like Microsoft with IE6 that is causing all sorts of problems because web developers don’t want to have to include it in their designs. Design for Leopard.

    Like many have said before though, the most important thing is that Easyworship has Keynote integration. Adding Lossless video integration would help if possible. I hate designing something in After Effects only to have it not integrate with Easyworship and have to run Quicktime independently.

    comment added August 12, 2009 @ 2:11 pm

  • Shawn says...

    when will Easy Worship Mac be released? any ideas?

    comment added August 31, 2009 @ 12:01 pm

  • Samuel says...

    Snow Leopard is out. Intel Mac compatible ONLY. That should help out making the decision right? :-) I really look forward to have EasyWorship on my Mac. I am tired of PowerPoint but don’t want to upgrade to another expensive software that is not as good as Easy Worship. I hope you guys release it soon!

    comment added September 1, 2009 @ 12:39 am

  • Nathan says...

    Not a smart move to develop for the past (esp. 5 years in the past).

    You are already behind on the mac platform this creates a larger window for others to have better programs than you.

    You biggest problem is not Core Text, but instead the lack of 64 bit support for GUI apps in tiger. There is little reason to build a 32 bit app, especially considering the continued lack of 32-bit support for new APIs and technologies. Your releasing a new program that you will have to do twice as much work to be 5 years behind.

    Also the price barrier is a myth, a new machine with snow leopard is $599 now that the mini has dual screen support, and $1200 for an iMac. Both are easily in the budget for a church of 100, especially for one of the most important/visible things you do.
    (If you think that price point is bad, then how do you expect them to be able to pay the EW license cost?)

    Just my thoughts

    comment added September 1, 2009 @ 1:05 pm

  • Andrew Blanchard says...

    In most situations, as in the windows version of EW, I would say go with backward compatibility, but in this case, there are pretty big differences in the way Tiger and Leopard (and now Snow Leopard) handle things, and I think the best experience for end users would come from starting fresh with the latest release of Mac OS, worry about maintaining backward compatibility on the mac for the future. I can’t imagine too many situations where someone would be wanting to do a new install of EW on an old Mac. Those that do need to run it are probably already using it windows run on a mac, and they can continue to do so.

    comment added September 9, 2009 @ 9:32 pm

  • John Fleet says...

    Another vote for Leopard plus only. You have limited resources and we want a MAC version NOW! – doesn’t make sense to me for you to support obsolete Mac OS. I can’t imagine that anyone will criticise you for this – the upgrade costs both in money and time for Intel MAC users make using the latest OS a no-brainer.

    comment added September 12, 2009 @ 10:41 am

  • Brit Whittington says...

    We are going MAC on our worship computer and starting with Leopard, but will have Snow Leopard available to upgrade as soon as we feel it is safe to upgrade. All of our other Macs are Leopard as well and I am sure they will go Snow Leopard before too long as well. We also will be using Keynote instead of Powerpoint, but more likely to develop our announcements as movie files using something like LiveType from the Final Cut Suite. So definitely do not develop for the old Tiger PPC technology. Move forward for your first step into the MAC world.

    comment added September 16, 2009 @ 12:26 pm

  • Dave says...

    When will we get an update on progress toward the Mac version of EasyWorship?

    comment added September 18, 2009 @ 12:20 pm

  • Alex says...

    I’m running the latest Snow Leopard update, and can’t wait for a mac version…I guess desktop parallels running Windowz XP might be a solution to the current version working on the MAC.

    comment added September 30, 2009 @ 4:32 pm

  • Carl says...

    I agree with the majority here, focus on Leopard. Most mac users update within weeks of a new os release. I run XP on boot camp just for easyworship and have no intention of updating any of the PC software if I can help it. Can’t wait for os x easyworship to come out, I’ll more than likely get rid of boot camp at that stage. Any ideas on ETA of the release? Might be helpful to have a ‘Looking for easyworship on a Mac?” button on the home page with facility to leave email address to be contacted on when the release comes out.

    comment added October 5, 2009 @ 5:31 pm

  • Jason says...

    Hey Carl, thanks for your comments.

    No official ETA yet, but we’re working diligently. There are alot of people looking forward to a Mac version of EasyWorship, and we know you’ll like what you see.

    Thanks everyone for your feedback.

    comment added October 6, 2009 @ 9:38 pm

  • NCN720 says...

    The last time someone asked about an ETA on Easyworship 2010, there was no news yet. Now that it is January 2010, I was wondering if there was an est. as to when this years version would be out.

    Also, will EA2010 be free for those who just installed EA2009 this year?

    Thank you

    comment added January 14, 2010 @ 6:08 pm

  • PD says...

    Hey EW team,

    Roughly when can we expect the Mac version to be released?

    comment added April 14, 2010 @ 12:55 pm

  • John G says...

    It has been 2 years since the last comment. Leopard is ancient history. Mountain Lion is out and is CHEAP. I hope your new target is for at least Lion.

    We are Hungry for the Mac version. Can you give us a hint on what the holdup is or what we are looking at? It works well for the most part under Windows 7 in BootCamp, but I shudder to try to get our projectionists to learn Windows 8. Just as well teach them the Mac side by then.

    comment added August 13, 2012 @ 11:03 am