* FH on Mac or Unix

The place to chat and put the world to rights
Post Reply
User avatar
WilliamFrier
Famous
Posts: 165
Joined: 06 Dec 2016 20:40
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, UK

FH on Mac or Unix

Post by WilliamFrier » 28 Oct 2019 17:02

Sorry guys but I hope FH don't start to spread themselves too thin trying to please everyone, CP are not a huge company with lots of developers. I would rather have the best Windows genealogy software, than a middle of the road program covering all bases. If they can do it without affecting what they have, go for it, but there are not a lot of programs that cross all platforms that are not compromised in some way and I mean all over not just genealogy.
William

* Illegitimi non carborundum *

User avatar
mjashby
Superstar
Posts: 441
Joined: 23 Oct 2004 10:45
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Yorkshire

Re: FH on Mac or Unix

Post by mjashby » 29 Oct 2019 12:10

As far as any hopes for a native MacOS version of Family Historian goes, whilst I would like to be surprised, I certainly won't be holding my breath for any such development, especially as Calico Pie seems to be firmly fixed on the Windows platform and doesn't appear to have shown any inclination (yet) to develop a companion iOS/Android app. I think the best Mac Users can hope for is that Calico Pie continues its efforts to ensure the application can run effectively in a virtualised Windows environment and/or under WINE.

Need to bear in mind that It's taken RootsMagic's developers more than 4 years to plan/invest in and produce an 'alpha' cross-platform (Windows and MacOS) version of their software based on a single code base; and, by their own admission, it's still not quite ready for beta testing.

Also, considering both the financial investment required (only possible to legitimately install and run MacOS on Apple Hardware) and the probable need to completely rewrite the FH software in a 'new' programming language to produce a single code base that can be compiled to run on both Windows and MacOS - leaving Linux to one side, as I know of no commercial developer who has yet produced a Linux version of any Genealogy/Family Tree software - it would be very surprising if any such possibility wasn't trailed alongside the initial announcement already made that FH7 is nearing the beta testing stage. That would be a major marketing omission, considering that MacKiev has already released FTM 2019 (on both Windows and Mac); and RootsMagic 8 is known to be in development for release 'soon' as a native software on both Windows and Mac - They've been providing 'free' Windows/MacOS Version 8 upgrade licences alongside other software sales since January!.

Mervyn

User avatar
davidf
Famous
Posts: 234
Joined: 17 Jan 2009 19:14
Family Historian: V6.2

Re: FH on Mac or Unix

Post by davidf » 29 Oct 2019 13:00

WilliamFrier wrote:
28 Oct 2019 17:02
... but there are not a lot of programs that cross all platforms that are not compromised in some way and I mean all over not just genealogy.
Office: Libre Office, Open Office
Browsers: Firefox, Opera, Chrome/Chromium
Email: Thunderbird (which has met my needs for years so not explored others)
Music/Sound: Clementine/Strawberry, VLC, Audacity
Utility: Adobe Acrobat, FileZilla, IrfanView
I worked with most of the above in:
  • Windows 7
  • Linux (various flavours) in Virtual Box under Windows 7
  • Linux (freestanding) with Ubuntu flavours
(Not explored whether "all" platforms includes Mac - but Mac at root was a development of Unix?)

I think it requires a different approach to development (not been that deep myself), so for existing programs can only really be adopted if they decided to do a re-write from ground up rather than incremental releases. I suspect that that is the reason why the more niche programs (like genealogy programs) don't do it; you need a large user base to support such development.

(Whole different subject: The applications listed above are also "free" - which is a challenge to commercial companies. Their business model needs to change to offering commercial organisations very high level (charged) support or to attract sponsorship (either internally to attract customers to other charged offerings, or externally - such as the way Google used to sponsor Firefox, or through individual donations). For niche products that model probably won't work; but I pay for FH under WINE, why shouldn't I pay (possibly more) to have it running natively.)

I realise my hope to see FH under Linux is unlikely for the above reasons; but I could see myself possibly within the decade moving to a "next generation" genealogy type program that is written cross-platform. Over that timescale we might see a move from PC based Operating systems (like Windows 10) to Software as a Service and Microsoft wanting a subscription (or Google wanting your data), leading to a backlash which could mean a move to an alternative operating system environment - possibly Linux (on PC or cloud). That could change everything.

What is the horizon for looking at how long we stay with any application? Three to five years?
I certainly have to be prepared to switch because continued running of FH under WINE is not guaranteed.
David
Running FH 6.2.7. Under Wine on Linux (Lubuntu 18.04 LTS)

User avatar
tatewise
Megastar
Posts: 16865
Joined: 25 May 2010 11:00
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Torbay, Devon, UK
Contact:

Re: Interview with Simon Orde at Rootstech London

Post by tatewise » 29 Oct 2019 13:10

FYI:
Ancestral Quest has both Windows & Mac versions with a free Basics version, but poor GEDCOM support.
Ancestris is free with Windows, Mac & Linux versions, and excellent GEDCOM support, but needs Java.
Heredis has versions for Windows, Mac, iOS & Android, with good GEDCOM support.

As David says, it needs a radical design approach where most of the script is generic, and only where it interacts with the OS is specific script required, such as the filing system and the graphic display.

BTW: Microsoft Office runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS & Android.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

User avatar
Valkrider
Megastar
Posts: 1106
Joined: 04 Jun 2012 19:03
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Spain
Contact:

Re: FH on Mac or Unix

Post by Valkrider » 29 Oct 2019 13:53

Ancestral Quest like RootsMagic at the moment use Crossover as a wrapper on their Windows programme so they are not native Mac applications. The problem for them is that Wine, which Crossover is a flavour of, does not run on the latest Mac OS as Wine is 32bit. Wine is working on a 64bit version as are Crossover.

User avatar
davidf
Famous
Posts: 234
Joined: 17 Jan 2009 19:14
Family Historian: V6.2

Re: FH on Mac or Unix

Post by davidf » 29 Oct 2019 14:46

Valkrider wrote:
29 Oct 2019 13:53
The problem for them is that Wine, which Crossover is a flavour of, does not run on the latest Mac OS as Wine is 32bit. Wine is working on a 64bit version as are Crossover.
Current status of 64bit Wine per WineHQ
David
Running FH 6.2.7. Under Wine on Linux (Lubuntu 18.04 LTS)

User avatar
Valkrider
Megastar
Posts: 1106
Joined: 04 Jun 2012 19:03
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Spain
Contact:

Re: FH on Mac or Unix

Post by Valkrider » 29 Oct 2019 15:21

Thanks @Davidf but this is the critical thing from them
(Wine won't work on macOS Catalina 10.15).
See https://forum.winehq.org/viewtopic.php?t=33047.

User avatar
davidf
Famous
Posts: 234
Joined: 17 Jan 2009 19:14
Family Historian: V6.2

Re: FH on Mac or Unix

Post by davidf » 29 Oct 2019 16:00

This highlights how things like Wine/Cross-over are temporary work-arounds until a native source can be found.

They are temporary because we cannot guarantee that they will work with
  • New versions of the OS on which we run them
  • New versions of the software we want to run on them
My OS (Linux - Ubuntu flavour) has a support horizon of 3 or 5 years (depending on flavour) with significant new versions every two years. I can test in Virtual Box before upgrading and can probably put off upgrading until the end of the support horizon. So I can wait for Wine (or whatever) to regain compatibility or plan to move to a program that does not require Wine.

Do we yet know if FH7 will behave on Wine/Crossover? Is it even on Calico Pie's criteria? I suspect that we can choose not to upgrade as there are no known security bugs that could force you to think you really must upgrade (as with browsers, email clients and other heavy internet using applications). That then makes it a case of choosing to stick with what we have or to move to something different with enhanced functionality. Mike's list in an earlier post points to "emergency exits" should they be required. (Gramps might be added but its functionality/interface is rather limited compared to say FH4+.)
David
Running FH 6.2.7. Under Wine on Linux (Lubuntu 18.04 LTS)

User avatar
WilliamFrier
Famous
Posts: 165
Joined: 06 Dec 2016 20:40
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, UK

Re: FH on Mac or Unix

Post by WilliamFrier » 29 Oct 2019 17:49

davidf wrote:
29 Oct 2019 13:00
WilliamFrier wrote:
28 Oct 2019 17:02
... but there are not a lot of programs that cross all platforms that are not compromised in some way and I mean all over not just genealogy.
Office: Libre Office, Open Office
Browsers: Firefox, Opera, Chrome/Chromium
Email: Thunderbird (which has met my needs for years so not explored others)
Music/Sound: Clementine/Strawberry, VLC, Audacity
Utility: Adobe Acrobat, FileZilla, IrfanView
I didn't say no one crossed platforms, just that most were compromised in some way or other. Even taking the mighty Microsoft Office doesn't bring all it's programs across to Mac and doesn't do many things on the Mac that it does on Windows. It may be different now and I may be wrong but when I read reviews of cross platform programs there was always the "this isn't available or is more laborious to do on Mac or vice versa" For most peeps this isn't an issue as very few people scratch the surface of most programs, but for others it is a complete game changer. Personally never understood why some people want to work with different platforms, I prefer to work with one platform for ease. If I used Apple products only, I would have found the best genealogy software on that platform and used that, not tried to find a way to run FH. Trying to use another platforms programs just means you are on the wrong platform in the first place.
William

* Illegitimi non carborundum *

User avatar
Valkrider
Megastar
Posts: 1106
Joined: 04 Jun 2012 19:03
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Spain
Contact:

Re: FH on Mac or Unix

Post by Valkrider » 29 Oct 2019 18:52

If I used Apple products only, I would have found the best genealogy software on that platform and used that, not tried to find a way to run FH. Trying to use another platforms programs just means you are on the wrong platform in the first place.
The thing that you must remember is that Genealogy may not be the only thing that an alternative platform is used for. It probably accounts for 15% of my use of my Mac the remainder uses dedicated Mac programmes. Unfortunately, imho, none of the Mac genealogy programmes come even close to Family Historian in features and usability that is why I still use it. Bearing in mind the poor quality of Mac genealogy software, again imho, there is an untapped market for something like Family Historian on Mac. Also remember that it has come out as the 'best' genealogy programme in the annual comparison tests as mentioned by Simon in Jill's video.

Hopefully, virtual machines, of one sort or another, will continue to work on Mac and Linux until such time as we get a good genealogy programme which is truly cross platform.

When FH7 is available for beta testing it will be tested against the various VM's and Wine variants and then we will know whether to upgrade or not.

User avatar
tatewise
Megastar
Posts: 16865
Joined: 25 May 2010 11:00
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Torbay, Devon, UK
Contact:

Re: FH on Mac or Unix

Post by tatewise » 29 Oct 2019 20:01

David asks
Do we yet know if FH7 will behave on Wine/Crossover? Is it even on Calico Pie's criteria?
The first will be answered during beta testing, and the second is a definite "yes" as CP have said so.

Regarding compatibility with OS, there are issues even with native products.
e.g.
FH V6 did/does not run on Windows XP. (Early versions of FH would not install on later Windows.)
Some native 32-bit applications do not run on latest 64-bit MacOS.

Users may be faced with sticking with what they have and forgo a long wanted feature (such as word-processing), or changing OS to access that feature.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

User avatar
WilliamFrier
Famous
Posts: 165
Joined: 06 Dec 2016 20:40
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, UK

Re: FH on Mac or Unix

Post by WilliamFrier » 29 Oct 2019 22:47

With you all the way Colin, with what you say about FH. As I said, if I used Mac I would never have looked at FH, I would have been using either FTM, Heredis etc. and looking at Rootsmagic when it came out with its native version. For the same reason that I have not look at a MacFamilyTree as I am Windows only, no matter how good/bad it is.
Just me, but I never looked at emulators back in the days of the Commodore Amiga, it did the things I wanted and I lived with the shortcomings of the things that I never used as much (word processor)
William

* Illegitimi non carborundum *

User avatar
mjashby
Superstar
Posts: 441
Joined: 23 Oct 2004 10:45
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Yorkshire

Re: FH on Mac or Unix

Post by mjashby » 01 Nov 2019 20:56

For anyone interested, the latest Crossover update on progress towards WINE compatibility for MacOS 10.15.1 (Catalina) users is here:

https://www.codeweavers.com/about/blogs ... s-catalina

Mervyn

Post Reply