Cartographica has been stuck in the 1.4's for a while now, but there's been a lot of work going on as we're moving to get the long-rumored 1.5 out the door.
Moving the macOS requirements
Since October of 2014, we have been indicating that the 1.5 release of Cartographica will push the supported macOS substantially forward in order to allow us to adopt new features and improve the internal structure of the software. As we have been developing 1.5, we've pushed that expected version out a couple of times (as a consequence of being able to take advantage of more recent features). We have continued to fix bugs where possible, and have updated the software from 1.4.4 to 1.4.9 during that time, but we are now getting close enough to 1.5 test versions that we are unlikely to make changes to the 1.4.x series unless it is required to solve critical problems.
At this point, we are aiming to support macOS 10.13 and above. Most of our development and testing is done on 10.14, but with 10.15 coming out in the fall, this will give us two years for the latest version.
What is coming in 1.5?
Version 1.5 marks a lot of internal changes and some visible ones for users. Here's a quick list of what's planned for 1.5
- Major internal overhaul for performance and stability
- Upgraded core libraries (such as GDAL, Proj4, ESRI FileGDB, Sparkle)
- Support for Dark Mode in macOS 10.13+
- Support for compression when exporting GeoTIFF files
- Improved support for Accessibility
- Improved feedback for long operations (Contour progress bar)
- Improved drag-and-drop support (more items from the UberBrowser can be dragged in and out)
- Line layer labels support for color
- GPS Plugins are now only loaded when needed instead of at launch (most users don't use this feature anyway)
- Support for Apple's Notarization and Hardened Runtime
- Implemented secure coding to harden processing of external files against crashes
- Modernization of WFS and WMS code for compatibility with new versions of the standard
- Modernization of internal code for increased OS compatibility and performance
- Substantial increase in internal test coverage to facilitate faster future evolution
- Improved automated UI testing
- Improved code sharing between Cartographica and CartoMobile to increase compatibility and reduce duplicated development effort
And a lot of bug fixes...
There will be more over the next few months now that we have the underlying architectural changes in place. Stay tuned.
Enforcement of Maintenance requirement for services
Some of you may be aware that ClueTrust offers a maintenance subscription for Cartographica and that the first year is included in the purchase of Cartographica. This is intended to help fund ongoing development, bug fixes, and providing online services such as live maps and geocoding.
In order to support these online services, when we release version 1.5, we will be enforcing the requirement that users have active maintenance in order to access the services. This will allow us to right-size our contracts with Bing (or other providers) as necessary going forward
Enforcement of Maintenance requirement for upgrades
The 1.5 release will be available to all users who purchased Cartographica at any time since the release in 2009 (yes, it's been over 10 years now), however releases after 1.5 will require an active maintenance subscription for the upgrade.
To explain how this works: customers who purchased Cartographica with a perpetual license will be entitled to continue to use any version released up until their maintenance expiration date in perpetuity. We will not guarantee support of future operating systems or hardware on those older versions. Customers with subscription versions (such as the Student version) are only entitled to use the software during the time of their subscription.
Test versions to become available today
Today we're releasing the first development test version. This is not for the faint of heart. The development test versions are available by changing your Preferences to point at the Development feed.
Be warned that there will be bugs in the Development version and you should never use it on crucial files or files that are not sufficiently backed up.
If you're concerned about this, please wait until we announce the first beta.