AVA 4.15 will require OS X El Capitan or newer. Why?

AVA 4.15 will require OS X El Capitan or newer. Why?

For many years, AVA have had a general policy of supporting our software on the latest Mac Operating System (OS) and the system prior to that. Why don’t we support older versions?

There are subtle differences in each OS and our applications require testing fully on every operating system which we support. Testing our applications is a difficult and an extremely time-consuming job. This task scales with each individual system supported.

In recent years however, we have lapsed with this policy and have been supporting as far back as macOS 10.9. We did this to allow hardware manufacturers to update their software drivers which used to lag somewhat behind. Nowadays hardware manufacturers appear to be much more able to keep up with the now regular yearly system updates from Apple.

We released AVA 4.14 in late June and this was fully tested on 10.9-10.11. In September we started to become aware of a problem which we spotted by monitoring our crash reporting system.

Each crash report contains information which allows us to try to diagnose the problem and is an important part of continually improving our product. This particular problem didn’t happen to all users all the time but you could see from its ‘fingerprint’ that is was also apparent in earlier version of AVA. It became apparent that the problem happened only on the newly release macOS Sierra. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the new operating system as a whole but it was causing a problem for our users. We suspect that it simply did something differently. This showed up a problem which probably previously existed but was rare – a hard to detect edge case.

We quickly created a fix for the problem but we were faced with a significant dilemma… We felt unable to release it quickly since we needed to test it on four different operating systems. Although we felt confident that we had fixed the problem, any such ‘improvement’ of change could have had adverse effects on untested systems and there was so much to verify.

We pride ourselves on having an extremely stable product and the example above will hopefully explain how we aim to achieve this. We can see from our crash reporter system that this problem is now fixed.

Supporting fewer systems results in faster and more specific testing of our product. This results in faster time to market of features and improvements. It makes our development efforts more efficient allowing us to spend more time creating the features which we all enjoy.

The Operating Systems updates are free of charge from Apple and offer increased stability and functionality.

I hope this information helps you to understand why we plan to go back to supporting fewer systems. Please continue updating your AVA software whenever prompted and don’t hesitate in contacting us at AVA Support should you require assistance. Its all part of your development plan.

Partners for all time,

Simon Whomsley Nov 2016

Timeline mac

AVA 4.15 will require OS X El Capitan or newer. Why?
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