Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Beta 13 Progress

In my last post, I said that I wanted to delay releasing beta 13 until it felt really solid and stable: that is, I want it to really work again. It was working well before I rewrote all the animation code; I want to get back to that point.

And I'm close, now. I believe I've got all of b12's nasty crashing bugs fixed (although I'm still testing to try to be more certain). I have the big face-down-cards bug that Lion users have been seeing pretty much fixed, too. And I have been working hard on putting more polish on the animations, especially the timing so that everything will seem to move smoothly, neither too fast nor too slow.

Before I send a beta out to all of you, I usually try to test it myself. The last couple of betas didn't get much testing, for reasons I won't rehash, and the result is what you've seen: lots of serious bugs that I should have found and fixed before you ever saw them. For b13, I have time to be much more careful about my testing, and that is what I'm working on now.

But testing takes time. You are running systems that vary all the way from Snow Leopard to Mavericks: that covers four different major releases of the Mac OS. Solitaire Till Dawn behaves differently on every one of them. So multiply 100 games times 4 Mac OS versions times several plays per game, and you can get a sense of how much testing I have to do to even pretend that I'm being thorough.

I had hoped to get b13 out very soon, perhaps even this evening; it has been running very well on my Mountain Lion system that I use for development. I had hoped that it would run equally well on Lion and Mavericks, but I am testing first to make sure. And guess what: I've found bugs that show up in Lion but not in Mountain Lion or Mavericks, and I've found bugs that show up in Mavericks but not in Mountain Lion or Snow Leopard!

I found those bugs just a little while ago, today. I will spend tomorrow working on them and see what kind of progress I can make. They aren't killer bugs: mainly they are fairly rare occasions when cards show up face down instead of face up like they should. I know I said I had that one fixed, and I mostly have: the bug is now rare instead of common. But "rare" isn't good enough, of course. With a little luck I can get them fixed in just a day or two. If I can't, I will put out b13 anyway, since it is a huge improvement over b12; so either way you won't have to wait too long.

In the meantime, please don't send me any more bug reports about b12. I already know it's very buggy and crashy. I already have far more crash reports than I need or can use. Wait for the next beta, please, and then you can start sending me reports again. Right now they'd just be wasting your time and mine. Thanks!

A quick word about Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6): beta 13, like beta 12, will have serious problems on Snow Leopard. I know about them, I intend to fix them, but not in this release. Maintaining compatibility with Snow Leopard is quite difficult, and most of you aren't using it. I need to get a stable release out for the majority, and I need to do it fairly quickly, so Snow Leopard will have to wait.


  1. Thanks for the update, Rick. I look forward to having my Canfield and Klondike back. I so appreciate your dedication to this process.

  2. Thanks, Rick, STD is graet and so are you