So we set ourselves a goal: to take all the great parts of Panorama, the RAM based speed, the flexibility and programmability — everything you love — and re-implement them using the latest technology and a modern user interface design. Since Panorama 6 contains about a half million lines of source code, this was a daunting task. Still, we hoped that with modern tools it could be done in less than four years. At just over 4 years, we're over 90% there, so our estimate was pretty close. (Honestly, we were hoping for 3 years, but that just wasn't realistic.)
Panorama X jettisons all of the old technology in Panorama 6. The compile is completely clean — no errors, no warnings. We're more than ready for macOS Sierra, and whatever comes beyond (ARM processors?). It's been a huge investment for ProVUE, an investment that covers your investment in the databases that have been running your business for years and decades. Now you can be confident that Panorama will continue to get the job done for you for decades to come.
President, ProVUE Development
Objective-C is not currently available on Windows. In recent years, sales to Windows customers have been less than 5% of total Panorama sales, so we have decided to concentrate on making a kick-ass Macintosh product rather than diluting our resources and/or making a compromised cross-platform product. Microsoft has announced that Objective-C will be included in Windows 10, so depending on demand and technology considerations we may revisit this decision in the future, but at this time we are concentrating on Apple devices.
For technical and marketing reasons, we are not planning support for Android devices.
Note: When Panorama X imports a Panorama 6 database, it makes a copy (the copy will have the extension .pandb). The original Panorama 6 database is never touched.
By the way, you can visit the Panorama X Vimeo On Demand page right now to watch hours of instructional video about Panorama X!
OS X uses Unicode text, a system that allows tens of thousands of characters. This is important for many foreign languages, especially Chinese and Japanese, but also Greek, Cyrllic, Hebrew, etc. In Panorama X, all text is stored using Unicode, so Panorama X is world ready. Even if you are strictly US based this is important because the Internet is pretty much all based on Unicode now. Panorama databases also can now include special characters like math symbols, emoji, etc.
From a developers point of view, however, there is a gigantic upside to not supporting 10.6. 10.6 was the last version of OS X that required the use of manual reference counting (MRC). Starting with 10.7 automatic reference counting (ARC) became available. Why should you, as a user, care about this? In the past, errors in manual reference counting were by far the largest source of bugs in Objective-C programs, especially crashes. ARC almost completely eliminates this class of error. Using ARC also greatly simplifies code, in our experience reducing programming time by 20% to 40%. Because of these benefits, we decided from the start that Panorama X would not include support for 10.6, which is now 6 years old. With Panorama X, we're looking toward the future.