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Mon 05 Apr 2010
Luca for Snow Leopard
Category : Technology/LucaSnow.txt
We have also got a new Luca for Snow Leopard.
This breaks with previous Tiger & Leopard-compatible releases because, from this version on, we're using Snow Leopard-only Cocoa APIs (application programming interfaces) to take advantage of new Snow Leopard features, e.g., to make better use of the multiple CPUs in modern-day Macs to process as many tasks in parallel as we can.
This is the platform on top of which we'll build all future enhancements. Most of the changes in Luca 3.0 are thus "under the hood", though there are a couple of changes that are visible in the GUI, e.g., the ability to print invoices for accounts receivables.
This is also the first version of Luca to make the transition from free community-service app to being a paid-for commercially-supported product. But Luca has been free for five years now, so is $29 an unreasonable price to pay for it (or too little)? We'll know in time.
But I'm amazed at some of the features we have in Luca, even if we built it ourselves (i.e., Hai Hwee and me). Mainly it's because of the Cocoa APIs. The other day we were fixing a bug in Luca introduced by our switch to 10.6.3-only Cocoa APIs. This bug only surfaced when the user changed locales, e.g., from English to German or Chinese.
This was a rather subtle bug and I was deep into it but when the fog in my mind cleared, I was looking at a table of vouchers with dates in German and then Chinese, and we were switching locales, and so we got dates like "12.Mrz.2010" or "12 3月 2010". And as we sorted the table, the records sorted correctly by dates, not alphabetically, which would have been rather useless in such a case (because we couldn't just set the format to "2010 03 12" and assume it'll work for all locales).
And the vouchers we were looking at were, e.g., for a German company doing business in Vietnam using Vietnamese dong, with payments and receipts coming in French francs and US dollars, among others. What other accounting systems can do that?
We know we couldn't ever do that years before when Luca was built using 4th Dimension. That's what keeps our creative juices going. We can do so much more with the tools we have now. Don't even mention the iPad. Now that would be something.