Path Finder 8 has been in the beta stage for already more than three months now. Some people have been testing it already all that time. We organised all communication with beta testers using Discord application...
This is a good sign that CocoaTech, and Path Finder, still has life.
I am happy to participate in your beta, but I have some questions:
Can we run it in parallel with PF7?
How stable is it? Any risk of loss of data?
Do you have a list of changes somewhere?
Best Regards and good luck with your beta.
This is a good sign that CocoaTech, and Path Finder, still has life. I am happy to participate in your beta, but I have some questions:
Can we run it in parallel with PF7? How stable is it? Any risk of loss of data? Do you have a list of changes somewhere?
Excellent questions and response. While we wait for answers from Path Finder support, I can report that it can be run in parallel (two windows open*, one PF7, one PF8), and it seems stable, though I haven't done much with it. NB: standard for all beta software: do not trust it. My version has crashed twice just opening windows and changing the UI. Other than the change in the behavior/implementation of Modules, I haven't noticed (yet) anything different or better.
*On OS 10.11.6. Have not tried it on 10.13.3. Afaict, all custom settings were preserved, excepting those that no longer have meaning (e.g.: "Show Shelf" toolbar buttons).
That there is a beta means Path Finder is being actively developed. I haven't learned anything else worth reporting.
Dragan on 05 Apr, 2018 11:13 PM
Some answers and additional info:
Most of the time, you can use both PF7 and PF8 in parallel. Yes, "most of the time" is not very popular answer. The thing is, PF8 should just start working. But it may happen that after using PF8 beta, PF7 won't start properly without cleaning "~/Library/Application Support/Path Finder/Settings" folder. So, if you want to keep it after going back to PF7, save a copy of it. There are a lot of changes in PF8 regarding its setting and other stuff, so it wasn't possible to make everything forward compatible. Switch PF7 -> PF8 should work without problems, but the other way around can be problematic at times.
I believe it's stable, at least as stable as PF7 and there isn't really any risk of losing any data (apart from some preferences settings I mentioned in 1.).
There isn't list of changes at the moment, but there are a lot of changes, both outside and inside. I'd appreciate if you first read the attached document README.txt, to understand rationale why things in PF8 are made the way they are and what its future development path. The document is a bit outdated (for example, all modules are implemented now, although the document claims otherwise), because it was made at the beginning of beta testing in mid-December.
After reading the document, I'd just like to add, that new module structure IS significant new feature of PF8, because not only that modules are completely rewritten (and many bugs and Sierra and High Sierra compatibility issues in them fixed), but they have many more settings, they can be assigned to a particular pane (that way you can, for example, have two sidebars on each side of the window, each sidebar assigned to different pane, that is, the left sidebar assigned to the left pane, and the right sidebar to the right pane), it's all very flexible now.
You may think all of this is not enough for the major release and you're totally entitled to think that way. But the thing is, for the last 15-16 years, from PF1 (SNAX) to PF7, more and more features have been piled up. Gradually, most of the code started becoming deprecated and outdated. PF8 is the beginning of a total rewrite. Due to the size and complexity of the application, it's not possible to do the complete rewrite between just two major updates (otherwise it'd take us around 8-9 years between major updates and we can not allow or afford it). But we also needed to offer something new for the major version.
Hence, the biggest news is the new flexible modules architecture. It was also a chance to completely rewrite and redesign the code of all the modules and also many other parts of the application. That's why it takes so long, due to all completely new modules, plus their new architecture had to fit into still existing parts of the old code. At the moment we release PF8, my estimation is about 40% (yes, only 40%) of the code will be rewritten using modern design and APIs. But the thing is, the foundation is laid up to do further rewrites of existing old code much faster and without waiting for the new major version. Hence, a lot of improvements (both visual and internal) can be expected in incremental 8.x releases. Due to this all, PF8 will probably still have some of the old bugs (and probably some new ones), but fixing them will be much easier now. Not to mention that many old bugs weren't possible to fix due to usage of old/deprecated APIs. We hope our users will appreciate all we are trying to do to bring PF into the modern macOS era and will support us further. And we hope PF8 will attract some new users as well. But bringing modern PF is a continuous process with incremental (small and big) improvements and will take quite some more time.
I hope all this I write will help you and others understand why PF8 looks and works as it does and what is its future path of development. Thanks for your attention.
This is interesting-but I was on the beta list (this was even confirmed twice on this forum by PF folks) and yet I have never received anything about the beta. No big deal, but I would have loved to have provided some feedback...
I can't see nothing in the discord app after accepting the invitation. Just a dark background and nothing else. Tried Safari and google chrome. I'm using PF8b and it works a little better than PF7 for me on 10.13.3. At least it took a couple of days before starting to eat up all my CPU while doing nothing. Quitting the app and opening it again seem to have solved the problem from now...
@Kirby Krieger, thanks for your response. Other than the change in the behavior/implementation of Modules, I haven't noticed (yet) anything different or better.
In that case, I think I will hold off installing/testing the PF8 Beta until there are some significant new features or PF7 bug fixes.
I just installed the beta and after testing it for 5 minutes, I can say that all my problems seem to be fixed. E.g. tags, calculate size, lists moving around, frequent hangs, CPU usage, etc. I am more than happy already. So it might be worth giving it a try.