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7054Re: [wpmac] PPC Apps in Lion?

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  • Randy B. Singer
    Oct 20, 2011
      On Oct 20, 2011, at 9:42 AM, Mikeca wrote:

      > Apple actually bought the limited rights to Rosetta (which allowed
      > PPC programs to run in Leopard). And that limit was time... Pretty
      > certain Rosetta could be tweaked to run in Lion and of course the
      > glaring problems of not being able to run things like Quicken 2007
      > and MacLinkPlus Deluxe (and there being no apt replacement) is
      > bound to motivate some to work on this. But as yet, I've heard
      > nothing... just people complaining about what Apple did.

      My guess is that Rosetta is permanently gone, and that you won't be
      seeing any sort of replacement for it, ever.

      First off, Rosetta wasn't an Apple technology. They licensed the
      technology from Transitive (now owned by IBM). There is no telling
      how long the license was for, how much it cost, or even if IBM is
      still willing to license the technology.

      It turns out that others have wondered if Rosetta could be made to
      run under Lion, and so they experimented with installing Rosetta in
      Lion. It turns out that Apple was very serious about discontinuing
      Rosetta when they created Lion. They didn't just remove Rosetta from
      Lion, the modified the entire OS right down to the kernel so that
      everything in the OS that Rosetta needed to hook into is gone.
      Lion's kernel doesn't support Rosetta even if Rosetta is installed.

      Rosetta does NOT run. Killed by OS kernel (in German):

      [Very poor] English translation:

      Additionally Apple has moved OS X to 64-bit. Rosetta was 32-bit.

      So, assuming that any licensing issues could be overcome, Rosetta
      would have to be re-written from scratch to run under Lion, and Apple
      would have to re-write Lion to work with Rosetta. Given that Apple
      has been telling developers to prepare for the demise of Rosetta for
      years now, it's unlikely that they would suddenly decide that they
      wanted to invest the time and expense to support it again.

      The sole reason for optimism comes from Intuit and Quicken. There
      have been rumors that Intuit has been investigating licensing Rosetta
      technology to bundle with Quicken to avoid having to upgrade Quicken
      for Lion. Even then the rumors have been that it might be as much as
      two years before this comes to fruition.
      So a Lion version of Rosetta technology may be possible, but it is
      also possible that Intuit never got beyond the investigation stage.

      It may also be possible to come up with the equivalent of Sheepshaver
      for PowerPC applications. The thing is that, unlike Rosetta itself,
      which was an amazing technology that broke new ground because of its
      incredible speed, such an emulator would likely provide disappointing
      performance. I suspect that by the time that such a utility could be
      written, that there wouldn't be much demand for it as users will have
      already moved to alternate programs that are Lion-compatible. In any
      case, I haven't heard of any projects to create such an emulator

      Randy B. Singer
      Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)

      Macintosh OS X Routine Maintenance
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