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For Software Addicts: Yes!MaybeNah!
Mars Report:

Mars Themes and OS X Mavericks

Published October 23rd, 2013

I'm sad to announce that the Mars Themes software, both commercial and free, will not be supported on Apple's newly released Mac OS X "Mavericks" operating system. This announcement will be of particular interest to all of you who have purchased a license for CrystalClear Interface (CCI), Crystal Black (CB), or AppMenu Magic. With the latest release of CCI (version 2.8.3) and CB (1.6.6) in July, the software can be installed and uninstalled safely on the developer preview of Mavericks. Neither package has been tested on the release version of Mavericks, but compatibility is expected without risk of damaging the operating system. That said, I highly recommend that you uninstall CCI if you plan to upgrade to Mavericks.

The latest versions of CCI and CB incorporate a safer approach to dealing with inter-OS compatibility, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that the approach will avoid previous disasters (for me) as Apple has moved so aggressively to upgrade the Mac OS X operating system in recent years. Rather than possibly replacing critical system graphics files with ones that aren't compatible with Mavericks, the software should now quietly fail to do the fundamental file handling tasks that could cause problems on Mavericks.

This means that while users should be safe from the problems that plagued earlier upgrades (Lion in particular) if they upgrade to Mavericks, CCI and CB will be prevented from doing some of the fundamental things that make the theme work. Specifically, on Mavericks the software will prevent you from applying button themes and menubar styles. As tested on the developer preview in July, CCI and CB will still function in other respects--for example, setting background colors, transparency, and window frames. But those tests also revealed an abundance of new bugs, which is one reason why I've decided to not support my software on Mavericks.

Since the meltdown of my Snow Leopard partition last fall, using the Apple developer tools to compile the Mars Themes software has become too cumbersome for me to deal with. One issue is that I've never migrated the software to Xcode 4, preferring the Xcode 3 interface and use of InterfaceBuilder instead. Now the prospect of upgrading to Xcode 4 is blocked by not only the huge effort of importing the project but because CCI relies on third-party Interface widgets (the BWToolkit Framework, for example) that aren't compatible with Xcode 4. For some reason, I also can't compile the projects in Xcode 3 on Mountain Lion, so I must boot into the development instance of Snow Leopard to do that, then switch back to Mountain Lion to use other software like Photoshop. It's a nightmare, and I'm sorry to say I've decided to call it quits.

Since development of CCI and CB is now at a dead-end, I'm considering releasing the source code in case some developer with more talent and energy than I has an interest in moving the code forward. If enough interest is generated, I'll think about getting the code ready for some kind of release.

To those of you with active licenses, I apologize for having finally burned out on the experience of keeping CCI and CB updated in the last few years. In the past, I've upgraded my software fairly promptly because I had planned to upgrade to Apple's latest OS anyway, and wanted to keep using the various Mars themes. This time, I have no current plans to upgrade my main operation to Mavericks. If my plan changes, and I do upgrade, like you I'll probably have to leave my beloved themes behind for the first time since I began this journey back in 2005. My long-running enterprise to develop and support interesting, alternative interface themes for Mac OS X has now come to an end.

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