Archive for July 30, 2018

Monday, July 30, 2018

Discontinuation of Mac Support for Autodesk Alias and VRED

Autodesk (Hacker News):

After July 13, 2018, Autodesk will no longer provide Mac versions of Alias and VRED, beginning with version 19.1.

Prior versions of Alias (2019.0 and earlier) can continue to run on High Sierra or earlier operating system versions. Once Apple releases Mojave, no versions of VRED will run on that operating system due to the OpenGL deprecation.


If you don’t want to use either the Windows version or Boot Camp (or similar software) it is possible to remain on Sierra or earlier OS X versions and continue with your existing version of Alias (Alias 2019.0 or prior). Alias is not supported on High Sierra due to a macOS incompatibility that Apple does not currently plan to fix. If you choose this option, Autodesk can only continue to support the Mac version as long as you never upgrade past the Sierra version of macOS.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

“Discontinuation of Mac Support for Autodesk Alias and VRED”; deprecating OpenGL on macOS is an extreme act of self-harm for the platform — apps and games will just drop Mac support instead of rewriting in Metal. All you’ll have left is Marzipan 😜

Colin Cornaby:

OpenGL was dying before Apple dropped it. You could make a case that Vulkan was the next step, but Sony and Nintendo already went Vulkan and not OpenGL. Next generation games were never going to get OpenGL versions anyway.

Matt Godden:

Just got bit yesterday - SketchUP 2017 has no viewport antialiasing on Mac, because of obsolete OpenGL / new drawing engine combo. Have to go back to 2016 (old engine), or forward to 2018. This is gong to be a cluster**** for small pro apps.

Colin Cornaby:

Another hot take on Mac OpenGL deprecation: You know what doesn’t support full desktop OpenGL? A lot of GPU cores used with ARM processors.

Apple’s ARM GPU cores certainly don’t have full desktop OpenGL drivers, even if the hardware could support desktop OpenGL.

Update (2018-07-31): Colin Cornaby:

Take from a few years of working on pro software: Mac professional software vendors have been looking for the door even since 2010-ish when stuff like the Mac Pro went downhill. Would Autodesk be dumping Mac products if the Mac Pro was still a popular and powerful solution?

They could deal with OpenGL -> Metal if they wanted to in a variety of different ways. But if they’re just done with the Mac market in general, OpenGL provides a nice excuse that saves face.

Spect 1.0

Steven Frank (tweet):

Fast image browser and organizer for macOS

Quickly open folders containing thousands of images, even from a network drive.

Prune images with marquee selection and delete.

$5 from the Mac App Store, with a direct-download free trial. It reminds me of the old PhotoReviewer app.

Previously: PhotoReviewer 2.2, PhotoReviewer 2.0.

Slack and Atlassian Team Up on Chat Software

Dina Bass and Ellen Huet (via Hacker News):

Atlassian Corp. is selling its corporate chat software to rival Slack Technologies Inc. and taking a small stake in the startup, as they face greater competition from Microsoft Corp.


The deal gives Slack more customers, most of whom pay a monthly service fee, and allows Atlassian to exit a business that failed to generate as much demand as expected. Combining the two businesses bolsters Slack at a time when Microsoft is pushing a rival product called Teams to some 135 million Office cloud customers. Microsoft introduced a free version of Teams this month in a bid to lure people who don’t subscribe to Office 365.

Matthew Guay (Hacker News):

Stewart Butterfield’s team didn’t set out to make a chat app. Fresh off of Yahoo’s acquisition of his team’s photo-sharing app Flickr, he started a new company to build a game. His team hadn’t set out to make Flickr, after all—that, too, started as a game before noticing the game’s photo sharing tool was more popular than the game itself.

The game didn’t work out this time either. But on the side, they built a team chat app and pivoted to it instead.

Twitter and Shadow Banning

Vijaya Gadde and Kayvon Beykpour (tweet, Hacker News):

The best definition we found is this: deliberately making someone’s content undiscoverable to everyone except the person who posted it, unbeknownst to the original poster.

We do not shadow ban. You are always able to see the tweets from accounts you follow (although you may have to do more work to find them, like go directly to their profile). And we certainly don’t shadow ban based on political viewpoints or ideology.

We do rank tweets and search results. We do this because Twitter is most useful when it’s immediately relevant. These ranking models take many signals into consideration to best organize tweets for timely relevance. We must also address bad-faith actors who intend to manipulate or detract from healthy conversation.


We know this approach is working because we see fewer abuse reports and spam reports.

They seem to be saying that Twitter may decide not to show certain tweets in your timeline or searches for various algorithmic reasons. (Low-ranked tweets don’t just show up at the bottom; they don’t show up at all.) They don’t consider this shadow banning because you can still see the tweets if you go to that person’s profile (which is impractical).

This doesn’t make much sense to me because it apparently also applies to tweets from users that you’ve specifically chosen to follow. And the person tweeting sees all their own tweets in their timeline, so they don’t know they’re invisible to others. That’s kind of what’s meant by “shadow.”

This is apparently separate from the quality filter, which affects tweets from people you don’t follow. You can turn this off, and I’ve seen links on where I can click to show which tweets were hidden.

I guess I have no way of knowing whether any tweets have been hidden from me by Twitter’s ranking algorithm. As far as I know, no one I follow has complained about being censored. But I would prefer to just always see everything. If someone I follow is posting bad stuff, I want to know that, and then I can just choose to unfollow them.