We have today made available small updates for Sibelius 5, Sibelius First and Sibelius Student that fix the only significant known problem with running these programs on Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, namely that the program can crash when displaying the Mixer window. Go straight to the download, or read on for the boring technical details after the jump.
So why do Sibelius 5, Sibelius Student and Sibelius First crash when you try to show the Mixer in Mac OS X 10.6? The new version of the operating system has a number of internal changes that affect how graphics, such as the various components that constitute the Mixer’s appearance, are loaded and appear internally. A technique used by Sibelius 5, Sibelius First and Sibelius Student to determine the color value of specific pixels no longer works in Snow Leopard.
We were actually aware of this several months ago, and worked with Apple to ensure that a fix would go into Snow Leopard: we are in the fortunate position that Sibelius is on Apple’s list of “must not break” applications. Apple duly implemented a checkfix in Mac OS X 10.6 for all versions of Sibelius 5 up to and including Sibelius 5.3.x to provide backwards compatibility for the technique used by Sibelius 5, but unfortunately this fix does not work correctly, and Sibelius still crashes. We went back to Apple, who were very apologetic, but said that now that Snow Leopard is out in the wild, we would have to fix this problem ourselves. Fortunately the fix turns out to be simple, though one peculiar wrinkle is that we had to increase the version numbers of Sibelius 5, Sibelius Student and Sibelius First up to version 5.4 in order for the fix to take effect, due to the fact that Apple’s checkfix would automatically apply to all versions of Sibelius up to Sibelius 5.3.x.
So all’s well that ends well, and Sibelius 5 users who are not yet ready to upgrade to Sibelius 6, or who are waiting for the soon-to-be-released localized versions of Sibelius 6 to become available in their country, together with Sibelius First and Sibelius Student users, can now use their favourite notation software on their favourite operating system.