April 24, 2024

Apple has transitioned Macs from Intel to ARM (M1/M2) chips. Within the course of it has supplied an emulation layer (Rosetta2) to make sure that the brand new ARM Macs can nonetheless run purposes created for Intel Macs. The emulation works very nicely, however is quoted to be some 20% slower than working native ARM binaries. That will not seem to be lots, however it’s important on processor intensive purposes comparable to my very own data wrangling software, which regularly processes datasets with hundreds of thousands of rows by way of complicated sequences of merging, splitting, reformatting, filtering and reshaping. Additionally individuals who have simply spent a small fortune on a shiny new ARM Mac can get grumpy about not having a local ARM binary to run on it. So I’ve been investigating shifting Straightforward Knowledge Remodel from an Intel binary to a Common (‘fats'[1]) binary containing each Intel and ARM binaries. It is a course of acquainted from shifting my seating planner software for Mac from PowerPC to Intel chips some years in the past. Hopefully I’ll have retired earlier than the subsequent chip change on the Mac.

My software program is constructed on-top of the superb Qt cross-platfom framework. Qt introduced help for Mac Common binaries in Qt 6.2 and Qt 5.15.9. I’m sticking with Qt 5 for now, as a result of it higher helps a number of textual content encodings and since I don’t see any specific benefit to switching to Qt 6 but. However, there’s a wrinkle. Qt 5.15.3 and later are solely accessible to Qt prospects with business licenses. I need to use the QtCharts element in Straightforward Knowledge Remodel v2, and QtCharts requires a business license (or GPL, which is a no-go for me). I additionally need entry to all the most recent bug fixes for Qt 5. So I made a decision to modify from the free LGPL license and purchase a business Qt license. Fortunately I used to be eligible for the Qt small business license which is presently $499 per yr. The push in direction of business licensing is controversial with Qt builders, however I actually recognize Qt and all of the work that goes into it, so I’m pleased to help the enterprise (not sufficient to pay the eye-watering charge for a full enterprise license although!).

Transferring from producing an Intel binary utilizing LGPL Qt to producing a Common binary utilizing business Qt concerned a number of main stumbling factors that took me hours and lots of googling to kind out. I’m going to spell them out right here to avoid wasting you that ache. You’re welcome.

  • The most recent Qt 5 LTS releases are usually not accessible by way of the Qt upkeep software you probably have open supply Qt put in. After you purchase your business licence you should delete your open supply set up and all of the related license information. Right here is the knowledge I obtained from Qt help:
I assume that you simply have been beforehand utilizing open supply model, is that appropriate?

Qt 5.15.10 ought to be accessible by way of the upkeep software however it's required to take away the outdated open supply set up fully and likewise take away the open supply license information out of your system.

So, first step is to take away the outdated Qt set up fully. Then take away the outdated open supply licenses which could exist. Directions for eradicating the license information:

Unified installer/maintenancetool/qtcreator will save all licenses (downloaded from the used Qt Account) inside the brand new qtlicenses.ini file. You could take away the next information to totally reset the license data.

Home windows


"/Customers/$USERNAME/Library/Software Help/Qt/qtlicenses.ini"
"/Customers/$USERNAME/Library/Software Help/Qt/qtaccount.ini"

As a aspect notice: If the information above can't be discovered $HOME/.qt-license(Linux/macOS) or %USERPROFILE%.qt-license(Home windows) file is used as a fallback. .qt-license file might be downloaded from Qt Account. https://account.qt.io/licenses
Make sure you title the Qt license file as ".qt-license" and never for instance ".qt-license.txt".


After eradicating the outdated set up and the license information, please obtain the brand new on-line installer by way of your business Qt Account.
You'll be able to login there at:

After putting in Qt with business license, it ought to be capable to discover the Qt 5.15.10 additionally by way of the upkeep software along with on-line installer.
  • Then you should obtain the business installer out of your on-line Qt account and reinstall all of the Qt variations you want. Gigabytes of it. Time to drink some espresso. A number of espresso.
  • In your .professional file you should add:
  • Be aware that the above doubles the construct time of your utility, so that you most likely don’t need it set for everyday growth.
  • You need to use macdeployqt to create your deployable Common .app however, and that is the essential step that took me hours to work out, you should use <QtDir>/macos/bin/macdeployqt not <QtDir>/clang_64/bin/macdeployqt . Doh!
  • You’ll be able to test the .app is Common utilizing the lipo command, e.g.:
lipo -detailed_info EasyDataTransform.app/Contents/MacOS/EasyDataTransform
  • I used to be in a position to make use of my current practise of copying further information (third get together libraries, assist and many others) into the .app file after which digitally signing every thing utilizing codesign –deep [2]. Fortunately the one third get together library I exploit aside from Qt (the superb libXL library for Excel) is out there as a Common framework.
  • I notarize the appliance, as earlier than.

I did all of the above on an Intel iMac utilizing the most recent Qt 5 LTS launch (Qt 5.15.10) and XCode 13.4 on macOS 12. I then examined it on an ARM MacBook Air. Little doubt you may as well construct Common binaries on an ARM Mac.

Unsurprisingly the Common app is considerably bigger than the Intel-only model. My Straightforward Knowledge Remodel .dmg file (which additionally consists of lots of assist documentation) went from ~56 MB to ~69 MB. Nonetheless that’s nonetheless positively anorexic in comparison with many bloated fashionable apps (taking a look at you Electron).

A few assessments I did on an ARM MacBook Air confirmed ~16% enchancment in efficiency. For instance becoming a member of two 500,000 row x 10 column tables went from 4.5 seconds to three.8 seconds. Clearly the efficiency enchancment relies on the duty and the system. One buyer reported batch processing 3,541 JSON Information and writing the outcomes to CSV went from 12.8 to eight.1 seconds, a 37% enchancment.

[1] I’m not judging.

[2] Apparently using –deep is frowned on by Apple. But it surely works (for now anyway). Chunk me, Apple.