Darktable is at Risk of Dropping Support for macOS


Darktable, an open-source photography workflow application and RAW processor, is at risk of dropping support for macOS as its sole developer has decided to move on, and there is no one to replace him.

As shared on the Pixel.us forum — a place for discussion on open-source photography applications — and on Reddit, Darktable developer Pascal Obry revealed that a single developer, Igor Kuzmin or “parafin,” has been responsible for macOS maintenance and packaging for the last 10 years. Kuzmin has indicated that he wishes to move on to other projects, which leaves Darktable without a macOS developer.

“As everybody knows, darktable is a community-driven project. One particular area that is always everyone’s not-first choice is maintenance. Especially, maintenance of the darktable as a whole, on a particular platform,” Obry writes.

“As it happens, parafin has been a person solely responsible for maintaining, and packaging, darktable on OS X for the last 10 years. We would like to thank him for all of his efforts! Everything has it’s limit, and presently, it has been indicated that parafin wants to end that tenure, and pass on the mantle.”

Obry says that at the same time, there is a major roadblock on the Mac OS side that has made support problematic.

“There is a big roadblock on the OS X side: currently, as requested by @parafin, the minimal required XCode version is XCode 12.4 (LLVM10-based), and with LLVM16 about to be released in ~April, that puts us to 7 (sic) LLVM versions to support, in addition to currently supporting three GCC releases,” Obry says.

“Not only is this support matrix unsustainable, not having a path forward makes it impossible to someday make use of the compiler (and library) features introduced in later compiler versions.”

The long and short of it is, unless someone from the community steps forward to help the Darktable team as the Mac OS maintainer, the group will have no choice other than to stop supporting Mac OS until after the next minor release (version 4.2.1).

“If you are interested to help, please step forward. We really need a long term dedication to solve this. An Open Source software can only offer what the community can work on,” Obry concludes.

Those interested in stepping up to help the Darktable team can contact the developers via Darktable’s website.