This is the first release that support the 'new' Mac M1 processor.
A number of problems had to be overcome to create this release. The main problem was that the Math engine 'Maxima' did not run on M1-processor with the rosetta emulator.
- First the compiler for SBCL that compiles Maxima had to be created for Maxima.
- Maxima for WordMat was running an older version of Maxima, because the deployment system for newer systems changed to Macports. Eventually I could use Macports to get a compiled version of Maxima for M1. The installer had to rewritten from scratch.
- WordMat does not run a standard version of Maxima, but included a lot of additional code. This code had to be updated to match the new Maxima version.
- The c-library to communicate between Maxima and Windows was easily compiled for M1, but I simply could not make it work with the new version of Maxima, after many, many attempts. Eventually a new method for communication was developed. The new method starts a new instance of Maxima for each calculation. This makes WordMat a bit slower, but not much as the M1-processor is pretty fast. Coming from a 2 year old computer you will not notice it.
The new method has a couple of advantages that should make WordMat more stable for Mac:
- A fresh version of Maxima for every calculation means previous calculation cannot interfere
- The new method has a default timeout of about 15s. If Maxima does not finish, the process will be killed. On previous versions this could halt Word.