Passing the Baton: Paratext 8 to Paratext 9

Paratext 8 was released in April of 2017, almost 5 years ago.  It was a radical change.  Every project needed to be migrated in a joint effort of all the team members. It took a long time for people to complete the migration to Paratext 8, and no doubt these same people are wary of future upgrades.  The major change between 7 and 8 was hard not only on field teams, but also on those of us providing support.  That is why we’ve done everything possible to avoid this scenario again, going forward.

We made sure that the move from Paratext 8 to 9 required no migration, and even assured that you could continue to work in 8 or 9 on the same data.  Paratext 9 has been appreciated by many, and continues to make improvements to the tasks that translators do on a regular basis. It has seen upgrades to 9.1 and 9.2, all while continuing to work with Paratext 8.

But this can’t last forever, because technology never stands still.  Paratext 8 is becoming less compatible with newer operating systems.  Every hour that our developers spend working on Paratext 8 is an hour not spent on the long list of requested improvements to the current version.  In addition, the need to keep Paratext compatible with its older sibling limits innovations that will benefit future projects.

Please note that Paratext 8 will continue to work.  But just like Microsoft ended support for Windows 7 and 8.0, the Paratext team will be ending ongoing support for our older product on Dec 31, 2021. You are encouraged to upgrade to Paratext 9 as soon as possible*.
*If you are on Linux, we understand there have been challenges for some of you, and thank you for your continued patience.

If you are part of the 80% who have already upgraded, we have good things in store for you in the ongoing development of Paratext.  Please lend a helping hand to any of your colleagues who have not yet done so, if you are able.

Blessings,

Doug Higby, for the Paratext support team

Q&A

Q: What does it mean to “end support”?

  • Paratext 8 will continue to work and be able to Send/Receive with users of 9.
  • However, the team will give their full attention to improving Paratext 9, and will no longer fix bugs, add features, or improve security for Paratext 8.
  • It will get harder to find advice for fixing technical issues with Paratext 8, and increasingly, the solution will be to upgrade to Paratext 9.

Q: Why is it necessary to stop supporting Paratext 8 at this time?

  • Because the development team has limited resources and we want to be good stewards of those resources. Supporting just one version reduces the burden of maintenance and makes room for improvements going forward.
  • It is usual practice to stop support for older versions of software once there is a solid replacement. Paratext 9 has been stable for about 2 years. Like a relay race, Paratext 9 is picking up where Paratext 8 left off.

Q: Will Paratext 9 run on my old Windows operating system?

  • Maybe. But we recommend you upgrade to Windows 10 as soon as possible. Microsoft no longer supports Windows 7 or 8.0 and those systems have not received security fixes for a long time. This makes them vulnerable to malware and viruses, and it puts your work, your team’s work, your email, related personal information, and other things at risk.
  • The Paratext Downloads page can help you check the system requirements, choose your Paratext version, and download the installer file.
  • Paratext 9.1 and onward require a 64-bit operating system. If your computer is several years old, and/or you have a 32-bit operating system, you will need to upgrade to a 64-bit operating system soon to be able to run Paratext (and other up-to-date software). A new 64-bit system may require a newer computer as well.

Q: Why should I upgrade to Paratext 9?

Q: What version of Paratext do I have?

  • Look for the version number on the splash screen when you open Paratext, in the header of the main Paratext window, or on the About screen.

Q: Are there any issues I should be aware of when upgrading?

  • Team members who rely on using Paratext Live should check with their coworkers before upgrading to 9.2 as all team members will need to be on the same version to use Live.  Alternatively, you can upgrade to 9.1 and follow the directions on the download page to turn off automatic updates. Paratext 9.1 can use Paratext Live with previous versions of Paratext.

Q: My team uses Paratext on Linux. Should we upgrade to Paratext 9?

  • For detailed advice about features and compatibility you should check with your team leader or support person, or the Wasta-Linux user group.

Not Able to Upgrade?

Here are some suggestions:

Difficulty We suggest…
Not confident with the upgrade process Arrange to meet a support person (in-person or virtually) who can walk you through the upgrade.
Internet connection: Slow, limited, or blocked Ask someone to help you get the appropriate offline Installer file,

OR

Plan a time and place where you can get better Internet service, either to download the installer files or do the upgrade on the spot

Concerns about critical functionality or loss of data Try to describe your concerns in writing. Then contact a knowledgeable support person and ask for their advice.
Can’t get the required computer hardware and OS Your team leader or sponsoring organization may be able to help. If not, we would consider writing a letter on your behalf to explain why this is necessary.
Team activities or communication are on hold Don’t give up. Conditions eventually change and people will be ready to help when the time comes.
Project is near completion: Upgrading is too much trouble Ask a support person. Improvements in PT9 may help you do better quality checks.
Process feels overwhelming / Change is hard for me We know change can be hard. Take it one step at a time, ask for help, and consult our many training videos, especially the What’s New in Paratext 9 videos.

Help is Available!

Various resources are Parateavailable to help you:

If you don’t find the help you need, you can send a request to help@paratext.org.

We hope that you can upgrade soon!

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