25 April 2014 — QSA ToolWorks, LLC today announced the release of Helix 6.2.3, a free maintenance upgrade to owners of version 6.2, with more than 50 product line improvements.
Included among those improvements are a Client/Server performance boost, modifications to Helix's AppleScript dictionary necessitated by the move to Mavericks, proper category sorting within macOS's Applications folder categories, and AppleScript Data Suite access from Design Mode, as well as bug fixes and other improvements in all parts of the Helix product suite, including the Helix Utility.
“The critical thing about this release was to get several significant Client/Server fixes into the hands of our users,” says Matt Strange, director of product development, adding that “one of the problems that significantly delayed this release was one of the most challenging our engineers have ever faced before. But good detective work and due diligence saved the day.”
Self-demo'ing products and PowerPC support continue
PowerPC Macs may still be used as Clients in 6.2.3. “That support proved to be pivotal for us in 6.2.2,” says Gil Numeroff, director of marketing. “And all of the products running for a full hour under a built-in demo license has also proven quite popular, enabling potential customers to easily try any Helix product out before purchasing it.”
“While the PowerPC is, officially, a discontinued product line, even Apple has to admit that they made pretty good equipment,” says Numeroff, adding that “a lot of people still use them because they still work our continued support for that platform give them the option to continue moving forward, converting their PowerPCs to Intel Macs as it becomes necessary, rather than having to do it all at once, eliminating the likelihood of any difficult disruption.”
“It’s quite satisfying to remain in sync with Apple’s macOS development cycle. Like 6.2.2, Helix 6.2.3 is Mavericks compatible across the entire product line.” added Strange, “and it’s nice to be completely up-to-date.”
Helix provides a complete development and deployment suite
Helix is an application development and deployment environment that was one of the original thirty software products created for the Macintosh platform prior to its debut in 1984. It is now comprised of five principal applications:
- Helix RADE: the Rapid Application Development Environment, which is used to create applications, called “collections.”
- Helix Engine: a stand-alone tool that allows Helix collections to be deployed as single-user applications.
- Helix Server: used to deploy a Helix collection to a workgroup in both local- and wide-area networks.
- Helix Client: used to connect to a collection hosted by a Helix Server.
- Helix Utility: used to assure the data integrity of a Helix collection.
Users help point the way to the future of Helix
The company recently conducted some research to help firm up its future direction. Helix users have, for several years now, been able to add their suggestions directly to the company’s technical database, and many users have taken advantage of that channel to let QSA know what they want.
“The survey we placed before our user base was a massive undertaking, and we still haven’t analyzed all the feedback in detail” says Numeroff, noting that “Now they have spoken, and a cursory look at what they are telling us confirms a lot of what we believed going into this process. We’ll publish the results on our website very soon.”
Helix was created in 1983 by Jonathan Schneider, Larry Atkin, David Harmon and Daniel Cheifetz and originally produced by Odesta Corporation of Northbrook, Illinois in November of 1984. There are Helix users in virtually every country on earth who have been running the product in their businesses and homes almost continuously since 1984. There are very few products on any platform that can boast that kind of longevity through the number of major changes that have occurred in the computer industry since the Macintosh and PC platforms debuted in the 1980s. In spite of its tumultuous history, and the difficulty in pigeonholing the product into any single marketing category, Helix endures. It’s power and flexibility remain its hallmarks as it continues to evolve.