Everything Else
The Mixed Case Tile

A letter following an apostrophe is capitalized when the Mixed Case ◊ tile is used. Example: "Robert'S question." Are there times when characters following an apostrophe SHOULD be shown as upper case? If this is how it’s supposed to be, is there a workaround for the example above?


Helix determines where one word ends and another begins by consulting its Keyword Separator Table, a configurable table that determines which characters indicate the space between words. By default, the apostrophe is a keyword separator character, and so the Mixed Case tile capitalizes the character after an apostrophe. This issue can be avoided by editing the table to treat the apostrophe as a word character, but that may have undesirable effects in other places, such as changing “O’Malley” to “O’malley”.

Helix users who wish to understand the Keyword Separator Table and learn how to edit it should read this technote.

The Abacus Expression

A complex abacus becomes extremely difficult to read, what with arrows pointing here and there. Even a neatly arranged abacus feel non-intuitive to a programmer. Is there a better way to read an abacus?


Helix 6.2 introduced the Abacus Expression Language (AEL) — a text-based version of the abacus. The syntax used in AEL should be familiar to users who have experience with programming languages such as Perl, Python, AppleScript, etc.

Helix users who wish to understand the Abacus Expression Language and learn how to use it should read this technote.