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Trapped like rats…

3 August 2011 — In spite of our razor-like focus on Helix RADE for macOS, we continue to keep an eye out for the sneaky vermin that plague Helix’s soft underbelly. One “given” in our world is that fixing bugs or implementing new features often causes a harsh spotlight to shine on some Helix deficiency or other, making it both easy and irresistible to take the detour and crush the little creeps.

A pretty fair number of these critters (17 or 21, depending on how you count) have been trapped like rats in that harsh spotlight since Helix 6.1.8 was released back in February and our intrepid crew of beta testers knows that we’re only stopping for the ones we can easily fix, so we’re happy to announce that the beta testing cycle for Helix 6.1.9 is complete and is now available for download.

While there are no new features, per se, there are a lot of incremental improvements to the Helix experience to be found in Helix 6.1.9 products. You can read all about them below or in the release notes.

As this is a “.x” release, it is a free upgrade to any owner of a Helix 6.1.x product. All others must upgrade to take advantage of these improvements.

Client/Server and Engine improvements abound

The bulk of the improvements made in this round of development concerned Server and Client crashes and a number of Client and Engine interface issues. We think we have made significant headway on the seemingly random crashes that happen in Helix Client/Server. We know there are still a few out there — particularly when Helix Client is put into the background with open windows — but it’s time to draw the Helix 6.1.x era to a close, so if you find that this release doesn’t solve all your problems, we apologize and hope to be able to address them in Helix 6.2.

Here’s the full list of fixes in Helix 6.1.9:

  • R7046, R7113, R7127, R7133: Various Random Server (and Client) Crashes

    Added defensive programming to handle Client requests that are disturbed by window closing, network delays, queues and caches. Corrected a source of Server “malloc” errors. These fixes should result in a more stable Server and Client.

  • R6926, R7146: AEPutData (Apple event store record) fails if view is closed
  • R7024: Switching to another user or submenu via keyboard leaves menu bar item highlighted
  • R7042: macOS 10.6 Only: Can’t switch users while using HxAutoConnect
  • R7085: Find and Print All fails to post first record on entry view that requires a multipage subform
  • R7130: Validated field triggers crash when not on template
  • R7132: Post adds instead of increments after complex access
  • R7139: Self-referencing multipage subform does not always activate record
  • R7148: Sequence stops after Find and Print All step
  • R7151: High-ASCII character in document file name prevents drag and drop
  • R7184: Sequences can hang if Enter key pressed at wrong time
  • R7197: Document space allocation errors
  • Printing when there is posting “On Print” sometimes crashes
  • Crash when put into the background while processing a list [One specific case fixed]
  • Documents are not properly disposed of when throwing away unentered records
  • Document Import/Export progress dialog shows wrong text, thermometer dose not indicate progress.
  • Document import/export error dialog provides little useful information.

Most of these fixes come as a result of working directly with Helix users, many of whom went above and beyond the call of duty to help us track them down. We won’t toot their horns here, but if you look up the fixes with an “R-number” in our bug reporting database, you can see who those intrepid souls are. To them, we offer our public thanks.

Installer Issues Resolved

Recent Helix releases have been plagues with installer issues, as Apple’s “Package Maker” application became more and more obstreperous. We have finally solved that problem by… looking the other way. All of the Helix programs are now delivered in simple disk image (.dmg) format. Just open (or ‘mount’) the disk image, agree to the licensing terms, and then drag the Helix application (and utilities) to your Applications folder.

This change closes out these three open bug reports:

  • R6958: Registration Key not Retained
  • R6962: Installer messes up Application folder permissions
  • R6966: Incorrect permissions on “Helix” folder installed into “Applications”

Note that this new installer does not remove older versions of Helix in the “Helix” folder within your “Applications” folder. You can delete that folder if you do not need the older versions anymore.

Classic RADE gets a long-standing issue resolved

We have not made a single significant change to a Classic Helix product in several years, but this one was crying out to be caught. It involves the “Trim” command when applied to a template rectangle. Executing that command now leaves a reasonable margin on the page instead of trimming it so tightly that making further adjustments becomes problematic.

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