21 Dec 2019 — QSA ToolWorks today announces the immediate availability of the Helix 8.0 family of information management tools.
The principal enhancement in this version of Helix is the elimination of what is known as the resource fork. To comply with Apple’s requirement of being a 64-bit application, the first, and most complex step was to remove what has been a critical structural element of Helix since its inception in 1983 and reroute everything that has always been stored therein to the data form.
According to Gil Numeroff, QSA director of marketing and sales, removing the resource fork was a major infrastructure change that affected virtually every aspect of Helix. “Just imagine going into a major city and replacing all the wires, sewers, traffic control devices and street signs,” he said, “all the while making sure that city continues to function as it always has.”
The next steps are already underway
Matt Strange, QSA director of product development, said that with the resource fork project complete at last, the way forward is clear to focus on the rest of the 64-bit architecture effort. “We have already rewritten the networking part of the code and begun preliminary testing of it in-house,” he said, adding that “the rest of the project will proceed in a way much like the Europa project did” referring to the step-by-step process that took Helix RADE from Classic to macOS.
“As always,” continued Strange, “getting deep inside our code like this provides an opportunity to address issues that have been raised by users and Helix 8.0 was no exception in that regard,” he said, noting that several critical problems have been corrected in this release, all of which are detailed in the accompanying release notes.
Testing process revealed a hidden gem
The Helix product line debuted with the introduction of the very first Macintosh computer in 1984 and continues to meet needs in hundreds of different industries more than three decades later.
Even the most long-in-the-tooth Macintosh software occasionally stumbles over its ancient roots. “One great little ‘featurette’ we discovered during the testing process was that even the oldest Helix collections we tested were able to successfully update to Helix 8,” added Numeroff.
A complete listing of changes is found on the QSA ToolWorks website, with direct page links found in the latest edition of our online commentary, “The Latest Word,” one click away from our home page at qsatoolworks.com.