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Helix and macOS 10.10 (Yosemite) Compatibility

With the release of macOS 10.10 (Yosemite) Apple has taken another step forward in core system functionality. The focus of Yosemite is primarily on revamping the interface to work more like iOS, with very few radical changes under the hood. Unlike the transition from macOS 10.8 (Mountain Lion) to macOS 10.9 (Mavericks), Yosemite does not remove any older APIs (cf. Open Transport) which is good news for Helix users.

Yosemite features a significantly ‘flatter’ user interface, similar to iOS 8 for the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch. Helix control elements, such as checkboxes, popup menus, and radio buttons reflect this new design style, making your collections ‘fit right in’ in Yosemite with no design changes required.

Testing shows that Helix 6.2.4 is not fully compatible with Yosemite. If you are currently running Mavericks, consider the following information as you consider updating to Yosemite. There is one ‘known issue’ noted in the next paragraph, and there may be others we are not aware of. If you are dependent on full Helix functionality, you may want to approach this upgrade with caution, but if you require macOS 10.10 for another application, you should not hesitate to upgrade because of Helix, as long as the issue(s) noted below do not affect you.

Known Problems

Our testing in Yosemite (& El Capitan) uncovered compatibility issues related to the “font” and “color” panels, with earlier versions of Helix. The font panel issue was fixed in Helix RADE 6.2.4 (6053) and later, and the color panel issue was fixed in Helix 7.0 and later.

Prior to these fixes, accessing the Font panel from within a dialog — in the Inspector, the Conditional Style dialog, etc. — resulted in a crash.

The color panel issue remains. In this case, Helix does not crash, but the Color panel does not work as it should, making it difficult to add color to label rectangles and styled text fields directly in Helix. The symptom is that the font panel ‘jumps around’ when clicking on it. The only way out of this is to close the font panel, then click the OK button to get back to the first color panel, where you must click the red ‘close’ button in the upper left corner.

If your collection does not use ‘Styled Text’ fields, the only problem you face is in editing templates that use color in label rectangles. One workaround for this bug is to use a program such as TextEdit to create your styled text, copying and pasting it into Helix.

Another workaround is to do the following ‘Kabuki dance’ in this exact order:

  1. With the text to be colored selected, choose Show Fonts to open the Font panel.
  2. Choose a font, if desired, then click the color widget: the non-modal Color panel opens.
  3. Select a color in the non-modal panel: that panel closes and a modal Color panel opens.
  4. Critical! Close the Font panel.
  5. In the modal Color panel, click the ‘OK’ button: Another modal Color panel opens.
  6. Click the ‘Cancel’ button: the non-modal Color panel reappears.
  7. At this point, your text is styled accordingly: tab out of your rectangle/field, or enter your record.

Below are notes about changes in macOS that first appeared in Mavericks. We repeat them here in case you skipped that upgrade.

Yosemite & Mavericks Notes

Starting with version 6.2.2, Helix applications are fully compatible with Gatekeeper’s default mode.

For older versions of Helix, macOS typically provides a clear message when Gatekeeper is blocking an action, but sometimes it responds with a more cryptic error code: “OSStatus error 100030”.

For older versions of Helix, Gatekeeper offers a security level that allows downloading and installing applications from any source. See Apple’s Gatekeeper technote for information on setting Gatekeeper to the appropriate level.

In macOS 10.9.5, Apple introduced changes to the way Gatekeeper works. This may affect your ability to install Helix software on a Yosemite system, but we have not heard from any users who have actually been affected. if you have trouble installing Helix on Yosemite, please contact us with the details.

App Nap app-nap

Helix Server 7.0.3 and later automatically disable App Nap; these instructions are not needed unless you are running Helix Server 7.0.2 or earlier.

macOS 10.9 introduced a new feature, called App Nap. This feature monitors running applications to determine what priority each should get in terms of processor, network and disk resources.

Although this is desirable in general, there are situations where App Nap can have a detrimental effect on performance. In particular, putting Helix Server into a ‘low power mode’ can cause the replies to Client requests to be delayed, making Helix Client/Server performance visibly slower.

Consequently, it is necessary to disable App Nap for Helix Server.

To disable App Nap, quit Helix Server (if it is running), then Get Info on the Helix Server application (right click on the Server icon and choose ‘Get Info’ from the menu, or select the Server icon and choose ‘Get Info’ from the File menu) and turn on the Prevent App Nap option, as seen in the image on the right.

Other Helix applications should not be negatively affected by App Nap, but users of Helix Client who routinely remain connected to a Server for long periods while not actively working with the Client may find that App Nap causes unexpected disconnections. (We have no evidence that this happens; we are simply speculating based on what App Nap does, and how Helix Client/Server connections are maintained.)

At this point, Apple has not provided a way for developers to opt out of the App Nap process other than requesting that specific operations be exempt, which does not address the problem here. Unless Apple provides a way for us to programmatically disable App Nap, it will have to be done by you, the end user, on a case-by-case basis.

Users who wish to disable App Nap entirely can find instructions for doing so on this page.

The Toolbar

Since macOS 10.7, the “toolbar widget” has been removed from the upper right corner of windows, eliminating the ability to cancel a Quick Query or hide the Sort Order control once it has been opened. Helix 6.2 automatically adds a Show/Hide Toolbar command to the Edit menu to resolve this limitation. See R7234 in techdb for more information.

Because the ‘Refresh’ button is found in the toolbar, Helix 6.2.2 automatically opens the toolbar when a cold form is opened. Users who dislike this feature can disable it by editing the HxShowToolbarForColdForm preference. See this page for details.

Helix Applications and macOS 10.10
Helix RADE

Helix RADE 6.2.2 and later are compatible with Yosemite, with the exception noted above.

Helix RADE 6.2–6.2.1 are compatible with Yosemite, as per the Gatekeeper note above.

Helix RADE 6.1 and earlier are not compatible with Yosemite.

Helix Server

Helix Server 6.2.2 and later are compatible with Yosemite.

Helix Server 6.2.1 and earlier are not compatible with Yosemite.

Helix Client

Helix Client 6.2.2 and later are compatible with Yosemite.

Helix Client 6.2.1 and earlier are not compatible with Yosemite.

Helix Engine

Helix Engine 6.2.2 and later are compatible with Yosemite.

Helix Engine 6.2–6.2.1 are compatible with Yosemite, as per the Gatekeeper note above.

Helix Engine 6.1.x has not been tested. We recommend updating to Helix Engine 6.2.2 or later.

Helix Engine 6.0 and earlier are not compatible with Yosemite.

Helix Utility

Helix Utility 6.2 and later are compatible with Yosemite, with the caveats noted above.

Helix Utility 6.0 and earlier are not compatible with Yosemite.

Discontinued Applications
Update Collection

The structure checking function performed by Update Collection has been added directly to Helix 6.2, making this product obsolete. (Helix 7.0 and later will offer built-in structure updating.)

Update Collection OS X — whose most recent update is version 6.0.1 — is not Intel-native and therefore not compatible with macOS 10.7 or later.

All collections must be updated to Helix 6.0/6.1 prior to moving to macOS 10.7 or later. See this technote for options available to update older collections.

Helix Maintenance Manager (HMM)

Helix Maintenance Manager (HMM) is Intel-native and compatible with Yosemite.

However, since Helix Utility OS X and Update Collection are not compatible with Yosemite, HMM 1.0.x can not perform its intended duties. The future of HMM is currently undefined.

Helix Maintenance Manager 1.0.x is compatible with Helix utilities 5.3.x and 6.0.x only.

Helix Developer Utility (HDU)

Helix Developer Utility (HDU) remains a “Classic-only” application for the time being. Developers who require the functions of HDU but do not have access to a Classic-capable Mac should contact our technical support department for assistance.

Helix Scripting (CallHelix)

The functions performed by Helix Scripting are incorporated directly to Helix 6.2, making this product obsolete.

Helix Scripting — which was included in the Helix RADE Readiness Kit — is not Intel-native and therefore is not compatible with macOS 10.7 or later.