Everything Else

Helix 6.2.1 is available for Intel-based Macs only.
For macOS 10.9 (Mavericks) and PowerPC support, see the Helix 6.2.2 Release Notes.

Helix RADE and Engine are compatible with macOS 10.5–10.9.

Helix Client and Server are compatible with macOS 10.5–10.8.5 only.
Mavericks-compatible update coming soon.
PowerPC-compatible Client coming soon.

Helix 6.2.1 Release Notes

New and Improved Features

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All Products

  1. Improved Registration Process (R6969)

    Helix now stores registration data outside the application: installing an update no longer means re-entering your key! See this technote for more information on the new registration process.

  2. Integrated structure checker

    Helix 6.2 eliminates the external Update Collection application, integrating the functions directly into Helix Server, RADE, and Engine.

    Update Collection historically provides four functions:

    1. Update a collection when a new version of Helix adds features that require structural modifications.
    2. Remove structural detritus that accumulate during normal operations. These are reported as ‘minor maintenance’ or ‘anomalies.’
    3. Check a collection to ensure that no structural damage has occurred. Structural damage can cause crashes or other unexpected behavior.
    4. Report on structural damage to assist collection repair.

    All of these functions are now built in to Helix Server, RADE, and Engine; they happen automatically each time a collection is opened or saved.

    Collections must be updated to Helix 6.0 before they can be opened with Helix 6.2; contact QSA technical support if you have an older collection that needs to be updated.

  3. Improved Structure Checking: Older versions of Update Collection neglected to clean up certain types of old code. For heavily used collections, these could number in the hundreds of thousands, and although they are not significantly detrimental, they could have a slight impact on performance. (R7183)

    Note that the first time a collection is opened in Helix 6.2, this clean up can take a while. A progress dialog keeps you apprised of the action.

  4. Automatic Updates

    Helix now uses the popular Sparkle frameworks to provide easy notification and installation of updates.

  5. Close Collection/Quit Application Update

    The code related to closing a collection (and quitting Helix applications) has been significantly rewritten. This mainly benefits Client/Server users, but there are benefits for all Helix products.

    Specific Improvements:

    • The Save Changes Before Closing/Quitting dialog now includes an informative paragraph when there are open Apple event processes or connected Clients (Server only). Know beforehand how proceeding will affect active connections. The image on the right shows the “Current Activity” statement showing the open connections.
    • Once the decision to save changes has been made, all Helix products now initiate a timer that delays the actual close/quit until all connections (connected Clients and Apple event processes) are closed. This allows for an orderly completion of the current activities.
    • The “Cancel Open AE Processes” and the “Abandon Clients” (Server only) dialogs are gone, replaced by the automatic opening of the Collection Information window. This window lists all open Apple events and connected Clients (Server only), and it allows you to cancel connections individually instead of the ‘all or nothing’ choice of prior versions of Helix.
    • There are now no dialogs that appear on the Server during the close process, impeding the speed of open Apple events and connected Clients.
    • The amount of time to wait for connections to be closed is controlled by a new HxQuitDelaySeconds preference.
    • A Why? message is repeated once per minute in Client, RADE and Engine until the time expires or all connections/processes are closed.
    • Once a close/quit timer has been started, it can be canceled or updated at any time:
      • Re-invoking the dialog and (re)clicking “Save” reinitializes the timer.
      • Re-invoking the dialog and clicking “Cancel” shuts the timer down, terminating the close/quit request.
      • Re-invoking the dialog and clicking “Don’t Save” quits without saving.
  6. New Apple events for application management (R8277)

    Helix 6.2 features new Apple events (with AppleScript support) for better application management.

    Specific Improvements:

    • Seat licence: For Server: Maximum number of Clients that can connect simultaneously. For RADE/Engine: Maximum number of copies that may be run.
    • Apple event license: The maximum number of Apple events that can be open at one time.
    • Apple event limits: The maximum number of records that can be added, retrieved, and deleted in a single event.
    • Current number of connected Clients. (Server only)
    • Toggle Structure Check on/off when the collection is opened and saved.

    The event codes and AppleScript equivalents (and synonyms) are detailed in the AppleScript dictionary.

  7. Helix Data Suite Integration

    The Helix Data Suite is fully integrated into Helix Server. AppleScript access to data is now Intel native, and significantly faster than previous versions which required the ‘middleware’ addition of “Helix Scripting” (aka “CallHelix”).

    The data suite commands are identical for Helix Server, RADE, and Engine. The AppleScript dictionary is significantly expanded to explain how to use the data suite.

    Note: the ‘target’ parameter that Helix Scripting used to connect to the Helix application is obsolete and is no longer supported. Also, the redundant ‘CallHelix/action’ command is gone; the equivalent ‘use/to’ command continues to work as before.

  8. Dock Badges (R6307)

    A badge on the Helix application icon now shows number of open Apple events and connected Clients (Server only).

  9. Multi-Page Printing

    Helix 6.2 refines the rules under which a view is scaled down to print on a single page.

    Previous versions would always reduce the data unless the print reduction preference was turned off. Helix 6.2 only reduces the page if the reduction is less than 40%. The HxAdjustPrintScaleThreshold preference can be used to adjust this cut-off. (R609)

    The preference editor applet and the preferences technote have been updated with descriptions of the preferences new in 6.2.1.

  10. Automatic buffer sizing (R8276)

    The automatic buffer sizing that debuted in Helix Utility 6.2 is now applied to all Helix products. Preferences have been added to turn off or otherwise limit the size of the buffer.

    The preference editor applet and the preferences technote have been updated with descriptions of the preferences new in 6.2.1.

  11. Autosave Override (R6763)

    Each application now has a preference that overrides the autosave settings of any collection opened on that machine. No more turning autosave off while working in RADE and forgetting to turn it back on for Server!

    The preference editor applet and the preferences technote have been updated with descriptions of the preferences new in 6.2.1.

  12. List Page Caching

    Lists now cache more pages, reducing redraws when scrolling.

    A full technote is coming soon; until then, this section of The Latest Word provides some details.

    The preference editor applet and the preferences technote have been updated with descriptions of the preferences new in 6.2.1.

  13. Record View Retention

    Helix now stores and recalls the last record that was shown on an entry form, even through a quit and restart.

  14. Keyboard Navigation in Dialogs

    Most dialogs now respond to command key equivalents; many use the first letter of the button name as the keyboard equivalent. (E.g: Command-D to trigger a button labeled ‘Delete’.)


    • The first letter of the button name is the typical trigger.
    • Dialogs that do not respond to the natural (first letter) command key equivalents respond to CMD-1, CMD-2, & CMD-3 to trigger dialog buttons in right to left order.
    • The return & escape keys trigger the default and cancel buttons, respectively. (Command-period also triggers the cancel button.)
    • In some dialogs (containing wxWidgets nested object), it is necessary to hold the Control key down while pressing escape or return to trigger the keyboard equivalent.

Helix RADE

Helix Server

  1. User Access Log (R8275)

    Helix Server can now keep a permanent time-stamped log of collection access, including failed connections. Unlike the “Client Information” window it replaces, the “User Access Log” is a permanent record.

    Logged Events:

    • Application launch & quit
    • Collection open & close
    • Helix Client connections, disconnections & refusals
    • AppleScript Design Mode login & logout
    • Data access via Apple event

    Additional Notes:

    • User Access Log can be turned on/off at any time via the HxUserAccessLogging preference. See the preferences technote for instructions.
    • Helix RADE and Helix Engine can also log all events (except Client connections).
    • Access log is stored in the user’s ~/Library/Logs/Helix/Server/ directory.
    • Access log file is write-locked during operation to discourage tampering.
  2. Modifications to Structure

    Helix 6.2 debuts the first steps toward the ability to access and modify the structure of a collection while it is running in Helix Server, without shutting down the Server and opening the collection with Helix RADE. This should not be considered a ‘completed feature;’ it is a first (big) step toward the ultimate goal of live updating.


    • Structural access is via AppleScript only. The collection can be accessed in ‘read only’ or ‘modify’ mode.
    • To modify a running collection, the script must ‘login’ with the ‘modify’ paramater set to true. When the ‘modify’ parameter is omitted, AppleScript connects in ‘read only’ mode.
    • Login with modify requires exclusive access to the collection. All Clients must disconnect and all Apple events closed before updates can be applied.
    • Script must logout before subsequent connections will be allowed.
    • If modifications were made, Clients will be informed that the structure has been updated, and their local customizations will be reset. (This is the same as in prior versions when a collection was opened in Helix RADE.)
    • The ability to modify live structure also applies to Helix Engine and Helix RADE in User Mode.
  3. Refuse Incoming Connections (R7229)

    Helix Server now has the ability to refuse incoming connections. This on-demand feature temporarily limits client connections in order to effect a more orderly shut down, or to ensure that data intensive operations can be run on the Server without being impeded by additional Client connections.


    • When active, Clients attempting to connect are given a message indicating that the collection is currently unavailable. See at right.
    • Existing connections are not impacted in any way.
    • The File menu contains the Refuse/Allow Incoming Connections menu item. Selecting it toggles the setting.
    • The AppleScript command allow incoming connections [true | false] also toggles the setting.
  4. Unresponsive Client Timeout Adjustment (R7343)

    It is now possible to adjust the amount of time Helix Server will hold the connection for an unresponsive Client before disconnecting it. A full technote is coming soon.

  5. Communication Port Preference Setting

    The new HxTCPUsePort preference can be used to specify Client/Server port assignment, overriding the internal PORT resource. Users who need to switch from the default port (10860) can now set this on a machine-by-machine basis, and avoid the need to reset it with each Server upgrade.

    Users who wish to run multiple Servers on one Mac can still edit the PORT resource.

Helix Client

  1. Performance Improvements
    Helix Client List View Speed Comparison
    Seconds/Page LAN WAN
    Client 6.1.11 0.24 5.12
    Client 6.2.1 0.14 0.42
    Faster (Times) x 1.7 x 12.2
    Faster (Pct.) 42.0% 91.8%

    Test: Scroll through a list of 1,000 records on 24 pages by holding down the ‘Page Down’ key until the last page is fully drawn.

    WAN test was over 20 ‘hops’ spanning 4 major network backbones.

    Helix Client Subform View Speed Comparison
    Seconds to Draw LAN WAN
    Client 6.1.11 117 1150*
    Client 6.2.1 41 206
    Faster (Times) x 2.85 x 5.58
    Faster (Pct.) 65.0% 82.1%

    Test: Run the "Mult Test No Conditional Styles" from ST37 @ 10x15x25.

    * Client 6.1.11 crashed during every test. Result extrapolated from completed portion.

    Helix Client/Server 6.2 is significantly faster than version 6.1 in many areas.

    Specific Improvements:

    • Message reduction code provides a significant performance improvement, particularly on WAN.
    • Client data caching for sub-forms, lists, and entry forms further reduces network traffic.
    • Server multi-threading support improvements.
    • The charts on the right show the dramatic speed improvement compared to Helix Client/Server 6.1.11.

    Important note about caching changes:

    In Helix 6.2.1, data caching on the Client is working as it was originally intended. Because this feature was either completely disabled or partially functional in prior versions of Helix, you should be aware of how caching works, particularly in relation to cold forms. Some rules to keep in mind:

    1. Data is cached for an indeterminate amount of time. By definition, a cache is temporary storage, meant to increase performance by storing values likely to be reused locally. Data may be cleared from a cache at any time, requiring that it be re-fetched when next needed.
    2. Closing a view erases its cache: the data will be re-fetched when the view is reopened.
    3. A cold form must be explicitly refreshed, or it will continue to use cached data as long as the view remains open. This means that a cold entry form that contains any calculation based on Lookup ◊ for true = true in ◊ will continue to use the original cached value for every record viewed until a refresh is done.

      In contrast, Lookup ◊ for [field] = [value] in ◊ can potentially display an updated value for records that have not recently been viewed and are therefore not cached.

    4. In all cases, a refresh command will flush the cache and update all lookups.

    Because the behavior of cold forms is somewhat different with caching in effect, the toolbar always opens when a cold form is opened, in order to display the Refresh button. Users who dislike this behavior can set the HxShowToolbarForColdForm preference to false to prevent it from opening. (See preferences page.)

  2. Automatic Handling of Connection Documents (R7156)

    Helix Client 6.2 features a rewritten connection process, with additional emphasis on making connection documents transparent. Connections are now automatically saved on the Client machine, making connection management easy for novice users.


    • Unified Connect To… menu merges the cached connections with the New Connection… menu command.
    • User authentication to a collection can now be through the Custom Name or the Icon Name.
    • The connection document now stores the hostname instead of the IP address of the Server. (R7428)
    • Connections documents are stored in the user’s ~/Library/Application Support/Helix/Client/ directory.
    • Holding the Shift key down while selecting a connection document reveals it in the Finder.
    • Holding the Option key down while selecting a connection document reloads that connection from scratch (as a new connection).
  3. Run Sequence on Client via AppleScript

    Helix Client 6.2 adds the ability to run a sequence via AppleScript even when it is not available on the authenticated user’s menus. This enables the collection administrator to ensure that lengthy processes are not accidentally triggered.


    • The AppleScript syntax is: run sequence "name" with ‘name’ being the Custom or Icon name of the sequence. (Do not pass a sequence by Object ID.)
    • View permissions for the authenticated user are enforced for views opened by the sequence.

    The AppleScript dictionary describes the run sequence command in detail.

  4. New AppleScript Commands

    Helix Client 6.2 adds or enhances these AppleScript commands:

    • close connection with an option to discard unentered records
    • close window accepts a window name, or a list of window names
    • do menu accepts a menu item, or a list of menu items
    • run sequence accepts a sequence name, regardless of whether it is on the user’s menus.

    The AppleScript dictionary describes each command in detail.

  5. Structure Download Progress Thermometer

    When downloading (new or updated) structure from a Server will take more than a few seconds, an indeterminate progress thermometer appears, giving the end user an indication that progress is being made. (R6761)

Helix Utility

  1. AppleScript Suite

    Helix Utility 6.2.1 features an all new AppleScript implementation, completely rewritten to take advantage of the new user interface.

  2. Performance Improvements

    Helix Utility 6.2.1 is significantly faster than its predecessor, particularly with larger collections.

Bug Fixes and Improvements

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All Products

6.1 and Earlier Fixes and Improvements

  1. Lion/Mountain Lion Compatibility (R7234)

    A number of fixes and improvements address compatibility issues with macOS 10.7/10.8 (Lion/Mountain Lion):

    • In macOS 10.7 (Lion) Apple removed the Show/Hide Toolbar widget from the upper right corner of the open windows. Helix addresses this by adding the Show/Hide Toolbar command to the Edit menu.
    • All calls to the QuickDraw API have been eliminated.
    • Views with subforms or ‘summary’ calculations no longer wait for a mouse movement before completing. (R8313)
  2. User Interface Consistency

    A number of interface elements that previously showed vestiges of their Classic origins have been improved:

    • The Delete Records confirmation dialog is updated and enhanced for macOS. See This technote for details. (R6115)
    • Starting Page # dialog is updated for macOS. (R6116)
    • Document Management: Dialogs for importing and exporting documents are more clearly labeled, and error dialogs provide more information to help identify the source of the error.
    • The Replace Existing Document dialog is updated for macOS. (R8334)
    • The Copy File & Move File dialogs now have a title to make the action more obvious. (R7378)
    • The Recovery file not found dialog is updated for macOS. The message when the recovery file can not be found has also been improved. (R8342)
  3. Users can now log in using their Custom OR Real name. In either case, the Username tile behavior remains as it was before: If there is a Custom Name, the Username tile returns that; if there is no Custom Name, the Username tile returns the Icon name. (B5964)
  4. AppleScript (and Apple event) data access can now address all icons by Custom Name or Icon Name. To maintain backwards compatibility, Custom Names are checked first, and if no match is found, Icon Names are checked. Since it is now possible to give the collection icon a custom name (via the Inspector) you can create scripts that will not break if the user renames the collection file.
  5. Page Setup/Print data for macOS is now stored in the collection (R6405)

    See this technote, or this edition of The Latest Word for details.

  6. The Advanced Query Optimizer no longer fails for [ x or undefined x] when x is indexed. This is a bug that has existed since Helix Express 4.5.2. (R8444)
  7. The Font Panel is now a true floating palette when directly editing styled text. (R7572)
  8. Find and Post All now presents a progress bar marking progress (R7569)

    There are two stages to the new posting progress thermometer:

    1. Locking Records to Post runs first, and is typically quite fast. (In fact, it may not even be visible many times.) It makes sure all target records are locked so the posting will not encounter a write lock error.
    2. Posting Records runs second, and typically takes longer. This is where the actual posting happens.
  9. Preferences can now be toggled on/off while Helix is running.
  10. The Save Record Changes dialog appears in cases when the user cannot cancel the close, giving the user the option to save or discard the data changes.
  11. The Save Record Changes dialog no longer offers instructions canceling when that is not an option. (B5951)
  12. All references to Query are now shown as Form Query (as opposed to “Power Query” or “Open Query”).
  13. Scrolling a form with a multi-page subform now works properly. (R8012)

    If a view contains a subform that contains enough data to cause multiple pages to display, it was possible to scroll the page down and up in a manner that caused the pages to disappear from the screen. This has been fixed.

  14. The word “anomaly” has been stricken from the Helix vocabulary. An anomaly is now a “correctable error” or a “data error” when it is not correctable.
  15. The non-word “enablement” is no longer part of the Helix lexicon. The process is now called “registration” and the key is simply called “the key.” (B5937)
  16. Fixed a number of bugs in the Collection Info window for demo applications:
    • The seat count is correctly reported. (R8283)
    • The expiration time is correctly reported. (R8287)
  17. AppleScript: delete records is now a synonym to delete RecordID and delete RecordIDs for partial backwards compatibility with legacy CallHelix terminology. (B5933)
  18. The user authentication dialog can now be resized for longer names. (B5933)
  19. Replacing a collection via Save As now properly sets the file type of the collection (R7958)
  20. The sort order tooltip wording changed to “Specify sort order” for consistency. (B5940)
  21. Setting a complex Power Query no longer triggers in minor maintenance in the collection. (R8326)
  22. The AppleScript Data Suite use command now tests whether Apple events are allowed before trying to send an event (B5951)
  23. The About Helix window no longer opens automatically once every 28 days. (B5951)
  24. The HxBusyOverlayOpacity preference is removed. (B5951)
  25. Although the macOS color picker is quite buggy, it will no longer become stuck open in a non-modal, non-responsive state. (R8415)
  26. When view is closed, interrupting the redraw of a dynamic popup no longer triggers a crash. (B5958)
  27. Toolbar automatically opens for cold forms: (R8454)

    Because macOS 10.7 and later remove the toolbar button from the window, a number of changes have been made:

    • A Show/Hide Toolbar command is added to the Edit menu.
    • The Toolbar opens automatically if the view is a cold form, exposing the Refresh button.
    • A HxShowToolbarForColdForm preference disables automatic showing of the toolbar. See the preferences technote for details and an updated editor applet.
    • The Quick Query or Index Selection tools are no longer shown in the toolbar when they are not applicable.
  28. The Show Fonts menu item now becomes Hide Fonts when the font panel is open. (R8208)
  29. Import/Export Options delimiters lists no longer show two & symbols for that delimiter option. (R8331)
  30. A new HxSCMaintenanceDetails preference can be enabled to provide icon maintenance details (object name, expression, etc.) during structure check. (B5963)

    See the preferences technote for details and an updated editor applet.

  31. Scaled images should no longer by clipped slightly on the right and bottom. (B5963)
  32. Helix no longer requires that a file end with ‘.txt’ or have its Classic type property set to TEXT for it to be accepted for import. (R7921)
  33. A new HxEnableImageAntialiasing preference controls anti-aliasing of images in label rectangles. (R8491)

    See the preferences technote for details and an updated editor applet.

  34. AppleScript: retrieving data from a view containing a document no longer ends with the document file path. (R8502)
  35. AppleScript: retrieving data from a view containing a document no longer generates a malloc (memory allocation) error. (R8502)

Helix RADE

6.2 Fixes and Improvements

  1. Field
    1. Changing a text field with the keyword property on to another datatype now deactivates the keyword property (R8245)
  2. Abacus
    1. The Extract tile no longer wraps around when the offset specified is negative. (R8266)
    2. The Locate tile results are once again as expected when the ‘starting at’ value is 0. (R8433)
    3. Improve highlighting in abacus editor B5922
      • A selected object in an abacus editor window is darker than before, to make the selection more obvious.
      • A filled abacus socket is lighter than before, and an unfilled socket is darker than before, to make the state more obvious.
    4. The first hole in a lookup tile no longer shows two icons when the icon is changed to an incompatible type. (R8183)
    5. The abacus datatype is now properly maintained whenever it changes. The datatype shown in the Inspector should now always be correct. B5921
    6. A structure error is no longer reported after deleting upper tiles in an abacus. (R8260)
    7. Double-clicking on an empty socket (or a socket with a constant) now opens the constant editor dialog. (B5940)
    8. Deleting constant data from a socket now properly resets it to undefined. (R8363)
    9. The dialog for entering a constant in a socket hole now supports linefeeds. (B5951)
    10. The dialog for entering a constant in a socket hole is now larger to show more text. (B5951)
    11. Deleting or modifying tiles in an abacus editor should no longer trigger various crashes. (R8440)
  3. Template
    1. When a template contains a repeat rectangle, the Records, Across and Records, Down properties show how many records can be displayed. (R8375)
    2. Committing a foreground template with its view open in the background no longer leaves focus on the view. (R8003)
    3. Setting multiple font styles in a label rectangle now works. (R8200)
    4. Select multiple rectangles no longer leads to a crash if the Inspector is open and some of the selected rectangles are already modified, but not yet committed. (R8202)
    5. Removing a field from defaulted rectangle no longer triggers a crash (R8204)
    6. Rectangle drawing and alignment errors in template editor are fixed (R7972)
      • ‘dashed = framed’ and ‘not dashed = not framed’ for various rectangle types is now correct
      • Pasted image on template editor more closely matches appearance on view.
      • Color frames in template editor Preview mode are turned off, since macOS does not support them.
      • Selection pips now always position to avoid anti-aliasing artifacts.
      • The horizontal grid lines now draw correctly, instead of rising by 1/2 pixel.
      • The minimum sizing of a rectangle via keyboard is reduced from 8 to 4 pixels.
      • The position of the dotted lines within a data rectangle more closely matches the line positioning on the view.
    7. Picture properties for label rectangles are now shown in the Inspector and via AppleScript. (R8230)

      The has picture and has large picture properties report whether a picture exists and whether it is greater than 32K, respectively. Note that these are ‘read only’ properties, providing information on how Helix is internally interpreting the data within the rectangle.

    8. If a group rectangle contains no interior rectangles, reverse tabbing into it no longer triggers a crash. (R8241)
    9. Reverting a command rectangle label no longer results in minor maintenance. (R8175)
    10. Editing the command rectangle label for a disabled button no longer leads to structure error. (R8262)
    11. Exchanging a subform in a template no longer crashes (R8267)
    12. In a rare case, Helix would crash when attempting to determine the data type of the selected data rectangle when no rectangle was selected. This is fixed. (B5929)
    13. Resizing a subform template now informs the host template when the iteration count changes. (R8374)
    14. Creating a command rectangle ‘incorrectly’ no longer results in collection damage. (R8370)
    15. The default size of label and data rectangles is reduced to 10 point to avoid descender clipping in default sized rectangles. (B5960)
    16. When a data rectangle is selected, the Remove… menu item now reads Remove Rectangle. (R8065)
    17. When an icon in a data rectangle is selected, the Remove… menu item now reads Remove Icon. (R8065)
  4. View
    1. The presence of a subform no longer causes an empty Quick Query to appear in the toolbar. (R8481)
    2. A dynamic popup once again uses the format of the menu value icon for menu value choices. (R8185)
    3. Scale Picture override keys now toggle the data rectangles, not the labels. (Note: the toggle is determined when the view opens. (R8113)
    4. In Helix RADE User Mode (and Helix Client and Helix Engine) opening a view that is not enabled no longer creates a Quick Entry View, as it does in Design Mode. Now it returns an error that can be seen in the Why? message. (R7594)
    5. The Window property flags are now handled in a way that maintains compatibility with Helix 6.1 (R8242)
      • The ‘Status box’ property has been added to AppleScript (has status box) and the Inspector (Status box (Classic)), because its state has an effect on views opened in Classic Helix. This will be removed when we drop backwards compatibility.
      • The ‘Close box’ and ‘Zoom box’ properties are now set properly when the document type is changed, so the views don’t look freaky in Classic.
    6. The Inspector’s Cold Form checkbox is no longer backwards. (B5933)
    7. Clicking a rectangle with just an abacus plus vertical scrollbar no longer leads to a crash (R8422)
    8. A view that is actively importing data no longer responds to keystrokes. (R8064)
  5. User (R8190)
    1. The Element Panel no longer goes blank under narrow circumstances.
    2. Deleting a menu, then moving a menu, no longer leads to a crash.
    3. Dragging a menu item up one spot no longer results in duplicate of dragged menu item.
    4. Drag/deleting an item from a menu no longer removes the wrong menu item.
    5. When reverting user icon changes, the editor window no longer jumps to some indeterminate location.
    6. The Inspector now shows the Parent of item selected in a User Editor window. (R8216)
    7. Removing a view no longer resets the view permissions to ‘all’. (R8429)
  6. Sequence
    1. The tab field command is no longer stumped by checkboxes, popups, etc. (R8357)
    2. When deleting data via a sequence set to not show dialogs, subform records are now properly deleted, if specified. (R8498)
    3. The Run Sequence command is now enabled when a sequence is open (and committed). (R7900)
    4. Sequence items are no longer randomly removed when clicking about in the sequence window. (R8224)
    5. Removing conditional sequence items is more obvious. (R8164)
    6. The HxSequenceErrorHandling preference is no longer ignored. (R8195)

      See the preferences technote for details and an updated editor applet.

    7. Renaming a sequence when it is used by an open window no longer crashes (R8269)
  7. Index
    1. The internal index number is now seen in the Inspector and via AppleScript (R8211)
    2. The internal is valid flag is now seen in the Inspector and via AppleScript (R8211)
    3. Deleting data with an index editor window open no longer triggers a 6507 error. (R8358)
  8. Post
    1. Post setup now only allows the linking value triplet to be set to ‘create only.’ (R8282)
    2. The background color of the entire row in the posting triplets dialog is now shaded red if the row is invalid.
  9. Inspector
    1. Helix no longer crashes when clicking a popup in the Inspector after reopening a collection. (R8244)
    2. Command dragging a window with an Inspector dialog open no longer creates a duplicate of the dialog. (R8189)
    3. Font size 13 is no longer mysteriously missing in the font info. (R8201)
    4. Font info is now displayed in {face, style, size} order
    5. Redundancy has been eliminated in property names. (B5922)
    6. The number format properties are rearranged so that the common ones (groups, currency) are listed first. (B5926)
    7. When a subform rectangle is selected the location section is now open by default. (B5951)
    8. Numerous issues related to setting custom display formats have been resolved. (R8280)
    9. It is now possible to pick an icon with a duplicate name in a popup list. (R7895)
  10. General
    1. The can’t create a new collection (-48) error is minimized by moving the location of the temporary (scratch, recovery) files from the user’s ~/Library/Caches folder to ~/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems. (R7173)
    2. It is no longer necessary to close and reopen a new collection for Autosave to be enabled. (R7532)
    3. Trying to delete a large amount of structure no longer quits with a 5516 error (R7674)
    4. Scroll wheel support is restored to Helix 6.1 levels, and beyond. (R7685)
    5. An unused relation can now be deleted even when other selected icons are still in use. (R7800)
    6. 7501 error or hang when applying structure and deleting non-replaced icons (R7943)
    7. The Where Used command is now enabled for selected icons in the frontmost editor. If nothing is selected in the editor, the command opens the ‘Used By’ window for the icon itself. (R8073)
    8. Minor maintenance (SULs) is no longer required after applying a clipping (R8136)
    9. The Design Mode command is no longer missing from the Element Panel command list (R8225)
    10. Opening a collection with a very large number of post icons can be very slow (R8254)
      This technote provides further details on the problem and solution.
    11. The Comment column now retains its size when resized. (R8263)
    12. Attempting to delete a field still in user no longer displays wrong warning. (R8288)
    13. The positions of the Inspector and Element Panel are now properly remembered. (R8337)
    14. Exporting documents no longer crashes after the “replace or skip” dialog is dismissed. (R8334)
    15. An inert popup no longer changes value from last item on data entry (R8353)
    16. Canceling a dialog reporting damage after choosing Quit no longer reverts the collection. (R8366)
    17. After closing a collection and not saving, Helix no longer bypasses the ‘Save changes…’ dialog with subsequent collections. (R8414)
    18. Clicking in the blank area of a Where Used window no longer crashes. (B5926)
    19. Helix will no longer attempt an AutoSave when there are changes pending. (B5929)
  11. AppleScript
    1. The use command no longer ignores the icon’s Custom Name when looking for a match. (R8487)
    2. Retrieving data no longer fails if the reply is empty. (R8338)
    3. Retrieving data no longer leaves last item off the reply when its value is undefined. (R8338)
    4. View delimiters are no longer returned as a 2 character string (character plus NULL terminator) (R8327)

6.1 and Earlier Fixes and Improvements

  1. Dragging a document (from a Helix document field) to the desktop now performs a Copy to Volume operation. (R7544)

    This feature has a one known bug: you have to deactivate/reactivate the view before you can drag the document; this will be fixed in the next release.

  2. Pending Data Pattern Improvements (R7907)

    The color and opacity of the ‘pending data pattern’ (checkerboard) are now adjustable. Two new preferences — HxBusyOverlayColorOne & HxBusyOverlayColorTwo — can be used to change the opacity of the overlay. These are HTML colors expressed as an array of four hex values ranging from 0–FFFF. The values control, in order, the red, green, blue, and alpha (opacity) level. See the preferences technote for details and an updated editor applet.

  3. Helix RADE can now reopen a collection that fails the structure check. (aka: a ‘cracked’ collection) (R7412)
  4. The Collection Info window now properly reports the number of seats licensed. (R8283)
  5. The Clippings menu now passes an ‘open’ request to the Finder when an item is chosen with the Option key held down. (B5937)

Helix Client/Server

6.1 and Earlier Fixes and Improvements

  1. A Server crash caused by force quit of a Client during a long posting operation is fixed. (R7383)
  2. Editing Users via Client is now works as it should (R6738)
  3. Rapidly clicking a button containing a Find Next command, should no longer cause the Client to freeze. (R8413)
  4. Closing a view containing invalid data while Helix is in the background no longer results in a Client crash. (R7071)
  5. Lists no longer fail to update when autoclose closes the editing entry view. (R7222/R8140)
  6. Entering 255 (or more) characters in the ‘Connect to Server’ dialog no longer crashes. (R7935)
  7. The conditional sequence behavior (HCSB) preference now looks first for a resource, then for a preference, to aid in transition from Helix 6.1. (R7203)
  8. The communication port (PORT) preference now looks first for a resource, then for a preference, to aid in transition from Helix 6.1. (R7203)
  9. Helix Client no longer quits after attempting to connect to an unavailable Server. (R6818)
  10. Helix Client no longer quits when an administrator disconnects the user. (B5951)
  11. When a Client is disconnected, the message better informs the user as to why they were disconnected. (B5951)
  12. The connection and user authentication dialogs can now be resized, to accomodate longer names. (B5933)
  13. The Client Information window refresh period has been shortened from 60 seconds to 5. (B5933)
  14. The Server Information window refresh period has been shortened from 60 seconds to 15. (B5933)
  15. The ‘reset connection document’ key is changed from Shift key to Control key. (B5940)
  16. A new error code (0204) is added, should Client ever try to close an unsaved connection. (B5951)
  17. The code for passing large pictures is much better and faster. (B5957)
  18. Picture rectangle data should no longer get sent to the wrong view. (R6910)
  19. High maintenance counts should no longer happen with heavily used collections. (R7096)
  20. Helix Client should no longer freeze while waiting for a large picture. (R8405)
  21. Helix connection files now use the shorter ‘.hcf’ file extension by default. (The longer ‘.structure’ file extension is still valid.)

Helix Utility

6.2 Fixes and Improvements

  1. All new AppleScript (Apple event) suite. (R7715)
  2. Performance is improved significantly, particularly on larger collections, primarily by not giving macOS as many opportunities to get involved. (R7847)
  3. Minor repairs are now flagged in orange, not red. (B5968)
  4. Add minimal credits (B5960)

6.1 and Earlier Fixes and Improvements

  1. Relation names longer than 31 characters are no longer truncated. (R8490)
  2. Compressing a collection with a large picture in a command rectangle no longer results in damage when the objects in the collection are in a certain order. (R8372)
Pre-Emptive Warnings
Rectangle Format Discrepancies

There is one thing that you may observe when you start using your collections on a regular basis in Helix 6.2, that we want to explain before you report it as a bug. Well, it is a bug, but it’s a bug in old versions of Helix, not in Helix 6.2. Helix 6.2 just exposes it. Fortunately, there is a fairly simple fix.

In Helix, you can format a field or abacus in two places: the first is the icon itself, and the second is by setting a custom format for a rectangle on a template. The bug is this: when the format of the icon was changed, the two places could sometimes go out of sync with each other. That in itself should not be a problem, as there is a flag (the “use custom display” property) that is used to signal which format should be used.

Or at least, that was the intention. What we have discovered is that older versions of Helix could get confused and use some formatting data from the icon and other data from the rectangle, and it would attempt to synchronize the two data stores, sometimes without much success. As a result, although you may have gotten older versions of Helix to display your data as you wished, the underlying storage may have been badly messed up.

Now that Helix 6.2 preserves the custom display data even when that property is turned off (so that you are able to quickly restore it by turning the checkbox back on) some of the bad data introduced by older versions is being exposed. This is most often seen in Number and Fixed Point data, where decimal amounts are mysteriously missing.

Fortunately, the fix is simple, if a bit tedious: delete the affected rectangle and create a replacement from scratch. That will ensure that the rectangle does not have faulty custom format data. Actually, for most rectangles you can simply turn on the “use custom display” property and enforce your desired format that way. But if that doesn’t work, just replace the rectangle.

Classic Page Setup Data

Because Helix collections store Page Setup data for every view, and because macOS sometimes does a rather poor job of interpreting the “Classic” Page Setup data, the stored Classic data is sometimes interpreted very poorly by macOS. This problem becomes serious when first moving to Helix 6.2, as Helix 6.1 and earlier store only Classic Page Setup data. (See this technote for an explanation of why macOS native Helix 6.1 products do not show this problem.)

The solution (unfortunately) is to use Helix RADE 6.2 or later to open every view one by one, choose Page Setup, and correct the places where macOS has mishandled it. Once the view has stored the updated Page Setup data, the corrected data will be retained for future use, including in sequences and by Client workstations.

Note: You must use Helix RADE or Engine to correct this, as Helix Client does not send altered Page Setup data back to the Server. Also, if you take the collection back to Helix 6.1 for any reason, that version will not be able to interpret the new macOS Page Setup data, probably with undesirable results.

A script is available on our free AppleScripts page that assists in updating your Page Setup data by automating as much of the work as possible. You must still visually confirm the Page Setup settings, make changes where needed, and OK the dialog for each view. Look for the script named “Open Every Page Setup” in the “View” section.

See this technote for more on Page Setup and Scaled Printing

Additional Notes
See Also…

Helix 6.2.4 Release Notes

Helix 6.2.3 Release Notes

Helix 6.2.2 Release Notes

Helix 6.2 Release notes

Backward Compatibility

Databases opened with Helix 6.2 remain backwards compatible with all versions of Helix from 6.0 forward, for as long as practical.

Helix Client 6.2.1 is required to connect to Helix Server 6.2.1.