Everything Else
Europa 6.2b18 (5871) Companion TLW
Notice: This release is only available for Intel-based Macs. The PowerPC code has a number of issues, some of which may result in collection corruption and/or instability. If you need the PowerPC-enabled version, you can download it from the Interim Builds page. We will continue to build for PowerPC for the foreseeable future.
Helix RADE changes since 6.2b17 (5856)

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New and Improved Features

Template Editor (The “Very Much Useable” Edition)

The Template Editor now has most of its editing capabilities restored. There is more work to be done, but this one allows you to do most template editing tasks.

New feature: The Classic graph paper, which was displayed using a dot pattern, is restored and updated with a true graph paper motif. In addition, the horizontal and vertical spacing of the graph paper can now be adjusted from 0 (no lines) to the full width of the template’s page rectangle.

The image on the right shows the graph paper with the horizontal and vertical spacing customized to ensure that the rectangles are all aligned properly.

The default color of the graph paper is light blue. The color is set by editing the HxGraphPaperColor preference. This is an HTML color 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. The Preference Editor applet has been updated to provide an easy way to edit this setting.

Updated feature: The Duplicate Rectangle command is changed slightly, instead of ‘loading the cursor’ for you to click the location where the new rectangle is to be placed, the duplicate is automatically placed, using the graph paper spacing to determine where the new rectangle is placed. It can then be moved to its proper location, if necessary.

Setting the horizontal or vertical spacing to zero before duplicating results in rectangles that are perfectly aligned on that axis, with the spacing of the other axis used to determine the offset. This provides a fast and easy way to create a series of perfectly spaced and aligned rectangles.

Updated feature: When a template editor is active, the Element Panel (shown at right) now contains the tools for creating new rectangles, along with the icons eligible for placement on the template. To create a new rectangle, choose the rectangle type from the Element Panel and drag it out, just as you did in Classic RADE. (Dragging icons from the Element Panel to the template is not yet functional; for now you must use the Inspector to assign icons to rectangles.)

Rectangles are deleted from a template via the Delete Rectangle command in the “Icon” menu.

Editing via mouse — dragging icons from the Element Panel (or other windows) and resizing via click and drag — are scheduled for the next release. (The ‘grab boxes’ are already being drawn, so you can see where we are going with this.)
Consequently, there is currently no way to add a subform to a template other than via AppleScript.
With this release, the only function of the Element Panel is to switch between the rectangle tools.

New feature: You can now overlap all rectangle types, including data and command rectangles.

When this new feature is used, the template can not be edited in Classic Helix RADE. If this is a concern to you — or you simply want to check for unintended overlaps — the Check Rectangle Overlap menu command on the “Icon” menu can be used to highlight overlapping rectangles; if there is overlap, the first pair is selected and a Why message explains.
Since rectangles may now overlap, it is possible to create rectangle that are only partially enclosed by a group box or repeat rectangle. In this and all cases, it is the upper left corner of the rectangle that determines its location for the purpose of nesting within other rectangles and setting the tab order.

Updated feature: The new template editor works with the Inspector: selecting a rectangle shows its properties in the Inspector, where they can be changed. All properties — everything from the size and location of a rectangle to the conditional sequences of a command rectangle — can now be edited in the Inspector. The only exceptions are the text/picture in a label or command rectangle and the template used for a subform rectangle; these are edited directly in the template editor.

New feature: The icons placed in a rectangle are now selectable. When an icon in a rectangle is selected, the Inspector changes to show the properties of the selected icon, just as if you had switched out to the relation window and selected it. If that icon has an editor window, you can double click it to open its editor; you can also open the icon’s ‘Where Used’ window, either by option-double clicking, via the menu item, or the command’s keyboard shortcut.

Updated feature: All aspects of multiple rectangles can be edited simultaneously. If the value of a property for multiple selected rectangles is the same, that value is displayed; otherwise the Inspector displays the text ‘Multiple Values’ for that property. Changing that property to a specific value conforms each rectangle to the new value. For example, entering a value in the Location -> Width property of multiple selected rectangles makes them all the exact same width.

New feature: Like the Select All Rectangles command, which selects all of the rectangles on the template, the new Select Similar Rectangles command selects all of the rectangles of the same type as the currently selected rectangle(s). If more than one type of rectangle is selected, all rectangles of those types are selected. Select Similar Rectangles is found in the ‘Edit’ menu, and is seen only when holding down the Option key. (The keyboard command is Command-Option-A.)

Updated feature: The size and location of selected rectangles can be edited via the keyboard, following these revised rules:

  1. Arrow keys move rectangles in 1 pixel increments.
  2. Adding the Command key resizes rectangles.
  3. Adding the Shift key moves or resizes the rectangle based on the current Align to grid setting:
    • On: the distance needed to align it to the next graph paper line
    • Off: the distance equal to the current graph paper spacing
  4. Adding the Option key temporarily flips the align to grid setting.
  5. Adding the Control key resizes from the top/left instead of bottom/right. (The Control key has no effect when moving rectangles.)

The keyboard editing options also work when multiple rectangles are selected, making it possible for the first time to resize multiple rectangles simultaneously.

Updated feature: The Classic Grid property is now named Align to Grid, as that more accurately reflects what it does. When this setting is on, moving or resizing rectangles — via keyboard or mouse — is constrained to the align to the graph paper.

Updated feature: Icons are no longer displayed at a fixed location within a rectangle. Instead, they shift so that the name is always visible regardless of the size of the rectangle. When an entry rectangle contains both a field and abacus icon, the field appears on the left, the abacus on the right, always shifted so both can be displayed.

New feature: The AppleScript selection property can be used to find which rectangles are selected in an open template editor window.

Updated feature: Helix RADE has always allowed the collection designer to create ‘illegal’ templates, such as one where a single field is placed in multiple rectangles. Classic RADE opened an alert dialog when such a template editor was closed, giving the designer an opportunity to cancel the close and correct the error. macOS RADE does not produce such an alert; it simply beeps and sets a Why? message informing of the error. If you first Commit the template before closing the window, the Why? message is set and the first illegal rectangle is selected.

General Improvements to Other Areas

  • R7907: The color and opacity of the busy pattern (checkerboard) is now adjustable.

    Last month, we made the opacity editable through a preference setting. This release takes that further, enabling complete control over the color and opacity of both colors that make up the busy overlay.

    The colors are set by editing the HxBusyOverlayColorOne & HxBusyOverlayColorTwo preferences. 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. The Preference Editor applet has been updated to provide an easy way to edit this setting.

  • The Revert and Commit commands now always apply to the active icon, unless the active icon is the collection or a relation with some icons selected, in which case it applied to the selected icons. In other words, it does not apply to icons selected in other windows, like the index window.
  • Preview mode is implemented for command rectangles:
    • Preview mode off: the sequence icon is displayed
    • Preview mode on: the text or picture label is displayed

Bug Fixes

General Fixes

  • R6920: Some minor alignment issues when printing have been addressed.
  • R7546: Switching the current index or query of a view in the Inspector now updates the list of records shown prior to committing the change.
  • R7888: Resizing the Element Panel no longer messes up the right border.
  • R7923: Opening the “Where Used” list of a field icon that is used in a template no longer triggers a crash.
  • R7927: Applying a clipping containing a Quick Query no longer sometimes results in damage.

    Additional issues that were fixed in the Apply Structure code include the possibility that applying structure containing a Power Query could create a situation when subsequent work results in a damaged collection, and a crash that could occur when the ‘Delete Non-replaced Icons’ option is turned on.

  • R7930: Attempting to set a flag field to checkbox (at field or template level) no longer crashes.
  • R7932: Applying a clipping containing a template with multiple subforms no longer invalidates the views that use that template.
  • R7939: 5516 errors that could occur when deleting relations have been resolved.
  • R7946: When dragging a view, post or user icon from the Element Panel, the proxy image is no longer clipped.
  • R7954: Logging in to a collection with just one user now presents a simpler authorization dialog when that user has a password.

    This dialog — which is also used when opening a collection via Apple event — is enhanced to display the name of the user (or collection) whose password is being requested.

  • R7955: The document image in a field on view is once again placed correctly.
  • R7967: When switching a view to a Quick template, the old template is not released.

    If the old template is no longer used anywhere, it can not be deleted until a structure check is done to correct the internal reference count. Unfortunately, a collection with this problem would sometimes crash during the structure check, making it impossible to correct the situation.

AppleScript Changes

  • Rename grid property to align to grid in the template properties.
  • Rename horizontal grid size property to horizontal spacing in the template properties.
  • Rename vertical grid size property as vertical spacing in the template properties.
  • Rename ignore standard labels property as require custom labels in flag format properties
  • The description of the graph paper property in the template properties has been expanded.

Helix Utility

A new release of Helix Utility is available. If you are not automatically prompted to download it, choose Check for Updates from the Helix Utility menu to get it.

Additional Features

  • R7959: Add Detailed Logging option to interface; remove extraneous chatter from basic activity logging.

    The Detailed Logging checkbox controls the amount of information displayed in the Activity Log. With the option off (the default) only the start time, stop time, and success/failure of the operation are reported. Turning the option on displays much more detail, which is primarily useful for preliminary diagnosis of faulty collections and for debugging.

    Additional information is shown when Detailed Logging is active:

    • The current relation being examined is shown.
    • The entry for an invalid index now shows the internal index id.
    • When an obsolete relation id is encountered in resources, it is noted. (This is a harmless situation, but one we should address someday.)
    • When an invalid reference is encountered while trying to delete a damaged record, it is noted.
  • Command key equivalents:
    • CMD-B: Break All Indexes
    • CMD-D: Detailed Log
    • CMD-I: Collection Info
    • CMD-M: Compress Collection
    • CMD-R: Repair Collection
    • CMD-V: Verify Collection
    • CMD-+: Add Collection (brings up file selection dialog)
    • CMD--: Remove selected collection from list
    • CMD-Delete: Clear Activity Log

Bug Fixes

  • R7840: Helix Utility more gracefully handles the situation where a file can’t be found.

    Helix Utility now reports that the file could not be found, and does not pretend to proceed with the repair of a file named ‘\\Unknown\\’.

  • R7843: The estimated compressed size of a collection larger than 2GB is now correctly reported.
  • R7893: The collection file is now properly closed if the user cancels the process.
  • R7936: Helix Utility no longer crashes when attempting read a record whose location pointer is beyond the end of the file.

    This type of damage can not be completely fixed by Helix Utility, but at least it doesn’t crash now. One bug remains: Helix Utility may fail to inform that the collection can not be repaired, reporting instead that another pass is required but stopping anyway.

  • R7960: Helix Utility now creates a ‘Helix’ folder (if needed) in ~/Library/Logs/ before trying to create a new logfile.
  • Collections are now properly changed to the ‘caution’ state while a repair is in progress.
  • A safeguard was added to avoid trying to examine an obsolete relation.
  • A safeguard was added to avoid trying to get the name of an obsolete object.
  • The Activity Log no longer includes the line “Fixing Problems” when verifying the collection.
  • Various sheets now have a default button.
Backward Compatibility

Europa remains backwards compatible with all versions of RADE from 6.0 forward.

Previous Updates

Release Notes for Prior Preliminary Releases

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