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GUI Access to Helix Icons
Introduction

Beginning in Helix RADE 6.2, the graphic user interface (GUI) of Helix features a consistent interface for editing the properties and elements of the various icons. Gone are the assorted menus and dialog boxes where controls were scattered about in Classic Helix RADE.

Helix RADE 6.2 and later feature three distinct but unified ways to edit icons in Helix:

  • Icon Editors: the mainstay of Classic Helix RADE, Icon Editors are the windows that open when an icon is double clicked. Each icon type has a unique and instantly recognizable editor window, such as the abacus editor and the template editor. Some editors (such as the field editor) were of such a simplistic nature that they no longer exist.
  • The Inspector: the focal point of macOS Helix RADE, the Inspector gathers every property into a single floating window from which you can edit the icon. Every icon in Helix is editable via the Inspector, which changes context to show the properties of the currently selected icon(s).
  • AppleScript: the power users’ editor, AppleScript provides the ability to examine and modify every property of every icon type in Helix. The AppleScript capabilities also extend to Helix Engine and Helix Server, making it possible to edit the structure of a collection without opening the collection in Helix RADE.

The chart shown below indicates the access capabilities for each property and element, using this color-coded key:

  • Features that are new in Helix 7 are shown in bold.
  • Green items are editable in the Icon Editor, Inspector and AppleScript.
  • Blue items are editable in the Inspector and AppleScript. (There is no direct Editor.)
  • Pink items are editable via the Inspector and AppleScript, and as read only properties in the Editor.
  • Tan items are editable via AppleScript, and are available as read only properties in the Inspector and Editor.
  • Yellow items are available only via AppleScript.
  • Read only items are shown in faded type over the color of the appropriate access locations.
  • Classic features that are not implemented in macOS are shown as faded.
  • If something appears to be missing from the chart, or is otherwise incorrect, please contact technical support so we can address it.
Properties by Icon Type Last Update: January 20, 2017

Icon Properties

These properties common to all icons and are not repeated within each icon section below.

Property Description
name The name of the icon
custom name The custom name of the icon
user mode name The name of the icon as it appears in user mode
comments The comment on the icon
locked Prevents the icon from being deleted
background color The background color of the window that displays this icon. Also used to color the collection/relation grid.
Content A summary of the contents of the icon
Object ID The unique internal ID of the icon
Created The date and time the icon was created
Modified The date and time the icon was last modified
Parent The icon that contains the this icon
location Coordinates of the window that opens when this icon is opened, including the title bar.

Collection

Property Description
autosave The parameters for autosave, including the boolean to turn it on and off.
collection password A password that is required to open the collection.
user mode Is the GUI in user mode (true) or design mode (false). Change this value to change between user mode and design mode. When changing to user mode, this changes the menus to those of the user that is the current user in the GUI, not the user that "logged in" via AppleScript. This can only be changed in RADE; other programs alway report "true".
user name security Is user name security on?
color preferences The 256 colors defined in the collection
check structure on open Whether or not to check the structure when a collection is opened
check structure on save Whether or not to check the structure when a collection is saved
apple event maximum add Number of records that can be added via a single event
apple event maximum retrieve Number of records that can be retrieved via a single event
apple event maximum delete Number of records that can be deleted via a single event
current apple event processes Number of open Apple event processes
maximum apple event processes Maximum number of Apple event processes that can be open under the license
current users Number of connected users (RADE & Engine return 1)
maximum users Server: Maximum number of Clients that can connect under the license
RADE/Engine: Maximum number of copies that can run concurrently under the license
Element Description
relation A related group of data items and structures.
sequence A series of actions that can be activated with a single command.
user A personalized set of menus.

Collection & Relation Properties — specific to collection and relation windows.

Note: All properties of a collection/relation are read/write-capable when the Display Mode is ‘List’, as well as in the Inspector, and AppleScript. When the Display Mode is ‘Icon’ the Icon Editor is read-only.

Property Description
display mode Whether the window displays its contents as icons or a list. When displayed as a list, icons can be sorted by various attributes. (See below.)
columns A list of four column names, indicating the order of the columns (after the icon column)
dividers Four integers in ascending order, indicating the left edge (in pixels) of the four named columns in the window.
position The relative position of an icon when the Display Mode of the collection or relation editor is ‘Icon’. These are not fixed values, but represent an offset (in pixels) from the current center point of the icons. Minimum/Maximum values are ±32767.
selection The icons selected in the icon. (Currently only supported in collection and relation icons.)
view by icon Show the icons as icons.
view by kind, name, custom name, comments Show icons in list mode, sorted by various columns.

Relation

Element Description
abacus A calculation to be performed on data.
field A column of data in a relation.
form query Template-based query.
helix icon Includes all of the others
index Sort order for the data.
post Automatic data manipulation.
power query Defines a query to restrict the data.
template A "blueprint" used by a view or form query.
view A form for accessing the data within a relation.

Abacus

Property Description
common calculation common calculation
data type Date, Document, Fixed Point, Flag, Number, Picture, Styled Text, or Text.
format Data format.
expression The entire abacus expression in a single line
Element Description
abacus element The tiles, etc. in an abacus.

Field

Property Description
control format display as popup, checkbox, radio button, etc.
data type Date, Document, Fixed Point, Flag, Number, Picture, Styled Text, or Text.
display format for date, number, fixed point, flag and document fields, the default format data is displayed as.
ignore words Words to ignore when building keyword index. [keyword fields only]
inert Field is not stored in data base
keep versions keep versions [document type only]
keyword keyword field [text type only]
storage type Store documents internally, externally, or let the user choose.
validation The validation criteria, whether from a built-in tile or user-defined abacus.

Form query

Property Description
keep current Does the window refresh when changes would cause an update? (aka: Hot/Cold forms)
search template The template to use for the query
expression (r/o) The entire form query expression in a single line

Index

Element Description
index element The icon and order (ascending/descending) for each item in the index.

Post

Property Description
auto open view A view that opens during the posting process.
post every If true, post to every record that matches. If false, only post to the first record found that matches.
post option 0 to 4. For Option 0, other properties are ignored. For Option 1, all other properties must be defined. For Options 2-4, the target relation is required; other parameters are optional.
source value The abacus or field in the source relation to match to find records
target relation The target relation
target value The abacus or field in the target relation to match to find records
Element Description
post triplet A three-part entity comprised of source data, operator and target field.

Power query

Property Description
permanent items Icons that are always part of a power query and cannot be removed by the user. These icons must be of type flag.
reference items Icons that may be incorporated into a power query as the right-hand side of a query term.
searchable items Icons that may be incorporated into a power query as the left-hand side of a query term.
expression (r/o) The entire form query expression in a single line

Sequence

Property Description
display message When an error occurs, automatically open the dialog and display the error message.
message When a custom message is displayed, this text is shown.
message option When an error occurs, an error message (that can be seen by choosing the Why? menu item of the Help menu) is generated. A sequence can display the standard message, replace it with a custom message, or suppress the message entirely.
show dialogs For commands that normally display a dialog (e.g: Print, Import), a sequence can be set to display the dialog always, never, or only when the option key is held down during the sequence. When a sequence does not display dialogs, it relies on previously stored information to supply the needed input. (e.g: pages to print, file to import)
Element Description
sequence step A sequential list of view icons, user icons, sequence icons, and sequence commands that are invoked in order.

Template

Property Description
Graph Paper Show the grid spacing on the template
Align to Grid Moving items aligns them to the graph paper
Ruler Show rulers around the template
Preview (Partially Implemented) Show a preview of the rectangle. (When off, the icons are shown.)
Page Rectangle Two values that define the height and width of the template, in pixels.
Element Description
template rectangle The rectangles on the template.

User

Property Description
logon limit The number of logons allowed
password The user’s password
user mode This user opens in User Mode at next login.
user type The type of user
Element Description
user menu The user’s menus.
menu item A single menu item.
permissions element These are permissions for icons that may open that do not appear on any menus.

View

Property Description
closeable Does the window have a close button?
horizontally scrollable Does the window have a horizontal scroll bar?
invisible Is the window invisible?
keep current Does the window refresh when changes would cause an update? (aka: Hot/Cold forms)
resizeable Does the window have a resize widget?
show page boundaries Does the window show page separation lines?
vertically scrollable Does the window have a vertical scroll bar?
window type The type of window used when this icon is opened. Meaningful only for views.
zoomable Does the window have a zoom button?
abacus query lock Do not allow User Mode to change the "Also Use" option when a quick query is open
default values highlighted Are rectangles with default values drawn with a distinctive background?
delete host record On a view containing a subform, delete the host record when a delete is done
demand posts Posting icons used with the "Post All", "Find and Post All", and "Post Selections" commands
edit posts Posting icons used when adding, replacing, or deleting data
existing documents What to do if a document being exported already exists at the specified location
export file path The complete path to be used when exporting a text file, in HFS (with embedded : characters to mark directories).
export posts Posting icons used when exporting data
field delimiter The ASCII character to use as the field delimiter
import file path The complete path to be used when importing a text file, in HFS (with embedded : characters to mark directories).
include icon names Export the name of the icon in each data rectangle as the first line of the export file
include outer data Export data in rectangles outside the repeat rectangle?
invalid fields highlighted Are rectangles with invalid values drawn with a distinctive background?
moving forward Was the last find (and therefore the next automatic find) in the forward direction?
notify on change Is there a signal when a change to this view occurs?
on import error What to do when an error occurs during import
current index The index currently used to specify the order of the records displayed.
default index The default index for specifying the order of the records displayed.
print posts Posting icons used when printing
quick query The quick query expression.
quick query lock Do not allow User Mode to change the status of the quick query
record delimiter The ASCII character to use as the record delimiter
selectable indexes Indexes available in the Sort Order popup.
start character The ASCII character to use as the start character.
starting page number The starting page number used for page numbering. Used in conjunction with the "has page number" property of the label rectangle
strip field delimiters Remove any field delimiter characters found in the data
strip record delimiters Remove any record delimiter characters found in the data
strip return characters Remove any carriage return (ASCII 13) characters found in the data
subform links Linking parameters for subforms, including the 'deletes records' property.
use specified document path When true, documents are exported to the location specified in the stored path. When false, documents are exported to the location of the control (export) file
view query The abacus, form, or power query to use to select records to view.
view template The template to use to define the form.