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Helix and macOS 10.12 (Sierra) Compatibility
Introduction

With the September 20, 2016 release of macOS 10.12 (aka: Sierra) Apple has continued on in the direction they started with Yosemite, continuing to merge the visual interface of macOS and iOS. (If you care for a detailed analysis of the changes in Sierra, read the Ars Technica review.)

In places where Sierra changes control elements, such as checkboxes, popup menus, and radio buttons, Helix reflects this new design style, making your collections ‘fit right in’ in Sierra with no (or only minor) design changes required.

Helix 7.0, released on December 20, 2016, is fully Sierra-compatible. The availability of Helix 7.0 means we will not be addressing Sierra compatibility issues discovered in older versions of Helix.

Helix 6.2.x compatibility with Sierra is mostly the same as with prior releases, except that the Yosemite/El Capitan font panel issues that were solved in 6.2.4 have returned, and also now affect styled text in user mode. If you are currently running Mavericks (macOS 10.9) or earlier, review the Yosemite and El Capitan compatibility notes before upgrading if you plan on continuing to use Helix 6.2.x.

This technote will be updated as the situation evolves. (Last update: December 20, 2016.)

Helix Applications and macOS 10.12 Sierra
Helix RADE

Helix RADE 7.0.x releases are compatible with Sierra.

Helix RADE 6.2.x releases are compatible with Sierra, with the exceptions noted on the Yosemite compatibility page.

Helix RADE 6.1 and earlier are not compatible with Sierra.

Helix Server

Helix Server 6.2.2 and later are compatible with Sierra. (Be sure to read the App Nap note below.)

Helix Server 6.2.1 and earlier are not compatible with Sierra.

Helix Client

Helix Client 7.0.x releases are compatible with Sierra.

Helix Client 6.2.x releases are compatible with Sierra, with the exceptions noted on the Yosemite compatibility page.

Helix Client 6.2.1 and earlier are not compatible with Sierra.

Helix Engine

Helix Engine 7.0.x releases are compatible with Sierra.

Helix Engine 6.2.x releases are compatible with Sierra, with the exceptions noted on the Yosemite compatibility page.

Helix Engine 6.1.x has not been tested. We recommend updating to Helix Engine 6.2.4 or later.

Helix Engine 6.0 and earlier are not compatible with Sierra.

Helix Utility

Helix Utility 6.2 and later are compatible with Sierra.

Helix Utility 6.0 and earlier are not compatible with Sierra.

Sierra Notes
App Nap app-nap

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 and later 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.

Discontinued Applications
Update Collection

The collection updating function performed by Update Collection has been added directly to Helix 7.0, with support for updating collections from Helix Express 3.5 and later. Update Collection is officially discontinued.

The structure checking function performed by Update Collection was added directly to Helix 6.2, making this product unnecessary for collections previously updated to Helix 6.x. To use an older collection with Helix 6.x, it must be updated to Helix 6.0/6.1 using a machine running macOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or earlier. See this technote for options available to update older collections.

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 (Lion) or later.

Helix Maintenance Manager (HMM)

Helix Maintenance Manager 1.0.x is compatible with Helix utilities 5.3.x and 6.0.x only and therefore not compatible with Sierra.

Helix Developer Utility (HDU)

Helix Developer Utility (HDU) is a discontinued “Classic-only” application. Developers who require the functions of HDU should contact our technical support department for assistance.

Helix Scripting (CallHelix)

The functions performed by Helix Scripting are incorporated directly to Helix 6.2 and later, 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 (Lion) or later.