Everything Else
Welcome to Helix Client/Server 6.1
6.1.x Updates
About this Release

Helix 6.1 represents the second stage of our work in updating our code for macOS. Helix 6.1 features macOS native versions of Helix Server, Helix Engine, Helix Client, Helix Utility and Update Collection. Helix 6.1 products are created in Xcode, paving the way for Intel-native Helix.

Helix Server 6.1.3 is a Universal Binary application, running natively on Macintosh computers with Intel processors. Running Helix Server on a Mac Pro or Xserve brings truly stunning performance to Helix.

Client Platform Transparency

Helix Server 6.1.3 is compatible with Helix Clients running in native OS 9, Classic mode under macOS and natively on PowerPC and Intel Macs. Clients can be any mix of compatible machines and versions. You don’t need to upgrade your entire office to run Helix Server 6.1.3!

Macs with PowerPC 60x, G3, & G4 processors running Mac OS 9 can run Helix Client Classic. Any Mac running macOS can run Helix Client.

How to Upgrade

Helix Server 6.1 is a paid upgrade for owners of previous Helix Server versions. Older keys do not work with this release. Log in to your account or contact us for information on purchasing this upgrade.

Helix Server 6.1.5 is a free update for owners of Helix Server 6.1.x licenses. Simply download the new version and use your existing emablement keys to activate it.

Helix Server 6.1.5 is also available in a for PowerPC edition, which is available for free to onwers of Helix Server 6.0 licenses. When that product was being sold, we promised a free upgrade to a version with a macOS compatible Client. Helix Server for PowerPC is the fulfillment of that promise.

System Requirements

Intel Macs: macOS 10.5 (Leopard) through 10.8 (Mountain Lion).
PowerPC Macs: macOS 10.4 (Tiger)–10.5 (Leopard).

What’s New In Helix Server 6.1 (Released: April 4, 2008)
New or Improved Features in Helix Server 6.1
Open Recent Menu

The Open Recent menu, found in the File menu, provides a quick way to reopen recently served collections. The number of items displayed is controlled by the macOS System Preference for number of recent items to display.

Tip: If you hover over a menu item in the Open Recent menu, a tooltip appears showing the full path to that file.

New About Window

The About Helix Server window has been completely redesigned. Using Apple’s WebKit, the about pages are created as standard HTML files. In fact, the Current Version page (see below) is a live web page, pulled from our web server.

Also found in the About Helix Server window are the End User License Agreement and Notices & Credits. (There is also an Easter Egg, for those who like that sort of thing.)

  • Current Version Check

    The Current Version panel in the About Helix Server window connects to our web server so the information is always up to date. (If you have no internet connection, a message to that effect is displayed.)

    Because the current version information is pulled live from our web server, we can also use this page to provide you with late-breaking news. Should any important bugs be reported, we will be sure to post a message here, letting you know.

    By default, the About Helix Server window opens once per week as an easy reminder to keep up to date. This window does not impact Helix Client performance.

Server Info Window Enhancements

New or enhanced pieces of information found in the Server Info window…

  • Font Info List

    A list of all fonts referenced in the collection is available. The list shows the name of the font, font ID, whether it is available or not, and if not available, the substitute font being used. Note that each Client handles its own font substitution table, so a font that is not present on the Server will display correctly if it is installed on the Client.

    If the Server Info command is available to a user running the macOS Client, the Client’s Font Info list reflects the availability of fonts on the workstation.

    The Reference Count column is of little use. It is included for technical support purposes.

    A ‘referenced font’ is any font that has ever been used in the collection, in both collection design and Styled Text fields, even if it is no longer used. (The font reference table does not remove obsolete entries.)

  • Save Stats Precision is 0.1 seconds

    In macOS, Helix typically saves so quickly that Helix Server 6.0 sometimes reported the Last Save Length and Average Save Length statistics as ‘0 seconds.’ In Helix 6.1, saves are reported with 0.1 second accuracy.

  • More Machine Statistics

    One of the keys to maximum performance in macOS is to minimize the use of Virtual Memory. VM usage is best gauged by the PageIns & PageOuts statistics. These are now available in the Machine Info panel.

Additional Preferences

New preferences have been added to Helix Server. See Server Preferences in the built-in Help for the updated list.

  • Auto Connect Mechanism

    You can now set a Helix application to automatically open a specific collection every time it is launched via the HXAutoOpenURI preference.

Other Changes
  • Processor Requirements Reduced

    Prior versions of Helix consumed 100% of the free processor time. Helix now uses only what is needed, resulting in more efficient computer operation.

  • Form Compiling Eliminated

    Helix 6.1 no longer relies on compiled forms. As a result, Helix Server opens recently modified collections faster. Compiled forms were shown to be the source of some obscure and intermittent bugs.

  • Navigation Services

    All Helix file service dialogs take full advantage of macOS Navigation Services.

  • AutoSave Options

    The 12 Hour (AM/PM) option has been removed from the Start Time setting. Specify the start time using 24 hour format.

Bugs Fixed in Helix Server 6.1
Server on Intel-based Mac crashes when Client posts (TS1965)

Helix Server 6.0.x running on an Intel-based Mac could on rare occasions occasionally crash when a Client does something that involves posting. Helix Server 6.1 fixes this bug.

Intermittent Posting Failures (TS2013)

In prior versions of Helix Server, a posting operation could mysteriously stop working. When this bug struck, the post would stop working and not work again until the administrator took the collection into Design Mode and re-specified the posting operations.

Helix Server 6.1 fixes this bug.

Inaccurate Message on Permissions Failure

If a collection can not be edited because it is locked or permissions are set to ‘read only’, Helix 6.0 would display a dialog indicating that the collection was damaged. Helix Server 6.1 corrects this. The dialog now reports ‘The collection is locked or read-only (permission denied).’

Long-standing Bugs

Because of Xcode’s more thorough code checking, many long-standing bugs have been eliminated. These are bugs that would appear intermittently and were therefore extremely hard to track down.

Known Problems in Helix Server 6.1
Client Info Window Grows

As Clients log out of the collection, their statistics (username, IP address, time logged in/out) are added to the Logged Out panel of the Client Info window. As the list grows, the window becomes larger, until it extends off the bottom of the screen, making it impossible to access the buttons at the bottom.

Selecting entries and clicking the Clear button removes them from the list. Doing this periodically will keep the window small. The list is also cleared when the collection is closed.

Client/Server Info Windows Improperly Sized

The Server Info & Client Info windows open at the wrong size, causing the buttons at the bottom to be slightly clipped. Resizing the window manually corrects the problem. This is a cosmetic issue only.

Server Preferences and AutoSave Dialogs Highlighting

When the Server Preferences or AutoSave dialog is opened, all of the editable fields appear to be highlighted. Tabbing through them removes the highlighting. This is a cosmetic issue only.

Fragile Indexes Are Not Invalidated (Pre-Existing Bug)

If a Client changes data that requires the rebuilding of a fragile index, the index is not invalidated by Helix Server. The Helix Utility Data Damage Repair process will flag this index, causing this index to rebuild the next time the collection is opened.

Other Known Problems

The Release Notes (pdf) included in the installer package contains a list of Known Problems.

What’s New In Helix Server 6.1.1 (Released: June 30, 2008)
Bug Fixes in Helix Server 6.1.2
BZ903: PORT resource value ignored

A bug in Helix Client/Server 6.1 would sporadically result in internally stored documents being corrupted when the Copy From Volume command was used to upload a document.

The most insidious part of this bug was that there was no warning that a document had become corrupted during the upload. Only when retrieving a document at a later date would Helix Client report that it “detected a problem with the document” and offer to delete the download or let you try again. Trying again would not help, as the corruption was actually in the stored document.

Helix Client/Server 6.1.1 fixes this bug, and we recommend that all customers who use internal documents install this update immediately.

In addition to fixing this bug, the new code in Helix Server computes the document checksum during more stages of the document transfer, resulting in an more robust transfer mechanism that will report other types of network problems that may have gone undetected in the past.

Helix Client non-responsive when Helix Server dialogs are open

When a user chooses Quit on a Helix Server that has Clients connected, three dialog boxes are presented. The first is the standard Save changes before Quitting? dialog; the second informs the user that there are Clients connected, giving them one last opportunity to cancel the Quit operation. The third dialog states that the Server will quit when all Clients have logged off and offers only an Abandon button.

In prior versions of Helix Server, while either of the first two dialogs were open, connected Clients were unable to communicate with Server, making it impossible for them to finish their work or even to disconnect from the Server.

Both of those dialogs now allow Client tasks to continue even while they are open on the Server’s screen. Nonetheless, it is still recommended that these dialogs be answered immediately. Network performance is significantly reduced when these dialogs are left open.

BZ903: PORT resource value ignored

Helix Server 6.1 was ignoring the PORT resource, always using port 10860 (the default port). Helix Server 6.1.1 correctly reads and applies alternative port settings.

BZ777: AutoOpen Post with omitted key field corrupts index

A rare combination of factors would result in the corruption of an index, resulting in records appearing twice in lists, or deleted records appearing as a blank line in lists. This has been fixed.

Helix Utility is also able to detect this problem and schedule the index for rebuilding, but lists could display inaccurate data between Helix Utility runs.

See this technote for details on the factors that triggered this bug.

TS2233: Crash Recovery: pictures over 64K are lost

Pictures over 64K, pasted into Picture fields, were not being recovered when the log file was applied after a crash. Upon recovery, the records containing the pictures were recreated, but the picture field was empty.

This is now fixed. All data types and sizes are properly recovered from the log file after a crash.

Potential write lock failure

It was discovered that every four billionth attempt to write lock a record would fail, and the record could potentially be edited by two users simultaneously. A user would have to write lock a record once every second of every day for 136 years to reach this number, so we are confident this bug has never affected any Helix user to date. Nonetheless, it is now fixed and will not affect users no matter how many centuries their databases are kept in use.

Mini menu cleaned up

The items available in the ’mini menu’ — the one that appears when you launch Helix Client but have not yet connected to a Helix Server — contained a number of pointless commands that were always disabled. Those have been removed.

Miscellaneous fixes

Because the main focus of our effort since the release of Helix Client/Server 6.1 has been on completing the Intel-native version of Helix Server and advancing Helix Client, many changes have been made to the communications core that exchanges data between Helix Server and Helix Clients. Although not cataloged specifically as Helix Server 6.1.1 fixes, we expect that many of these changes will have a beneficial effect in Helix Server 6.1.1 as well.

What’s New In Helix Server 6.1.2 (Released: July 11, 2008)
Bug Fixes in Helix Server 6.1.2
Queries on dates fail (Intel-native only)

A date typed into a query was being stored incorrectly in Intel-native Helix. The result was queries that would return either all records or no records, regardless of the date stored in the field. This bug has been fixed.

This bug affected all types of queries (quick, form, and power) where a date was literally typed into the query, as opposed to a query where the date is derived from data stored in a record.

Pasting large pictures fails

Pasting data larger than 32K into a Picture field fails. This was immediately recognizable, as the contents of the rectangle would not match the picture being pasted into it, typically appearing as a blank. This bug was non-destructive and other than the fact that the pasted picture was not properly saved, there was no negative impact.

This has been fixed. Helix now handles pasted picture data correctly regardless of size.

This bug was in Helix Client Classic, so it affects all users, whether connected to a PowerPC or Intel Helix Server.

Helix Server crash when handling styled text

When a Helix Client caused a change to occur to a field containing styled text, Helix Server could scramble some important memory locations, resulting in a Helix Server crash. This bug has been fixed.

Helix Server stability improved

Improvements to some core routines in Helix Server 6.1.1 (both PowerPC and Intel) result in improved stability.

What’s New In Helix Server 6.1.3 (Released: May 4, 2009)
Bug Fixes in Helix Server 6.1.3
Post on Print could cause Helix Server crashes

Many bugs, including one that could cause Helix Server crashes when a Helix Client prints a view that has posting icons attached to the On Print column have been fixed. Posting while printing should be much more stable.

External document displayed as ‘format unsupported’ (BZ957)

Fixed a bug where Helix Client Classic would see a ‘format unsupported’ message when Helix Server for Intel attempted to render a picture from an externally stored document.

Reports with over 32,766 records failed to display all records (BZ976)

Fixed a bug that caused Helix Client Classic to fail to show all of the records in a report (list) when there were more than 32,766 records in the report.

Option 1 post to cold form with defaulted field corrupts index (BZ900)

A rare combination of circumstances, an indexed field with a default value on a cold form using Option 1 posting to change the field value from undefined to the default value, resulted in corruption to the index built on that field. This bug is fixed.

Fixed Point Posting Trigger Multiplied by 100 (BZ1034)

Fixed a bug that caused conditional sequences to run 100 times the expected value when a fixed point value is used as the trigger and that same value is posted to another relation.

Eszett (ß) character (0xA7) is a word character in German

When the keyword separator table was updated, the German eszett character was inadvertently left out of the word character list.

Helix customers who use the eszett character in text stored in keyword fields need to rebuild all keyword indexes or keyword search results will be inaccurate.

More information on keywords, along with a utility for managing HKWT resources, is found in this technote.

Collection Damage reported after Apple events access (BZ979)

Helix 6.1 does not use the ‘compiled form’ data that is used in Helix 6.0, but Update Collection is not aware of this. In cases where Apple event access users neglected to close a process, this obsolete data would not be cleared properly. Because Update Collection is backward compatible with Helix 6.0, it considers this a problem and reports collection damage. In reality there is no damage; Update Collection is being overly sensitive.

Helix 6.1.3 takes greater care to discard this obsolete data, keeping Update Collection from falsely reporting damage.

Helix 6.1.3 also restores the original limitation of one open Apple event process per licensed seat.

Registration Dialog Issues (BZ904)

Fixed a bug where letters typed into the key field in the registration dialog were not automatically converted to upper case and not recognized as valid.

Also fixed a bug where the registration dialog would not allow the user to switch to another program, copy data, switch back and paste that new data into a field.

Other Notes
Known Problems

The Release Notes (pdf) included in the installer package contains a list of Known Problems.

Updated macOS Client

Helix Server 6.1.3 also supports an updated macOS native Helix Client. This new Preview Release adds high resolution printing, basic document management, and many other new features and bug fixes since the last Preview Release.

See the Preview Release web pages for more information.

What’s New In Helix Server 6.1.4 (Released: August 31, 2009)
What's New, Bug Fixes, etc.

The Release Notes (pdf) included in the installer package and found on the Preview Release web pages contains a list of changes for this version.

Updated macOS Client

Helix Server 6.1.4 supports an updated macOS native Helix Client. This new Preview Release adds Power Query, refines high resolution printing, and provides the majority of the advanced document management features, as well as many other new features and bug fixes since the last Preview Release.

The macOS Client also features an official installer for the first time. Get it from the regular downloads page.

See the Preview Release web pages for more information.

What’s New In Helix Server 6.1.5 (Released: November 30, 2009 / Updated: December 23, 2009)
December 23 Update for macOS Client

A rare printing issue — which only occurs under very specific circumstances — was found in the November 30 release of the macOS Client. This bug has been fixed, and we encourage all users of the macOS native Helix Client 6.1.5 (145) to update to 6.1.5 (146) to avoid this potential bug. See technote R6750 of our Knowledgebase for more information.

What's New, Bug Fixes, etc.

The Release Notes (pdf) included in the installer package and found on the Preview Release web pages contains a list of changes for this version.

Updated macOS Client

Helix Server 6.1.5 supports an updated macOS native Helix Client. This new Preview Release addresses numerous stability issues, refines rectangle placement on screen and print, and increases the size of text as compares to prior Preview Releases.

See the Preview Release web pages for more information.

What’s New In Helix Client Classic 6.1.x
Bug fixes specific to Helix Client Classic
Enter menu highlighting

Pressing a command key to execute a menu item should always highlight that menu briefly to provide feedback to the user. In Helix 4.5.3 this function was disabled in the case of the Enter command. The rationale was that when Enter is called repeatedly in a sequence, highlighting the menu is a distraction and reduces performance.

In Helix Client Classic 6.1, pressing the Enter key properly highlights the menu when an Enter command is executed. When the Enter command is executed as part of a sequence, the menu is not highlighted.

Why? message during sequence: format error

When an error occurs during the running of a sequence, there can sometimes be two error messages generated. For example, if a sequence attempts to enter a record that can not be entered because a validation check fails, there are two errors involved: the error because of the validation failure and the error because the record can not be entered.

Prior versions of Helix concatenated these two errors into a single entity, sometimes producing messages that did not make sense as presented. Helix 6.1 splits these messages onto separate lines, making it more apparent that two errors are involved.

Build number missing from splash screen

Prior versions of Helix RADE were not displaying the build number in the splash screen, making it difficult to determine precisely which version of Helix was in use. The build number is now shown when Helix RADE launches and when selecting About Helix RADE from the Apple menu.

Other Notes
Improved Features

The Release Notes (pdf) included in the installer package contains a complete list of improved features.

Known Problems

The Release Notes (pdf) included in the installer package contains a list of Known Problems.