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Welcome to Europa
The Europa Pioneer Plan

Europa is the code name under which we developed Helix RADE 6.2, the first macOS native version of Helix RADE. Introduced in the June 10, 2011 edition of The Latest Word, the Europa Pioneer Plan provided a way to deliver the latest progress on Helix RADE on a monthly basis.

Initially delivered as a $20/month subscription, this two-year project was completed June 2013. Helix RADE 6.2 is now available via the standard licensing terms: pay one upgrade (or new license) fee and receive all updates in the Helix RADE 6.2.x product cycle.

Beyond access to monthly Helix RADE updates, Europa Pioneer also receive:

  1. Interim Build Access: Although Helix RADE 6.2 is ‘complete,’ there will inevitably be bug fixes. These builds are not as stable as regular releases, but they provide an advance look at what we are working on for the next update. Europa Pioneers can choose to be beta testers and provide valuable feedback before we ship the updates.
  2. Helix Product Discounts: Europa Pioneers receive a discount off the regular price of most upgrades.*
    *Not all products are eligible for discount.
  3. Free Helix RADE Upgrade: Europa Pioneers receive the next paid upgrade free, as a thank you for supporting us when we needed the boost.
Major Features in Helix RADE 6.2

Helix RADE 6.2 is the first macOS native version of Helix RADE, and it features some major interface enhancements. Settings that were formerly scattered among menus, dialogs, and memorized keystrokes are now gathered into the Inspector, a floating palette that provides at-a-glance access to every property of an icon. Palettes are fully adjustable, allowing users who prefer to use long names for icons to see them fully.

Also new in Helix RADE 6.2 is the Element Panal, another fully adjustable floating palette that takes the place of the fixed-size ‘slot machines’ that took up space in every editor window in Classic RADE. The Element Panel adjusts on the fly to show the appropriate items for whichever icon is currently being edited.

Helix RADE 6.2 also brings the power of AppleScript to Helix. It is now possible to create and modify any part of a Helix collection’s design through AppleScript. This is a major new feature that has been on the Helix users’ wish list since the 1990s. Helix users who do not want to learn AppleScript can still take advantage of this new power by downloading free scripts and external applications that automate time-consuming or tedious tasks. We also offer a tutorial that teaches how to write AppleScripts using Helix as the primary tool.

Icon editors are the heart of the Helix Design Mode experience, and Helix RADE 6.2 brings them up to date with new features and flexibility. Scroll wheel support, adding icons from anywhere, additional keyboard controls, enhances uses of color, and more make the new editors faster and more intuitive.

The monthly editions of The Latest Word from the June 10, 2011 introduction to the June 10, 2013 finale detail these and many more new features, bug fixes, and refinements you’ll find in Helix RADE 6.2.

Helix Utility 6.2

Helix Utility 6.2: A new face on an old friend.

Having gathered years of feedback on Helix Utility — listening to people struggle to understand it, or complain about it requiring multiple steps to accomplish simple tasks — we took stock of the situation and chose to give it something it never had before: an honest-to-goodness user interface.

As the image on the right shows, instead of sitting there waiting for you to somehow know that your next step is to go to the menu bar, Helix Utility 6.2 presents the complete interface in a single window.

The new Helix Utility remembers your collections! No more navigating through your hard drive(s) looking for your collections. And it automatically sets the ‘collection buffer’ to the optimal setting, so you never have to worry that you aren’t getting maximum performance.

Taking cues from Apple’s Disk Utility, the various functions of Helix Utility are grouped into tabbed panels on the right. First Aid — which is what Helix Utility is used for 99% of the time — provides buttons that replace the old menu commands, but in a cleaner, safer way. The old Data Damage Check which could leave a collection ‘half-repaired’ is replaced with the Verify button that reports on the health of your collection without altering it. For the times when repairs are needed, one click on the Repair button is all it takes to complete the process.

The Activity Log section brings what was formerly buried in “diagnostic mode” out into the open, where we can see what is happening as it happens. Hopefully you’ll never see red text here, but if you do, the problem and solution are shown right there. (And this data is written into a permanent log file, so you never have to worry about capturing the output before taking another step.)

All in all, the new Helix Utility is a major leap forward.

Helix Server 6.2

Although the focus of Helix 6.2 was RADE, Helix Server 6.2 also contains some new features. In addition to Mavericks (macOS 10.9) compatibility are many tools to help network administrators manage their Helix collections. Optional access logging, the ability to block new connections, and on-the-fly structure modification (via AppleScript) are the major advances. More details on these and other features can be found on the Helix 6.2.1 Release Notes page.

Backward Compatibility

Despite all of these changes, we have kept Helix 6.2 backwards compatible with Helix 6.0 and 6.1. Users who are uncertain about upgrading can do so with full assurance that they can still ‘fall back’ to an earlier version, if desired.