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Europa 6.2b17 (5856) Companion TLW
Helix RADE changes since 6.2b16 (5850)

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New and Improved Features

Template Editor (Read Only: R7465/R7920)

The macOS Template Editor is now enabled. In this first release, only the ability to view a template is provided. Next month the ability to edit a template will be added. This editor takes us into uncharted waters, so we though it would be best to release it first in this ‘read only’ form, so you can see how it is shaping up.

There are still some refinements to the visual presentation to be done — for example, the subform template has no visible border — and Preview mode is not yet available.

One improvement in the template editor is that the placement of the icons within a data rectangle is now calculated so that the name is always visible, with the field on the left and abacus on the right if both are present in a rectangle. (Classic RADE uses absolute coordinates that can hide the icons if you subsequently shrink a rectangle after placing an icon in it.)

The list of known problems and open issues is found in techdb as R7920. We encourage you to review that report and to add to it any problems you observe. At this point, please do not create new reports for Template Editor bugs.

New View Modes (Project Cosmos: R7871/R7911)

Icon View — also known as Project Cosmos — makes its debut in macOS RADE. This was made possible by Helix users who contributed funds specifically for this feature. Those funds have been spent, so although there are still a few minor issues to be addressed, no further work will be done until all other editors are done (or more contributions come in).

Icon View is fully functional, and there is no reason to refrain from using it, if that is your preference. The list of open issues is found in techdb as R7919. We encourage you to review that report and to add to it any problems you observe. At this point, please do not create new reports for Icon View bugs.

There are currently no menu items for switching view modes — changes must be made through the Inspector (or via AppleScript). Since the Inspector is sensitive to selected icons, you must deselect all icons in an open window in order to access the window’s properties in the Inspector. The Clear Selection (Shift-Command-N) menu item quickly deselects all icons, but late in the game, we discovered that that has a bug of its own (see R7922) so for now you need to Command-click the selected icons to deselect them.

Also, because it is our intention to redesign the ‘icon centering’ code — the code that makes the icons jump from place to place when switching back and forth between Icon View and List View — it is quite likely that, when you first open a collection in Icon View in macOS RADE, the window may appear as an empty slate because the icons are located in another region of the full icon plane. If this happens to you, there are four options:

  1. Scroll around in the window until you locate the icons.
  2. Use the Super Clean Up command (hold Option key while choosing ‘Clean Up’ in the Icon menu) to pull all of the icons together into the visible space of the window.
  3. Use the AppleScript we have developed to provide additional options for arranging icons. This script contains four editable parameters that provide alternative icon arrangements. It can be downloaded from our free scripts page. (Direct Link)
  4. Close and reopen the window; sometimes that will cause Helix to relocate the visible area to show some icons.

A tutorial video overview of Icon View is available on our YouTube channel.

View by Name — Along with View by Kind which has been implemented since the first Preliminary Release, and Icon View which debuts this month, the return of the View by Name option restores the three view modes available in Classic RADE. Along with the Classic options, macOS RADE adds two new list sorting options: View by Custom Name and View by Comment.

These view modes are known as Display modes and as a property of the collection or relation icon, the current mode can be specified by selection via the Inspector (see image at right) or with the set display mode to <mode> command via AppleScript. Changing the sort order by clicking on a column header is a feature request that is being tracked in R7545.

The View by Comment options works just as you would expect, but View by Custom Name is slightly different. Instead of sorting by the Custom Name property exclusively, RADE uses the Custom Name if present. If there is no Custom Name for an icon, the regular Name property is used instead. This gives a sort order that matches what is seen in User Mode, and is not a strict ‘by Custom Name’ sort.

Classic compatibility note: Because Classic RADE does not understand the new list sort options, a collection saved in either of the new options, then opened in Classic RADE will open in View by Kind mode. As long as the display mode is not changed in Classic RADE, the macOS display mode will be retained when returning to macOS RADE.

General Improvements

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

    A new preference — HxBusyOverlayOpacity — can be used to change the opacity of the overlay. The value is a range from 0.0 (transparent) to 1.0 (opaque). The Preference Editor applet has been updated to provide an easy way to edit this setting.

Bug Fixes

Abacus Optimization

R7832/R7901: The September release fixed all but two instances of a bug that had existed since Helix RADE 6.2b8 (5767) — with some variations even existing for years in Classic RADE. One of those bugs was fixed last month, and now the final bug (that we are aware of) is fixed.

The problem is that the optimization flags for certain abaci were not always being set appropriately. These flags can be seen in the Inspector as a series of grayed out (read only) checkboxes in the Abacus Properties section. They all start with the word “Includes … ” plus the “Is a summary calculation” flag. These flags are used in Design Mode to allow Helix to quickly determine whether a specific abacus can be used in certain places.

When an optimization flag is set improperly, Helix still calculates the abacus correctly, but when working in Design Mode, the abacus may appear to be allowed in places where it should not be (e.g. a ‘today’ abacus in an index) or not to appear in places where they should be allowed (e.g. as a valid target icon in a lookup tile).

A script that corrects every abacus in a collection and reports on optimization discrepancies is available on our free scripts page. (Direct Link)

Note: All indexes that include an abacus will be invalidated and rebuilt when the collection is closed (or the index is manually rebuilt).

General Fixes

  • R7616: The Inspector no longer lags behind when an abacus is created via AppleScript and AEL.
  • R7848: Helix no longer crashes when rebuilding a quick entry view with dynamic popups.
  • R7868: Item selected in editor windows now respond to Command-Option-I to open the ‘Where Used’ of the selected icon.
  • R7897: A sequence containing ‘Find and Print All’ no longer returns an error if there are no pages to print.

    When ‘Find and Print All’ is encountered in a sequence or is chosen from a menu and there are no pages to print, the dialog is now completely bypassed unless there is a post attached to the On Print option. In this case the print dialog is presented, unless it is in a sequence that is set to suppress dialogs. Either way, no pages are printed and no error is returned.

  • R7908: A specific order of events that could cause Find Next/Find Previous to be disabled after a Static Enter has been fixed.
  • R7909: Switching a view to a Quick List works properly again.

AppleScript Fixes

  • R7902: A commit all after making a large number of changes no longer triggers a crash
  • R7906: The set color index command now properly stores the updated color table in the collection, so the color changes are now retained after a restart.
  • R7915: New rectangles are made with location of {0,0,64,16} (pixels) to avoid an error if a specific location is not defined before committing the template.
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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