|Helix RADE changes since 6.2b18 (5871)
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New and Improved Features
The Template Editor continues to improve, with features added to complete the editing tasks…
Enhanced feature: Drag & Drop. You can now drag icons from the Element Panel — or any other location — to the template editor.
- Restored: Dragging a field, abacus, or sequence into an appropriate rectangle adds it to that rectangle. The traditional rule for data rectangles still hold: if the rectangle contains only a field or abacus, the icon replaces the old one. If the rectangle contains both a field and abacus, the replacing icon must be of the same data type, or you must first remove the other icon from the rectangle (via the Inspector).
- New: Dragging a field, abacus, sequence or template into any ‘open’ area automatically creates an entry, command, or subform rectangle as appropriate. When creating a rectangle this way, the new rectangle is centered around the pointer if the ‘Align to grid’ property is off. With the ‘Align to grid’ property on, the new rectangle is positioned with the upper left corner aligned to the graph paper lines immediately above and to the left of the pointer.
The size and attributes of a rectangle created this way are taken from template-by-template default rectangles that are defined when the template is created and modified whenever a single rectangle is clicked on. This means that you can create one rectangle with the desired properties, then simply drag icons to the template to automatically create new rectangles with the same properties.
Enhanced feature: Rectangles can once again be moved and resized using the mouse.
- New: Because rectangles can now freely overlap, resizing and moving can happen by mouse only when the Selection Pointer tool is active.
- Enhanced: To move one or more rectangles, click anywhere in the body of the rectangle and drag to the new location. No need to click on the thin ‘drag bar’ at the top of a rectangle. The cursor changes to a grabber hand to indicate the rectangle(s) will be moved.
- Enhanced: You can now resize a rectangle in any direction. When the pointer is near the edge of a selected rectangle, the cursor changes to indicate that resizing will happen. Resizing multiple rectangles via the mouse follows the same rules as resizing via keyboard. See last month’s release note for more details.
- Note: The corner pips — those that indicate that you can resize both width and height simultaneously — are currently inactive. They will be implemented in a future release.
- Note: Moving and resizing by mouse does not currently honor the ‘Align to grid’ property. This will be restored in a future release.
New feature: The Tab key can now be used to move the selection from rectangle to rectangle, similar to the way tabbing works on a view.
Notes on template tabbing:
- Tabbing traverses in left to right, top to bottom order, progressing first through the background label rectangles in layer order (use Move Forward/Move Backward to change layer order) and then through the foreground rectangles. When a group box or repeat rectangle is selected, tabbing selects the first rectangle within that group. (Referred to as a ‘child’ of the group.) When the last rectangle within a group is tabbed from, then next rectangle at the ‘parent’ level — referred to as an ‘uncle’ — is selected. (Rectangles that are members of the same group are referred to as ‘siblings’ of each other.)
- If no rectangle is selected, pressing tab selects the first rectangle on the template, using the traversal rules noted above.
- The last rectangle in the tab-selection order is the Page Rectangle. It is selected when tabbing from the last rectangle on the page, or when Shift-tabbing from the first rectangle on the page. (Or when clicking outside the page area.)
- Tabbing is circular: tabbing from the last rectangle wraps around to the beginning.
- When a group box or repeat rectangle is selected, tabbing moves to the first ‘child’ rectangle within that group.
- Holding the Option key down while tabbing constrains the selection to a single ‘level’ of the template. That is, you can use Option-Tab to skip over the contents of a group box, or to keep the wrap-around tabbing within the current group box.
- Adding the Shift key to any of the above rules reverses the tab order.
- To move directly up one nesting level, to the ‘parent’ rectangle, press Control-Tab.
- With multiple rectangles selected, tabbing selects each logical ‘next in order’ rectangle. That is: if rectangles 1 & 5 are selected, tabbing selects rectangles 2 & 6.
- The template window autoscrolls to show the selected rectangle. If multiple rectangles are selected, the window scrolls — if necessary — to show as many of them as possible, with the first rectangle always shown.
Enhanced feature: Each rectangle type now uses a unique color to indicate selection, making it much easier to identify which rectangle is selected in a tightly packed group. The default colors are:
- Label: Green
- Data: Red
- Command: Orange
- Group: Dark Blue
- Repeat: Blue
- Subform: Purple
These colors can be modified by editing the Hx<TYPE>RectSelectColor preferences. (Replace <TYPE> with the actual rectangle type.) These are HTML colors expressed as an array of four hex values ranging from 0–FFFF. The values control, in order, the red, green, blue, and alpha (opacity) level. See the Helix Preferences List for the exact preference names, and to download a version of the Preference Editor applet that is updated to show these preferences.
New feature: When a template is being edited, the “Icon” menu now contains a Select Template Tool hierarchical menu. Switching tools is now possible by clicking on Element Panel, choosing the menu item, or pressing the Command key equivalent. The equivalents are:
- Shift-Command-S: Selection Pointer
- Shift-Command-D: Data Rectangle Tool
- Shift-Command-G: Group Box Tool
- Shift-Command-R: Repeat Rectangle Tool
- Shift-Command-L: Label Rectangle Tool
- Shift-Command-C: Command Rectangle Tool
New feature: When a label or command rectangle is selected, the Enter (or Return) key toggles the rectangle between Rectangle Selection Mode and Label Edit Mode.
Notes on Label Edit Mode:
- To insert a return character into a label or command rectangle’s text, press Shift-Return.
- Pressing the Tab key jumps to the next text-editable (label or command) rectangle. Shift-Tab reverses the selection order.
- Tabbing is circular: tabbing from the last text-editable rectangle wraps around to the first.
- Pressing the Escape key while in Label Edit Mode discards the current changes and switches to Rectangle Selection Mode.
Restored feature: The list of templates in the Element Panel now identifies which relation the template comes from.
General Improvements to Other Areas
- Improvements to the Integrated Structure Checker:
- The SC_Log is now time stamped and contains less superfluous chatter.
- A new HxSCAppendLog preference controls whether the SC_Log file is cleared each time a structure check is done. The default is false, so it is still cleared each time unless you specifically make this change.
- A new HxSCShowResourceCounts preference controls whether the resource counts are included in the SC_Log file. The default is false. They were being included until now to aid in debugging; now they are just a curiosity.
- The “Classic compatibility” tweaks that adjust the position of rectangles on a view have been removed. Since macOS is now the primary platform, users should be able to design a template in macOS with predictable outcomes.
Users: With this change, template designs may show slight variations in rectangle position compared to prior releases. If this is too disruptive, let us know and we will consider adding a preference to toggle it on/off.
- When creating a tile via the Abacus Expression Language (editing the Expression property or via AppleScript) you can now use a bullet (•) character as well as the letter ‘X’ to specify an undefined hole.
- The default view mode for new collections and relations is now View by Kind.
- R7916: Removing the custom format of a rectangle defined as a popup now works.
When removing the custom format from a rectangle, you must also uncheck the Use Custom Format property, or the format is not removed.
- R7922: The Clear Selections command now properly updates the Inspector to show the parent icon.
- R7933: Closing an illegal template (or clicking “Commit All”) now informs of the error via a Why? message.
Since the template is now closed (or may not be in the foreground) the illegal rectangles are not selected, and any view that uses the template will open as a quick entry view until the template is made legal. For this reason, we recommend using the ‘Commit’ command to update a template, so RADE can show the problematic rectangles.
- R7952: Double clicking a template in a Where Used window selects rectangle where the source icon is used the template editor window.
- R7953: The large number of maintenance fixes reported after the first save is no longer necessary. (The obsolete backlinks are now properly disposed of when the collection is opened.)
- R7970: When a new rectangle is created, it is now automatically selected.
- R7971: Apple event retrieve of data from a view containing document fields no longer crashes if the file is not found.
- R7971: Apple event retrieve of data from a view containing an abacus that uses the document type tile no longer prematurely terminates the output if the file is a macOS file that has no type/creator attributes.
- R7974: The Select All Icons command is now disabled when the Option key is held down.
This menu items changes to Select All Rectangles when editing a template, and holding the Option key switches it to Select Similar Rectangles in that case. There is currently no Select Similar feature for icons, so the option is disabled when a collection or relation window is active.
- R7977: Opening a collection with a collection password no longer results in a crash.
- R7978: The Fixed Point data type has never supported the Percent option, so that property has been removed from the Inspector.
- R7979: The ad hoc query function (select records on a list to form a query) works again.
- R7980: Tabbing into a field selects the data again.
- R7982: Pressing Command-Delete when editing a label rectangle no longer results in a crash.
- R7984: The Abacus Expression Language and AppleScript Dictionary had a few inconsistencies that have been corrected. See the AppleScript dictionary or this technote for the corrected list.
- R7986: Setting a flag format to checkbox or radio button via AppleScript no longer creates a custom label named ‘msng’.
- R7989: Applying structure containing a template with subforms no longer results in a crash.
- R7993: The Data Value property of a dynamic popup can now be set for a rectangle.
- R7997: A crash that could occur when quitting with uncommitted changes is fixed.
- R7998: Removing the last conditional style from a rectangle no longer disables the “OK” button.
- References to “check box” have been changed to “checkbox”
- Various memory leaks, including a few when exporting data, have been fixed.
Release Notes for Preliminary Releases
- 6.2b19 (5880) January 17, 2013
- 6.2b18 (5871) December 31, 2012
- 6.2b17 (5856) November 14, 2012
- 6.2b16 (5850) October 10, 2012
- 6.2b15 (5840) September 14, 2012
- 6.2b14 (5829) August 10, 2012
- 6.2b13 (5821) July 11, 2012
- 6.2b12 (5812) June 8, 2012
- 6.2b11 (5792) April 10, 2012
- 6.2b10 (5785) March 10, 2012
- 6.2b9 (5775) February 10, 2012
- 6.2b8 (5767) January 16, 2012
- 6.2b7 (5758) December 10, 2011
- 6.2b6 (5750) November 10, 2011
- 6.2b5 (5740) October 10, 2011
- 6.2b4 (5732) September 10, 2011
- 6.2b3 (5718) August 10, 2011
- 6.2b2 (5707) July 10, 2011