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Europa Preliminary Release 20 — 6.2b20 (5887) Companion TLW
Notice: This release is only available for Intel-based Macs. The PowerPC code has a number of issues, some of which may result in collection corruption and/or instability. If you need the PowerPC-enabled version, you can download it from the Interim Builds page. Use it at your own risk.
Helix RADE changes since 6.2b19 (5880)

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New and Improved Features

Abacus Editor

The Abacus Editor debuts in read-only form, with features added to make them more efficient…

New feature: Automatic Tile Alignment: With an abacus editor window active, the Icon menu features a new four-way alignment command. The alignments are designed to eliminate 99.9% of the ‘crossover’ arrows and tile overlaps that occur when creating an abacus calculation, and each one approaches the task in a slightly different manner in order to accommodate most design styles.

  • Align Left: Command-L — This alignment arranges the tiles in a ‘left-leaning’ orientation for designs that tend to have additional tiles inserted into the leftmost socket of the following tile.
  • Align Right: Shift-Command-L— This alignment arranges the tiles in a ‘right-leaning’ orientation for designs that tend to have additional tiles inserted into the rightmost socket of the following tile.
  • Align Left with Overlap: Command-Option-L — This alignment is similar to Align Left, but in a more compact layout that uses a subtle overlap of some of the tiles.
  • Align Right with Overlap: Shift-Command-Option-L — This alignment is similar to Align Right, but in a more compact layout that uses a subtle overlap of some of the tiles.

New feature: Color: The abacus editor now uses color to indicate datatype compatibility, making it easier to identify which arrows can be placed in which sockets, and what the final output of the abacus is. The default colors (shown at right) are:

  • Text: Blue
  • Styled Text: Light Blue
  • Number: Green
  • Fixed Point: ‘Sea’ Green
  • Date: Yellow
  • Flag: Purple
  • Picture: Red
  • Document: Light Red
  • — A future release will provide the ability to modify these default colors.

The input sockets (formerly ‘black holes’) of each tile use these colors to indicate the datatypes that are accepted. When more than one datatype is possible, diagonal bands of color indicate the acceptable datatypes.

The output arrow of each tile uses these colors to indicate the datatype it outputs. When more than one datatype is possible, diagonal bands of color indicate the acceptable datatypes. Note: the presence of multiple colors in an output arrow indicates that the tile is incomplete. All valid tiles result in a single datatype output.

When connecting tiles, the color of an arrow must match the color for the input socket, or the arrow will not be accepted and the abacus will be invalid. In the case of multiple color options, the two elements (arrow and socket) must contain at least one color in common, or the arrow will be rejected and the abacus will be invalid.

General Improvements to Other Areas

  • R8040: Icon View Clean Up Options: In later versions of Classic Helix RADE, ‘secret’ options were added to provide additional options to the ‘Clean Up’ command. These options are now brought to the surface via a dynamically changing menu item. The menu options are:
    • Align Icons To Grid: Command-L — This alignment arranges the icons in the traditional Helix manner, moving each one just enough to place it on a 64 pixel grid with no two icons occupying the same location. Icons are not gathered together into a common location on the icon plane.
    • Gather Icons To Grid: Shift-Command-L — This option gathers all of the icons to a common location on the icon plane, placing them on a 64 pixel grid.
    • Gather Icons: Command-Option-L — This option gathers all of the icons to a common location on the icon plane, spacing them according to the icon names in a manner that avoids overlap.
    • Gather Icons By Kind: Shift-Command-Option-L — This option gathers all of the icons to a common location on the icon plane, spacing them according to the icon names in a manner that avoids overlap and organizing them by kind.

      This option is currently disabled but can be replicated by switching the window into View by Kind mode, clicking on the first icon, then holding the arrow key down to select each icon in order. Then switch back to Icon View and choose one of the Gather Icons options.

    Those who prefer a different alignment method may find the Cascade Icons script on the AppleScripts for Helix page useful.

  • R8011: Classic Compatibility Rectangle Positioning: The slight adjustment to rectangle positioning that was removed in Preliminary Release 19 can now be reactivated by setting the new HxUseClassicCompensation property to true.

    See the Helix Preferences List for more details and to download a version of the Preference Editor applet that is updated to enable editing this preference.

  • R----: Disable Maintenance Dialog: It is now possible to suppress the maintenance count dialog by setting the new HxSCMaintenanceDialog property to false.

    See the Helix Preferences List for more details and to download a version of the Preference Editor applet that is updated to enable editing this preference.

Bug Fixes

General Fixes

  • R7071: Closing a view while Helix is in the background no longer results in a crash.

    Also, when a collection was closed without saving the changes, Helix was left in a state such that opening another collection would cause closing views to fail to ask whether changes should be saved. This has also been fixed.

  • R7474: An abacus created or modified via the Abacus Expression Language now arranges the tiles in a proper cascade.
  • R8001: Adding a comment to a relation icon no longer results in collection damage.
  • R8008: The Structure Check log now correctly reports the number of maintenance fixes and properly details them as maintenance instead of as errors.
  • R8016: Removing a form or power query from view that has a Quick Query open with the ‘also use’ option checked and then deleting that query no longer results in collection damage.

    This fix also eliminates the minor maintenance that was required whenever a Quick Query was changed.

  • R8020: Modifying an abacus used in a dynamic popup of an open view no longer results in a hang.
  • R8028: It is once again impossible to create a custom label for a checkbox until both the ‘true’ and ‘false’ values are defined.

Template Fixes

  • R7665: A blank template is no longer considered invalid.
  • R7917: Attempting to change a template reference in an abacus via AEL no longer fails.
  • R7976: Defining custom labels for a rectangle while a view that uses its template is open no longer results in a crash.
  • R8002: Moving a group box to a nonsensical position no longer results in a crash.
  • R8017: Enlarging a subform template no longer leads to a crash when a data rectangle overlaps the subform.

    As part of this fix, the template that is using the subform now properly refreshes to show the resized subform template.

  • R8021: A repeat rectangle containing a group box that is flush left or top is no longer considered illegal.
  • R8021: Closing a collection that has both a view and its template open should no longer crash.
  • R8023: Deleting a command rectangle via AppleScript no longer results in collection damage.
  • R8024: Pressing CMD-Delete while editing text in a label or command rectangle now deletes the rectangle instead of crashing.
  • R8027: Duplicating a group box on a template no longer results in collection damage.
  • R8030: Changing a rectangle’s custom label while its template’s “where used” window is open no longer results in a crash.

AppleScript Fixes

  • R7928: AppleScript can now set the location of the ‘dangler’ (output arrow) of an abacus.
  • R8038: AppleScript can now set the ‘jog height’ property for Styled Text tiles.
Backward Compatibility

Europa remains backwards compatible with all versions of RADE from 6.0 forward.

Previous Updates

Release Notes for Preliminary Releases

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