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Europa Preliminary Release 22 — 6.2b22 (5904)(5905) Companion TLW & Supplemental TLW
Notice: Helix RADE 6.2 is now available only for Intel-based Macs.
Helix RADE changes since 6.2b21 (5897)

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New and Improved Features

Non-Modal Font Panel (R7572)

The Font Panel is now a true floating palette when directly editing styled text. This has a major impact two areas of Helix:

  1. Editing selected text in a label rectangle on a template.
  2. Editing selected text in a styled text field on a view.

The second change (editing text in a styled text field on a view) is a major improvement to User Mode Helix, and should not be overlooked. This significantly enhances the end user experience.

When setting a font via the Inspector property — or via a dialog opened via the Inspector — the modal version of the font panel is used. This is logical, as you have entered into a dialog state that must be dealt with before moving on. It is unclear whether it will be possible to rectify this as some point in the future.

Likewise, the Color panel is still a modal dialog, as it can only be accessed by clicking the color swatch in the font panel and must be responded to before moving on.

Known Problems: The transition to a non-modal font panel is not complete, for various reasons. Discrepancies between the way the font panel works in different versions of macOS make it difficult to support consistently, and the bugs or quirks that are seen vary, depending on which OS is being used.

Here are the known problems along with techdb report numbers where they are being tracked:

  • It is sometimes necessary to ‘click out/click in’ to get the font panel to fully activate. (R8104)
  • Changing styled text style does not mark record as changed until tabbing out of field. (R8100)
  • Showing and hiding the font panel causes a system level memory leak in macOS 10.5 & 10.6 (10.7 and later not tested). (R8014)
  • The font panel works with non-styled text fields, but the result is ignored. (R8099)

    It was our intention to hide the font panel when it was irrelevant, but the aforementioned memory leak makes that problematic. For users who wish to hide the font panel regardless of the memory leak (or to test it in macOS 10.7 or later) the HxAutoHideFontPanel preference can be turned on. See the Helix Preferences List for more details and to download an applet that makes setting the preference easier.

  • Opening the modal font panel (in Design Mode) locks the non-modal panel in macOS 10.6 and later. (R8104)

    When this happens, you must manually close the font panel when it is not in use, or quit and restart Helix RADE.

  • When editing objects (not text) only the modal font panel can be used. (R8104)
  • The Color panel is still modal. (R8014)

Other New and Improved Features

  • R6987: Zoom Button Support

    The fill the screen behavior that the zoom box was doing is fixed. In its place is either intelligent code or a disabled zoom button, as follows.

    Places where the zoom box is currently enabled (new behaviors noted):

    • The collection/relation editor windows in list mode resize to the number of lines * width of columns
    • The collection/relation editor windows in icon mode resize to the size of the icon array.
    • The abacus editor window resizes to the size of the tile array.
    • The form query window now resizes to the size of the template page rectangle.
    • The index editor window now resizes to the size of the indexed icons, plus space to add one more.
    • The template editor window now resizes to the size of the template page rectangle.
    • The view window resizes to the size of the page, as before.
    • The where used window resizes to the number of lines * width of columns.

    Places where the zoom box is now disabled (and therefore ignored):

    • The Element Panel (button is removed)
    • The Inspector (button is removed)
    • The power query window — is there anything logical to do here?

    Please let us know if we overlooked any situations where the zoom box function is incorrect.

  • R7879: The Locate tile now supports negative offsets.

    In a prior release, we added the ability to support negative offsets to the Extract tile. (See this note.) This feature is now also available in the Locate ◊ starting at ◊ in ◊ tile, where you can specify a negative ‘starting at’ value to search right to left instead of the traditional left to right.

    This feature works just as it does in AppleScript and other programming languages: when a negative offset is provided, it is counted from the right end of the string. In other words, if character 1 is the first character in the string counting from the left, then character -1 is the first character in the string counting from the right. Character -2 is the second character from the right, character -3 is the third from the right, and so on.

    For example: Locate '.' starting at -1 in 'www.qsatoolworks.com' returns 17 as that is the offset of the last dot in the URL.

    Note: In all versions of Helix prior to 6.2b22, specifying a negative offset is the same as specifying +1, meaning that the traditional left to right locate is done. If existing structure may be affected by this change, it can be avoided by using a Larger of ◊ ◊ tile with +1 in one of the holes. This ensures that a negative offset can not be used.

  • Reminder: The Extract tile now supports negative offsets.

    Helix also supports the negative offset feature of the Extract tile. This is a feature that was accidentally included the code for Helix RADE 6.1.8 and later, and added to Helix Client 6.1.11.

    This feature works just as it does in AppleScript and other programming languages: when a negative offset is provided, it is counted from the right end of the string. In other words, if character 1 is the first character in the string counting from the left, then character -1 is the first character in the string counting from the right. Character -2 is the second character from the right, character -3 is the third from the right, and so on.

    One example: Extract -4 thru -1 from F:'CreditCardNum' extracts the last 4 characters, which would be the portion of a credit card number that can legally be displayed on a receipt.

  • R7988: Additional information in Inspector

    The Inspector now shows additional information about the selected icon, as shown on the right. All icons (and some objects such as rectangles and tiles) now show the Object ID, and many icons show the Content property, which what was formerly only visible when the parent window was in list view. For relations, this shows the number of icons and record count. For sequences, the number of steps; for views, the template, query, index and post count; etc.

    Additional information can be shown as desired. Let us know if there is something you would find useful.

  • R8109: The third button of a radio group can now be named.

    In prior versions of Helix, the third button of a three-button radio group was always labeled Undefined. Helix RADE 6.2 allows a custom label for this third button, which is displayed when the three-button option is chosen.

    In addition, the ‘case’ options (Mixed, Lowercase, Uppercase) are now fully supported with custom labels, and bugs that caused certain case options to fail have been fixed.

  • R8096: Inspector clarifications:
    • Change … Format Properties group labels to … Data Display Properties
    • Rename Use custom format property to Use custom display
    • Move Custom control style popup to same position in all data types.
    • The order of properties in the … Data Display Properties section are arranged in a more logical order.
    • Rename Style property to Custom control style
    • Rename transparency property to Is transparent
    • Move Command property for buttons to the top, since it is of primary importance.
    • Move Jog height for abacus tiles below tile position, as it is of lesser importance.
    • The Scale picture property is now always shown, but disabled when irrelevant.
    • The Use custom control property is now disabled when the data type is document or picture.
    • The Conditional style property is now hidden when the data type is document or picture.
  • The Short Year Rollover preference has moved from the HY2K resource to a true preference setting. The default is still 1920 (making the short year range 1920–2019).

    See the Helix Preferences List for more details and to download an applet that makes setting the preference easier.

  • Helix list views now use the system highlight color when selecting records.
  • When dragging a tile or icon from the Element Panel to a tile socket, the socket itself now highlights to make the legality of the drop more obvious.
  • The AppleScript dictionary includes additional documentation and cross references regarding user permissions.

Bug Fixes

Abacus Editor Fixes

  • R8076: A lookup tile no longer rejects dragged objects, no longer triggers crash.
  • R8077: Deleting an uncommitted tile no longer triggers a 7602 error.
  • R8086: Deleting an uncommitted tile no longer triggers a crash when quitting
  • R8087: Adding tiles has been improved so that minor maintenance is no longer required.
  • R8089: Changing a constant in a socket now works.
  • R8090: It is no longer possible to define a constant using the text datatype when that should not be allowed.
  • R8091: Removing a tile from an abacus followed by a save no longer triggers a 7603 error.
  • R8093: Redefining an abacus to remove a lookup or use/from tile no longer triggers an error.
  • R8095: Adding a tile to an existing abacus no longer causes other tiles to disappear, no longer causes collection damage
  • R8095: Changing the datatype of a field used in an abacus no longer triggers a 7602 error.
  • R8120: Dragging in an abacus window moves twice as far
  • R8129: Abacus calculations return undefined when collection first opened

General Fixes

  • R7709: Commit All is now careful to do everything that committing individual icons does. (I.e: it always works correctly now.)
  • R7904: Applying structure containing abaci no longer triggers lengthy change propagations. (I.e: it’s much faster now.)
  • R8053: It should no longer be necessary to open a view in Helix RADE 6.2 before taking a collection back to Helix 6.0/6.1.
  • R8075: Certain errors no longer result in the appearance of multiple copies of the error dialog.
  • R8094: When editing a rectangle containing a picture, pressing the Enter key now exits edit mode.
  • R8094: When editing a rectangle containing a picture, pressing the Tab key now moves to the next rectangle instead of crashing.
  • R8096: It is no longer possible to assign the default button property to more than one command rectangle on a template.

    The Inspector disables the property when a default button already exists on the template, and AppleScript returns an error when setting a second default button is attempted.

    Note: If multiple default buttons were previously set, the last button on the template is the one that is used. Also, it is possible that this bug left a template in a state where it is impossible to change the current default button state. If you encounter this, contact technical support.

  • R8105: Once again a radio button set to show three buttons shows the third (undefined) button.
  • R8107: AppleScript: Setting permissions of a permissions element now works.

    In addition, a simpler, if less intuitive method of setting permissions was added:
    tell user x to set permissions elements to {icon: y, permissions: all, none or list}
    will now always do the right thing.

  • R8108: AppleScript: Various bugs uncovered while running an internal testing script have been fixed.
  • R8115: Inspector: Closing the Data Rectangle Properties section no longer closes the section below it.

    The Conditional Style property has been moved to just beneath the Font property.

  • R8054: Dragging sometimes results in a "double move" of the rectangle
  • R8125: Apply clipping results in 7602 error
  • R8130: PICT that shows on template does not show on view
  • R8135: Inspector grows each time it is opened, top and bottom end up off screen
  • Additional AppleScript fixes:
    • Correct tile descriptions in AppleScript dictionary for Annuity rate, Compound interest, and Date Time
    • Add change form time enumerator to form time tile to make it consistent with all other tiles names.
    • Change code for replace record from Orpl to Vrpl in allowed operations enumeration to avoid a terminology conflict.
  • Complete terminology transition from hole to socket. All Why? messages now use the correct terminology.
  • When a rectangle is selected in a template editor window, the menu command is now Remove Rectangle instead of Delete Rectangle.
  • The Edit Username dialog: now support CMD-(minus) to trigger the Delete button, and the size error that clipped bottom of the dialog is fixed.
  • When a structure check fails, the dialog now shows anomalies on second line, instead of repeating the error.
  • A keyword tile can now be created via the Expression language with an empty socket for the first (keyword field) hole.
  • The abacus icon is now filled so items behind it do not show through. It’s now a visual lie, but it’s a useful lie.
Backward Compatibility

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

Release History

Release Notes for Preliminary Releases

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