Everything Else
macOS Native Helix & Xcode Transition Progress Report

The process of bringing Helix up to date — including running the full feature set natively on Intel Macs — is an ongoing process was difficult in the first place, but compounded by the rapid changes that have been happening in the Macintosh world at the same time.

One month after the release of Helix Server 6.0 — our first macOS native Helix product — Apple announced that they were switching from the PowerPC chip they had been using since the early 90s to Intel. This put Helix users in a bind (once again) as Intel Macs do not support the Classic environment. At that time, only Helix Server was macOS native; macOS versions of Helix RADE, Engine and Client were not yet under way.

Even worse for us was the requirement that all Intel-native development be done using Apple’s Xcode development tool. Helix was being built with CodeWarrior, the industry standard for nearly 20 years. Before we could continue working on Helix, we faced the arduous process of converting our entire code base to Xcode. Although this is fairly easy for small projects, large projects present difficulties that must be addressed. Old techniques no longer work and every corner of the code must be retested to find out if it still works, can be made to work, or must be scrapped and replaced. There are sections of code in Helix were largely untouched since they were written in the mid-80s!

The purpose of this page is to document the progress we are making in short form, keeping you up-to-date on the status and providing a timeline that we can look back on when we are all done and have time for such trivialities. The entries here are short and laden with programmer-speak. For the “big picture” of where we have been and where we are going, be sure to read our periodic newsletter, The Latest Word, which outlines our progress in a more readable (and verbose) form.

Progress Log
June 19, 2014

Helix RADE 6.2.4 is released, addressing the rest of the bugs in the Sockets conversion. Helix is finally fully compatibile with the current version of macOS. The transition is complete.

April 25, 2014

Helix RADE 6.2.3 is released, addressing the worst of the bugs in the Sockets conversion.

January 6, 2014

Helix RADE 6.2.2 is released, switching Helix networking from Open Transport to Sockets, and bringing Mavericks (macOS 10.9) compatibility.

November 6, 2013

Helix RADE 6.2.1 is released, bringing Client/Server into the fold with new network management tools.

June 10, 2013

The Europa Pioneer Plan is completed, and Helix RADE 6.2 is released. For more information on the monthly releases and the new features they bring, see the Europa Release Notes page.

July 11, 2012

Preliminary Release #13 features the first release of the all-new Helix Utility.

June 8, 2012

Preliminary Release #12 is out, marking the end of the first year of the Europa Pioneer Plan.

November 10, 2011

Preliminary Release #6 is out. Sequence and Post scripting is complete; Abacus implemented as read-only. AppleScript Nirvana gets better. Graphic interface and AppleScript bug fixes.

October 10, 2011

Preliminary Release #5 is out. Form Query and Power query scripting is complete. AppleScript Nirvana: all versions of object targeting are now supported. Many bugs reported in prior releases are fixed.

September 10, 2011

Preliminary Release #4 is out. Added a command to erase all data in a relation (via GUI or AppleScript). Added a preference to disable the integrated structure checker. Lion compatibility fixes. Many graphic interface and AppleScript bugs reported in prior releases are fixed.

August 10, 2011

Preliminary Release #3 is out. View scripting is complete along with the user icon. Many bugs reported in prior releases are fixed.

August 3, 2011

While working on Europa, we found and fixed bugs that had been reported by Helix users. Some were important enough that we went back and created a Helix 6.1.9, which ships today. You can read about this new release on the Helix 6.1.9 page.

July 10, 2011

Preliminary Release #2 is out. You can now script views (partially) and indexes. The “Get Info” window gets seriously enhanced in the transition.

June 25, 2011

User Mode AppleScript goes native.

June 10, 2011

macOS RADE finally sees the light of day.

April, 2011

There’s always something. Putting the final touches on the Integrated Structure Checker, we came face to face with an old nemesis: the core code that handles saving (and opening and closing) collections was written 25 years ago, then duplicated and patched and extended as features (such as logging and ‘clear caches’) were added over the years. We cleaned that up — had to, really — and now Helix supports macOS long filenames.

A few semi-serious issues in 6.1.x have been reported, meaning there will be a 6.1.9 soon.

February 21, 2011

We took a bit of time away from macOS RADE to address a handful of stability issues in Client/Server, as well as fixing a couple of rare bugs. You can read about this new release on the Helix 6.1.8 page, or read the philosophy behind this update in the February 21, 2011 edition of The Latest Word.

By the way, macOS RADE development is making good progress, but there will be no progress reports until the subscription plan is announced.


Current Entries: Client & Engine Preview Releases (Present – January 2011

Part Three: Server to Intel to RADE (December 2010 – March 2008)

Part Two: Beta to a Shipping Server (March 2008 – Sept 2007)

Part One: Alpha to Beta (August 2007 – January 2006)

See also our original Intel-compatibility statement.