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Document Management Functions in Sequences (Clarifications and Improvements) in Helix 7.0.3

Document Management in Helix is undergoing a slow and somewhat painful transition from the ‘Classic’ model (HFS paths, aliases, etc.) to the ‘macOS’ model (POSIX paths, bookmarks, etc.). Helix 7.0.3 does not complete this transition, but it does bring some much needed bug fixes, general improvements and clarifications to the subject.

This technote details the changes found in Helix 7.0.3.

New View Property: If Control File Exists

Clarifications and Behavioral Changes

The rules when document management functions are done in a sequence are clarified as follows:

We now locate the extension and insert the unique identifier before the extension, thereby not obscuring the filetype.

When a sequence exports documents with the Document location property set to "with control file" and a file with the same name in that location is found, the duplicate is handled according to the specifications in the "If documents exist" property of the view and the "Show dialogs" property of the sequence. Only when the view is set to "ask" is the user prompted to choose an action.

When the user is prompted to deal with a duplicate and chooses to ‘Stop’ the export process, the export is immediately stopped and control is returned to the sequence, where the “On error” property determines whether the sequence will continue, return control to the parent sequence (if one exists) or stop entirely.

If the sequence is set to ‘return’ on error, the user is additionally prompted to stop or continue the sequence itself. This “slightly anomalous” specification was implemented to give collection designers access to all three potential options (continue, stop, or let the user decide) when a sequence is interrupted by a stop when exporting documents.

An externally stored document being exported "on stored path" is always skipped: exporting it to itself is pointless.

An externally stored document being exported "with control file" is skipped if the stored path is the same as the control file location: exporting it to itself is pointless.

Historically, Helix appended a character to the end of the file name. Helix now more closely follows the macOS model of putting a space between the filename and the unique identifier. That is, a duplicate of a file named "sunset.jpg" now becomes "sunset 2.jpg" instead of "sunset0.jpg" as it would have before. Note also that, like the Finder, duplicate numbering starts at 2. Unlike the Finder, after 2–9 comes A–Z. (The Finder uses 10, 11, …) After duplicate "Z" is reached, Helix stops automatically making duplicates and prompts the user with the replace, skip. etc. dialog.

Bug Fixes