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RADE: Design Mode Editor Focus
Time Frame This survey ran August 31 – September 30, 2009. 109 Helix users participated.
Overview

The purpose of this survey was to help us priortize work on Helix RADE, as outlined in the August 31, 2009 edition of The Latest Word.

For further information on the implications of this survey, see the December 31, 2009 edition of The Latest Word.

What is an “Editor”?

When you open an icon in Helix Design Mode, you are editing that type of object. We are now calling each of those windows an “editor” for that icon type. For example, when you open an Post icon, you are accessing the Post Editor. Many of the editors (e.g. the Template Editor) contain a series of dialog boxes that you can open to edit portions of that icon. All of these interior dialogs are part of that icon’s editor. For example, when you open a Field icon and click the “Validate” button, you enter a dialog that is considered part of the Field editor.

Results Discussion

The question we wanted to answer was “which parts of Design Mode are most critical to Helix users?” Of course, it is not our intent to ‘retire’ any portion of Helix Design Mode, but identifying the editors that are most-often used — and making them available as soon as they are ready — should allow some users to make the transition sooner, or at least to avoid having to go to a Classic Mac for every Design Mode change. After all, if you rarely use posting, you can live without the Post Editor longer than you can the others.

The last two items in the survey were not technically editors, so they deserve special mention: Get Info and Clippings & Copy/Paste Structure are not editors per se, but they are both vital to the macOS transition. One survey respondent summed our thinking up perfectly when he wrote, “… since I maintain a Classic capable machine at home to develop our Helix collection, [when Clippings & Copy/Paste Structure] is available in a macOS version, I can develop at home and deploy structural changes using clipping files.” That is exactly how we see the Clippings coming into play during this transition.

Likewise, Get Info doesn’t appear to be an editor at first, but that is currently the only place where Custom Names and Comments can be added to icons. In this respect, Get Info is really a precursor to the new Inspector, which plays a major role in macOS RADE.

When we created the survey, we guessed that the Template Editor would top the list, and when we look at the results, that is proven true. After all, much of the work in making the transition from Classic to macOS involves adjusting your views to look good in macOS. The “tweak the template in Classic and see how it looks in macOS” dance can get tiring in short order. The only other overwhelming choice is the Abacus Editor; all the rest are of lesser immediate importance, according to the survey.

And so, our current plan is that the first Helix RADE Preview Release will feature Clippings & Copy/Paste Structure, along with the core functionality of the Inspector and the Template Editor. We may, of course, alter the plan as needs arise.

The Questions
Which Design Mode editors should we focus on first? < Low … User Priority … High >
The number after each editor refers to the section in The Helix Reference where it is best described.
User Editor (6.4)
Edit user icons: add/remove menu items, keyboard shortcuts. Set user permissions, login limitations.
Sequence Editor (6.6)
Edit sequence icons: Add/remove steps, specify dialog suppression and error handling.
Field Editor (7.1)
Edit field icons: specify data type, default format, storage options, set validation.
Index Editor (7.2)
Edit index icons: Specify fields/abaci in index, ascending/descending order.
Abacus Editor (7.3)
Edit abacus icons: Add/remove tiles, fields, abaci. Set default format.
Template Editor (8.1)
Edit template icons: add/remove/resize rectangles, specify contents, attributes, format. Preview appearance.
View Editor (8.2)
Edit view icons: choose template(s), query restrictions, index(es), posting to be used with a view.
Post Editor (8.3)
Edit post icons: specify target record(s), post methods, field/abacus triplets, AutoOpen view.
Form Query Editor (9.3)
Edit form query icons: specify template to use in query.
Power Query Editor (9.4)
Edit power query icons: specify searchable items, reference items, permanent items.
Get Info Window (6.2)
List usage of an icon, specify custom name, add comments.
Clippings & Copy/Paste Structure Interface (6.7)
Save structural elements to clipboard or in clippings, add structural elements to collection.