Release: Xcatalog 4/6.2.1 for XPress 4/6

November 18, 2004 by

These release notes cover the entire Xcatalog 4/6 series.

Changes at 4.2.1/6.2.1 release

  • The Open Data File… and Create Data File… operations no longer hang with a spinning beachball when used in QuarkXPress 6.5. (MacOS only)
  • When prompting for a data snapshot file (Open Data File…), Xcatalog now recognizes text-like file extensions, regardless of the file’s actual type.
  • When prompting for a data descriptor file (Select Data Descriptor…),Xcatalog now recognizes text-like file extensions, regardless of the file’s actual type.
  • When extracting styled price data, Xcatalog now ignores tracking as well as kerning changes. I.e., if you track or kern your prices, you no longer have to worry about Xcatalog seeing the character property change as a whole/fractional break point.
  • When updating unstyled prices (text links marked as prices but with style “None”), Xcatalog is no longer fooled by an initial decimal point. E.g., when updating “.99”, Xcatalog will now properly understand the whole part to be “” (empty) and the fractional part to be “99”. Before, it would assume the “99” was the whole part.

Changes at 4.2/6.2 release

  • Xcatalog is now a fully native QuarkXPress 6.x XTension. And we’ve dropped all support for QuarkXPress 3.x, which was replaced about a decade ago. We still support QuarkXPress 4.x.
  • Xcatalog now features a whole new, much improved manual.
  • Xcatalog now supports FileMaker Pro 7, though it appears that versions before 7.0v2 didn’t work properly. (We surmise they fixed some scripting bugs but didn’t document them.)

    Even better, under FileMaker Pro 7, key lookups now work properly for the first time in history. E.g., a key field with value “1” will no longer potentially and confusingly match a database key field value “11” (since FileMaker was testing for containment, not equality), but only a database key field with the exact value “1”.

  • Xcatalog now supports the QuarkXPress Tags indexing tags (<XC>, <XO>, and <XC>) in tagged text fields, in both directions.
  • A doubled quote character followed by the end-of-field character no longer produces a spurious end-of-field.
  • The Ignore Hidden Layers option now supports Quark’s native layers. Additionally, locked layers are now undisturbed (skipped) during Xcatalog document updates.
  • Added a new Character set: preference (Macintosh or Windows) in the Data snapshot preferences.
  • A scripted file path no longer needs to be converted to an alias before sending it to Xcatalog, and file paths specifying data files to be created no longer fail. For example, running either update document using file "Macintosh HD:mydata.csv" or update data using file "Macintosh HD:newdatafile.txt" will no longer produce a missing parameter error. (Mac OS only)
  • The ODBC login dialog is no longer displayed when it isn’t required. (Windows only)
  • Xcatalog will no longer crash when extracting as tagged text and the text has “No Style” applied for both paragraph and character formatting. (Mac OS only)
  • Image previews are now generated at “full” resolution (72dpi) when Import pictures with full resolution preview is checked in the Update Document from Data preference panel, and at half resolution (36dpi) when it’s not checked. Previously, this was reversed such that full resolution previews were created when the option was not checked.
  • Picture updating has been adjusted to work more like QuarkXPress’s own Get Picture…, so that images containing a default clipping path are loaded with that clipping path selected. Before, an update of such an image would reset the picture clipping to Item.
  • The [D"..."] qualifier will now be honored when used in a DD map entry, so that you can specify both the field/column and the database/table in a map.
  • Xcatalog now properly supports long filenames (longer than 31 characters). (Mac OS X only)
  • Added back support for the Merant 3.5 ODBC driver set. (MacOS Classic only)
  • The data linker has grown to accomodate both OS X’s anti-aliasing and full-width key and field edit areas, and also sports new interactive update icons in place of the old buttons (to save space and to match InCatalog’s UI).

    Also, the linker palette elements are generally disabled rather than removed, when they’re not available.

  • Added support for multiple ODBC managers, selectable from the Open ODBC Connection… dialog, the DD (see new “^” qualifier, below), or via a script parameter. Support for Data Direct and OpenLink driver managers is built-in. When only one of these managers is available, it will be used as the default manager. When both a Data Direct and an OpenLink manager are available, the user will be prompted to select one in the Open ODBC Connection… dialog if a manager hasn’t been specified in the DD. (Mac OS only)
  • Added a new DD field qualifier, ^"...", where an ODBC driver manager library may be specified. For example, [^"iODBC.framework"] would specify OpenLink’s (OS X-native) manager while [^"ODBC DriverMgr PPC"] would specify Data Direct’s (Carbon) manager. This qualifier is only useful when multiple ODBC managers are present, in order to avoid having to choose one in the Open ODBC Connection… dialog. (Mac OS only)

    Note that, in theory, any provider’s manager library may be specified, so long as it exports the ODBC functions required by Xcatalog.

    Xcatalog Pro will now load whether an ODBC manager is available or not. Rather, lacking any ODBC manager it will run with ODBC options disabled (like the non-Pro Xcatalog) until such time as a manager is installed.

  • The DD’s DSN field qualifier &"..." may now be used to specify a connection string which is passed directly to the ODBC manager’s SQLDriverConnect() service. The DSN qualifier will be treated as a connection string if (and only if) it doesn’t name an existing user or system DSN and it contains at least one equals sign (=). For example, a file DSN named “foo.dsn” may be specified using the qualifier [&"FILEDSN=foo"]. For more information on SQLDriverConnect()-compatible connection strings, see this document on Microsoft’s site. (Microsoft defined the ODBC standard.)
  • Added the ?"..." DD field qualifier, allowing the specification of a field’s default value in the event of a missing key. For text, the qualifier’s value is unquoted tagged text which is inserted in place of the missing data. For pictures, the value is the path of an alternative image to be loaded or a hyphen (?"-") to specify that the picture frame be cleared. Note that missing key errors are logged regardless of this qualifier’s setting.
  • Fixed a serious, long-standing bug that would produce a “fatal error” on document update (an error 4), when leading or trailing spaces are used in key values. (They’re ignored, otherwise, by default.)
  • Fixed a bug with FileMaker on-line access where we were ignoring the FileMaker “found set” in a document update, but only if the DD specified a particular database by name for a given field; now, we always look up things in the current found set, no matter how the field is specified. (This gives the user ultimate control over what is or isn’t seen in the document update.)

    None of this affects document-to-database update, which ignores the found set (since it has to create a new record if something isn’t found, and that only makes sense on a whole-database basis).

  • Added a new automatic script running on document open. (Mac OS only)
  • Added a new update document and update data AppleEvent boolean parameters “selected box” and “selected group”, which limit the effect of the update (in either direction) to the currently-selected box or the currently-selected group, respectively. (Mac OS only)
  • Fix an obscure memory leak when scripting a non-Pro version for ODBC update (which wouldn’t do anything anyway).
  • Added a new set of flags, 1 2 3 4 5, to price style definitions, which control how many fractional price digits are used for the price style in question (from 1 through 5, though anything other than 2 or 3 would be very non-standard). E.g.,
    Euros3  3T  ^W^.^F

    (where tabs are separating the three fields) would define a price style “Euros3” using 3 fractional digits and thousands separators. The default is still two digits, so nothing changes unless you ask for it.

  • Fix a potentially crashing or data corrupting bug in data extraction (Create/Update Data…), when tagged text and picture paths were being extracted in the same document.
  • Fix a potentially crashing, but at least data-corrupting bug when zero-suppressing whole price values in styled price handling. (Windows only)
  • Fix a potentially crashing, but at least data-corrupting bug when eliding root markers from keys. (Windows only)
  • Zero-suppress fractions when handling the “fraction only” price style case, unless the previous behavior (not zero-suppressing the fraction component of a price) is explicitly requested with the F price style flag. This means that the price 0.05 with a “fraction only” price style case of ^F cents will properly read 5 cents instead of the previous 05 cents.
  • Fix a bug with ODBC Update Data which could cause corruption or crashes, when updating a database field value with double quotes in it.
  • Fix a very obscure bug which would cause an internal index (file extension .x) file error if all records read during index creation failed for some reason.
  • Fix a bug which caused a crash when no DD was selected and Turn Change Marks > On/Off for All Links was used.
  • Fix a bug which caused crashes under XPress 5.0 when invoking the About… dialog. (Windows only)

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