Since Helix is still using ancient Classic storage APIs, the entirety of the pathname must be Classic-compatible to avoid problems. If referenced externally stored files are on shared storage volumes, then the name of the servers, the names of all volumes and folders in the hierarchies leading to the referenced files, and the names of the files themselves, all have to be Classic-compatible. This is very difficult to maintain on a file server running any version of macOS. We tried this for several years after the initial release of macOS. Validation of pathnames for Classic compatibility is quite complicated, involving many layers of cascading Locate, Extract, and Length tiles. Even if this validation is done, it only controls entry or editing of Document references within Helix Collections. Because applications other than Helix can change pathnames of files, it is necessary to periodically run the Helix Update Documents commands to find and manually repair broken document references stored in Helix Collections. We had expected that Helix would be updated to support macOS storage, but are still waiting for an update. Eventually, we decided that the disadvantages and work of manually maintaining Classic compatibility of storage exceeded the benefit of continuing to use our Document Management Main Feature Set, so we stopped.
Tony referenced the possibility of needing to replace storage hardware. When this is done problems can be revealed that were previously unnoticed. The ancient Classic storage APIs used by Helix should not be used with APFS storage according to Apple, which leaves HFS or WFS+ formats as options. When storage formatted this way is used by macOS, long names of files and folders are shortened by substituting part of the long name with a random string. Normally this is not seen by users. Helix only knows to store these shortened names. As a result, unless Classic compatibility is strictly maintained, only bit-for-bit duplication of storage devices can maintain the accuracy of Helix document references.
These Helix Document Management problems and disabilities are far beyond trivial. Tony wrote: “I want to provide my kids with a reliable way to find old documents.” Sadly, in its current obsolete state, Helix Document Management cannot really fulfill that need.