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Harlequin Core 14.0r0 Release Notes

This page applies to Harlequin v14.0r0; both Harlequin Core and Harlequin MultiRIP.


Harlequin Release Notes are now published directly to our website.

Harlequin v14.0Known Limitations and Planned Changes (v2.0)r0 is a major new release since HQN v13.0r0. This release consolidates work of HQN v13.0r0 series and adds high performance features. As usual we also responded to many customer issues including compatibility with other PDF processing and display products, and issues that required Core changes, see in the "Harlequin Core v14.0r0 change details" table (below).

Harlequin v14.0r0 introduces:

  • PDF/x-6
  • PDF/x-VT3
  • Updating core and components for the latest platforms support.
  • CxF color support
  • HVD optimizations to help identify more reusable objects in poorly constructed jobs
  • Improvements to RIP farm
  • Performance optimisation for heavy vectors jobs
  • Easy to integrate Harlequin shared reusable assets library (LibHVD) see Known limitations and planned changes

Alerts and guidance

  • HMR plugin kit 20.3r3 is available to accompany Harlequin v13.2r0 and 14.0r0.
  • The updated LDK components v8.3 for Windows 11 support will be installed. LDK components now identify as v8.31 on Windows 11, macOS, and Linux.
  • There are no installers for the Harlequin Core any more, the SDK is supplied as a zip, see Harlequin Core Getting Started Guide (v14.0r0)

Rip startup tests

Under development story HQN-384757 entitled 'Add RIP startup test that CPU meets minimum SIMD requirement.' GGS have been adding more use of SIMD instructions in the Core for performance reasons. SIMD availability levels varies from one CPU to another. In order to predicate a minimal level of SIMD support for any CPU the Rip will run on, we have introduced the RIP startup test to make sure the CPU meets this minimum requirement. Otherwise a user may experience a crash generating support calls which could use time tracking down the reason. Our test checks the SIMD/AVX/3DNOW info for a CPU, and if necessary emits the warning like this; "System requirements failure: No AVX2 available"

Harlequin Core v14.0r0 change details

Unless specified changes apply to Core SDK, and HMR.

Jira StorySupport call(s)Summary
Ship the Linux LDK installation script
Wrong logic in groupReplaceRasterStyle() causes bad output
Crash in groupPreconvert() 
HQN-385599HQNSUP-126863Scalable RIP and HqnImpose2 Causes 'Unexpected Output Pages'
HVD: Output and reuse: bug in hashing of external gstate and early finalizing of data resulting in loss of reuse
HQN-385585HQNSUP-126793/HQNSUP-126875Memory Usage Increase With /ScanConversion /RenderAccurate
N-Colour profiles sometimes cause crash/errors with SpotsOnly and RGB transparency
HQN-385579HQNSUP-126859Seamless screening fails with large screens on small pages
Remove zip device
Change default PageSize policy to 8 (from 7)
Make HHR SDK Doxygen usable as a RIP integration guide
Ensure RIP version is reported in logfiles and rip monitor at start
HQN-385532HQNSUP-126839/HQNSUP-126801Change default MediaSize to prevent orientation issues
Provide mechanism for reporting of errors from event handlers
Link with the new ColorLogic UNIX SDK
HQN-385449HQNSUP-126814Softmask being ignored results in bad output
HQN-385448HQNSUP-126811Crash in groupPreconvert()
Finish off color chain UID work with simplifications etc
Fix image decodes crash in low memory
Can no longer purge image stores during backdrop resource allocation.
Create combined header file(s) for SDK and/or corelib interfaces
HQN-385383SDFESUP-243VMError Regression with Customer Job and limited memory
Change HqMemCpy, HqMemMove, HqMemCmp functions to use size_t for length parameters in HQN 14 (API change)
Remove some complexity to speed-up HVD-scan times
Rip progress messages broken when HVD enabled.
HQN-385332HQNSUP-126714Amend pdf_rr_post_op to fix very slow HVD post-scan with Customer job 
Give trunk HMR plugins a different version number from the plugin release branches
Sign Windows Harlequin executables signing certificate using the Windows OS sign tool
Windows ldktool.exe needs certifying
Update copyright to 2023
Collect raster backend output functions into RDR API
Improve imstore reuse by recognising equivalent color chains
Performance regression introduced between 13.2r1 and 13.2r3, in v14
HQN-385238HQNSUP-126765Fix group elimination issue causing a transparent image to be missing from HP Indigo job
HQN-385216HQNSUP-126520RIP shouldn't fail when a user-generated filename has illegal encoding - Windows
HQN-385214HQNSUP-126775Handling of Japanese characters from SOAR NX plugin
HQN-385210HQNSUP-126771Crash when number of imstore and im_colcvt colorants mismatches 
HQN-385201HQNSUP-126670Solution for unwanted blank lines on the edge of rasters
For the HQN Core MultRip GUI we should add PDF options selector for PDF/x6
HQN-385197HQNSUP-126765Fix group elimination issue causing a transparent image to be missing from HP Indigo job
Avoid transparency test in opaque image render
Update HHR LDK to support MacOS Ventura
Port - Image Caching: Keep images between pdfexecid chunks
HVD Scan: Speed it up by retaining scan nodes from previous chunks
Simplify support for framebuffers in raster backends
Simplify byte-swapping for raster backends
Implement initial cut of a new JAM target "oemzipdir" which generates a clean OEM distribution directory
Deprecate OptimizedPDFCompactMemory
Remove obsolete oemraster.c file from SDK
Migrate OEMs from using PGB device bbox parameter to RasterParam (stage 2)
HVD Scan: Speed it up by retaining scan nodes from previous chunks with new OptimizedPDFStashPages param
Fix "HVD reuse found" field for a Label and Packaging job
HQN-385090SDFESUP-157Large Job Crashes or Hangs Scalable RIP
PostScript "restore" has wrong test for validating other save object on stack. Make compatible with Adobe Acrobat
Add a richer representation of raster layouts to the Core-SDK interface
HQN-385079HQNSUP-126744Tiff flate decode filter with difference predictor does not handle byte order properly- HQNSUP-126744
RasterParams in example TestConfigs is now in wrong format and no longer works.
Update documentation to include support for PDF/VT-3
RIP shouldn't fail when a user-generated filename is illegal
HVD: Performance: Limited version of - avoid unnecessary compositing for 100% pure black objects - S branch
rectfill with extra trailing moveto trips-up rectangle detection code.
Integrate ZLib-ng into HQN Core 14 for all platforms
HQN-384987HQNSUP-126714Amend pdf_rr_post_op to fix very slow HVD post-scan with Customer job
HQN-384986SDFESUP-157Improve Slow Reading of very large xref Tables with a large number of sections
HQN-384977SDFESUP-157Large Job Crashes or Hangs Scalable RIP
Fix crash after restoring halftone purged in low memory
profile lead performance optimisations possible to orth_subtractive_1x8_rows etc.
Remove x32bit support on for all Harlequin products later than version 13.x
HQN-384896HQNSUP-126702PS eq operator returns true comparing non-string with empty string
InstallAnywhere GUI hangs shortly after launch on RHEL 7.9
HQN-384794HQNSUP-126686RIP farm sometimes reports a failure and doesn't exit cleanly
Update LDK application libraries to 8.41
Improve imstore reuse by recognising equivalent color chains
Re-implement image processing algorithm so that it can use SIMD vector calculations.
Develop - OptionalContent SuppressPage true can crash with eHVD
HQN-384733HQNSUP-126511Port 'Gray' Separation fix to 13.2rx and 14.x
HQN-384730HQNSUP-126520RIP shouldn't fail when a user-generated filename has illegal encoding - Windows
HQN-384661SDFESUP-66Remove traversal of shfill DLs for groups
HQN-384658HQNSUP-126654PDF Stack size limit exceeded
HQN-384645HQNSUP-126647/SDFESUP-68Fix for Scalable RIP with multiple jobs does not send STOPPED event when farm rip max restart occurs
HQN-384641HQNSUP-126644/HQNSUP-126735Calibration matching by screen name doesn't work
Micro-optimisations to backdrop table interface
HQN-384594HQNSUP-126632Replace virtual device raster style with device raster style to allow single channel compositing
HQN-384589HQNSUP-126624Honour FillAction=Ignore for Mode=AllStrokes
Don't retain backdrop if rendering one channel (output style is irrelevant)
HQN-384554HQNSUP-126664Defining modular screens for unrendered colorants may crash the RIP
Special case 4to4 interpolation when converting color
Implement element cache purging for iHVD
Bad output, (missing objects) with HVD for jobs with XRef object or GGSL_Opaque tags. Also, loss of reuse and Assert:"Unexpectedly small always closed form bbox"
HQN-384501HQNSUP-126533Extend Colour Probing to Fix Separation Omission for 1-pass rendering
HQN-384475HQNSUP-126602A color space with the name 'Lab' causes the RIP to error
Update HVD Page Features to Use /Always for EnableOptimizedPDFScan
RIP may crash trying to read from closed FILEIO stream after an IOERROR.
HQN-384345HQNSUP-126520RIP shouldn't fail when a user-generated filename is illegal
Include LDK runtime v8.31 in RIP distributions
As a HQN Core OEM, I would like to receive releases as a ZIP file
HHR logging with -X thrashes the disk and degrades performance
Scalable rip hangs if the farm rips aren't all spawned
New Version of the Plugin Kit
Consolidate HXM Flexo installer to include all current screens including ones shipped by Ken
Update List Spot Colors page feature for speed
HQN-383828HQNSUP-3968/HQNSUP-3940Page Offsets Are Wrong When Using Scalable RIP and HVD or tiling
PageOrder + tiling broken with Scalable RIP
Set /OverprintWhite true by default
Enable HHR to output files relative to the input file's path
HQN-383726HQNSUP-3937When freeing up LDK licenses for a crashed RIP free the RIP license last
HqnContour ignores ObeyScalingAndExtraOrientation false, and scales/rotates the contour as well as the render.
Eliminate SDK doxygen warnings
Add "welcome page" job to HQN Core SDK
For PDF/X-6 files, allow device colour spaces in isolated transparency groups
Add option for HHR to automatically set ContoneMask for Position Independent eHVD
Automatically detect PDF/X-6 and PDF/X-6p files
For PDF/X-6 files, check version key in document catalog dictionary
Turn black point compensation (BPC) on by default for PDF/X-6 files
For PDF/X-6 files, process as if features deprecated in PDF2.0 were not present
Assess impact of adding support for PDF/VT-3
Replace tests of ColorantFamilyName with PCM in HHR back ends
Separation Color Named Blue is rendered as Yellow with /OverPrintPreview
HQN-383243HHR #3872HVD+ContoneMask results in unwanted output colour
HQN-383233HHR - #3864HVD Gets Number Wrong
Report any extensions that a file says it needs
HQN-383217HHR #3865GGS custom page feature does not report correct pagesize 
HQN-383216HHR #3831'Replacement color must be fully fledged' error 
Move Handshake.c file to platform specific directories
JSON config - Support HqnContour in JSON configs
Make Pantone libraries an encrypted layered option in the RIP
HQN-383164HQNSUP-126498/HQNSUP-126478/HQNSUP-126588Support applying alpha when ripping input TIFF jobs
HQN-383161HHR #3849HqnContour procset causes typecheck error
VMerror UIDs don't work and shouldn't exist
Image store cache across pages
Allow OEM to specify that a farm RIP will not be restarted.
HVD: Work out a better metric for success
HQN-383066HHR #3828 - Fix crash when timeout happens waiting for farm RIPs to exit.
Confusing colorspaces cause assert and crash.
HVD: Remove OptimizedPDFCompactMemory and simplify code
Make Scalable RIP error when incompatible setups are active with tiling
Make Scalable RIP work with PDF /Page tiling
Support full range 16-bit contone with ValuesPerComponent of 65536
HQN-382968SW #126264 Massive slowdown when using press curve with a min dot
HQN-382934HHR #3779 Customer supplied Hybrid PACKZ File is Slow to RIP
Remove WinPrint support from HHR
Accelerate processing of PDF with many graduated fills
HQN-382889HHR #3773 Vector Artefact And Assert When Ripping PDF
HQN-382884HQNSUP-3767HVD Re-Uses Page When It Shouldn't
HVD: Improvements for handling of empty text boxes and empty pages, (was: override bboxes with empty ones for objects drawn in /None separation)
HHR PDF backend fills first colorant wrongly for TrimPage 
Improve channel handling code for input TIFF data.
HQN-382739HHR Support #3650Resolve OEM configuration specific Pixel shift issue
Emit blank pages from scalable rip when necessary
HQN-382658HHR #3720File with OCG Renders Incorrectly When Ripped With eHVD
HQN-382606HQNSUP-3708Vector Object(s) Rendered in 'Low Resolution'
HqnUnloadImpose doesn't work for unloading overlays
Nodes missing from supernode for un-reused label 
Implement missing NoZoom and NoRotate annotation flags

Add code optimisations for typical use cases of blit_color_quantise().

A performance boost for smooth-shade intensive jobs

Correct screenforall reporting of screens used when Duplicate is false
Add support for building and running HHR on Macs with Apple Silicon
Account for very small differences in offsets between clip and graphics when using eHVD
HQN-382127HQNSUP-3557Extend Ranges in XYZ-D50 & XYZ-D65 color spaces to avoid clipping and yellowish output from M1 NCDs with some profiles
Upgrade Zint to latest version to pick up their bug fixes
Preview/roam colours of N-colour images aren't correct
Failure to understand TIFF input Photoshop input gives useless error message
Improve handling of TIFF jobs containing more than one alpha/mask channel
Improve spot tinting and overprinting with CxF/x-4
HVD: Retain objects used more than once along the same edge - follow on work, for more objects
HQN-381147HHR# 3254Seamless Screening not compatible with HPS
Investigate: Tune HVD for common industrial label jobs
Improve timing information in Scalable RIP
PI-eHVD: Only allows for a single clip per gstate level resulting in inappropriate reuse giving incorrect output
HVD: Investigate whether we can take account of which form regions need compositing for transparency supernodes
Allow asynchronous raster output
Allow bands to be output in any order if the backend supports it
Allow skin to control allocation of bands without full framebuffer
Add a page feature for EPS files
Expand example colour management testconfigs
Add a generic method for passing parameters to raster backends
Flatten SDK include file layout
Add handling for PDF Processing Steps (ISO 19593-1) optional content
Reduce maximum HPP pipelining depth to 4
Switch Harlequin RIP builds to default to using MSVC 2017
Improve HHR OEM SDK integration experience
Font Emulation's CE encoding vector has invalid entries
Reduce maximum HPP pipelining depth
Switch Harlequin to MSVC 2017
Add RIP startup test that CPU meets minimum requirements
For input files validate the job titles when using -f %j and -f %s 
Review and improve HHR Doxygen documentation
HQN-375719SDFESUP-326Use ICCBased, Lab etc. alternate spaces for spots in the back end
Remove obsolete versions of HDS screens
Remove Vignette Detection
Update Harlequin Core SDK to include LittleCMS v2.15
Use tint transform from job for spot objects when using OverprintPreview
Add horizontal scrollbars to HMR Output Controller dialog for very long separation names
Assert "MPS event length doesn't match CommitSet"
CxF phase 3- Improve spot overprints when converting to process
Remove old HMR skin multilevel screening
RIP asserts on a valid 12-bit, Indexed color, Type 3, interleave 1 image
Modular halftones don't work with in-RIP halftoning


Optimise memory allocations to improve performance of (and not limited to) step and repeated VDP multipage jobs

There are some reductions possible in the processing of this type of file expectation is 10-20% of time improvements for at least the x3 of these types of files tested, content will cause variable improvements


Fix limiting the number of band rendering tasks based on MaxBandMemory

We also note that the current behaviour diverges from the documentation therefore decided to align the code with the documentation. This defect ought to have little effect, since users could and may have just raised MaxBandMemory.


Allow 0.0 frequency screen components for unused screens or where only the degenerate screens are used


Produce warnings instead of errors for invalid halftone dictionaries when using a contone output setup

This was implemented to allow the change above HQN-385864


Set version number for Migrate for v14

The Migrate tool is now v10.0r0.  It was 9.1r0 in v13.x

Known issues

  • Mac ARM compilation is as yet unsupported, though the Makefile implies that it's an option.
  • Recent installs of MSVS2019 do not include the Windows 8.1 SDK. OEMs wishing to build for this OS can retrofit it. See "Updates to supported platforms and compilers" (below).
  • Harlequin Core SDK Installer can fail on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Server 8.1. Global Graphics opened a case (02603280) with Red Hat and are looking for workarounds for support of Red Hat 8.x.
  • In testing Ubuntu 20.4, LE-secured v13.2r0 customizations install OK; however, at the end, the installer says it was unable to run the LDK tool but it created the files on disk. It shouldn't - and doesn't - create an LDK folder. This would be ignored as a workaround.
  • When building the SDK on Linux using the -ansi or a -std option then you will need to add linux to your list of predefined macros used in the build of the SDK. This requirement will disappear in a future release.

Known limitations and planned changes in LibHVD (in v14.1)

  • The method functions for customizing or replacing HVD "trackers" will be removed in future updates. Do not implement a replacement for or customize the HVD tracker in 14.0.
  • The method functions for customizing HVD cache implementations will be substantially changed in future updates. Any work on implementing a new HVD cache implementation or customizing an existing HVD cache implementation in 14.0 will have to be re-worked in future releases.
  • The HVD_element_set_data() and HVD_element_get_data() functions will be removed in future updates.
  • The interface to the HVD monitor will be changed in future updates, to use a cache implementation name, rather than a set of functions implementing the cache ID. The cache implementation name will be discovered by the HVD monitor in a new RDR namespace. This may result in minor updates required for raster backends implementing external HVD caching and compositing.
  • Future updates will include one or more eHVD cache implementations suitable for sharing element construction and caching across an entire Scalable RIP Farm.
  • Using multiple display lists e.g.; /NumDisplayLists 2 is not recommended in conjunction with an configuration using Shared Memory LibHVD e.g. GG_HHR_FRAMETIFF_SHM_ERR2

Documentation change details


All the current v14 Harlequin Core content is available to you online alongside the v14.0r0 release:

We suggest if you are starting out with Harlequin Core that you read the Harlequin Core Getting Started Guide (v14.0r0)
Harlequin 13.x series documentation is available as an archived version here Manuals (v13)

This following table contains details of the various documents that were created or updated for Harlequin Core 14.0r0:

Document  Status  Format
Harlequin Core RIP Capabilities and FeaturesNewOnline
Harlequin Extensions ManualUpdatedOnline
Getting Started with Harlequin CoreUpdatedOnline
Harlequin MultiRIP Plugin kitUpdatedOnline
List of Technical NotesUpdatedPDF
Harlequin RIP SDK documentationUpdatedOnline + HTML

The former API Reference Manual has been replaced by the extended and revised Harlequin RIP SDK documentation, available online and included within the SDK distribution. That documentation now also covers most of the information in the former Harlequin Core SDK (HHR) Developer’s Guide, making it unnecessary as well. (Though some of it moved to Getting Started and even the Extensions Manual.)

Removed/deprecated items

The following items are unused and have been removed from Harlequin Core 14:

  • XPS
  • In-Rip Zip device
  • InstallAnywhere
  • Vignette Detection
  • MultiLevelBitsPerSample pagedevice param
  • pdfparam /OptimizedPDFCompactMemory
  • Recombine

The following deprecated items are planned to be removed from Harlequin Core 15:

  • TrapPro
  • pdfparam /OptimizedPDFGroupOverprinting
  • In-Rip imposition with HQNLayout (excluding HQNImpose 2)
  • In-Rip barcoding (to be confirmed)
  • Font emulation

Updates to supported platforms and compilers

See also Rip startup tests in Alerts and Guidance




64-bit Operating Systems

Windows Server 2022

Red Hat Enterprise Server 7.X

macOS 10.13 (High Sierra)

Windows Server 2012 R2 (Standard Edition only; excludes Server Core configuration)

Ubuntu 20.04

macOS 10.14 (Mojave) (from HHR 12.1)

Windows 10 Pro (excludes Windows Mobile and Mobile Enterprise, embedded, and IoT Core)

Ubuntu 22.04

macOS 10.15 (Catalina) (from HHR 13)

Windows Server 2016 (Standard Edition only, excludes Server Core, Nano-server configurations)

CentOS 7.4

Windows Server 2019 (excludes Server Core, Nano-server and Server 1809 configurations; from HHR v12.1)

Windows 11 Pro 21H2 build 22000 or later

Compilers & IDE

Compile with MSVC 2019, v16.4 or later (from HHR v13).

Compile with GCC 8.3

Clang 10

Upgrading from Core SDK 13 to 14

We have prepared some guidance on upgrading your Harlequin Core from v13 to v14, these are located in our Knowledgebase

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