I’ve used Freeway for around 10 years now but, like Seigmar, have turned to the dark side with Muse whilst retaining old sites in Freeway.
Its a breath of fresh air - previously Muse lagged behind FW in many areas but they are working very hard (and very quickly) to make it a very complete solution for web design. Previously an Adobe Air app, its now completely rewritten as a native 64bit app like Photoshop. This proves Adobes future commitment to Muse. I wish Softpress would keep up that kind of development. I’ve been part of the muse beta program for a while now and the team are very open to discuss features.
The beginning of a simple CMS system which is fully automatic - you simply tick ‘allow in browser editing’ when using Muse’s FTP and when the site is live a client can log into a website to amend certain text/images, preview the changes then submit to make it live. Next time I launch their site in Muse, its alerts me to their changes, lets me review each one then syncs to keep them together. It’s limited at the moment but this is the first version. There’s nothing to set in Muse whilst designing the site to make it ‘CMS friendly’.
Widgets - there’s literally hundreds of them that cover all manor of things, if you need to add something to a site, chances are someone has already written it. A bit like FW actions. A quick example: http://www.muse-themes.com/pages/muse-widgets
Feels just like other Adobe apps.
You can still add snippets of HTML if required.
Forms are very limited, still no support for radio buttons, check boxes. There’s ways round it but its not elegant. Will no doubt be sorted soon.
Bizarrely, you can’t import native Illustrator files, meaning I end up creating a working AI file and a PNG, having to keep both. And there’s no ‘collect for output’ when you’ve finished a site which is a pain.
No support for SVG yet.
Responsive - a sore point for Muse and one that’s discussed to death on their forums. For me, I prefer how Muse currently does it - you design the desktop site, click add mobile version and Muse copies the site structure to help build the mobile version. But, and its a big but, Muse only copies the structure - you’ll be faced with a lot of blank pages to redo as a mobile site. Then do it all again for the tablet site. The benefit is, you have full control of exactly how the mobile site will look rather than sacrificing the desktop version by thinking about responsive design. Makes for a more ‘relaxed’ construction without the worry of breakpoints or floats etc. The downside is site amends, you need to do them for each site (desktop/mobile/tablet).
Overall, and I hate to say this on FreewayTalk, the move from FW to Muse feels like the move from Quark to InDesign years back. It’s not until you make the leap you realise how many compromises you were making before.
Sorry, I feel bad saying that
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