Fin

Walter, you make a valid point. But with regard to RapidWeaver, the core app isn’t designed to do much. Stacks makes it somewhat usable, and Foundation atop Stacks seems to be something that is quite useful (although how bloated the end code is, I’ve not thoroughly examined).

The thing with Freeway is that you could often start off wanting to do something, then you realize you don’t know how to do it so you post something here on FreewayTalk, and much of the time someone out there would give you a code fragment or tip on how to go about it, free of charge. Sometimes actions were required, but not really that often. But from what I see in the RapidWeaver world, you’d need stack for just about any little thing you want to add. Earlier in this thread I asked Joe Workman about a certain type of Search Field and the answer was that it would probably be out there somewhere in Stack form (although I certainly haven’t been able to find it).

There comes a point at which one must ask themselves a question. Can I do this myself at a reasonable cost or should I hire someone to do it? But if I hire them, then I’d need to use them for every little change in the future, which could end up costing me more in the long term than doing it myself.

I got into web design in 1999 only because my company at the time wanted me to do the job rather than pay a huge sum to an outside firm. I’ve always done website work in my free time. It’s not my full time job. Freeway made that possible for me. People who do websites full time have a very different view of web design and web design tools, I have no doubt.

–James Wages


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I have been a FW user for about 3 years, and during that time, I have wondered about the financial model.

I can’t remember how much FW was to upgrade each version, but it wasn’t much. And, users could go on for years without paying any more cash. Why didn’t Softpress adopt a more aggressive approach? (Aggressive meant in the nicest possible way!)

The standard approach of many software companies is to charge an (almost) annual ‘upgrade’ fee for software that is not much different, e.g. Parallels.

Now, I don’t mind paying £30-£40 a year to keep companies afloat if I feel their software is useful to me, and that they are doing a good job of maintaining the software in terms of updates and customer support.

As Walter has alluded to in a post above, I also have never understood the Actions principle which as far as I can see was the cornerstone of the FW community. Most seem to have been free, or a fairly minimal cost. Why? Again, I’m sure users would be happy to pay more for something that would prove to be useful.

I know that users like me don’t have any idea about the finances of Softpress, or things that have gone on behind closed doors, but why did Softpress not pick up on the whole Action thing? Develop their own chargeable products? I guess it was largely because of the situation described above, i.e. so many free Actions readily available.

No point in going, I guess, but I am very sad about FW and Softpress. Is there no chance that someone - with larger resources than Softpress - will pick up FW and improve the marketing and development?


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Iain,

I actually proposed to SoftPress back in December 2015 that a buyout or merger with Serif (makers of the superb Affinity apps) would make great sense. Serif has two great graphics apps, but no web design app that touches Freeway. But with Serif’s money and engineering team, I felt they could inject new life into Freeway. Specifically, whoever owns Freeway would need to move Freeway off the MacApp framework and onto something modern. That would be a major rewrite of the app, and no doubt would require more resources than SoftPress had to make it happen. Without modernizing the app, you also can’t have things like Retina UI optimizations. Such is probably also why we never achieved things extremely basic like Multiple Undos too.

–James Wages


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James,

Interesting. I have been using the 2 Affinity products for quite a long time now, and after trying many Adobe CC ‘alternatives’ over the years, I feel we really do have one now.

The way that the Affinity team respond to support requests - both on the forums and by email - remind me of the community here.

In my opinion, an updated FW would be a perfect fit for the Affinity products, especially with the coming of Publisher soon.

Did you ever approach Serif directly? What reaction did you get from Softpress?


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I got zero reaction from SoftPress, perhaps because even back in December 2015 they may have been in financial distress (who knows).

I contacted Serif in early June this year, after seeing their Responsive Web Design “mock-up” feature video:

But I got no response from Serif either.

Again, that feature in Affinity Designer 1.5 is for the creation of a “graphical mock-up.” There is no HTML output. I wrote them to suggest they expand it to generate HTML, possibly in a separate app.

For truly, I want to create a Responsive site THE EASY WAY. And I want WYSIWYG. Indeed, WYSIWYG is what led me to Freeway back in 1999, in the Freeway 2 days. Freeway has also been great for traditional table based layouts, but I never figured out how to create a Responsive Site in Freeway EASILY (for brain dead people like me).

Best,

James Wages


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The only valid point I see is, that it is this audience responsible for the disastrous end - you and me to be pedant. And on plus, I see an audience haven’t got the balls to speak it out loud!

Rather than discussing stupid requests on this TalkList for years (tables, hover, positioning …) it would have been much better to talk “progressive enhancement (ever heard of flexbox?)”. For the sake of those people we’re doing web design:

The billions of users out there having the damn right watching a well structured Page (or Site).

My aspiration is leaving the web a better place. This is just because I’m a designer. And a designer’s job is solving problems. This is neither a technical approach nor has it much to do with prettifying. It’s authoring and structuring. It’s about taking the inventory - it’s about simplifying.

Following this approach, one may wonder how less and rare you have to “adjust” your site.

I’m one of those “selling” my stuff. Because it isn’t a cheap video series of a manual. It is my intellectual property. And I’m proud of it.

I often tried to motivate the action writers to sell stuff - it’s damn fair. But we can’t persist on static, old library based stuff. Furthermore, it isn’t a sold action causing problems, it is the inability and ignorance of this audience using them successfully. Because using a “modern” action requires the knowledge of positioning - period.

“Things need to be much simpler!” was the gist of a recent talk.

Softpress died - isn’t it simple?

Cheers

Thomas


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Thomas,

The demise of SoftPress is not that simple at all in light of how many DECADES they have been in business. Regardless of what we think or say, SOMETHING kept them in business that long. It’s just that SOMETHING decided it best to close the doors now. For all I know we could blame BREXIT. The timing is interesting, no?

–James Wages


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On 22 Jul 2016, 8:24 am, JDW wrote:

Thomas,

The demise of SoftPress is not that simple at all …

It is: Decades of standstill and a self beloved audience! We do have people here in this Forum still working on FW3.5. Why? Because they still use Freehand as their “design” application and can’t afford to upgrade their iOS. Do you sell the same technology today that you did 10 years ago?

So BREXIT. A day AFTER the election, the most googled thing in UK was: “What does BREXIT mean and what happens now”.

It’s simply not possible to talk progressive enhanced with people like those. Sweet memories? Sure - no problem with it.

It has become clear that our prospects, both in terms of current revenue and new product development, are insufficient to sustain the company as a viable entity going forward.

For what I know (and I’m still not sure having the allowance to tell):

Softpress planned developing something entirely new. This new product wouldn’t be anything like Freeway was. In other words:

Not to use for the uppermost parts of you.

So it’s damn fair not to collect money of an unaware audience to develop something unusable, isn’t it?

Web didn’t change for a long time. But somewhere in 2000, with introducing CSS3 things rapidly changed. late 2011 introducing breakpoints within the @media query - 2012 Flexbox. Revolution or Evolution?

I call it a “Growing Web”. And I was for years the pain in your butts. Not for my own satiation - just because I knew what happens.

Keep this in mind when you enter other audiences and new products.

Cheers

Thomas


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Hi Walter,
I’ve often ‘peeked over the fence’ at the RapidWeaver add-ons market and wondered how a similar model would have either benefitted or killed Freeway. For me Actions and the extended options were the two things that kelp the application alive for as long as it did. Both of these, even still today, allow you to push the application into places and to do things that it wasn’t designed to do. Without those I think I would have stopped using Freeway long ago.

I think the biggest difference I’d seen between the two communities (and this is just my observation) is the drive on Freeway Talk to foster a ‘give back’ eco-system where users want to solve not only their own site building issues but those of their peers as well. I’m sure that that also exists over at RW as well but I certainly see more people using that need as a way to drive sales. The RW community is a vast one and the appeal to create a plug-in (even at low cost) to market to the thousands of active users must be strong one.

I’ve only ever sold four Actions out of the many dozens that I’ve written and these were typically a lot more complex that the majority of ’shoot from the hip’ quick solutions that I’d done before. The Mals Actions (for example) started out as a ‘quick project’ but ended up taking many, many hours of research, testing, documentation and support to get working. Just on the support side of things those Actions probably didn’t bring enough revenue to pay for the hours I spent trying to make the shopping carts users invariably wanted to create. They all got made and they all worked as expected but each one was different to the last one.

I agree that most Actions were free but from what I recall most Action authors had at least one Action they were selling at one time or another.

I would say that over the 15 years I’ve been selling Actions they have certainly paid for themselves and the hosting but I’d be lying if I said it was a viable revenue stream. If nothing else it gave me an insight into how users worked with Freeway and the day-to-day issues they faced. For that alone it was all worth it.
Regards,
Tim.

On 22 Jul 2016, at 03:21, Walter Lee Davis email@hidden wrote:

I wonder what would have happened – seriously – if I had chosen to charge for my Actions. Paul and Tim did, and I don’t know how the economics of it worked out, nor do I have any decent comparison between number of users. But I wonder if the simple fact that I was lazy, and didn’t charge (because I didn’t want to set up a commerce site, and didn’t want to feel beholden to my customers for support). I know that most of the other people who wrote and distributed Actions didn’t charge for theirs either.

What would the Freeway ecosystem look like if it wasn’t expected that all this codified knowledge was free?


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I often wondered that myself over the years.

Todd
Office (Chicago): 312.212.3955

I wonder what would have happened – seriously – if I had chosen to charge for my Actions.


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For everyone in search for an alternative to make simple responsive sites
quite easily, without coding: take a look at ‘Sparkle’ at http://sparkle.cx/
It does a remarkable job. And it surprises me not to have more heart about
it.

Andries

2016-07-22 17:10 GMT+02:00 Todd email@hidden:

I often wondered that myself over the years.

Todd
Office (Chicago): 312.212.3955

What Happened to Freeway Pro developer Softpress? | QREATiv

I wonder what would have happened – seriously – if I had chosen to
charge for my Actions.


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Information for existing FreewayTalk / Groups.io users - Site Feedback - Softpress Talk


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For everyone in search for an alternative to make simple responsive sites
quite easily, without coding: take a look at ‘Sparkle’ at http://sparkle.cx/
It does a remarkable job. And it surprises me not to have heard more about
it.

Andries

2016-07-22 17:10 GMT+02:00 Todd email@hidden:

I often wondered that myself over the years.

Todd
Office (Chicago): 312.212.3955

What Happened to Freeway Pro developer Softpress? | QREATiv

I wonder what would have happened – seriously – if I had chosen to
charge for my Actions.


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Information for existing FreewayTalk / Groups.io users - Site Feedback - Softpress Talk


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Just my 2 cents…

I don’t understand why some are searching elsewhere for web design applications…If you took the time to learn responsive inline design using the amazing Freeway Pro, and can create your own wrappers/containers using % etc. then I assume we can continue using this application… or am I missing something…


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Yes, you are missing something in my opinion. Freeway is no longer supported. Have you tried it on 10.12 Sierra?


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No I don’t have Sierra… but I was told that FW7 will work on Sierra


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Ian This is from Joe Billings
“FreewayTalk and the KnowledgeBase will be available indefinitely. As far as I know right now, Freeway works fine in MacOS 10.12 Sierra.”


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In my experience, Freeway’s implementation of responsive is problematic. Sometimes things will work perfectly, then the next time you launch, something that was fine when you saved and quit may suddenly jump out of place. I’ve also had to repeatedly set something to the master settings when something else changes (like changing a page wrapper height, then a fixed height banner wrapper may - or may not - suddenly have the bottom cut off. (Not a user error.) Plus, with complex items, things can easily go haywire.
If someone wants to see a gorgeous implementation of responsive, they should check out Tumult Hype. This is precisely the way that Freeway should work.


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I’m not prepared to break the NDA, but there is a public beta, so try it yourself.


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The one thing that no one seems to address is the need for CMS. I have used Max’s Web Yep Suite for years and it works beautifully with Freeway. As far as I know it works with Rapid Weaver so that is probably where I will go. I find more and more that new clients insist on being able to to editing their websites on their own. That is just what people want now because they see all of these cheap build your own commercials on TV. I love having the revenue from master my cleats sites but those days seem to be numbered.

Billy


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Carla,

LOGIC should help you understand. It doesn’t matter if Freeway works fine under Sierra insofar as Sierra will not be the last MacOS. A year hence yet another MacOS will come on the scene, and what of Freeway compatibility then? It’s easy for some people to say, “Well, I just won’t upgrade my OS then.” And if you never update your OS, then you have a valid point – Freeway will last as long as that computer does. But MOST PEOPLE do upgrade, at least at some point.

What this means is, intelligent people PLAN AHEAD. I expect it would take me months to learn a new app, and then how many months would it take me to rebuild my big sites in that app? So you see, planning a year in advance is logical and has sound reason behind it.


As to the demise of SoftPress, anti-Freeway articles like the following certainly contributed to it to some degree:

(Also note in that article how they rank EverWeb above Sparkle and even above RapidWeaver.)

–James Wages


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