Fin

Truly saddened to see this. Been out for the US holidays. A big Thank You to all of the Freeway team.
Where to turn.
This program was my right hand man for all my web work. Would be curious as to what the other Pro’s are going to do with this loss. Never been a big fan of WP but it looks like that is the route I may have to go.
I will use Freeway until I can’t but it looks like it’s back to school again.
Thanks to everyone for there support over the years.
John


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On 4 Jul 2016, 3:16 pm, PixelsArts wrote:

Hasta la vista amigo!

A blow over the years have used this tool as one of the supports of my design studio I have clients and projects in development. But best of all was the team of Softpress that was always present in support. Thank you

SAME HERE / I agree !!!


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Very sad news.

Being an ex-employee of Softpress, Freeway was a very big part of my life for quite a while. I remember seeing alphas of Freeway 1 from afar and then became involved more directly with Freeway 2 onwards as part of the testing team. Also worked on the Softpress website for a while. I think I left Softpress after 8 years in 2006.

Since 2006 I have not really kept up with Softpress and Freeway so this comes as a surprise to me.

I would love to see somebody write a history of Freeway and Softpress, as I expect there’s enough for a book.
I also genuinely think Softpress has a small place in Apple history. I read one of the many books about Apple history some years ago and remember thinking that Softpress should really get a mention, in particular when talking about Freeway’s ancestor, Uniqorn and it’s font technology.

Softpress also sent me all over the place demoing Freeway at trade shows like MacWorld. I visited San Francisco 5-6 times over the years, Japan once (hello James Wages), Stockholm, New York and Paris.

I have some amazing memories with Softpress. Highlights include:

• Demoing Freeway to Mac OS X engineers at Cupertino.
This was in the very early days of Mac OS X. During the demo, one of the engineers joked about how Mac OS X had loads less features than Mac OS 9 despite all the time and money they’d spent on it.

• Demoing to an Apple executive “behind the scenes” at MacWorld Paris. Apple iWeb appeared not too long afterwards.

• Demoing to some high-up Microsoft exec and spending half the time criticising MS software without realising who I was demoing to.

• Japan! I’ll never forget it. We were in a city some 4-5 hours outside Tokyo. Loved every minute and I still want to go back.

• For a while, Softpress was based at Richard’s house. That was weird! I expect it was very hard for the family too.

There are so many other memories that…er…I can’t remember right now.

Oh yes – the crunch periods before Freeway release dates. Working from 9am till 11pm or later to meat deadlines. I’m not sure customers ever got to see this side of things. They would sometimes last for months at a time.

I must thank Richard and Softpress for the opportunity I was given. I travelled the world. Learnt so much. Met amazing friends who are still friends today. Slingshot me into another job (that’s a story by itself) in Central London that I’ll also never forget.

Adiós!


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James Davies,

You and I became friends at that Macworld. Thank you for remaining a friend all these years.

I still remember using PowerGlot to translate the Freeway 3 UI into Japanese, and working hard with my associate here in Japan to translate all the documentation. The really knock-em-dead feature at those old Macworlds was the fact Freeway could switch languages on the fly, which was no small task for OS 9 (pre OS X MacOS), and as far as I know, only Quark Xpress had it at the time. (Today we take such for granted in OS X.) You can still read on article on that at Tidbits (scroll down to “Smooth Operators” — indicates I actually did something right at that show!):

Here are a few ancient Macworld Tokyo photos (you’ll need QT Player 7 to view the VR *.mov file):

Macworld Tokyo 2000 (outside, with Freeway Actions author Alan Shouls and me in leather):
http://cl.ly/3I2z2g1t3o3P/James-Alan-Amaki-MacworldTokyo2000.jpg

Macworld Tokyo 2001 (QTVR download):
http://cl.ly/2J0M3f3L3j0y/download/MacworldTokyo2001_FreewayBooth_QTVR.mov

Here’s a still of the VR, for those without QT7 (me at left, James Davies sitting at center, and my business associates at right):

http://cl.ly/180v2H0o2R3k/MacworldTokyo2001_QTVR-Still.jpg

I was also blessed with the opportunity to visit Oxford and SoftPress a couple times back in those days. I’ll never forgot the lunch conversation we had. We were having sandwiches at SoftPress and Richard Logan asks me which part of the bread I want. Me being an American said, “the heel.” Everyone at the table lifted their voices almost to a scream saying, “Oooooooh! The Heeeeeeel!” Followed by Trash vs. Rubbish, and so forth. My those were good times!

My love affair with Freeway began in 1999 and I’ve been captivated by her and her designers since. I must say I didn’t sleep well last night. I really am brokenhearted knowing SoftPress is signing off. May the SoftPress team be blessed with even greener pastures henceforth.

Best wishes,

James Wages


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I guess that no one will have any objections if I did out the Freeway Moments I made a few years back and lob them on to YouTube. I know they are old, and were never updated for more recent versions of Freeway, but seeing as though the site has been taken down, it’s probably a good idea if stuff like this were relocated elsewhere for the time being.

I see that the Knowledge Base is still active, but you have to get to it direct. Docs - Softpress Talk


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I was thinking the same paul…
and I can’t see why there should be any objections

max


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Gutted!

What a sad day, Freeway has helped a non-coder to build websites and in the process start to learn HTML, CSS and Javascript. It will continue to be my go-to app for creating sites as it allows me to tinker under the hood in a way that alternative apps don’t. Coupled with this outstanding support network it has been a pleasure (and a frustration at times!) to use and I wish Joe, Richard and the team all the best for the future.

Dave


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My initial reaction to the news was not sadness… instead, I find myself to be quite relieved.

From my point of view, a long battle has finally ended… regardless of the outcome, I no longer need to spend any more time or treasure, or energy-- fighting for my ideas or to convince anyone here of… well, anything, really.

A better way to develop Freeway? Over. A better way to use Freeway? Done with, all gone.

Well, not all gone. I will leave here with far more than I came with-- Freeway was my crutch, but this forum was the physical therapy that helped me develop my Web Designer legs. I’ll be able to walk out of here under my own power, thanks to the many contributions of other battlefield friends.

Like it or not, the future is clearer now. A weight has lifted and I am unburdened… of everything except for gratitude for all I have learned and become. For life beyond Freeway.


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Evening Joe,

The sad news has been slowly filtering out that the party’s over, I’m terribly sorry to hear it as a fan of this brilliant software. I hope nobody pissed in the kitchen bin which is always a post party speciality… we probably go to different parties.

It pains me to say this, especially as the gang of pricks at Adobe have adopted it as their business model, however would a subscription model be tenable? I for one would subscribe to keep things going and it would allow a projection of income for whatever guise softpress would adopt next? I’m sure others feel the same, and wouldn’t reflect negatively as in the case of Adobe as Softpress is liked.

Is there an option for the software to continue as open source?

Has crowd funding been considered?

Are you offering the opportunity to side grade with a partner?

I’d check that bin.

JT


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Thanks for posting this, Paul. I’ve was wondering…

On 7 Jul 2016, 8:41 am, Paul wrote:

I see that the Knowledge Base is still active, but you have to get to it direct. Docs - Softpress Talk


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JT, I doubt SoftPress would have closed its doors so formally if they imagined a subscription model would sustain them. There are no doubt other engineering issues too that we know nothing of, seeing Freeway is still an old carbon based app built upon the MacApp framework. It would truly take a fairly large engineering team well versed in modern coding standards to move Freeway a huge leap forward. And that is why it has been my hope over the past year (secretly, in my heart) that some merger or buyout or deal could be struck between SoftPress and Serif, maker of the amazing Affinity apps. Serif is on the fast track to kick serious Adobe fanny, and adding a powerful web design tool to their collection would be yet more icing on the cake.

Consider well what Serif have already (which sadly, for now anyway, is only for mock ups):

Immediately upon seeing that video I wrote them to suggest they take it further, toward full blown HTML output. My lone voice won’t mean much unless the rest of you join in, so here’s their contact info:

I’ve purchased both Affinity Designer and Photo, and while I don’t use them full time yet because they haven’t yet replaced Photoshop and Illustrator, I contribute feedback toward making that happen.

If there was a way to keep Freeway alive AND advancing (finally prying it off MacApp and on to modern coding standards, Retina facelift, Responsive design for dummies like me that doesn’t involve stupid templates) then I agree we should be fighting to keep it alive. But not seeing that happen, I myself must now explore other avenues.

I am aware of RapidWeaver and Stacks, and I had a detailed look at both recently and found that combo seriously lacking. It’s no Freeway replacement, believe me. And nothing else out there really compares to Freeway either That has been true since Freeway’s inception, which is what brought me to SoftPress in the first place.

That’s why I see Serif as the lone company out there who has the engineering capacity to get a web design tool created. Where there’s a will there’s a way. So it’s all a matter of inspiring that will in them.

Best wishes,

James Wages


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@James I totally disagree RW is one of the best WYSWYG web design tools out there (I have worked with both FW & RW for years now). And before everyone shots me down (I know you will as a few on here have an unnatural hate towards RW). I would like to see these amazing FW built websites - please? Then Ill happily admit I was wrong.


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Rapid Weaper lovers are as stubborn a bunch of designers as we die-hard Freeway users are! There’s not convincing of either camp. But let me tell you flat out that my brain works different. I never created a full blow Responsive site in Freeway because I am not as brilliant as Thomas and Ernie and countless others here who have been brilliantly successful with that. Nor have I ever found Rapid Weaver, even with STACKS, to be what my poor, feeble brain needs to kick content onto the web in a fully Responsive form with multiple breakpoints. But if you watched that Serif video I posted in my previous message, now that’s the kind of intuitive design for me! And truly, that is the kind of design that Freeway affords my feeble brain when it comes to legacy table-based layouts. It’s not just me either, Paul Dunning has said the same.

Hands down, Serif kicks booty when it comes to their existing Affinity apps. If you’ve never tried them, please do so. That’s why I am eager to see them expand the functionality shown in their video to a true HTML generator. I want something almost as easy as MacPaint was for me, back in the days when I was 13 and my father brought home a Macintosh 128k. The intuitive nature of that UI was brilliant. And that’s exactly what struck me in 1999 when I first laid my eyes on Freeway. No coding required. No studying for days and hours to figure out what to do. Indeed, no picking up of the manual required for simple designs. That’s what I want. That’s what I need. That’s now what RW offers to me. And yes, I’ve tested about every version of RW that has come out, since its inception, just so I could compare with Freeway. I myself don’t see a benefit in RW. I have my eyes on Serif.

–James Wages


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Im not stubborn at all - Ill leave any product for another in a second if its better - which is what I did when RW became freeform. And I now too have my eye on other products ready to jump if need.

Just saying


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That is yet another difference between you and I. I would never leave a product “in a second” for another. It would have to spend considerable seconds to evaluate whether the potential replacement product is suited to my brain. I am lesser inclined to alter my brain for the new product. Consider well I’ve been a Freeway user since 1999 (version 2) and am still using it, despite the fact I’ve never created a Responsive site with it. Some people may look down on me for that, but I don’t care. The world is filled with diversity of thought.

Once again, for the rest of you who missed my earlier post, have a look at the responsive web design mockup feature being previewed by Serif (maker of Affinity apps) here:

–James Wages


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James,

Affinity does look quite promising-lean and aggressive and in the moment. As a casual FW user (musician by trade), I would be most interested in an app that has a modest learning curve (hence FW…).

Just curious, do you think it would be possible to design a page in Affinity and then drop the code into a FW page? Their virtual responsivity looks like a terrific solution to that issue.

Thanks,

Chris

Chris Rutkowski

Creative Director, LUNA Media
www.chrisrutkowski.com

Sent from my iPad

On Jul 7, 2016, at 8:17 PM, JDW email@hidden wrote:

JT, I doubt SoftPress would have closed its doors so formally if they imagined a subscription model would sustain them. There are no doubt other engineering issues too that we know nothing of, seeing Freeway is still an old carbon based app built upon the MacApp framework. It would truly take a fairly large engineering team well versed in modern coding standards to move Freeway a huge leap forward. And that is why it has been my hope over the past year (secretly, in my heart) that some merger or buyout or deal could be struck between SoftPress and Serif, maker of the amazing Affinity apps. Serif is on the fast track to kick serious Adobe fanny, and adding a powerful web design tool to their collection would be yet more icing on the cake.

Consider well what Serif have already (which sadly, for now anyway, is only for mock ups):

Affinity Designer 1.5 sneak peek on Vimeo

Immediately upon seeing that video I wrote them to suggest they take it further, toward full blown HTML output. My lone voice won’t mean much unless the rest of you join in, so here’s their contact info:

Affinity – Professional Creative Software

Facebook

I’ve purchased both Affinity Designer and Photo, and while I don’t use them full time yet because they haven’t yet replaced Photoshop and Illustrator, I contribute feedback toward making that happen.

If there was a way to keep Freeway alive AND advancing (finally prying it off MacApp and on to modern coding standards, Retina facelift, Responsive design for dummies like me that doesn’t involve stupid templates) then I agree we should be fighting to keep it alive. But not seeing that happen, I myself must now explore other avenues.

I am aware of RapidWeaver and Stacks, and I had a detailed look at both recently and found that combo seriously lacking. It’s no Freeway replacement, believe me. And nothing else out there really compares to Freeway either That has been true since Freeway’s inception, which is what brought me to SoftPress in the first place.

That’s why I see Serif as the lone company out there who has the engineering capacity to get a web design tool created. Where there’s a will there’s a way. So it’s all a matter of inspiring that will in them.

Best wishes,

James Wages


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Dear Joe & Co, I am really shocked, surprised and more at reading about the close of Softpress and truly saddened that you had to make this tough decision. I started using FW from version 5 and it really was a great help to me. Through FW I was able to do so much more than I did with other apps like GoLive. I found support people at Softpress towers incredibly helpful on the occasions that I needed something out of the ordinary and of course thank the incredibly helpful people on the forum, especially Caleb, Delta Dave, Walt, Tom, Max (webyep) and everyone else.
Thanks for creating FW, Joe and Richard. I do hope that you can find a way forward.


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At first glance I think Affinity Photo will replace Photoshop Elements in a heartbeat. While I’m not a power user by any stretch of the term, I have used Freeway for my own website only, since version 3. For me it had to be simple as I only used it once or twice a year. I do hope for something simple in the next few years when the time comes to update my site again. Thanks Softpress for making this part of my life simpler.

On Jul 7, 2016, at 7:36 PM, Chris Rutkowski email@hidden wrote:

James,

Affinity does look quite promising-lean and aggressive and in the moment. As a casual FW user (musician by trade), I would be most interested in an app that has a modest learning curve (hence FW…).

Just curious, do you think it would be possible to design a page in Affinity and then drop the code into a FW page? Their virtual responsivity looks like a terrific solution to that issue.

Thanks,

Chris

Chris Rutkowski

Creative Director, LUNA Media
www.chrisrutkowski.com

Sent from my iPad

On Jul 7, 2016, at 8:17 PM, JDW email@hidden wrote:

JT, I doubt SoftPress would have closed its doors so formally if they imagined a subscription model would sustain them. There are no doubt other engineering issues too that we know nothing of, seeing Freeway is still an old carbon based app built upon the MacApp framework. It would truly take a fairly large engineering team well versed in modern coding standards to move Freeway a huge leap forward. And that is why it has been my hope over the past year (secretly, in my heart) that some merger or buyout or deal could be struck between SoftPress and Serif, maker of the amazing Affinity apps. Serif is on the fast track to kick serious Adobe fanny, and adding a powerful web design tool to their collection would be yet more icing on the cake.

Consider well what Serif have already (which sadly, for now anyway, is only for mock ups):

Affinity Designer 1.5 sneak peek on Vimeo

Immediately upon seeing that video I wrote them to suggest they take it further, toward full blown HTML output. My lone voice won’t mean much unless the rest of you join in, so here’s their contact info:

Affinity – Professional Creative Software

Facebook

I’ve purchased both Affinity Designer and Photo, and while I don’t use them full time yet because they haven’t yet replaced Photoshop and Illustrator, I contribute feedback toward making that happen.

If there was a way to keep Freeway alive AND advancing (finally prying it off MacApp and on to modern coding standards, Retina facelift, Responsive design for dummies like me that doesn’t involve stupid templates) then I agree we should be fighting to keep it alive. But not seeing that happen, I myself must now explore other avenues.

I am aware of RapidWeaver and Stacks, and I had a detailed look at both recently and found that combo seriously lacking. It’s no Freeway replacement, believe me. And nothing else out there really compares to Freeway either That has been true since Freeway’s inception, which is what brought me to SoftPress in the first place.

That’s why I see Serif as the lone company out there who has the engineering capacity to get a web design tool created. Where there’s a will there’s a way. So it’s all a matter of inspiring that will in them.

Best wishes,

James Wages


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Let me introduce myself… My name is Joe Workman. I develop add-ons for RapidWeaver. I have around 140 add-ons available that range from simple youtube embeds to slideshows to full blown online CMS and Blogging solutions. Here are a few URLs that you can use for reference to the solutions that I provide…

I also run a popular user community at https://weavers.space

To be honest, I am nervously posting here… I have heard rumors of the dislike for RapidWeaver that users have posted on this forum. So I feel like I am somewhat coming into rebel territory. However, I come in peace, waving a white flag and all that. So please go easy on me… :slight_smile:

First, let me give my condolences to the crew at Softpress. I have been an indie software developer for 5 years now. I support my entire family of 5 with my business. I also have a small crew of guys who are amazing. The decision that Softpress made had to have been unbelievably hard, especially when you have built a dedicated and passionate community around their products. From experience, I am sure they feel the same about all of you here that I do about my users as well.

We consider you (the community) part of our family. My community is a vital part of my life. I have built such amazing friendships with so many users over the years. Many of them are able to run full time web design companies because of the products and solutions that I provide. I have no doubt that the Softpress crew feel the same. I wish them luck in their future endeavors. My heart sincerely goes out to them for the tough decision that they had to make. Hopefully, I can also help some of you in this community.

I have very limited experience using Freeway. But from the limited use that I have had, I can see that its workflow is completely different than that of RapidWeaver+Stacks. I saw that one user mentioned Serif. I agree that they are an amazing company that has done mind boggling work. Taking on Adobe… wow! I also see the parallel between the workflow of their apps and Freeway. I am not surprised by James’ desire for them to make a web design app because the workflow is very similar and it would potentially be a path of least resistance.

However, you can indeed make amazing websites with RapidWeaver. I personally prefer the workflow that I and other developers have built around RapidWeaver. That does not mean that its better. Its just different and it “clicks” better with me. I encourage that if you have not looked at RapidWeaver in some time, to please review it again. Maybe it will click with you as well.

Here are a couple of sites that contain galleries of websites that have been designed using RapidWeaver:

I would like to welcome anyone here to get in touch with me personally if you have any questions. I routinely do live hangouts with my community every Friday. Its an amazing way to connect and build friendships. I would be willing to setup a live hangout with any of you either in a group setting or one-on-one. I am in this for the long haul. I love my community and enjoy helping them build amazing websites for themselves and their clients. I would love for any of you to be apart of that.

Cheers,
Joe


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Chris R.,

I’ve already spoken to Serif about the upcoming “responsive” feature in their Affinity app (as you saw in the video), but they informed me that it is merely for mock-ups right now. I then pressured them to consider generating HTML code. If they do that, you really wouldn’t need Freeway.

But like I said, I am just one guy who voiced my support of “HTML output” to Serif. I would encourage everyone else (“who doesn’t see the world as code” like me) to write to Serif about this and push them in the right direction.

Honestly, nobody is trying to make Responsive design as simple as that Responsive mockup feature from Serif. No, not even Rapid Weaver + Stacks. Write to Serif! And honestly, once they learn of the demise of Freeway, that may be yet another incentive for them to act.

/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-

I’d like to close my SoftPress Freeway sentiments by saying a HUGE “thank you” to Joe Billings and Walter Davis, without whom the things I sought to build into my websites using Freeway would never have come to be. Walter was not only a huge part in helping people in this forum, but he also built it too. ActionsForge is also the fruit of his labors. If there was a way to purchase a clone of his genius and transplant it into my feeble head, I’d do it in a heartbeat! Thank you, gentlemen. THANK YOU!

James Wages


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