Fin

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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An HTML export from Affinity would definitely be interesting. However, that will only ever provide us with a static HTML site. That could totally work for simple websites. Even if its responsive, modern websites nowadays are dynamic interfaces with lightboxes, slideshows, galleries, video, JS effects and more. A simple site export from Affinity will not provide any of that.


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Joe W.,

Don’t limit your mind to what you see in that Serif video. Active software development isn’t static either. If we can get Serif to create something that generates HTML, they could begin to add things to it for truly dynamic pages.

I always give them my laundry list of wants for Affinity Designer and Photo in their forums, so I would recommend the rest of you head over there and let loose!

James Wages


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I was looking at it purely from the “now” standpoint. Obviously they could develop features for this. However, I don’t see that as fitting inside either Designer or Photo. I think that if they were going to build something like that, it would be a new app. Obviously the software that I develop is no where near their level. But from my experience, that would be what I would do. Will it happen? I don’t know, I don’t have my magic 8 ball anymore. If they did, I suspect it would be years away.


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Joe, I take it you don’t know much about Serif. I bought both of their apps and participate in their forums. They have a lot planned, event a replacement for InDesign. A web design tool is a logical next step. And the more people calling for it, the more likely it is to see the light of day.

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You are right, I don’t know a lot about Serif. You are 100% correct in “rallying the troops” for those that want that feature. Its the only way to convince companies to do something. Good luck!

I am very happy with where I am though. My offer above still stands to everyone here that is looking for a alternate tangible solution now.


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Joe W.,

I can only add that all my sites are built with Freeway 7 and I am happy to continue using Freeway until the tires come off and the engine explodes. Hopefully, Serif (or some other brilliant software company I’ve not seen yet) can do that before disaster strikes me.

Best wishes,

James Wages


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A very sad day - Softpress was more like family to me than a workplace - from 1993 as the first employee - and I still feel a part of that family today.

I feel that we all created something great together and I am sad that the work will no longer continue.

It’s great to see so many kind words from the community here and I hope you can continue to use Freeway in your work as long as possible to create great and beautiful things.

My best wishes to Richard, Joe and the rest of the team as we say goodbye.

Vanessa Gregory
(former Tech Director and developer)


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One of the things I, like many others will be doing, is to see what’s out there, and clearly RapidWeaver will be on one of the applications to look at. So it’s good that Joe W has joined - we need as much information as we can get about what tools will allow us to evolve and move forward.

It does seem that RapidWeaver and Freeway are very different beasts. From the off, Freeway was born out of the ashes of Unicorn - a DTP application, which explains why it is and why it behaves like it does. The concept of templates is really an anathema -Freeway always, always works best when you start with a blank page and start drawing elements on the page.

RapidWeaver, from what I can glean, takes the opposite approach. It uses templates, and lets the user customise them to a certain degree. It seems that you can’t just start with a blank document and draw an element on a page. Its behaviour appears to be more like iWeb - when content is preordained, and you work within constraints.

Now, I’ve been trying to see what I can find out about RapidWeaver, and to be honest seeing how things work helps. I found a website - http://rapidweavercommunity.com/tutorials - which may contain what I need to help me determine how RapidWeaver works, and how I could potentially use it in my web work (which can involve a lot of PHP and database driven content) but anything beyond the basics seems to require a subscription.

So not sure at the moment - possibly RW is just not for me. It’s certainly very basic, but are its limitations just too great for me?

As James said, Serif are doing some great things with Affinity - in fact, I’ve pretty much dropped Adobe for their products. When I saw their responsive demonstration that James mention,d that really did make me think that they had the basis of a responsive web design application there - and their interface and tools are really familiar, so it won’t be starting from scratch. I really believe that now the decks are clear (as it were), they could easily repurpose their DTP app to build web pages. I’d certainly be there taking a very keen interest of they were.


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With Freeway Pro can make projects like this, and today I share with pride My support the team of Softpress Thanks

http://nutsaboutflorida.com/

and this helped me gain target and earn more.

Thanks

Softpress Team,

Richard Logan and Joe Billings & All Team


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Paul - RW is no longer just a template - it has powerful freeform design capabilities. The Foundation stacks by JW, when you open is literally a blank page, you are free to do whatever ya like - add raw HTML, Scripts, or just drop in one of hundreds of stacks - that can be 100% customized. I would never have left FW if RW could not do this - but I have never looked back. I’m happy to demo some sites created with freeform design (Foundation/Stacks) and RW.

Here’s the RW Foundation home page https://foundation.joeworkman.net

These are basic - its come along way since then but def work checking out - Getting Started with Foundation: Part 1 - YouTube


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Oh dear… like a bad dream… I never thought Softpress would go away.

I wish to thank you all for your support over the years… With FW I found a second career, one that I cherish…and will continue using FW with my fellow teachers who I have been fortunate to work with over the years.

I will need to process the ramifications of all this.
xo


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Justin E.,

Thank you for the 2 links. I didn’t find information about “breakpoints” until 6 minutes into your second video, but I see that only 3 are offered (which is perhaps all you would need):

Mobile (cell phones)
Tablet
Desktop (everything else)

Since you have experience with RW + Stacks + Foundation, would you be able to say how it deals with 2-byte languages like Japanese and Chinese? For example, we can use web fonts easily for English, but unless you restrict yourself to KATAKANA or HIRAGANA in Japanese, you wouldn’t be able to use web fonts due to their multi-megabyte sizes. So instead, I must specify Meiryo, MS P Gothic, Osaka and the like as a font set in Freeway. How does all this work in your RW setup?

From about 16:00 in your second video link, it talks a little about the 3 types of images (mobile/tablet/desktop) that can be used, but how I do ensure Retina graphics (144ppi) are visible on any platform (i.e., that graphics always look sharp on hi-rez displays)? And is it possible to get your page to serve 72ppi graphics to low resolution displays but server the 144ppi images only to Retina displays?

Next, at 24:35, I see the “Getting Started with Foundation” text in the header smash against the “Menu” text at right when page width is minimized. That of course looks terrible, so how do you rectify it?

Next, how do you incorporate a search field into the header, akin to what I ask in the following thread?

Lastly, what is the total cost for RW, Foundation and all the Stacks we see in the 2nd video?

Thanks,

James Wages


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Sorry - I cant go through all this - but its all DOABLE. Nothing I read above hasn’t been done in RW. Things like 3 breakpoints? Well now you can set your own, Font pro will allow you to load up type-kits, webkits etc from your own server or Adobe /Google servers anything you want in any language at the same time.

I dont work for RW - but please go to the stores/forums/communities etc - its all there! Live and buzzing.

Cheers - now off to the boozer.


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After switching over to Freeway Pro from GoLive/Dreamweaver years ago I will miss the anticipation of new features with each new release.

It’s hard to find apps with as much ease of use and familiarity for a graphic designer.

Currently, I am beta testing Foundation Framer a new offering that will be available soon from Coffee Cup. This app looks pretty promising as it has built in components from the Foundation 6 framework, integrates flexbox, nice CSS control, uses a grid system, has a lot of standard elements with drag and drop simplicity and is very responsive friendly with the ability to add multiple breakpoints and uses a visual slider to see how everything flows for different screen sizes.


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@Frank: I’m testing Responsive Site Designer and their beta version of
Foundation Framer too. They’re a bunch of keen fellows at Coffeecup with an
excellent support. Its still not overloaded with options but its well built
and pretty straightforward. I like it.

But also Muse is a good alternative to Freeway. Webydo is also meant for
designers who lacks coding but more expensive since they extremely raised
their monthly prices.

2016-07-08 22:50 GMT+02:00 Frank Bridges email@hidden:

After switching over to Freeway Pro from GoLive/Dreamweaver years ago I
will miss the anticipation of new features with each new release.

It’s hard to find apps with as much ease of use and familiarity for a
graphic designer.

Currently, I am beta testing Foundation Framer a new offering that will be
available soon from Coffee Cup. This app looks pretty promising as it has
built in components from the Foundation 6 framework, integrates flexbox,
nice CSS control, uses a grid system, has a lot of standard elements with
drag and drop simplicity and is very responsive friendly with the ability
to add multiple breakpoints and uses a visual slider to see how everything
flows for different screen sizes.


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There’s a whole lot of questions that video poses in my ind, and none of them seem to be answered.

I started watching the video, but I’m finding myself asking questions like “how do you love that logo from the left to the right”? Stuff that I know is easy in Freeway, but I don’t see much of that going on. I kind of feel that you’re dealing with a whole load of prescribed units, and if you want to change something fundamental in the layout that you are basically having to remove and replace.

A lot of folk here - myself included- are very much fans of the whole DTP paradigm, and I’d really like to see how that works in other apps. When a client phones up and asks for some layout changes, I want to be able to accommodate that request quickly and easily.

There’s a whole lot of other stuff that I could list - as I probably hinted before, inclusions of scripts - JavaScript, PHP, my own CSS (because we know that at some stage we’ll need it).

I guess I’ll have to join a few forums and see just what the deal is with other software.

On 8 Jul 2016, 8:09 pm, JDW wrote:

Justin E.,

Thank you for the 2 links. I didn’t find information about “breakpoints” until 6 minutes into your second video, but I see that only 3 are offered (which is perhaps all you would need):

Mobile (cell phones)
Tablet
Desktop (everything else)

Since you have experience with RW + Stacks + Foundation, would you be able to say how it deals with 2-byte languages like Japanese and Chinese? For example, we can use web fonts easily for English, but unless you restrict yourself to KATAKANA or HIRAGANA in Japanese, you wouldn’t be able to use web fonts due to their multi-megabyte sizes. So instead, I must specify Meiryo, MS P Gothic, Osaka and the like as a font set in Freeway. How does all this work in your RW setup?

From about 16:00 in your second video link, it talks a little about the 3 types of images (mobile/tablet/desktop) that can be used, but how I do ensure Retina graphics (144ppi) are visible on any platform (i.e., that graphics always look sharp on hi-rez displays)? And is it possible to get your page to serve 72ppi graphics to low resolution displays but server the 144ppi images only to Retina displays?

Next, at 24:35, I see the “Getting Started with Foundation” text in the header smash against the “Menu” text at right when page width is minimized. That of course looks terrible, so how do you rectify it?

Next, how do you incorporate a search field into the header, akin to what I ask in the following thread?

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

Lastly, what is the total cost for RW, Foundation and all the Stacks we see in the 2nd video?

Thanks,

James Wages


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Paul & JDW,

Sorry for being absent from the thread most of the day…

Justin covered most of the questions but here is my take on things…

RapidWeaver has themes (templates if you want to call them that) and they are awesome for people that want to get a jumpstart in designing a site. However, my Foundation for RapidWeaver product allows you complete freedom to build what you want. You have a blank canvas to build whatever you envision.

Justin shared the first video in my Getting Started with Foundation series. Yes, that is me in the video. I have hundreds of videos on my YouTube channel. I have really embraced video because I feel that its a great way to make a personal connection with everyone. Its also the most effective way to show people how to do something that they have never done before.

Here is my youtube channel. I am working on organizing it a bit better and trying to take it to the next level. However, there are a ton of great video on there. https://www.youtube.com/c/joeworkmannet/playlists

Think of building your website using LEGO. You have building blocks called “stacks”. Each one could be a column layout, text, image, slideshow, gallery, etc. There are tons of them available. None of them require that you know any code whatsoever, you simple drag the stack onto the page and start adjusting your settings to your liking.

There is also a built in way to leverage layouts that you have built using stacks across multiple pages. This way you only have to build, let’s say your site header and footer once. Then simply use it on every page. Want to update it? No problem change the header or footer in one place and it updates everywhere. Its pretty amazing.

In terms of non-Latin based languages, RapidWeaver works great. I have numbers customers who build sites in Japanese, Korean, Cantonese and Arabic languages. I even have a right-to-left version of my Foundation product available for these users. Many of them have used my Font Pro product in order to easily import custom fonts in their languages. This way they are not stuck with just the defaults available.

By default my Foundation product has 3 break points. You can override these break points on a case by case basis in many stacks. I feel that 95-98% of the time, these 3 break points have been sufficient. However, with that said, in my next major version of Foundation, I plan on adding a 4th breakpoint. The reason is the iPhone 6Plus has really added a new common screen size that can at time be very annoying. So I will definitely nuke that problem in the bud.

In terms of the Menu on Mobile… that is getting pretty detailed for this conversation. But there are ways to rectify that. This video was simply a getting started video to go over the basics of how to get a website built as quickly as possible. Solutions for this could be to simply reduce the Site site to be something shorter (even if only on mobile). You could make the text smaller as well, but then that could make it less readable. Those are just 2 ideas… there is more than one way to skin that cat.

Now in terms of cost, here is the breakdown for what you would need to get started building with RW + Stacks + Foundation.

I had a discussion with Dan (from Realmac) and Isaiah (from YourHead) today and we would like to all offer all Freeway users a nice discount for moving over. They would like to offer all users a 30% and I will gladly sweeten the pie a little more and offer 40% off Foundation.

RapidWeaver: $99 - 30%
Stacks: $49 - 30%
Foundation: $99 - 40%

You can get the RapidWeaver discount at the following URL: https://www.realmacsoftware.com/store/offers/freeway-alternative/

For both Stacks and Foundation, you can use the coupon code “freeway” at checkout in order to receive the discount.

Stacks: YourHead Online Store
Foundation: Foundation 6 Stacks for RapidWeaver


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