Fin

@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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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.

This is still easy to do inside RapidWeaver. I am not sure which logo you were referring to. However, you are not locked into any particular layout.

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.

Like I said earlier , the editing experience in RapidWeaver is different than Freeway. You can make layout changes just as fast in RapidWeaver.

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).

You can use your own JS, PHP, HTML, CSS inside RapidWeaver as well. There is nothing stopping you.

Remember that this video that most of you hear are watching is intended to show newcomers to Foundation how to build a site using it. It expects the users to blindly copy my steps in order to learn how to use the program. If I were to try to explain every settings for everything, new users would get terribly frustrated and their brains would probably explode. :slight_smile:

I will try to make a new video that could explain how the workflow differs between Freeway and RapidWeaver. I am taking my family on a camping trip for the next 5 days. But I will try to get that done as soon as I can.

I would also be willing to schedule a live hangout with any of you later next week so that we could discuss. Would anyone be interested in something like that next Thursday 7/14?


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@Andries, I bought Responsive Site Designer awhile back on one of those MightyDeals discounts and it and Foundation Framer are almost identical in interface. It is a bit of a learning curve from what we are used to in Freeway but it is promising. Like you mentioned their support is very good with quick responses.


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Joe W.,

Thank you for the extensive information and video links. I did a quick scan of your videos but I didn’t spot any on SEARCH fields in websites. Please read the following:

I would appreciate your detailed thoughts on how such a search field is implemented in RW+Stacks+Foundation. Right now, my sites use Google Custom Search, so I obviously would like to retain that while exploring how to out a responsive search field atop my site, as I discuss in that other FreewayTalk thread.

Next, thank you for the discounts. Obviously, we Freeway users have a lot to digest first prior to committing to a Freeway replacement, so if the discounts remain valid for the remainder of thus year, that would give us a more realistic time frame to make a decision on what to do. I for one need to figure out how to move my two huge, non-responsive sites to some new web design tool.

I’m open to a live hangout, but being in Japan the time difference may make that difficult. In the meantime, I will be reviewing your YouTube channel as time allows.

Thank you,

James Wages


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I would now like to ask for the opinions of Freeway veteran Responsive site designers, including but not limited to Ernie Simpson and Thomas, what your specific thoughts are regarding RW+Stacks+Foundation. There’s clearly a reason you have stuck with Freeway all this time, and Ernie, you spent considerable time creating an amazingly helpful blog on the subject too. Surely you knew of the existence of RW+Stacks and perhaps even about Foundation. So what specifically kept you locked to Freeway? Habit alone, or missing features?

Thank you,

James Wages


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I realized that I offered for users to contact me directly but I did not provide any details.

  • Twitter: @joeworkman
  • Email: email@hidden

You are also free to join https://weavers.space and peruse topics and ask questions there. I am extremely active there as well.

Reminder that I am heading out on a camping trip with my family for a few days. So my response times will be slow to none until late next week. Although my team will be there answering email as well.


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Notice that the forum hides email addresses here… it is… “support -at- joeworkman dot net”

depending on how much email come through, you will probably get a faster response time from that email as 3 of us keep an eye on it.

However, if you would prefer to contact me personally, feel free to reach out to me at “joe -at- workman mail dot com”


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A very sad, sad day …
All the best for the Softpress team and hopefully there will be someday a way to go on.

Greets

Ray


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Hi James,
Although not part of your list I thought I’d add my views on the subject. :slight_smile:

I’ve been using Freeway since version 2 (1999) and have watched RapidWeaver grow from a simple iWeb alternative into a big eco system. The application itself is now quite mature and can do pretty much most of what users expect of it but still some of the features you’d find in Freeway are only supported in third party stacks. In Freeway, for example, you can create an image map simply by dragging a linked area over an image. Admittedly RealMac have concentrated on the features that people now use so many of the legacy features of Freeway (image maps, frames, legacy HTML and CSS levels) that have been there since the start just don’t exist in the app.

For me personally the thing that holds me back from RapidWeaver is not the missing features or the third party additions (stacks, themes etc) market that seems to be driving the product (rather than the other way around) but it is the general state of code output. Isaiah at YourHead who originally created the Stacks plug-in has done a fantastic job of pushing RapidWeaver from a hobbyist app that essentially relied on themes into something that the user could define the layout and break that reliance on the theme structure. Part of this mastery is how Stacks isolates and ring fences each stack’s code into their own sections which stops one stck from stepping all over others on the same page. The downside is that it creates a lot, A LOT, of code for the page. Take a look at a RapidWeaver Stacks page and you’ll find a stylesheet and often a JavaScript file or two for each stack plus a whole load of structural code. I suspect 99% of users don’t care too much about this as, like Freeway in the past, “it just works” and who looks at the source code any way? For me it matters and although Freeway’s code output is far from ideal it isn’t abstracted to the point of not being able to follow the flow of execution while reading through the source code.

RapidWeaver fans here shouldn’t feel I’m singling them out as I feel pretty much the same way about WordPress. Both RapidWeaver and WordPress are ‘go to’ solutions in web development and share a lot of the same benefits but, sadly, a lot of the same issues I’ve mentioned above.

Personally I’m in no hurry to look for a Freeway replacement as the application still runs and I can’t recall the last time I contacted their support staff. I run my business, in part, on the strengths of Freeway and often use the application to prototype or create page templates that I then go on and adjust by hand or with an Action if needed. Each Freeway user will need to weigh up what Softpress shutting down means to them and move on, or not, as they feel most comfortable. I’d like to think that this, or another, forum would provide peer to peer support and a friendly ear to users who want to stick around. This has been such a great community over the years and, for me, it is worth a lot more that than the application that brought us all here. A huge tip of the hat goes to Walter for my feelings about this forum as over the years he has been the one to selflessly give again and again to the users here. Without Walter and that ‘do good’ ethos this place would be just like a lot of other forums.

If I did ever move away from Freeway then I’d consider Responsive Site Designer from Coffee Cup as it seems the closest I’ve seen to the sort of workflow I’d be happy with. Failing that I’m happy to open up my text editor and Photoshop or Sketch and code the thing I want from the outset.

These are exiting times and I’m keen to see every Freeway user supported in whatever journey they want to make.
Regards,
Tim.

On 9 Jul 2016, at 03:40, JDW email@hidden wrote:

I would now like to ask for the opinions of Freeway veteran Responsive site designers, including but not limited to Ernie Simpson and Thomas, what your specific thoughts are regarding RW+Stacks+Foundation. There’s clearly a reason you have stuck with Freeway all this time, and Ernie, you spent considerable time creating an amazingly helpful blog on the subject too. Surely you knew of the existence of RW+Stacks and perhaps even about Foundation. So what specifically kept you locked to Freeway? Habit alone, or missing features?


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Thank you for your detailed feedback, Tim. And thank you for your contributions to Freeway through the years, including FreewayActions.com. Walter Davis has been truly an indispensable part of the Freeway experience for decades, and so have you. I really don’t know what we would have done without all your visible and behind the scenes contributions. Thank you!

Here are the 2 takeaways from your post:

  1. RW + Stacks (+ Foundation) = potentially bloated code

  2. Responsive Site Designer = workflow akin to Freeway (with leaner code)

I too will continue to use Freeway for the time being, but I also know that I wish to create a responsive version of my two big sites. I need time to not only figure out which alternate web design too to invest my money in, but I also need time (perhaps months) to rebuild everything from scratch. Hopefully I would be able to accomplish all that before a version of MacOS comes out that breaks Freeway. And with my feeble brain, that is a genuine concern!

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

Joe Workman, I’d still love to have you read though the following and offer feedback on how such search bars are implemented in RW+Stacks+Foundation:

Thanks,

James Wages


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Complete shock here. Freeway saved my bacon years ago when other types of work dried up and web design pulled in a lot of business and kept me going, mind you, web design technical requirements were simpler then.
I owe Softpress and their team a huge debt of gratitude for that. From their first class Support to their totally personal approach. Not to mention FWT for their helpful and selfless support for anybody with a problem.
I wish everybody at Softpress Towers bon voyage and may the Force be with you, always.


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I think we all knew this was on the cards sooner than later.

Many of the jobs I do now is levering a CMS into the Framework/structure that Freeway so quickly prototyped for me. I’m already putting into Freeway a lot of hand code from a text editor (Coda) it’s perhaps a small hop to just use Coda and Affinity Designer/Photo to do the whole thing. In the back of my mind I was only putting the decision off.

Like Ernie’s comments earlier Freeway was/is like a crutch or better a familiar pair of well worn slippers that it’s time to throw away and move on.

"Like it or not, the future is clearer now.”
Ernie ~ 7 July 2016

David Owen { Freeway / Rapidweaver Friendly Web hosting and Domains }

http://www.ineedwebhosting.co.uk | http://www.PrintlineAdvertising.co.uk

On 9 Jul 2016, at 10:49, Tim Plumb email@hidden wrote:

If I did ever move away from Freeway then I’d consider Responsive Site Designer from Coffee Cup as it seems the closest I’ve seen to the sort of workflow I’d be happy with. Failing that I’m happy to open up my text editor and Photoshop or Sketch and code the thing I want from the outset.


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Tim mentions excessive code with Rapidweaver projects but I wonder if he has seen the wonderful stacks from http://www.bigwhiteduck.com that work with Foundation and can be downloaded for free, though a donation is appreciated.

The developer called Andrew is fantastically skilled and makes huge efforts to ensure his addons both capable and efficient. For example Grummage one and two column stacks produce up to 60% less code in their default state Grummage Bundle Stack for RapidWeaver

I tried Rapidweaver many years ago and found it frustratingly limited so I came over to Freeway, which I used from versions 4 through to 6, so I definitely gave it a decent go but to be honest I always struggled a bit to achieve the results I wanted with Freeway.

It was actually a post on this forum that led me to try Rapidweaver and Foundation. Was there a learning curve? Absolutely and I’m still learning, but in quick order I was able to start producing workable responsive sites and the range of options with Stacks is phenomenal.

It’s sad news that Softpress have decided to cease development and I wish them well but if you do your own web design work I would strongly suggest looking at alternatives as soon as possible, even if you continue to work with Freeway for the foreseeable future.

Ashley


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James,

In terms of search, there are many addons for RapidWeaver that can do site search. I have a couple of search addons. One uses DuckDuckGo and the other uses SearchPath.io. Both services are somewhat meh to be honest. I also have a Bloggin product that has search built in but that is only for the blog.

The most popular search add-on for RapidWeaver is RapidSearchPro. It leverages Google. I also think that it may have its own algorithm as an option as well. There are at least 3 or 4 more search addons out on the market for RapidWeaver though. So you definitely have a lot of options.


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Very sad news on a dreich Scottish day, more so now:(

Though I rarely do web design these days I still enjoy dipping into this most friendly (mostly) and helpful of forums, hence finding this sad news.
Freeway was the one sofware I looked forward to using, of course still is. Thanks also to FWT for the safety net.

Freeway (Softpress) set a high standard, justifiably winning numerous awards, however things change and the web has changed so dramatically over a relatively short period. No one could really have foreseen how things would pan out with web design.

I wish all at Softpress the best for the future, their undoubted talent will shine in all future ventures.

thank you

seoras (george)


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Part of this mastery is how Stacks isolates and ring fences each stack’s code into their own sections which stops one stck from stepping all over others on the same page. The downside is that it creates a lot, A LOT, of code for the page.

There is some truth in this, but as with all things, its improved over time. In order for Stacks to encapsulate each stack added to the page, there are 2 div wrappers added. Each stack is also assigned and ID so that the CSS and JS can be properly scoped. This ensures that stacks function independently on the page and there is no style overlap. As you said most users should not care about this at all.

The community of RapidWeaver add-on developers is larger than it has ever been. As with anything, if you are wise with whom you purchase from, you should have smaller & cleaner code output. I personally work very hard to produce the smallest and cleanest amount of code out there.

When Stacks 3 was released last year, it has some new APIs that allowed developers to ditch the 2 div wrappers. However, not even I am removing the wrappers from all of my products because they do indeed serve an important purpose. They are not just fluff. However, where ever its possible, I definitely try to not use them. In fact with my next major release of Foundation, you will be hard pressed to differentiate sites built with it from a site coded by hand!

As of right now, my current Foundation product still produces some of the cleanest RapidWeaver site out there. The reason for this is that it loads the entire Foundation open source framework once on the page. Then you can add as many of the Foundation stacks as you want on the page and it adds virtually zero overhead to the page CSS or JS.

This is why its been really taken the RapidWeaver community by storm. I have many users that used to hand code using the Foundation framework. However, they moved over because move sites using my add-on was so much easier and more fun to use. It also produce much leaner websites. As I said earlier, the next version will be even better.


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In terms of Responsive Site Designer from Coffee Cup… I purchased their Responsive Email Designer app last year with very high hopes for it. I did not like their builder interface at all. I find it very confusing to use. When I saw that they released RSD, it seemed to have the same interface as the Email designer had. Hopefully with time, they will improve it. I do think that with some UX tweaks it could be 100x better.


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Regarding “many add-ons to RapidWeaver that can do search,” that brings up another point of concern. There of course is the cost (now discounted, thank you) of RapidWeaver + Stacks + Foundation. But as has been said, that is not “all you need.” Want to add Search (and who doesn’t?), that’s an add-on. Want X-Y-Z, those too are add-ons.

One the one hand, this is great in theory. It would appear on the surface that RW + Stacks + Foundation + Add-ons can accomplish nearly anything the creative web designer seeks to do. But at what cost?

Many add-ons are not free, and it seems like moving to RapidWeaver may result in the web designer being nickel-and-dimed whenever they want to try something new. Or am I totally off-base on this?

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

Ernie Simpson and Thomas Kimmich,

You both are Freeway veterans and Responsive web page design wizards. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I would still very much appreciate hearing your feelings about RapidWeaver + Stacks + Foundation and despite having all that available why you have stuck with Freeway all this time. Is it that you just grew accustomed to Freeway and didn’t want to try something new? Or did you in fact try RW + Stacks and find a barrier (like Tim Plumb) that prevented you from switching to it?

Now that Freeway is not more, this is a topic all of us are surely pondering, not just me.

Thank you,

James Wages


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