Fin

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

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

I don’t have any.

In fact, I’ll never use any “fiddle and hope” application anymore. Freeway taught me all I know. And that’s way enough for going an entirely different route.

I can’t judge Rapidweaver.

It was one coming into question when I started web design 8 years ago. I quickly realized, that everything needs to be purchased on plus of the basic core. Furthermore, those “stacks” are adding an incredible bunch of inline styles to the DOM just for positioning purposes. It is bloating the head with many browser requests (many css files). Perhaps it’s possible to concatenate them to one?

But this doesn’t necessarily means it’s bad. It’s simply not part of my plan.

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?

I found an incredible modern workflow. In mid of this is sitting Freeway as an important part - to be pedant:
The core element.

In Freeway I manage the content and its positioning (Structure). Furthermore the very basic styling such as typography and colors. All the rest - such as fancy styles (shadows, rounded corner :slight_smile: … you know what I mean) and the functions (JavaScript) is coming from an external library. All this is managed via CodeKit and an external CodeEditor. All files are placed on dropbox and giving me the chance for somehow live development.

This all means, that I go on with Freeway! I expect it being alive the next 2 years. Enough time to find an alternative (which I already have somehow (51% tendency towards).

You see that there isn’t mach space for Rapidweaver. And Rapidweaver would even force me recreating all my stuff onto their platform. A no-go!!! But as already said: This doesn’t necessarily mean RW as a bad application.

Cheers

Thomas


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As some already mentioned the upcoming Foundation Framer of CoffeeCup (they offer already Responsive Site designer, but Foundation Framer must be much better ) sound very promising to me. They have excellent support, which is important to me. I try to get a beta version as soon as possible.

https://www.coffeecup.com/foundation-framer https://www.coffeecup.com/foundation-framer

Still in beta, but hopefully coming soon.

All the best,
Hanna


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Thomas,

Thank you for your opinion. I will assume for now that Ernie Simpson shares your reasons for having remained faithful to Freeway all these years.

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

sonjanna,

The only video I could find for CoffeeCup “Foundation Framer” is the following, and I must say it sure doesn’t look nearly as easy to use as what Joe Workman shows in his videos.

But again, my main concern with RapidWeaver is how much I am going to be nickel-and-dimed for every little new thing I want to add to my sites build on that platform.

Best,

James Wages


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Hi James,
I was looking at your comment below and thinking that I’d always had the assumption that if you developed with RapidWeaver that you’d need to be prepared to purchase new stacks or themes to achieve the sort of things you wanted. However that was nothing more than an assumption.

What I’ve done is to pick the first site from the RapidWeaver gallery and see what stacks and other bits the creator has used to build the site.

From my limited knowledge of pulling these sites apart here’s my shopping list for this site;
http://rapidweavercommunity.com/gallery/chet-j-collins

RapidWeaver 7 - $99.00
Writer Theme - $29.00
Stacks 3 - $49.95
Font Pro Stack - $49.95
Foundation Stack - $59.95*
Houdini Stack - $4.95
Responsive Layout Stack - $19.95
Useful Stack - free

— Total cost in USD - $312.75

Header X Stack - £5.99**
True Retina Stack - £6.99**
Button Press 2 Stack - £6.99**
Responsive Shim Stack - £5.99**

— Total cost in GBP - £25.96**

Converted cost to USD - $33.69

Final cost (roughly) - $346.44

Obviously for an individual site the final cost could well be prohibitive for some users but you’ll obviously have to consider that you can use all of these resources on other projects as well as receiving support from their authors. I’d also imagine that, like Freeway, you could ‘get out and push’ and use markup items to achieve most of these effects rather than plonk down the reddies for the stacks which would bring the cost down considerably.

As I mentioned before RapidWeaver has a whole eco system around third party products (themes, stacks, training, hosting etc) and very much like WordPress plug-ins you’ll find several solutions to pretty much anything you’ll need with what appear to be most at the commercial end of the market.
Regards,
Tim.

  • The Foundation Stacks are available in different sets and I can’t tell from the source code which package the author is using. For the sake of argument I’ve chosen the cheapest option.
    ** I couldn’t easily find the UDS price for these stacks but have converted the GBP price to USD using the XE.com daily conversion rate.

On 11 Jul 2016, at 10:16, JDW email@hidden wrote:

But again, my main concern with RapidWeaver is how much I am going to be nickel-and-dimed for every little new thing I want to add to my sites build on that platform.


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I will assume for now that Ernie Simpson shares your reasons for having remained faithful to Freeway all these years.

Just leave me out of it you stubborn ginger nutter.

Quit trying to bait me into replying to your stupid discussion. Freeway is not my religion or my girlfriend and I quite resent your assumptions on my part.

I used Freeway to generate a specific code-outcome, that’s all. Instead of using it to avoid learning any code, I embraced using it specifically to learn how websites are made. I actively encouraged others to do the same.


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Gentlemen! You can’t fight here – this is the War Room!

Walter

On Jul 11, 2016, at 11:24 AM, The Big Erns email@hidden wrote:

I will assume for now that Ernie Simpson shares your reasons for having remained faithful to Freeway all these years.

Just leave me out of it you stubborn ginger nutter.

Quit trying to bait me into replying to your stupid discussion. Freeway is not my religion or my girlfriend and I quite resent your assumptions on my part.

I used Freeway to generate a specific code-outcome, that’s all. Instead of using it to avoid learning any code, I embraced using it specifically to learn how websites are made. I actively encouraged others to do the same.


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On 11 Jul 2016, 3:27 pm, waltd wrote:

Gentlemen! You can’t fight here – this is the War Room!

Walter

I think they were after our bodily fluids Walt.


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Thank you for your kind reply, Tim. That’s what I was thinking about the overall cost and is one reason why I have always been concerned about using RapidWeaver to get something done.

Mr. Simpson, thank you for your feedback as well. Understood.

Walter, if “this is the War Room,” why can’t we “fight here”? :wink:

Gingerly yours,

James Wages


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On Jul 11, 2016, at 8:00 PM, JDW email@hidden wrote:

Walter, if “this is the War Room,” why can’t we “fight here”? :wink:


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Walter, thank you for the link. I learn something new every day.

Hopefully I won’t anger you as well by pointedly asking you this question, but what is your opinion on intuitive web design options for Freeway users “who don’t see the world as code”? (That may be a challenging question in light of how you see the world as code, but I value your opinion and is why I ask.) You too have been in the Freeway camp for decades. It’s obvious you never left for a reason, despite all the web design software out there.

Thus far, we’ve heard people in this thread pitch MUSE (Adobe… subscriptions… surely they must be kidding!), software from a Coffee Cup (but I don’t drink coffee, nor have I been impressed by the video I saw of it), and a tommy-gun worth of posts pitching RapidWeaver (which looks like a small loan may need to be taken out to pay for a decent site to be built, even with the discounts given to Freeway users in this thread).

Thanks,

James Wages


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I’ve been teased by a number of different new apps lately – I put good money into that Kickstarter a while ago, only to have the app get bought and sunsetted by Invision, who already have their own Web-based prototyping app.

It’s frustrating. On the one hand, it seems pretty easy to put a wrapper over WebKit and make a Web design app out of it. There are tons of examples already, more coming it seems daily. But to have any of these work as Freeway does – a site at a time, rather than a page at a time – seems to be too much of an ask.

Freeway was and is a special snowflake, and I don’t see anyone else reaching for that particular set of features. Perhaps the market for that sort of application is smaller than you or I would like to admit.

As for my own needs, Freeway stopped being useful for the kind of work I do over 10 years ago, and while I have been able to do creative work with nothing but a text editor, I do miss the direct manipulation and intuitive “messing around” of the old days. I have to work harder in my left brain to get a result than I would like, if I’m honest.

In my dreams, Freeway would have grown with me, from PHP to Ruby, to whatever comes next. Every time a new version was in the works, I would put my wish list out there and make it known what I needed. Softpress seemed to keep chasing the beginner I once was, rather than the pro I became under its tutelage.

Walter

On Jul 11, 2016, at 9:18 PM, JDW email@hidden wrote:

Walter, thank you for the link. I learn something new every day.

Hopefully I won’t anger you as well by pointedly asking you this question, but what is your opinion on intuitive web design options for Freeway users “who don’t see the world as code”? (That may be a challenging question in light of how you see the world as code, but I value your opinion and is why I ask.) You too have been in the Freeway camp for decades. It’s obvious you never left for a reason, despite all the web design software out there.

Thus far, we’ve heard people in this thread pitch MUSE (Adobe… subscriptions… surely they must be kidding!), software from a Coffee Cup (but I don’t drink coffee, nor have I been impressed by the video I saw of it), and a tommy-gun worth of posts pitching RapidWeaver (which looks like a small loan may need to be taken out to pay for a decent site to be built, even with the discounts given to Freeway users in this thread).

Thanks,

James Wages


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This is indeed a bit of a shock! I can’t say that I was one of those who seen this coming. I actually felt that the whole freeway project was beginning to embrace a next stage of significant development and I was investing more time on it as a tool with even greater potential for all my web design needs.

Its a particularly unwanted addition to the current sense of chaos and confusion which is afflicting the world.

This must be so very tough for those employed at Softpress. I hope that they have other opportunities come their way.

Like many others, Freeway gave me a way in to web design, with all the associated possibilities that emerged for work etc.
I am so very grateful to all who offered support and advice. Delta Dave, Walter and Big Ern in particular.
Like everyone else I shall have to take stock of where this leaves me in terms of the future. Thomas mentioned maybe another couple of years before there would be a need to leave Freeway behind. Who knows?

Will this forum become the saloon in the middle of a desolation after the gold rush? What is there at the end of a freeway?

Whilst the ramifications of the closure of Softpress will unfold I guess the concern is for support now for those in the middle of developing projects. It does leave many hanging at various stages of progress. Those transitioning form various versions of Freeway, those transitioning sites to responsive design and those trying to resolve niggles with existing work. I guess the fear for many may be that they may have nowhere to turn for support should this forum lose its focus.

There is a lot to take on board as a consequence of this end. Much of what has been said here on this forum has been enlightening.

I hope that this community can still continue to function and find a resolve, a new centre to build around.

All the very best to all at Softpress.


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This post triggers a lot of thoughts and memories for me. Mostly that I’m sad to see that Freeway will never become what many of us hoped it would. I thought that once Softpress started writing the Cocoa apps (Exhibeo and Chroma), that maybe that knowledge would allow them to modernize Freeway. I know that SP aren’t Apple, but I had hoped that Apple’s model of rewriting Classic apps from the ground up would be taken by Softpress. Maybe they could have started by writing a basic web design app aimed at people who just wanted to make simple web sites using WYSIWYG. Output clean code and work very simply. Then build the new version of FW on that - Freeway X, perhaps. FWX would have the simple stuff but could do the things power users needed too, the things Walter mentions below, as well as be a modern program that could grow with the times.

Alas, it’s not meant to be. One can hardly blame Softpress, really. I can picture it now. While they are working on FWX, the web keeps moving. It’s a never-ending race and that costs time and money. Today it’s “responsive” but who knows what it will be tomorrow or the next day. Heck, that’s a big reason I got off the treadmill. I got tired of chasing technologies that were out before I figured out the last one.

Yet I still have web sites that I work on and expect to have to some degree for as long as I’m around. When/if FW stops working, I’ll need a replacement and I don’t know that any of them will make me as happy as FW did. Even if something does, I’ll miss this community we created around it.

On 12 Jul 2016, 1:52 am, waltd wrote:

It’s frustrating. On the one hand, it seems pretty easy to put a wrapper over WebKit and make a Web design app out of it. There are tons of examples already, more coming it seems daily. But to have any of these work as Freeway does – a site at a time, rather than a page at a time – seems to be too much of an ask.

Freeway was and is a special snowflake, and I don’t see anyone else reaching for that particular set of features. Perhaps the market for that sort of application is smaller than you or I would like to admit.

As for my own needs, Freeway stopped being useful for the kind of work I do over 10 years ago, and while I have been able to do creative work with nothing but a text editor, I do miss the direct manipulation and intuitive “messing around” of the old days. I have to work harder in my left brain to get a result than I would like, if I’m honest.

In my dreams, Freeway would have grown with me, from PHP to Ruby, to whatever comes next. Every time a new version was in the works, I would put my wish list out there and make it known what I needed. Softpress seemed to keep chasing the beginner I once was, rather than the pro I became under its tutelage.


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