On Jan 3, 2012, at 9:52 PM, Becksley wrote:
Thanks for your time.
Freeway does write beautiful code, that is the main reason i use it. I have checked it a number of times and very happy with that part. I just want to use Freeway as a main editor that i can come back to after adding scripts that i hand code. What is the best way to go about this without breaking my Freeway file? I can use “HTML Markup” or “Sourcecode Snooper”, but are they reliable?
Page / HTML Markup is built into Freeway, and it’s very reliable. This is one of the approved ways to hand-code a Freeway site.
Source Code Snooper is an amazing Action, but it is a bit of a hack (Tim would say the same, maybe not as kindly). Here’s why: within a Freeway document page, there is absolutely no HTML at all in any place. There is an object model describing the layout you have created in Freeway’s design view.
This model is fantastically high-resolution, since it is derived from what amounts to a PostScript page layout application. It is capable of sub-pixel resolution, even though HTML is not. It is capable of boolean geometry, merging and clipping non-rectangluar objects into a single element or slicing them apart, even though HTML knows only of rectangles and contiguous shapes. In short, it’s the difference between 70mm IMAX and watching a soap opera on your phone in the checkout lane.
Now in order to work its magic, Source Code Snooper has to wait until Freeway takes that enormous model and converts it into plain old HTML. Then it interrupts the publishing process and replaces whatever element you’ve applied it to (or the page) with whatever you have entered into its interface. So you can get out the tweezers and make very minute changes if you need to.
But the payment exacted for this power is that you are stuck with whatever you can code. Any further changes you make in the design interface to your modified element are ignored. If you change your design, you have to throw out your customization, let Freeway generate another round of HTML, then modify that to match your original intent, and finally publish with the combination of your code and Freeway’s code once again.
There are some changes that only SCS can accomplish, so it’s a razor-sharp tool to wield with care and forethought.
Either way hopefully in the future this will be part of Freeway. Then again maybe I am missing something and i understand it goes against the concept of Freeway with the “Master” pages. Really do like that idea. So any insight into that would be appreciated…adding code where i want to in a page.
There are all sorts of “nooks and crannies” (as the muffin people refer to them) where you can insert code in a Freeway page.
If your code is general in nature, like a library of functions, then you can insert it into the page using the Page / HTML Markup dialog, and within that you have access to 12 different “slots” before and after the cardinal points of the page code.
If your code needs to appear in a specific place on the page, you have the Insert / Markup Item element, which can generate a positioned block or inline element containing whatever custom code you need, and you can place those anywhere within the layout.
Further, if you are working within a table element, you have access to that table in much the same manner as Page / HTML Markup does to the page. You can wrap a function around a row or a column of the table, and cause it to repeat in a loop using a dynamic language.
As with the other methods I’ve outlined here, the benefit to these approaches is that they “go with the flow” of Freeway. Rather than trying to edit the code and have Freeway somehow convert that back up to the object model, they do tiny Judo moves to shift the natural course of the Freeway publish process and insert the specific changes needed during the publish process. And these types of changes are then a part of the object model of the page and document, so you can copy and extended element from one page and paste it – dynamic code and all – on another page, or move everything around on a page and have all your custom code still work.
The program is close to perfect though so much more to expand on. Really like the “Showcase” galleries. Hope to see many new features in the future. I think Freeway has new owners too.
I am constantly finding new uses for Freeway, and new ways to twist it to my own working style. But there are a lot of times when my entire toolkit is TextMate and CSSEdit. i think that rather than expecting Freeway to change its core method of working, it’s best to focus on how to use it to build the pieces you need – let it be great at what it is unequalled at, in other words. It’s not going to be everything to everyone all the time, and if it tried, it would fail at some things pretty hard.
Softpress haven’t changed hands so much as there’s been a graduation. Richard Logan (former Managing Director) has moved up to lead the Board of Directors, and Joe Billings is the new Managing Director. Both have been with Softpress for many many many years, and Freeway has been a Softpress product since Freeway was called Uniqorn and was the DTP application to watch (along with QuarkXPress 1.3).
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