[Pro] Freeway 7 - RPL and responsive sites?

Hello @ all.

I am Lennart, based in the northwest of Germany.
I am following this forum for quite a long time.
I actually try to grow up from Freeway Pro 5.6.5 to Freeway Pro 7.

I tried to use the RPL Action, and wanted to combine it with the responsive site features. If I design my site without the RPL Action activated, the objects at my website break around the breakpoints very well. But when I try to use the RPL Action, the Objects stop to move at the defined Breakpoints.
Is it not possible to use the RPL Action and to design my site Layer based and responsive? or is it a must to design the site based on in flow Objects in order to produce a responsive design?

To explain furthermore what I am trying to achieve: i design my website the way it is showed at the video on the softpress website. But I also activated the RPL Action to allow the Text on my site to raise in size.

I really hope that my explanation is ok and at least possible to understand.

Thank`s a lot

Lennart


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Might Caleb’s post on responsive text in Freeway 7 be a better approach?


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On 7 Sep 2014, 7:43 pm, thatkeith wrote:

Might Caleb’s post on responsive text in Freeway 7 be a better approach?
http://calebgrove.com/articles/responsive-text-in-freeway-7

Not really - I suppose.

The point he is referring to is the RelativePageLayout action, which “turns” the absolute positioned items in a way of “relative” behave to each other after publishing. So it prevents the page from falling apart if a visitor uses text zoom within the browser.

So personally I can’t speak for this action, cause all I did were some small tests years ago.

This action is magic and some kind of complex, so it wouldn’t make me wonder if this action breaks in the new 7 environment (as auto clearfix breaks as well). So if - it would be better to address this to the tower’s support (and report back here what happens).

###And the “I never get tired to mention”:

There is NOTHING above inline-layouts to achieve rock-solid results - especially if it comes to re-arrange items at specific breakpoints. Furthermore “inline” in Freeway has nothing to do with “code” or anything that could point into this direction.

It is just “using” your app - but it requires a good plan (content first). This is nothing special - and daily business (routine) if it comes to FrontEnd Development - with or without Freeway.

Drop’n drag will ever be living with constraints coming alongside with this method.

Cheers

Thomas


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“it prevents the page from falling apart if a visitor uses text zoom within the browser” — This used to be very important, but does any modern browser now do anything other than zoom the whole page? (There are many other reasons to do inline layouts despite the relative quirkiness of production, but I think this one’s gone… isn’t it?)

​k


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Safari still can switch between “Just Text” or the “Zoom page”.

It’s indeed not only text-zoom it’s as well about the differences on how browsers treat text at all.

Watch the same page on IE, Firefox and Safari and chances are big, that text is displayed very different (up to overlaps of static absolute boxes). Can’t count the number of lists with “overlapping text” here.

Cheers

Thomas


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Thank you really for all the replies.
I will contact Softpress and will post again as soon as I recieve an answer.

Lennart


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There is a the very important point that if you are pouring text into a Freeway site using a CMS - WebYep, Joomla, etc., or even one you’ve made yourself, the RPL Action helps keep things together and stops content from overlapping other items on the page. It works well.

Sadly, it seems that because the RPL Action and Freeway’s responsive features are incompatible with each other, that any kind of content that stretches or shrinks Freeway’s layout after a publish means that you can’t use both features - a limitation that is very frustrating and disappointing.

It’s more than just keeping control over the layout as text is scaled these days. Softpress really need to address this fundamental problem.

On 8 Sep 2014, 3:15 pm, thatkeith wrote:

“it prevents the page from falling apart if a visitor uses text zoom within the browser” – This used to be very important, but does any modern browser now do anything other than zoom the whole page? (There are many other reasons to do inline layouts despite the relative quirkiness of production, but I think this one’s gone… isn’t it?)

​k


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I have recieved an answer. I totally agree with Paul. I seems like Freeway’ s Responsive Features are a half ready solution.
Here is what Softpress told me:

Hi Lennart,

You need to be aware that for responsive layouts to work, it requires changes to CSS attributes at each breakpoint. Changes to HTML attributes or Javascript won’t work at breakpoints - and I’m afraid that because of the way that Relative Page Layout (RPL) works, that can’t be made to work either. This is a basic limitation of what can be done when the browser interprets “media queries” (such as the width of a device’s screen) when the page is viewed on a specific device or when a desktop browser window is made narrower or wider - and it isn’t just a Freeway-specific issue, it is the same case for all web design apps.

We still offer RPL in Freeway, but if you want to reposition items on the page at various breakpoints, then you will need to switch it off or remove the Action.

Because you can’t rely on RPL to maintain the relative spacing between the items when building responsive sites, you will need to keep checking the page layout by previewing over and over to ensure that items on the page don’t overlap if any HTML text grows slightly in size.

The only other way around this is to build your pages in “inflow CSS layout” (rather than the default method in Freeway which is “absolute positioned layout”, which uses layer items placed individually on the page). By using inflow layout, if one HTML item grows in size when rendered in a browser, the content below that item will automatically be pushed down the page. RPL was introduced into Freeway to make standard layouts change to inflow layouts - but because RPL won’t work with responsive layouts you will instead need to build the page in inflow layout from the start.

To learn about the basic concepts of inflow CSS layout (often called “inflow box model layout”) you might want to check out the (very basic) PDF tutorial and sample file you can get by clicking on the link on the page at http://users.softpress.com/keith/box_model_tutorial/.

Inflow layout is very different to the normal Freeway layout workflow, but if you find it too difficult for your current project you might want to simply re-space the items after testing the pages over and over in a browser for now and then try out inflow CSS layout for a future project.

Hope this helps, let me know if you need anything else

Kind regards

James Bairstow
Support Technician
Softpress Systems


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It would have been great if RPL could have been made to work with responsive layouts in Freeway - but unfortunately everything that RPL does is done invisibly when the file is being published, and so the changes to the code imposed by RPL would completely conflict with changes made at each breakpoint.

Effectively, the only way it could be made to work would be if RPL could be made to run separately on the layout of the page at each breakpoint - because, as I’m sure you will appreciate, RPL cannot possibly make an absolute layout site into a relative site when the items are repositioned and different CSS attributes are applied at each breakpoint.

You also need to understand that RPL doesn’t just change the CSS of items on the page (which is the only thing which can be made to change at a breakpoint when triggered by a media query), and that is the main reason why RPL is never going to be able to be made to work with responsive layouts.

I don’t know how many web design apps can reliably make responsive sites without using inflow layout - but with Freeway you get to have the choice of building pages in absolute positioned layout or inflow layout while still making your site work responsively. In addition, there is also the option of using the Mobile Redirect Action to build a duplicate version of a site to work at very narrow page widths to suit mobile devices (with both versions of the site being built using RPL).

If the W3C people decide one day to make it so that other changes can be made at breakpoints which aren’t purely edits to CSS, then perhaps RPL will be made to work once more - but with the limitations of what can be triggered using media queries, we’ve sadly had to concede that RPL and responsive can’t be made to work.


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Wonderfully enlightening thread—thanks to all!


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