[Pro] FREEWAY BACK

As someone who has worked with developers there’s no real point to monthly updates.

“I wrote some code. I had to do a few other jobs because writing code doesn’t bring in revenue in the meantime.”

I don’t really see how any details on the coding would help us and doing reports is just one more thing to do for the coders.

Given, that Softpress is probably a very small operation, the time to get notification is when he invites some long time users into an internal beta. And, those people will likely be under NDA unless and until there’s a public beta.

They’d have no reason to lie about continued development unless one though they were simply trying to milk a dead product with a few more sales of the current very old version under the reuse that a new version is coming. Personally I seriously doubt that’s the case.

Of course everyone is always free to move on to other software. As to “waiting,” some of us are still here because either the current version is still somewhat serviceable and/or thought that the features and functions were interesting enough to believe a new version would be equally useful. Heck, some can even go away and come back if/when the time comes and the new product is attractive enough.

Sure I’d like to know what’s up but if there’s silence for the time being I’ll assume there’s good cause. They haven’t pronounced they’ve given up and it costs me nothing in the meantime to keep using Freeway or… to move to another product either temporarily or long term.


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Now, now, Steve Farber, you did say “I’m done.” Your follow-up jibe against Frank implies you actually aren’t done. But broken promises aside, you need to do what is best for you and your business. And no manner of complaining in this thread will magically transform SoftPress. If you do actually wish to do something proactive, I would suggest you contact Richard Logan. He is the Big Cheese who runs the show in Oxford.

Andries, one cannot castigate SoftPress for “possibly” having a single senior engineer on a software rewrite when Blocs is written by one man, as are many other apps. Steve Wozniak was really the lone engineer who brought Apple from a hobby to a business, along with the sales governance and drive of Steve Jobs. Remember well that Woz and Jobs came down with Mono after working 4 straight days to build the first Apple I, and yet sickness did not halt the progression of their business.

And again, we don’t know how many engineers are hard at work on the next generation of Freeway. If you are concerned about this, and it’s clear you certainly must be concerned in light of how much time you’ve taken to post in this thread whilst having your own business to run, I can only suggest the same to you – contact Richard Logan. Perhaps he will offer you some interesting insider tidbits.

Does Freeway Pro 7 allow us to create “modern” websites? Well, if “modern” is defined as “fully responsive, with looks similar to Apple.com,” then the answer would be a resounding “no.” But if one wants to get a website online without caring too much about being perfectly responsive, then the existing product does work. I still use Freeway to change my existing sites, which admittedly are not responsive. That’s also why I have evaluated other options, should SoftPress ultimately not be able to deliver a SWIFT rewrite that also empowers us to create Responsive Websites with ease. Specifically, I have looked long and hard at Blocs. I’ve been participating in their Beta program too. I find that more fulfilling and potentially rewarding that merely complaining here about what Freeway currently cannot do or what it might not be able to deliver. I have been replying back to this thread time and time again to spar with complainers – but I do that for fun. :slight_smile:

Am I an apologist for SoftPress? No. Admittedly, I did attend a couple Macworld Expos here in Japan many years ago when the company I worked for at the time sold the Japanese version, but that hasn’t been true in years. I am not an apologist but I am also not an antagonist. If anything, I have a love and admiration for Freeway and the people who develop it that has often resulted in my hotly criticizing Freeway in places where criticism is due and at times when I could see that my criticism would invoke change. So the reason I have not joined the chorus of voices body-slamming Freeway in this thread is obvious – I see no tangible benefit. But I will be honest with you. I would much rather see a new email in my mailbox from SoftPress announcing a new version of Freeway than another email telling me someone else has added a complaint to this thread.

–James Wages


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Steve,

I very much disagree. How about this site very, recently produced using Freeway and Perch CMS so the client can mange the site.

http://www.elitegoalkeepinguk.com

Freeway is a tool, knowing how to use it is the perennial issue with all these apps. The biggest (and best) investment was not the Freeway software, it was investing the time to be enquiring enough to learn how to make it a useful tool for a client by venturing into code (html, CSS, PHP).

The benefit of Freeway in its current state is that it’s open enough for you to mould a site into pretty much anything you can think of and still, just, keep it’s publishing base within a Freeway file and it’s resources files. You can quickly sketch up some responsive templates for approval then start replacing the guts with dynamic data all in the same file. Other web builders like Blocks you’d need to build a base to export out of the app as code.

As I see it, when responsive became a thing and Freeway moved to it. Freeway Pro became very much a “Pro” tool as they were the only group of users who fully understood it. Which is Freeway’s problem how to balance the needs the ordinary user (probably the larger base?) and a pro user (a reducing minority?). The Pro users will probably abandon to hand code in time.

David Owen

On 7 Jan 2018, at 20:58, steve farber email@hidden wrote:

Freeway is woefully inadequate in creating modern websites. When competing against others using today’s software or coding, Freeway is a crippling handicap.


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On 8 Jan 2018, at 1:43, cseeman wrote:

I don’t really see how any details on the coding would help us and
doing reports is just one more thing to do for the coders.

Exactly. As I have said when I was a developer - do you want be to do my
job or write reports about it?

Given, that Softpress is probably a very small operation, the time to
get notification is when he invites some long time users into an
internal beta. And, those people will likely be under NDA unless and
until there’s a public beta.

It is a very small operation. Especially now. From what I’ve read here
it now has zero paid employees, but they have more substance than a
one-man-band. Many products have one person subsidising another income
with any sales they can make, and who may give up or scale down if a
better main income turns up. Soft press has a driver, Richard Logan, and
a coder. The basic design principles are there for Freeway. Some of the
task will be a porting job, some will be a rework, but the ideas are
there and known to work.

If your business is designing non-trivial website after non-trivial
website then I can understand moving away from FW; but not everyone does
that. I use it for generating the framework for php generated php/mysql
stuff, occasionally. Well worth my while owning because it does the
stuff that would hold back what I am trying to do, if I had to do that
bit myself. Because of its ease of use I would expect a good proportion
of previous purchasers would be low-level users like me (not that it
couldn’t do what used to be complicated stuff). We are hanging on.

David


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James, My "jibe’ (whatever that is) against Frank?? He is the one that wrote that against me. I only returned fire. If he doesn’t want to read this thread, he is more than able to turn it off. If he doesn’t think I have the right to express my opinion, then I stand by my comment. And by the way, I am not interested in “just getting a website online without caring too much”. Neither are my customers.

As an explanation of what “I’m done” meant: I am done waiting. I have moved on to Muse and have been very happy with it. That doesn’t mean I have to ignore what is (or isn’t) happening with Freeway. I, too, have used it for years and would love to see a new version that competes. I only express my frustration because it hasn’t happened and we’re in the dark about it while business life goes on each day. So I will still pay attention to this board and if/when we see another Freeway product I will likely give it a look.

Just as a reminder, back on Dec 5th, I didn’t start my comments with some slamming insults about freeway or its authors. I simply posted my recommendations about Muse for those who, like me, were in need of an alternative while the web design world passed us by like we were standing still.

David, your site is very nice! But you are admittedly one who codes in addition to Freeway. That is not my case, nor is it the purpose Freeway was intended for (or why most of us wound up here).


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I became a Freeway user back in 1999 when it was at version 2 and advertised as, “For those who don’t see the world as code.“ I still don’t see the world is code, even though I sometimes program microcontrollers in assembly. I like a WYSIWYG GUI. Freeway gives me that GUI for legacy web layouts but not for Responsive designs. I’ve taken a lot of heat from the “pros“ here on FreewayTalk for daring to ask for an easier means of creating a responsive website in Freeway. That’s still what I’m looking for; and no, I don’t mean a “template based” web design tool either.

I would like to move my existing corporate sites to a responsive design sometime this year. Whether that happens in Freeway or not will depend on the release of the new version of Freeway. If Softpress once again falters or otherwise does not produce a product this year, then I may decide to go with Blocs, especially if they add a responsive table feature for tabular data, along with an easy means of adding a site wide search feature like Google Custom Search.

I remain loyal to Freeway for now. But I’m itching to do something that’s fully responsive, yet which maintains all of the features and tabular data that my existing Freeway sites presently offer.

James Wages


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Steve

The specific purpose of the Freeway (Pro) extended pallets and the ability of creating your own CSS is specifically provided to add your own custom code. This is what it’s indented for in this “Pro” version. Ignoring this, does not make is go away. Any web design app that doesn’t have this flexibility, you will be painting yourself into a corner at some point down the line as the developer makes decisions for you about what you can or can’t do.

There’s so much to understand about building sites and so much low hanging fruit hidden in plain sight. Even for the beginner.

Take your average Freeway site. Some Basics, check if it’s using structured content like using H1, H2 etc.? (look at the Freeway Manual page 156). And Google about the importance of a H1. Go on check your site. At least learn how can you can check it.

It saddens me when there’s no acceptance that understanding the basics of html is a benefit to your site. Time and again this forum is looking for a quick fix no code solution. I’d like to think me banging on about this might stir the enquiring mind and what grabbed my interest. And perhaps carry a little weight that a “no code understanding” is a bad idea as a career move.

I started from the visual design side, no code understanding, something like year 1999 “ish". Over time is was very apparent you either learn more or die. The learning process is still ongoing.

Sorry I’ll stop going on now.


David Owen

On 8 Jan 2018, at 13:08, steve farber email@hidden wrote:

That is not my case, nor is it the purpose Freeway was intended for


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I agree that a developer must develop and not ‘waist’ his time with reports
about the ongoing process. But hey, there will be a person to tell us when
the rebirth will happen and that it can be bought I may assume, Even a
longlasting doubtful product like The Grid does regular updates just to
keep attention from its funders and potential users. Its their investment
in the future and customers. Telling nothing will soon loose your
supporters.

I really like Softpress/FW. I would like to keep the company sunny, warm
and dry, but only if they won’t let me stand in the cold silent night…

2018-01-08 16:58 GMT+01:00 David Owen email@hidden:

Steve

The specific purpose of the Freeway (Pro) extended pallets and the ability
of creating your own CSS is specifically provided to add your own custom
code. This is what it’s indented for in this “Pro” version. Ignoring this,
does not make is go away. Any web design app that doesn’t have this
flexibility, you will be painting yourself into a corner at some point down
the line as the developer makes decisions for you about what you can or
can’t do.

There’s so much to understand about building sites and so much low hanging
fruit hidden in plain sight. Even for the beginner.

Take your average Freeway site. Some Basics, check if it’s using
structured content like using H1, H2 etc.? (look at the Freeway Manual page
156). And Google about the importance of a H1. Go on check your site. At
least learn how can you can check it.

It saddens me when there’s no acceptance that understanding the basics of
html is a benefit to your site. Time and again this forum is looking for a
quick fix no code solution. I’d like to think me banging on about this
might stir the enquiring mind and what grabbed my interest. And perhaps
carry a little weight that a “no code understanding” is a bad idea as a
career move.

I started from the visual design side, no code understanding, something
like year 1999 “ish". Over time is was very apparent you either learn more
or die. The learning process is still ongoing.

Sorry I’ll stop going on now.


David Owen
http://www.davidowendesign.com

On 8 Jan 2018, at 13:08, steve farber email@hidden
wrote:

That is not my case, nor is it the purpose Freeway was intended for


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On 7 Jan 2018, 10:53 am, Gordon Low wrote:

They have already announced that Freeway is being rewritten (by one very skilled person) using Swift. To help fund this the programmer is selling copies of his own work Fretspace. Silence does not equate to inaction.

In case some people missed it, regarding Fretspace, Jeremy commented about that and the Freeway rewrite in the following thread.

August 30th 2017

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

Jeremy Hughes - “I wrote this partly as a way of learning Swift”

Jeremy Hughes - “I am currently working on a Swift version of Freeway, but I can’t say any more about it than that. It’s a pretty huge task”

So it was twofold, as means for revenue and a means for learning Swift to create the next version of Freeway.

That was only approximately 4+ months ago. So maybe he is still unable to comment further regarding Freeway progress, as it no doubt remains a huge task.


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Has anyone raised the possibility of a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the rebuild?

I, for one, would consider it my duty to financially support the software that has been the backbone of my business for the last 20 years.

Cheers, Ian.


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Mentioned before in earlier mails. Should be a project of the developer in
my humble opinion?

Andries

2018-01-15 18:02 GMT+01:00 Ian Webb email@hidden:

Has anyone raised the possibility of a Kickstarter campaign to help fund
the rebuild?

I, for one, would consider it my duty to financially support the software
that has been the backbone of my business for the last 20 years.

Cheers, Ian.


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Ian, I would suggest you speak to Richard Logan directly about not only your interest in supporting SoftPress in that way, but also to potentially glean an update from him.

So many in this thread are praising SoftPress, trashing SoftPress or just bewildered by SoftPress, when all it takes is just an email to The Big Cheese.

It would not be right of me to post his email address here, and perhaps he would not appreciate me posting a direct link to his LinkedIn profile either. So I will just say this…

Google for 3 keywords that anyone could guess would yield info on the man:

“Richard Logan SoftPress”

Don’t be shy. Just contact him. Ask and ye shall receive. Not receiving anything you want? Perhaps you’re not asking at all, or perhaps your asking the wrong person (i.e., people in this thread).

–James Wages


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Softpress has in the past gone many months, even years between updates, and that was when there were more than one person working on the project. IIRC, the space between Freeway 3.x and 3.5 was huge, and there were equally long spaces between other versions of Freeway. It‘s hard to pinpoint why, but that seems to be just how it is. Small team, loads to do. I remember some of the time being spent on migrating to Carbon, and getting things like font rendering as close to the original pre-OSX as possible. Them going totally silent is, again, normal. They won’t talk about stuff until they are ready to. Yes, it’s disconcerting.

I expect an email from Richard on the subject will be pretty much “hang on in there, we’re doing things, but we can’t talk about it”.

This is Softpress 2.0. The clock started ticking when they reopened the shop. I’m not expecting things to surface for a good while yet.


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Blocs is a one man team and he pushes out updates on a very regular basis with identified bugs usually being fixed in the space of a week. It’s not perfect, but I have faith in the general direction of travel.

I don’t know how long it took him though before version 1 of Blocs was released and Softpress has to deal with the baggage of expectation from previous customers, who will expect any new product to fly out the gate as a world beater. They could be waiting for a very long time.

Ashley


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I haven’t any insight into how Blocs is constructed, but I imagine (given when it first came out) that it is based on the Cocoa Mac OS X frameworks, rather than how Freeway is built (MacApp on “classic” Mac OS, converted to Carbon on Mac OS X). Cocoa came out of the NeXT frameworks, and the marketing buzz around how they leveraged developers’ time (at the time) likened building an app from scratch using them to “building a skyscraper, but getting to start at the 23rd floor”.

Freeway has a quite different problem on its hands now. It has decades of code (and user expectations to go with), and anyone who has tried it will tell you that re-building an existing application is quite a lot harder than starting from nothing. Starting from nothing (well, from an idea) means that you incrementally grow the application in place, and your users’ expectations grow at a similar rate. If I sat you down with the beta version of Freeway that I first encountered in 1997, I doubt you would be confused, but you would miss a lot (a WHOLE LOT) of features and quality that you just expect right now. At the time, nobody knew any better, and so the problem and solutions were well-matched.

The temptation that Jeremy will struggle with at this point in the history of Freeway is to re-build every detail of the application, just as it is, using the new frameworks (and liberally importing existing C and C++ code where he can, to avoid starting over on every detail using Swift or Objective-C). Even the fact that he’s going to use Swift means that the ground is literally moving under his feet as he works, as the language is still growing and maturing (it’s only a few years old). There are still places where one must “get out and push” in Objective-C, because the language support isn’t baked yet. Yet there are things that the frameworks provide that, if he can take a true beginner’s mind look at the problem he’s trying to solve, will be considerably less work than they were in MacApp. The problem with that is that he knows–deeply and completely–how they work now, and getting back to beginner’s mind is frustratingly difficult when you know that much.

If Softpress were to release the Freeway X (like Final Cut Pro X) version of Freeway at some point soon, how loud and angry would the reply be from the experienced users? Recall when Final Cut X came out, and how the press was full of angry cries from experienced editors of “That’s it, I’m going to use Premiere”. That was an example of an application that had a lot of deep features, and the new version had maybe 50% of those features, if I’m charitable, and a workflow that was as “un-Pro” as iMovie. The pros, who had spent years understanding the mindset and workflow of the old application, were suddenly newbies again. At the same time, Final Cut X was a re-set of the whole underlying application, and it paved the way for even more productivity, and better results in less time, if you were willing to re-learn how it wanted you to think.

This is going to be a difficult balancing act for Softpress. They will need the new version to tick off enough boxes for the experienced developers, and to have enough of the magic that Freeway has always delivered so that new users are intrigued and curious enough to try it. But they don’t have to deliver the same application in new clothes, and they don’t have the time to do that even if they wanted to. If they stay close to what the Cocoa frameworks can deliver, and leverage the core OS features in the various *-Kit libraries, they may be able to build 50-70% of Freeway as we know it with a shocking paucity of new code. And that could give them a foundation to build upon, as long as they give it enough Wow to sustain a re-birth.

Walter

On Jan 19, 2018, at 5:58 AM, Ashley via freewaytalk email@hidden wrote:

Blocs is a one man team and he pushes out updates on a very regular basis with identified bugs usually being fixed in the space of a week. It’s not perfect, but I have faith in the general direction of travel.

I don’t know how long it took him though before version 1 of Blocs was released and Softpress has to deal with the baggage of expectation from previous customers, who will expect any new product to fly out the gate as a world beater. They could be waiting for a very long time.

Ashley


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Walter, even if Freeway was rebuilt “100% as we know it” in SWIFT, it would be seriously deficient for most Freeway users in that Freeway Pro 7 right now doesn’t allow dummies to easy build fully RESPONSIVE websites. The Freeway of today and the Freeway 2.0 I fell in love with back in 1999 put all other web design tools to shame when it comes to an intuitive means of dumping my creativity on the web FOR NON-RESPONSIVE WEBSITES. That’s right, Freeway allows even dummies to get content on the web, albeit, not the Responsive kind.

I know some people have been able to use Freeway Pro 5, 6 and 7 to create some amazing Responsive websites, but the techniques required to achieve that are comparably more difficult than in other apps like Blocs. One can argue “but Freeway gives you more control!” all they like, but if I myself cannot get the end result I want in a Responsive website using Freeway, I am not going to use Freeway to create a Responsive site. And guess what? I still don’t have a fully Responsive website to this day. I do, however, have everything else, including Retina optimized graphics, using Freeway. But it’s 2018 now and I am wanting to pacify Google with a “mobile friendly” website to ensure my search rankings don’t take more of a hit than they already have.

If Blocs had an easy means to implement site search (I use Google Custom Search currently) and an easy means to implement responsive tables (for placing tabular data in a web page), I would likely jump ship. But the current version of Blocs lacks those two features, and it’s not clear when it will offer those (probably still one year away) – and yes, I’ve asked.

So I wait for the next version of Freeway and I wait for the next version of Blocs, and whoever satisfies me most fully first will likely win my heart. But it would take less for Freeway X to win my heart in that I’ve been a fan for such a long time and the new version would likely retain at least some Freeway flair that I would prefer over another app.

Any new version of Freeway needs to “wow” us with what it can do on the Responsive Design front, and that includes ease of use. While having a means to add code is a must, the product should not necessarily be a coder-centric app. The following SoftPress catch phrase is what caught me back in the day and I still feel it is applicable today (noting that I don’t need to use code to use FCPX or MS Word or Affinity Designer, etc.):

“FOR THOSE WHO DON’T SEE THE WORLD AS CODE.”

I want a web design tool that is very easy to use, yet powerful (yes, even allow one to extend it with code as they like). But it must allow me to get ALL the web content I have in my existing sites on the web again in Responsive form. If like Blocs it only offers me part of what I need, I will stick to a non-responsive site. I can add things with code to Freeway now, but I don’t like it and it slows me down considerably. Imagine how well Freeway would have faired without Actions. Sure, Actions are “code” but code in a digestible form that most people can implement in a heartbeat.

I think it will be a real challenge to “please everybody” – coders and creative designers too. But if SoftPress can pull it off, they will have a real winner with the potential to achieve things most other web design apps cannot – achieving great responsive sites with all the basics like site search and tabular data, regardless of whether you like to code or not.

–James Wages


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James,

My thoughts and ramblings about “allow me to get ALL the web content I have in my existing sites" for Freeway sites…

I think perhaps we need need to think about what tool/s you need for design, and what tools you need for content. I see your site is packed with lots or designed content all produced within Freeway. Our Printline (Freeway) site is similar, grown over many years. But then it’s painted itself into a corner by being a huge task to make responsive, so big that, it hasn’t been done. I’d need to start again. When a site grows like this, I bet, like me you’ve had that fearful thought, that small change you just made? will Freeway stop publishing? Will be all over?

Let’s disregard the learn code issue for the moment and live in an ideal world. Bear with me…

There’s no doubt Freeway is great at building “responsive” pages to whatever design you can think of (it’s still part of my tool set). Look all the great examples in the forum of creative responsive page, menus, page effect, light-boxes, slideshows etc. Add in a few static Freeway pages of static content for typically a small brochure site. All is good. Probably Freeway’s core market.

Now, when it gets to managing lots of content, pages, images, site search, managing text styles, lots of actions… I could go on. Freeway gets unwieldy.

Now imagine a workflow where…

  1. You design the pages (or a set of templates) in Freeway with little or no content, only headers menus and footers. You get your creative juice imagining the look and feel of the site. And concentrate in making pages responsive. You work on style sheets to prepare what all your typography, and elements will look like.

  2. You need content. You open the CMS in a browser and start to type and add images, You add pages, create “list and detail” pages of products. The images are re-sampled and re-sized for you and are automatically responsive. Lists are kept in alphabetical order. New pages are added to menus on all pages. In the CMS there’s no styles to select or manage (maybe just bold and italic). Everything you add is automated because of all the design work in section (1.). All the content of the site is searchable in a site search. It all looks great on Phones and on Desktop. You concentre only on the content for the user.

  3. The site needs a re-brand? You work on section (1.) in Freeway, publish a handful of templates with it’s CSS. And the CMS with 2,000+ product/pages is updated at the same speed with the new design.

I know, I know, I’ve skirted around a few things here before anyone nit-picks. But the point I’m trying to make is the old ways of making larger Freeway sites is not necessarily the best way. Separating design from content is a well established process. And making responsive pages does NOT have to replicate a flat leaflet/brochure site. Part of the design process must include styling the content. Not adding design for design sake. And accepting in will look different to users on different devices.

In the past I’ve been a reluctant coder, but I’ve always been willing to push the boundaries when I hit any. So the sites I’ve been working with over the last 6 years use Perch CMS where so much automation is possible, it’s refreshing.

Perhaps sharing how I’ve been addressing the problems of making websites with Freeway may help give you a wider view.

David Owen

Creative Design | Print Production | Web Design & Strategy | Domains & Web Hosting

On 19 Jan 2018, at 23:37, JDW email@hidden wrote:

I want a web design tool that is very easy to use, yet powerful (yes, even allow one to extend it with code as they like). But it must allow me to get ALL the web content I have in my existing sites


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Just to consider or comparison: anyone of you who, loves the succesfull
Freeway approach of ‘design first the way as you wanted’, ever take a look
at Muse? It’s most the way of how Freeway works and there are lots of
widgets (incl search, tables, CMS etc. from third party developers.) No
database driven content however if you want to use that in your site. No
standard templates included, start from scratch, but now there are ‘blocks’
to speed up your sitebuilding time. Just google it.

Not to get your head away from Freeway, just to pass the time you have to
wait to see Freeway X rising from the ashes.

Andries

(please, dont mention over and over again the subscription part if you’re a
professional website builder. Only the sun shines and the wind blows for
free)

2018-01-20 14:54 GMT+01:00 David Owen email@hidden:

James,

My thoughts and ramblings about “allow me to get ALL the web content I
have in my existing sites" for Freeway sites…

I think perhaps we need need to think about what tool/s you need for
design, and what tools you need for content. I see your site is packed
with lots or designed content all produced within Freeway. Our Printline
(Freeway) site is similar, grown over many years. But then it’s painted
itself into a corner by being a huge task to make responsive, so big that,
it hasn’t been done. I’d need to start again. When a site grows like this,
I bet, like me you’ve had that fearful thought, that small change you just
made? will Freeway stop publishing? Will be all over?

Let’s disregard the learn code issue for the moment and live in an ideal
world. Bear with me…

There’s no doubt Freeway is great at building “responsive” pages to
whatever design you can think of (it’s still part of my tool set). Look all
the great examples in the forum of creative responsive page, menus, page
effect, light-boxes, slideshows etc. Add in a few static Freeway pages of
static content for typically a small brochure site. All is good. Probably
Freeway’s core market.

Now, when it gets to managing lots of content, pages, images, site search,
managing text styles, lots of actions… I could go on. Freeway gets
unwieldy.

Now imagine a workflow where…

  1. You design the pages (or a set of templates) in Freeway with little or
    no content, only headers menus and footers. You get your creative juice
    imagining the look and feel of the site. And concentrate in making pages
    responsive. You work on style sheets to prepare what all your typography,
    and elements will look like.

  2. You need content. You open the CMS in a browser and start to type and
    add images, You add pages, create “list and detail” pages of products. The
    images are re-sampled and re-sized for you and are automatically
    responsive. Lists are kept in alphabetical order. New pages are added to
    menus on all pages. In the CMS there’s no styles to select or manage (maybe
    just bold and italic). Everything you add is automated because of all the
    design work in section (1.). All the content of the site is searchable in
    a site search. It all looks great on Phones and on Desktop. You concentre
    only on the content for the user.

  3. The site needs a re-brand? You work on section (1.) in Freeway,
    publish a handful of templates with it’s CSS. And the CMS with 2,000+
    product/pages is updated at the same speed with the new design.

I know, I know, I’ve skirted around a few things here before anyone
nit-picks. But the point I’m trying to make is the old ways of making
larger Freeway sites is not necessarily the best way. Separating design
from content is a well established process. And making responsive pages
does NOT have to replicate a flat leaflet/brochure site. Part of the design
process must include styling the content. Not adding design for design
sake. And accepting in will look different to users on different devices.

In the past I’ve been a reluctant coder, but I’ve always been willing to
push the boundaries when I hit any. So the sites I’ve been working with
over the last 6 years use Perch CMS where so much automation is possible,
it’s refreshing.

Perhaps sharing how I’ve been addressing the problems of making websites
with Freeway may help give you a wider view.

David Owen
http://www.printlineadvertising.co.uk
http://www.ineedwebhosting.co.uk
http://www.davidowendesign.com

Creative Design | Print Production | Web Design & Strategy |
Domains & Web Hosting

On 19 Jan 2018, at 23:37, JDW email@hidden wrote:

I want a web design tool that is very easy to use, yet powerful (yes,
even allow one to extend it with code as they like). But it must allow me
to get ALL the web content I have in my existing sites


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Just to consider or compare: anyone of you, who loves the succesfull
Freeway approach of ‘design first the way as you wanted’, ever take a look
at Muse? It’s most the way of how Freeway works and there are lots of
widgets (incl search, tables, CMS etc. from third party developers.) No
database driven content however if you want to use that in your site. No
standard templates included, start from scratch, but now there are ‘blocks’
available to speed up your sitebuilding time. Just google it.

Not to get your head away from Freeway, just to pass the time you have to
wait to see Freeway X rising from the ashes.

Andries

(please, dont mention over and over again the subscription part if you’re a
professional website builder. Only the sun shines and the wind blows for
free)

2018-01-20 14:54 GMT+01:00 David Owen email@hidden:

James,

My thoughts and ramblings about “allow me to get ALL the web content I
have in my existing sites" for Freeway sites…

I think perhaps we need need to think about what tool/s you need for
design, and what tools you need for content. I see your site is packed
with lots or designed content all produced within Freeway. Our Printline
(Freeway) site is similar, grown over many years. But then it’s painted
itself into a corner by being a huge task to make responsive, so big that,
it hasn’t been done. I’d need to start again. When a site grows like this,
I bet, like me you’ve had that fearful thought, that small change you just
made? will Freeway stop publishing? Will be all over?

Let’s disregard the learn code issue for the moment and live in an ideal
world. Bear with me…

There’s no doubt Freeway is great at building “responsive” pages to
whatever design you can think of (it’s still part of my tool set). Look all
the great examples in the forum of creative responsive page, menus, page
effect, light-boxes, slideshows etc. Add in a few static Freeway pages of
static content for typically a small brochure site. All is good. Probably
Freeway’s core market.

Now, when it gets to managing lots of content, pages, images, site search,
managing text styles, lots of actions… I could go on. Freeway gets
unwieldy.

Now imagine a workflow where…

  1. You design the pages (or a set of templates) in Freeway with little or
    no content, only headers menus and footers. You get your creative juice
    imagining the look and feel of the site. And concentrate in making pages
    responsive. You work on style sheets to prepare what all your typography,
    and elements will look like.

  2. You need content. You open the CMS in a browser and start to type and
    add images, You add pages, create “list and detail” pages of products. The
    images are re-sampled and re-sized for you and are automatically
    responsive. Lists are kept in alphabetical order. New pages are added to
    menus on all pages. In the CMS there’s no styles to select or manage (maybe
    just bold and italic). Everything you add is automated because of all the
    design work in section (1.). All the content of the site is searchable in
    a site search. It all looks great on Phones and on Desktop. You concentre
    only on the content for the user.

  3. The site needs a re-brand? You work on section (1.) in Freeway,
    publish a handful of templates with it’s CSS. And the CMS with 2,000+
    product/pages is updated at the same speed with the new design.

I know, I know, I’ve skirted around a few things here before anyone
nit-picks. But the point I’m trying to make is the old ways of making
larger Freeway sites is not necessarily the best way. Separating design
from content is a well established process. And making responsive pages
does NOT have to replicate a flat leaflet/brochure site. Part of the design
process must include styling the content. Not adding design for design
sake. And accepting in will look different to users on different devices.

In the past I’ve been a reluctant coder, but I’ve always been willing to
push the boundaries when I hit any. So the sites I’ve been working with
over the last 6 years use Perch CMS where so much automation is possible,
it’s refreshing.

Perhaps sharing how I’ve been addressing the problems of making websites
with Freeway may help give you a wider view.

David Owen
http://www.printlineadvertising.co.uk
http://www.ineedwebhosting.co.uk
http://www.davidowendesign.com

Creative Design | Print Production | Web Design & Strategy |
Domains & Web Hosting

On 19 Jan 2018, at 23:37, JDW email@hidden wrote:

I want a web design tool that is very easy to use, yet powerful (yes,
even allow one to extend it with code as they like). But it must allow me
to get ALL the web content I have in my existing sites


freewaytalk mailing list
email@hidden
Update your subscriptions at:
https://freewaytalk.softpress.com/person/options


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That double-post made me do a double-take. I guess someone really wants us to evaluate MUSE! :slight_smile: But I have and am not amused. Or rather, I am amused at the concept of how much one would need to pay for MUSE in light of the fact you must keep paying for it until the end of time, thanks to Adobe’s wicked subscription model.

No thanks.

That’s precisely why I like Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer. No subscription required.

–James Wages


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