I think that if you want to stay entirely out of the code end of the pool, then you must adjust your expectations of what sorts of applications you can use and what sort of sites you can build.
It is absolutely not hyperbole to say that anyone can make a fully functional Web site with Freeway Pro or Express, without ever touching a line of code.
Bold-print exceptions are as follows:
- Use only the application interface, and any bundled Actions.
- Do not use any third-party code, the Extended or Markup interfaces, any other application other than a decent photo editor.
- No Flash, no CSS3 animations, nothing bouncing jiggling dancing or singing.
- Static pictures, text (lots of text, the search engines really dig it), and a good collection of interesting things to say about your topic of choice.
Adobe has its own rapid-prototyping application that encourages a no-code approach. Google just announced one. There are two others coming along very soon from companies I had never heard of previously. There is even Dreamweaver in its [cough] WYSIWYG mode if you’re feeling brave. Lots of people are looking fondly into this end of the pool as well, so Softpress staked out the correct place where the puck was going to be, lo, those many years ago. But none of these applications will help you do anything that they don’t explicitly have a menu command for, not without some additional understanding of what it is you are building at a core level.
I totally feel for you, and your learning difference. I have three daughters, each with a different way of grasping and retaining new ideas. I am told by those who love me that I am “on the spectrum” for Autism. Happily, I have found a niche where my ability to focus on minutiae isn’t just a distraction, but a means of gainful employment.
One of the things I lecture about passionately to anyone who will listen is craftsmanship. My grandfather was an immigrant from Poland. He was an artist with anything he touched, from painting illuminated church ceilings, to building the machine tools that would power a factory (that built a toaster I still have – and use – today), his career was studded with hard work, patience, and brilliance in equal measure. As a child, I read his textbooks from trade school, where he learned to be a tool-and-die maker, and his collection of Popular Mechanics magazines from the 1940s, and reflected on the mind that had stitched together so many disparate skills.
The one binding thread through it all was his sensitivity to the materials he was using.
If you listen carefully, every thing you work with will tell you how it wants to be used. A piece of oak will whisper of linseed oil and rottenstone. A piece of tool steel will show you – in the branching sparks that come off the carborundum wheel – just how much temper it will take.
HTML and CSS are no different in this regard. While you cannot feel them with your hands or take in their aroma as they are shaped, you can appreciate their nuances and begin to grasp how they must be wielded in order to realize your artistic or commercial goal. Just as you wouldn’t try to fasten two pieces of steel together with a wood screw, you wouldn’t try to make two elements with the same ID, or put a
. The materials will tell you this, in their dying cries as your page fails to validate.
Freeway does you quite a disservice in this regard, eschewing basic HTML and CSS terms for things in favor of DTP “loan words” that are meant to help you get something built without regard for the materials you are actually using. (To be fair, the DTP metaphor does the same thing to PostScript. I have known service bureau experts who could actually debug PS with a text editor in order to get a typesetting job out tonight. It’s definitely not something I ever tried to do. i remain in awe.)
If your expectations only run to “what does it look like in a browser”, then what Freeway does is more than enough. But when you start to think more deeply about how your finished product will interact with the bottom of the iceberg – the machines that read and digest and attempt to understand the Web – then you will find yourself swimming furiously up a waterfall of detail that you cannot hope to influence, except by indirection. I am constantly in awe of the things that Ernie accomplishes with Freeway Pro. I know from long experience how difficult it can be to coax semantic structure out of a visual tool. My own weapon of choice these days is a text editor. It is a simple and precise tool, but it demands respect and more than a little experience to use well.
So yes, I set a high bar. Yes, I believe that Freeway is a magical tool, and a useful stepping stone toward greater and deeper understanding, but it is certainly not the highest rung on that particular ladder. Depending on what you want to do, it may actually take you all the way. But when you find yourself needing to get out and push, using additional applications, or copying and pasting code from elsewhere, then it may not have given you all the tools or leverage you need to finish the job. For that, nothing less than a holistic understanding of the tiny bits and pieces that form the whole will give you the perspective you need to reach your goal.
On Oct 1, 2013, at 3:14 AM, Rgator wrote:
And if I were looking within Adobe for an answer, then I would have to had relate the situation with how it works with Freeway Pro and there might not even be anyone on the forums there using Freeway that would answer. It doesn’t seem like there is that much response going on in that forum. Answers are still in 1.0 and they are in 2.0 now.
freewaytalk mailing list
Update your subscriptions at: