Xway b1

The release date for Xway b1 will be Tuesday 5th November.

Xway will run on High Sierra, Mojave, or Catalina, and beta versions will be free.

We’ve also opened a discussion list called Xway Talk, which you can join now (see separate announcement).

Jeremy


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Well … any second now …


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[Reposted from Xway Talk]

We have just released Xway b1, our next-generation program for visual web design.

You can download it from our web site:

https://www.softpress.com/xway/

Xway includes a detailed reference manual, which you can access by choosing “Xway User Guide” from the Help menu.

There is also a step-by-step tutorial and two sample documents, which are available from our web site (click on “Xway Resources” in the Help menu).

We recommend that people read (or skim) through the Xway User Guide introduction, and then work through the tutorial to get a hands-on feel for how Xway works.

Jeremy


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gratz!! and thanx for the hard work!


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I was trying to see if there was a way to import the html code generated by Freeway 7 Pro into a page in Xway and thus preserve the design of the website. But there doesn’t appear to be a way to do that yet. Also, there are quite a few Actions I depend on but there doesn’t seem to be any place for Actions in Xway, although there is a way to copy and paste JavaScript into an Xway page. So while the beta version is a way to get familiar with the new interface, it doesn’t seem like a fully mature website creation tool yet.

Thankfully I have no great need to switch to Catalina.


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It is a 0.1 release, after all. :slight_smile: The documentation is pretty clear about what Xway is, isn’t, will be, and won’t be. A lot is done (congrats, Softpress!) but there’s a way to go yet. (See what I did there? :wink: )

Also, the discussion for Xway is on the new Xway list at Groups.io, at the link Jeremy provided in another thread. Please join us there if you’re trying Xway.


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Thanks Joe!

Xway is designed to be a successor to Freeway but it’s not yet a complete replacement and we think that there will be a transitional period in which people will continue using Freeway for existing sites. I haven’t upgraded to Catalina (I’m waiting for Apple to fix some bugs) but I have it running on a test partition and I will switch over to it eventually. At that point there are two options: continue running Mojave on a different partition (or external drive) or run it within a VM such as VMware or Parallels. (I’m planning to use a VM.)

Xway is a completely new program. It’s inspired by Freeway, and the interface is similar to Freeway, but it doesn’t share a single line of code: it’s written in a different language (Swift not C++) and uses a different set of APIs (Cocoa not Carbon). Freeway was developed over a period of more than 20 years. Xway isn’t two years old yet - and (as Joe said) it is currently at version 0.1 (not 7.1.4).

For people who want to create flexible web sites that will display on different devices (phones, tablets, and desktop browsers), Xway has a lot to offer. In-flow layouts are difficult in Freeway, but easy in Xway - and there are also areas where Xway’s support for HTML/CSS goes beyond Freeway.

Jeremy


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One way to move an existing site into the current version of Freeway is to copy/paste text and reimport graphics. We recognise that this isn’t a good solution for everyone, and it involves work. Text is pasted as plain text, so you need to reapply styles (using default styles in Xway is a good idea).

Jeremy


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Don’t misunderstand me, Joe. I appreciate the effort that has gone into creating this software. Building an app with a lot of features and a logical interface is a Herculean task. After years of working with Freeway Pro it will take me a while to get used to the interface and working methods of Xway. But I’m glad to have this chance to at least get a jump on working with this new software.


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As a Freeway user since the 90s all I can say is that it’s looking good so far. Just a minor element of pickiness, which I’m sure will be addressed, is that the toolbar doesn’t work too well in Dark mode.

In the meantime, grats on a superb job doing the important stuff!


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I’ve been a Freeway Pro user for many, many years. I appreciate all the reasons for moving to Xway, but not being able to export my Freeway Pro websites is really frustrating. My websites made extensive use of Freeway actions, responsiveness and other capabilities - it’s not simply a matter of copying over text and graphics.

Can you confirm if you will be developing a tool to export Freeway Pro to Xway? Otherwise I am reluctant to start from scratch with Xway and will investigate competitive products that are more resilient to Mac OS updates.


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[Re-posting from Xway b1]

I’ve been a Freeway Pro user for many, many years. I appreciate all the reasons for moving to Xway, but not being able to export my Freeway Pro websites is really frustrating. My websites made extensive use of Freeway actions, responsiveness and other capabilities - it’s not simply a matter of copying over text and graphics.

Can you confirm if you will be developing a tool to export Freeway Pro to Xway? Otherwise I am reluctant to start from scratch with Xway and will investigate competitive products that are more resilient to Mac OS updates.


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And furthermore… creating a partition for me will be a separate challenge as I installed my OS with just the one usable partition. Hmm!


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Xway will open Freeway files, just not in this very first beta version. As long as you stick with MacOS 10.14 Mojave or earlier you won’t need a different partition to run Freeway in, it’s only necessary for those moving on to MacOS 10.15.

Gordon


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OK, that’s good to know that the intent is to open legacy Freeway files in Xway. I’ve already moved to MacOS 10.15 - so, any estimate please for when the full release of Xway will be ready?


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Hi Alistair - I saw that you got an answer from Gordon. But anyway: The
manual that comes with Xway states:

«In future, we intend that Xway will also be able to import existing
Freeway documents.»

You mention «Freeway actions, responsiveness and other capabilities».
The manual states:

«Our intention is for Xway to become a complete replacement for
Freeway. We haven’t reached that point yet, but Xway can be used to
create modern and professional web sites without the need to write
code.»

In Xway, responsiveness is already taken care of by default - so no
Action is needed for that. And several Freeway Actions will not be
necessary in Xway, one should think, because Xway takes care of things
without actions. For Freeway, then a quite large subset of Actions
performed functions of giving Freeway features that it really should
have had by default. Most of that subset of Actions, won’t be
necessary in Xway, I guess. Again, responsiveness is a good example - I
think.

As for Actions in general, then, according to the manual, Actions are on
the «incomplete list of features that have not yet been implemented».
Perhaps we can guess that Xway Actions will be similar to Freeway
Actions. If so, then it should be simple for Action authors to make
Actions Xway-compatible.

It sounds from the manual as if import of Freeway documents will be
built directly into Xway at some point.

Since you need to move to a new product (which you need, since you have
upgrade to MacOS 10.15), and since Xway does not support import of
Freeway documents yet, it is understandable that you want to consider
competitive products.

But we could also turn your point of view around and ask: What is the
advantage of using Xway - over competitive products - right now? And
then I would say that it has at least the advantage that the “logic” and
design of Xway seems familiar - it is easy to feel that it is the
inheritor of Freeway.

Leif Halvard Silli

On 18 Nov 2019, at 10:35, Alistair Johnston wrote:

I’ve been a Freeway Pro user for many, many years. I appreciate all
the reasons for moving to Xway, but not being able to export my
Freeway Pro websites is really frustrating. My websites made extensive
use of Freeway actions, responsiveness and other capabilities - it’s
not simply a matter of copying over text and graphics.

Can you confirm if you will be developing a tool to export Freeway Pro
to Xway? Otherwise I am reluctant to start from scratch with Xway and
will investigate competitive products that are more resilient to Mac
OS updates.


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I agree with everything else you mentioned, Leif, but this. It could be because I haven’t taken the time to play with this. I also have been using Freeway for many years, b ut for me the interface and appearance of Xway don’t seem familiar or makes me feel it’s the inheritor of Freeway (yet)…

I will do the best I can to learn it though.

Marcus

On Nov 18, 2019, at 12:45 PM, Leif Halvard Silli email@hidden wrote:

And then I would say that it has at least the advantage that the “logic” and design of Xway seems familiar - it is easy to feel that it is the inheritor of Freeway.


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If so, then perhaps it has to do not only with the interface and
appearance but perhaps more with deeper things … Because - as we know,
and as the Xway manual makes clear - Freeway is in reality a DTP tool
that publish Web sites instead of paper publications. I myself used
Freeway often for its typographical and graphical features.

One cannot do the same with Xway. Xway does not allow you to switch
between “graphical paragraph” and normal Web paragraph. The degree to
which graphics and typography was part of Freeway, can be illustrated by
the fact that the Xway manual contains a section called “Graphic boxes”
which only contains the following two sentences:

  • Xway does not have separate graphic boxes or graphic text. Graphics
    can be added to a page, but there is no such thing as an empty graphic
    box.

(By the way: When one consider this big difference between the two apps,
it is no wonder that the import function had to wait.)

Even if one can also regret this, on the whole, this is a good thing. It
means that, finally, Web logics is more readily available for the user.
For one thing, it probably means that Xway produces far less “items”
over which one as user has no control.

Speaking of “items”: one thing that makes me see Xway as inheritor of
Freeway is the Site panel with its many sub “items”. And the fact that
that panel is called “Site” and not “page” or whatever, is also
important: This is one unique thing of Freeway - and now also for Xway -
that you work with sites.

For me, Freeway broke down as a tool for teams, where some were able to
design and some where able to write: There were simply too many gotchas.
The translation from graphics (read: Freeway’s DTP model) to text
(read: Web) constantly broke down. Text that looked green in Freeway
came out as blue in a browser. And “graphic paragraphs” had
unpredictable effects in browser. There were too much nitty gritty
without logic. Yes, Freeway had Tables and Lists - something which is
still on Xway’s todo list - but in order to use Freeway’s Tables and
Lists, you had to be a very good mooded person, willing to do Sisyphos
work again and again.

Leif Halvard Silli

On 18 Nov 2019, at 18:58, email@hidden wrote:

I agree with everything else you mentioned, Leif, but this. It could
be because I haven’t taken the time to play with this. I also have
been using Freeway for many years, b ut for me the interface and
appearance of Xway don’t seem familiar or makes me feel it’s the
inheritor of Freeway (yet)…

I will do the best I can to learn it though.

Marcus

On Nov 18, 2019, at 12:45 PM, Leif Halvard Silli
email@hidden wrote:

And then I would say that it has at least the advantage that the
“logic” and design of Xway seems familiar - it is easy to feel that
it is the inheritor of Freeway.


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