Re: Xway feedback

Jeremy Hughes

Hi Tim,

You’re welcome to provide any kind of feedback. This is also a support forum: we’re hoping that people who have support issues will come here - so that we don’t get bogged down in answering individual support questions: some questions may already be answered, and people who know the answers can help us out by answering.

Bugs: yes, please report them! My experience in using Xway is that there are very few bugs and it is release-quality in this respect. There are some known issues with Site panel selection (mentioned in the tutorial).

UI issues: if you think that the UI can be improved, you’re welcome to make suggestions and we’ll consider them! But it would be good to take a while to get used to Xway. There are aspects of the UI that are deliberately different from Freeway. One example that people are likely to encounter early on is that Xway doesn’t have a drawing tool. This is deliberate: boxes are inserted and not drawn. Drawing boxes worked well for table-layout (Freeway’s original purpose) - but Xway prioritises inflow (flexible) layout. In later versions of Freeway, it is possible to draw inflow boxes, but the UI is not intuitive. Drawn boxes also became a problem when we introduced breakpoints in Freeway 7.

[Freeway made it easy to use layer boxes and difficult to use inflow boxes. If you want to create a flexible layout, that is the wrong way round. In Xway you can have layer boxes (set Position to Absolute) and you can put them wherever you want (drag them with the mouse) - but the default option is to have inflow boxes that will adapt to different device sizes.]

Features: we know there are missing features. There is an incomplete list in the Introduction to the Xway User Guide. You’re welcome to mention the ones that affect you. We are planning to support floats and flexbox in future. (Floated layouts are a hack, and they often require additional hacks, but floating text round graphics is a useful thing to do.) However, you can get around some of these limitations today if you don’t mind using extended style properties, and you don’t mind the fact that pages will look different in Xway than they do in a browser (as is often the case with Freeway pages). For example, you can float a graphic to the left of text by doing this: 1. Select the graphic, 2. Open the Extended Properties section in the Box Inspector (below Padding), 3. Click on the “+” icon, 4. Type “float” for Name and “left” for Value.

[Floats are tricky because they’re not directly supported by Cocoa Text and because their HTML/CSS behaviour is complex. Freeway often displays them differently to how they appear in browsers. We will get to them, but there are other things we will do first.]

Xway is a replacement for Freeway Pro and Freeway Express. We want it to be useful to professional web designers and casual users alike. We also want people to create modern web sites that will work on different devices. The most recent version of Freeway Express creates table layouts and has no support for CSS layout. There’s a reason for that: Freeway makes table layouts easy, but CSS layouts are more difficult. What we’ve tried to do with Xway is to make CSS layout easy (there isn’t a table-layout option: table layouts are ancient history now).

[Xway doesn’t yet support (real) tables. That’s also on our to-do list.]


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