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Re: Xway b1 - UI: Site panel selection issues

Jeremy Hughes
 

The site panel can only select elements that are in the same level as each other. A page/ or sub page element cannot be selected along with another at another level. For example two divs on different pages.
That’s true, and it’s deliberate.

It’s also the same in Freeway.

Jeremy


Re: Xway b1 - bug: User error can cause Xway to create invalid font styles

Jeremy Hughes
 
Edited

Sorry - I see that you said Fonts view rather than New font dialog.

I can reproduce the issue there, but steps are always helpful!

Jeremy


Re: Xway b1 - bug: User error can cause Xway to create invalid font styles

Tim Plumb
 

1. Choose "View fonts" from the tool bar
2. Click New...
3. Enter McLaren for the Font Name
4. Add Times to the Alternative Fonts field
5. Select Cursive from the Font Type menu
6. Enter the following URL for a hosted font
https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=McLaren&display=swap
7. Preview
8. >> Xway outputs "font-family: McLaren,Times,cursive"
9. Return to view fonts from the tool bar
10. Select the McLaren entry
11. Remove the text from the Alternative Fonts field
12. Preview
13. >> The font is not rendered in McLaren as the font-family reference is now broken and Way outputs:  "font-family: McLaren,,cursive"

A bit more involved that I'd first imagined as the issue looks like it is with the entry editing rather than the creation.
For extra points note that Xway won't render the font in the design view but does OK when previewed. Maybe there is a fix for that.

Incidentally how do I delete font sets? I can't appear to delete them and now I've got a shed load of them while testing this! :-)


Re: Xway b1 - UI: Site panel selection issues

Tim Plumb
 

On Wed, Nov 6, 2019 at 09:27 AM, Jeremy Hughes wrote:
It’s also the same in Freeway.
Now that's no excuse! ;-)

I think if we could either have item styles or a way to select all items that share a common style then it would make updating them all so much easier. Maybe an option to select or change the properties of all items that are exactly the same.

Other items within the site are identical to this item. Would you like to update those items as well?
Yes (I can now undo) or No (I'm too scared)


Re: Xway b1 - bug: User error can cause Xway to create invalid font styles

Jeremy Hughes
 

Thanks for the steps!

Xway won't render the font in the design view
It will display the font if you download it from Google and put it in your fonts folder.

how do I delete font sets?
You don’t need to delete fonts. Unless you set them to be permanent they will be automatically deleted when they are no longer needed - which means when they are no longer used in the document or on the document’s undo stack.

Even if they are no longer needed in the current document, they might be needed if you undo to a previous stage of the document. There is a note about this in the Xway User Guide:

Note: Temporary fonts are not always removed immediately. If they are not used within the document, but are applied to objects that exist in the undo stack (and can be brought back by undoing or redoing), they are retained until they are no longer needed. Fonts that are used by objects in the undo stack, but are not used in the document, will be removed when the document is saved and reopened.

Jeremy


Re: Xway b1 - UI: Site panel selection issues

Jeremy Hughes
 

It’s also the same in Freeway.
Now that's no excuse! ;-)
The basic principle is that we don’t want to introduce unnecessary complications. Later on, if we have time to spare, we can revisit some of these decisions - but it’s the same with all software. The Finder (in Mojave at least) doesn’t allow you to select items in two different windows and display information on both (simultaneously).

Freeway is generally far more restrictive than Xway. Try to select two inflow boxes - on the same level and within the same parent - in Freeway (you can’t). Or try to edit two boxes in Freeway’s Inspector palette (you can’t).

I think if we could either have item styles or a way to select all items that share a common style then it would make updating them all so much easier. Maybe an option to select or change the properties of all items that are exactly the same.

Other items within the site are identical to this item. Would you like to update those items as well?
Yes (I can now undo) or No (I'm too scared)
That’s an interesting idea, but I think that many of these cases would be better served by having master pages (as in Freeway). We will be supporting master pages in future, and it’s possible that we could also support other types of master items - but there is a lot of complexity that has to be dealt with (as I know from having implemented master content for inflow items in Freeway) and we want to get it right.

Jeremy


Re: Xway b1 - UI: Recent URLs list is missing a label

Tim Plumb
 

Thanks for the explanation Jeremy. I now see that those two controls (the URL field and the popup below it) are linked entities. Maybe if the popup menu is empty the control should remain inactive until you start typing in the URL field?

If you select a URL from the popup menu (so the URL field populates and the Protocol menu makes a selection) the None option in the Protocol menu becomes redundant. If you try and select the option it will simply ignore you and leave the dialog unchanged. That, to me, looks odd. I suspect clearing the dialog when the None option is selected would be worse as you'd be losing user data but still it looks a little clunky unless you know why it is ignoring your selection. Again can the None option be disabled if it doesn't do anything?


Re: Xway b1 - bug: User error can cause Xway to create invalid font styles

Jeremy Hughes
 

Xway won't render the font in the design view
It will display the font if you download it from Google and put it in your fonts folder.
For more detail see the “Working with fonts” section in the User Guide.

Jeremy


Re: Xway b1 - UI: Recent URLs list is missing a label

Jeremy Hughes
 

If you select a URL from the popup menu (so the URL field populates and the Protocol menu makes a selection) the None option in the Protocol menu becomes redundant. If you try and select the option it will simply ignore you and leave the dialog unchanged. That, to me, looks odd. I suspect clearing the dialog when the None option is selected would be worse as you'd be losing user data but still it looks a little clunky unless you know why it is ignoring your selection. Again can the None option be disabled if it doesn't do anything?
I think that what should probably happen is that None should be hidden rather than disabled in this situation.

I’ve logged this as a bug.

Jeremy


Re: Xway b1 - bug: Background origin and clip options

Tim Plumb
 

Thanks for the detailed explanation Jeremy. I’d yet to get up to page 53 in the User Guide.

I now see the thought process behind these controls. What I don’t quite understand is how a user is to know if the application will produce a style for their selection or not.
Try this;

1. Select some text in xWay
2. In the Span Inspector set the font Size to Small from Medium (the default Undefined value)
3. Preview
4. >>> The code should be font-size:small
5. In the Span Inspector set the font Size to Medium from Small
6. Preview
7. >>> The code should be font-size:medium

The font size control in step 1 looks exactly the same as the control in step 5 yet the application is now outputting a redundant style for us. I doubt many users would know or even care but redundant styles like this do tend to give a bad impression of the overall state of the page output.

Could the Undefined option place the default value in parenthesis;
Undefined (medium)
and keep the option selected (ticked) to show that it is unset?


Re: Xway b1 - UI: Site panel selection issues

Tim Plumb
 

On Wed, Nov 6, 2019 at 10:13 AM, Jeremy Hughes wrote:
That’s an interesting idea, but I think that many of these cases would be better served by having master pages (as in Freeway). We will be supporting master pages in future, and it’s possible that we could also support other types of master items - but there is a lot of complexity that has to be dealt with (as I know from having implemented master content for inflow items in Freeway) and we want to get it right.
Understood. I'm keen to see Xway move away from some of the more repetitive aspects of maintaining elements that we saw in Freeway. Changing padding, border or background styles on dozens of elements because a design has changed isn't a fun task. If that process can be streamlined so that all of the items share a common ancestry (either as a set of CSS styles or via a visual style editor) then changes like this don't become a burden.


Re: Xway b1 - bug: Background origin and clip options

Jeremy Hughes
 

Hi Tim,

I now see the thought process behind these controls. What I don’t quite understand is how a user is to know if the application will produce a style for their selection or not.
Almost all the values that Xway displays initially are undefined values. So if you haven’t changed a value, it’s probably undefined. If you have changed it, it’s defined until you undefine it. If you can’t remember whether you previously defined it, and you want it to be undefined, you can just select Undefined. If it was already undefined, selecting Undefined won’t actually do anything (it won’t show up as an Undo option in the Edit menu).

Something that is similar to this is that you can undefine values that are represented in text fields by deleting the contents of the text field. Try deleting 0em from the Letter Spacing field and it will say 0em after you’ve deleted it (unless there is an inherited value that is different). But if you change 0em to 1em and delete 1em, it will revert to 0em.

Could the Undefined option place the default value in parenthesis;
Undefined (medium)
and keep the option selected (ticked) to show that it is unset?
Maybe.

We chose to be more Freeway-like - although, in contrast to Freeway, we’ve given users the option of undefining things. There are times when that is important, e.g. when we want a style to be inherited from a parent item.

Mostly users don’t need to care about this stuff. Xway (like Freeway) tries to make complicated things easy.

Jeremy


Re: Xway b1 - bug: Background origin and clip options

Jeremy Hughes
 


I’d yet to get up to page 53 in the User Guide
We don't expect people to read through the entire User Guide - although there's a lot of useful information there, and we don't want to discourage people from reading it.

But it's a useful reference guide. It doesn't have an index, but it's a PDF - so you can easily search for things by typing into the Search bar of Preview.app.

Jeremy


Will Xway support user defined styles?

Tim Plumb
 

Apologies if I've missed this in either of the PDF documents.

Will Xway support user defined CSS styles?

At the moment the application builds and names styles either based on page elements (div, em, p, etc) or as they are needed (#footer, #footer p, .style5, .style6, etc).

Styling html elements is a great start and allows us to quickly build a page that looks uniform and well structured but lacks the power to create unique design elements that can be used again and again. If I wanted too create a 'call to action' panel in Freeway (for example) I can create a style that can then be applied to divs throughout the site. These panels all take their look and feel from those CSS styles. To do the same in Xway I'd need to either style each of these elements manually, copy and paste a standard one and change the content or add my own CSS styles as extended attributes and markup items. All of these workflows have their issues.

At the moment Xway's CSS creation reminds me more of Freeway Express than Freeway Pro where styles are automatically built as they are needed and typically not exposed to the user.


Re: Xway feedback

David Owen
 

A small point…

When previewing a X-way site (again I’m sure it’s on the list unless the plan is for a simplified site creator?)...

I have .html files defaulted to open my code editor. Freeway of course you could specifically choose a browser to preview of override this.



David Owen
http://www.davidowendesign.com

On 6 Nov 2019, at 11:08, Jeremy Hughes <jeremy@softpress.com> wrote:

Hi David,

I'm assuming external CSS is on the todo list?
Yes.

I see that you can copy and paste inline text. But I’m unable to copy and paste structural elements (divs). Is that intentional, work in progress, or have I missed something here?
It’s work in progress.

From the Xway User Guide (page 27): "Xway currently has limited support for copying and pasting, but you can paste text into boxes. Pasted text is imported as plain text."

Jeremy




Xway b1 - idea: CSS blank canvas or CSS paint by numbers

Tim Plumb
 

Xway strikes me as a lot like drag and drop 'Bootstrap builders' (Blocs, Mobrise, Pingendo etc) but without the framework support behind it. Using these tools to build pages is very easy but the user has to rely on the framework (Bootstrap, Foundation etc) completely. Adding 5 columns in Bootstrap, for example, has until recently been a hack. Also if you don't subscribe to the framework's way of working then you'll find yourself battling against these rules in your site (predefined breakpoints for example).
 
Xway, on the other hand, leaves ALL of the choices to the user and offers most of the finite control for defining how the page elements adapt when pages are scaled. This is both good and bad in that those options can become daunting to new users.

I think there is an opportunity in the middle ground.
 
I would suggest heading in a direction where users can either choose a framework to base their website on (Bootstrap, Foundation etc), choose to start with one of these and add their own custom overrides as they edit their way through the site or create and use their own CSS components. Rather than making users define these elements again and again (images with captions, block quotes, buttons etc) they could be used again and again.

All of this assumes Xway can read and render non-Xway generated CSS. Jeremy, is Xway's design view still an interpretation of the final page code (as Freeway's was)?


Re: Xway b1 - idea: CSS blank canvas or CSS paint by numbers

Jeremy Hughes
 

On 7 Nov 2019, at 10:55, Tim Plumb <tim@freewayactions.com> wrote:

All of this assumes Xway can read and render non-Xway generated CSS. Jeremy, is Xway's design view still an interpretation of the final page code (as Freeway's was)?
I’m not sure what you mean by “interpretation of the final page code”. Certainly, Freeway’s design view is *not* an interpretation of HTML/CSS, but the exact opposite: Freeway outputs HTML/CSS that is constructed from its DTP model, and it is this DTP model that is displayed in its layout view.

Xway differs from Freeway in that its data model is based on HTML/CSS. But it is based on a subset of HTML/CSS: the subset that it currently supports. It can’t import or display arbitrary HTML/CSS beyond that subset.

We’re working to increase this subset, and it’s possible that a future version of Xway will be able to import HTML/CSS, but it will take us a while to get there.

Jeremy


Re: Xway feedback

Jeremy Hughes
 

Hi David,

When previewing a X-way site (again I’m sure it’s on the list unless the plan is for a simplified site creator?)...

I have .html files defaulted to open my code editor. Freeway of course you could specifically choose a browser to preview of override this.
I’ve logged this as a suggestion, and I understand why it is useful to you!

It’s probably somewhere between a suggestion and a task - we’re mainly concentrating on core tasks at the moment, but this is something that I think we will look at when we have time.

Jeremy


Re: Will Xway support user defined styles?

Jeremy Hughes
 

Will Xway support user defined CSS styles?
I think you’re talking about user-defined class styles.

Freeway’s style system is essentially a DTP system that is converted into CSS via class styles. Most of the Freeway documents (from users) that I saw contained a small number of permanent styles and a huge number of temporary styles. In cases where users (including me) tried to use a disciplined system of permanent styles (user-defined class styles), Freeway would automatically generate additional temporary styles that were based on these permanent styles.

Xway tries to get away from this confusion. It lets people style text directly (if they want to), but it also encourages them to use default styles wherever possible. When text is styled directly, Xway generates an efficient set of class styles at publish time.

In future we might add support for named class styles. It’s something we’ve thought about, but it’s not something that we’re currently working on.

At the moment the application builds and names styles either based on page elements (div, em, p, etc) or as they are needed (#footer, #footer p, .style5, .style6, etc).
There are really three categories here:

1. Default styles: div, em, p, #footer p, #item1 p
2. ID styles: #footer, #item1 (styles that are applied to boxes)
3. Class styles: .style1, style2 etc. (styles that are applied to text)

Jeremy


Re: Xway b1 - idea: CSS blank canvas or CSS paint by numbers

Tim Plumb
 

On Thu, Nov 7, 2019 at 03:11 AM, Jeremy Hughes wrote:
I’m not sure what you mean by “interpretation of the final page code”. Certainly, Freeway’s design view is *not* an interpretation of HTML/CSS, but the exact opposite: Freeway outputs HTML/CSS that is constructed from its DTP model, and it is this DTP model that is displayed in its layout view.
I guess what I meant to say was 'Is Xway's design view a webkit or webkit hybrid?'. If you can throw any HTML or CSS at the application and have it render in the design view then we  can do a lot more with the application in terms of using frameworks and other foreign code.

Thanks for the clarification Jeremy.

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