Xway feedback


Tim Plumb
 

First of all congratulations on getting Xway b1 out of the door.

Jeremy, what feedback exactly are you looking for on this forum?

* Bugs?
* UI issues?
* Workflow?
* Feature specifications?
* Missing features?
etc.
or all of the above?

I've been playing with the app both late last night and this morning and started off trying to replicate the Xway page. This has proved a little trickier than I'd hoped as there are currently no floats and the display:flex appears to have been added as an extended item (unless I've missed it in the UI).

All in all the app shows a solid foundation for future work so well done.

Is the app aimed at the same market as Freeway Pro or Express or somewhere in-between?
Thanks,
Tim.


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.]

Jeremy


David Owen
 

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

--

David Owen
http://www.davidowendesign.com

On 6 Nov 2019, at 10:22, Jeremy Hughes <jeremy@softpress.com> wrote:

Features: we know there are missing features.


Jeremy Hughes
 

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


max.izzat@...
 

On Wed, Nov 6, 2019 at 10:22 AM, Jeremy Hughes wrote:
(there isn’t a table-layout option: table layouts are ancient history now).
Hi Jeremy then I am assuming from this, that you are not expecting Xway to be able to create emailers
All the best Max


Jeremy Hughes
 

Hi Max,

then I am assuming from this, that you are not expecting Xway to be able to create emailers
Not if you rely on table layout for emails.

But maybe you could use real tables (when we support them) to do this.

For now, I think people can use Freeway (or Freeway Express - which is free and entirely table-layout).

If there is an ongoing need for table-layout emails - and real tables aren’t a convenient way of doing this - we could add some emailer-specific functionality in a future version of Xway (e.g. export a page in emailer-friendly format).

What do you think? It’s not a priority right now, but we’re happy to plan ahead!

Jeremy


max.izzat@...
 

Hi, Jeremy oddly enough historically when I have created emails I have used real tables within freeway rather than relying on the table layout and inserting boxes. Then I used one of the email actions to remove the stuff emailers don't want or need. It also meant most of the styles were converted to inline styles. Something like that action approach would probably be enough. Anyway, as you said, it's not a priority. All good food for thought.

all the best Max 

 

 


Carla Grande
 

Hey Jeremy.. this is quite a great start.. thanks to all... Xway (as is) is pretty straightforward.. I have a question...
when starting a new project as in the past, a Media folder would be saved as a group of folders as well as backup docs.
I ask as it was always important to keep the source in its original folder or else (kaboom! resource not found)..  

what will be the process for the Media folders/backups etc for Xway. projects.?

thanks
Carla


Jeremy Hughes
 

Hi Carla,

what will be the process for the Media folders/backups etc for Xway. projects.?
That’s a good question, and the answer is that Xway automates this process.

Whenever you import a graphic (or other resource) Xway copies it into a Resources folder that is inside the document package. An Xway document looks like a file, but it is actually a package that contains files and folders (similar to application packages, which also look like files). In addition to the Resources folder, an Xway document also contains a Site folder.

What this means is that you can import a graphic (or other resource) from anywhere you like and it will always be available to the document. If the original graphic/resource is available, Xway will use that, but if it isn’t, it will use the internal copy.

If you delete a graphic from a document, and it is no longer used anywhere within the document (or in the document’s undo stack), the graphic will be deleted from the document’s internal folder - so the document isn’t larger than it needs to be. So it’s a good idea to keep the original graphic in case you need to reimport it, and it’s not a bad idea to organise your original graphics in an external Media folder. But you don’t need to do this.

As for backups, Xway doesn’t make backup files in the same way that Freeway did - but like other modern Mac programs it saves document versions. Whenever you manually save a document, a version of the document is created - and you can revert to that version by choosing Revert from the File menu. Also, as is the case with other modern programs, Xway documents are saved automatically at regular intervals.

Jeremy


Carla Grande
 

Thx Jeremy. Hmm.. I started a new project but there is no automated resource folder..  or Site folder
Maybe I just cant find it..


Walter Lee Davis
 

These folders are inside the Xway document itself. In Finder (only if you’re curious), Control-click on the document icon, and choose “Show bundle contents” from the contextual menu. You’ll need to dig down in the resulting Finder window to find them. 

Walter

On Nov 6, 2019, at 10:33 AM, Carla Grande <carla@...> wrote:

Thx Jeremy. Hmm.. I started a new project but there is no automated resource folder..  or Site folder
Maybe I just cant find it..


Carla Grande
 

Of course Walter.. I figured it out right after I sent reply.. so there it is! got it


Jeremy Hughes
 

Note that: although you can look inside the document package by using "Show Package Contents", it's generally not a good idea to make changes such as adding or removing stuff!

Ditto for almost any other kind of package.

Jeremy


Tim Plumb
 

Note that: although you can look inside the document package by using "Show Package Contents", it's generally not a good idea to make changes such as adding or removing stuff!
...but that's where the fun is Jeremy. I've already had a play with the document.plist file! :-)


max.izzat@...
 
Edited

Hi Jeremy 

One thing that seems to missed off from the 'missing list' (I do appreciate it was just a small list) was using classes rather than ID. That was one of Freeways Achilles heels, so many of the styles were duplicated when they didn't need to be. The other problem was when it came to valid HTML and using a CMS to create a duplicate structure. I think me, Walter, Tim and a few others had at one point or another a stab at creating actions that structured the HTML and rewrote the styles so that classes were used instead of ID's. Is that one of the areas you had planned to look at in the future as well?

cheers max


Jeremy Hughes
 
Edited

Hi Max,

This is something that I've thought about, but I don't have any clear ideas about how to do it yet.

If you're interested in starting a discussion, you could open a new thread and explain (in more detail) why this would be useful.

The (incomplete) list of missing features is mostly features that are in Freeway but aren't yet in Xway. I didn't include features that aren't in Freeway - except for Printing.

Jeremy


max.izzat@...
 

Ok Jeremy sound like a plan it would be good to get a view from Walter, Tim and all the others that require that sort of flexibility

Max


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




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


David Owen
 

Hi Jeremy,

I’d also need access to adding code in various places on a page… after/before header, body etc.

--
David Owen

http://www.davidowendesign.com

On 7 Nov 2019, at 11:23, Jeremy Hughes <jeremy@softpress.com> wrote:

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