Xweb first thoughts


Tim Plumb
 
Edited

I spent a few hours today playing with the Xweb b1 beta and other than an odd (editing text) hard crash the application did well. I'm still trying to get my head around the interface and specifically the inheritance of styles. I'm sure I've created a less than optimal set of CSS!

Overall I think this is a good idea as it forces you to think about styles much as they are used online.

My biggest concern in that a lot of Freeway users (especially Express users) have grown used to creating their web pages like a painting; placing elements where they like, sizing them how they want and styling the elements as they see fit. This care-free approach to web design can be great and is one of the things that made Freeway so very popular back in the day. Xway, by its very nature, is a more considered environment and makes you think about layout and styling from a right brain perspective. You can't (for the most part) just drag and drop stuff on your page, style it and hit publish.

Don't get me wrong the web has matured and web design is more than just table based layouts these days but I'm concerned that the structured nature of building a page in Xweb will be a turn off to users who still expect to design pages in a DTP-like fashion. Still, maybe these people are using Blocs, WordPress and Divi or something similar where they can assemble their sites from a selection of prebuilt components.

Anyway you can find the output from my afternoon's play with Xweb here with a download link to the file at the foot of that page.


Jeremy Hughes
 

My biggest concern in that a lot of Freeway users (especially Express users) have grown used to creating their web pages like a painting; placing elements where they like, sizing them how they want and styling the elements as they see fit. This care-free approach to web design can be great and is one of the things that made Freeway so very popular back in the day. Xway, by its very nature, is a more considered environment and makes you think about layout and styling from a right brain perspective. You can't (for the most part) just drag and drop stuff on your page, style it and hit publish.
The problem with this approach (putting stuff anywhere you like) is that it creates fixed-size pages that don’t adapt to different devices. We abandoned this kind of layout with our Freeway 7 templates, but Freeway made it difficult to do inflow layouts - I generally recommend that users start with a template and see if they can adapt it.

If someone wants to place items anywhere on the page, they can do this with Xway:

1. Change Position to Absolute
2. Place the box anywhere you want on the page

This is equivalent to using “layer” items in Freeway.

It probably won’t look good, even on desktop browsers. Absolute-positioned items are taken out of the page flow, so they don’t adjust to take account of changes in size and position that affect other items.

Jeremy


Jeremy Hughes
 

Hi Tim,

Anyway you can find the output from my afternoon's play with Xway here with a download link to the file at the foot of that page.
That looks good - well done!

I’ll download your document and take a look at it tomorrow.

Jeremy


Tim Plumb
 

On Thu, Nov 7, 2019 at 10:37 AM, Jeremy Hughes wrote:
That looks good - well done!

I’ll download your document and take a look at it tomorrow.
You probably know that I'm not adverse to shoe-horning things in that aren't currently supported yet so watch out for scripts that load stylesheets and jQuery (in place of HTML markup) as well as extra code to replicate the columned output (header and footer).

Expect it to be a mess and you won't be far off. Hopefully the more I use the app the more things will make sense.


Marcus V Do Carmo
 

Nice work, Tim. 
For me, it's going to take a while until I get used to Xway, to make something like this as I was used to do in Freeway 7, but yes, as Jeremy mentioned, using a template will help a lot

Best,
Marcus



On Nov 7, 2019, at 1:22 PM, Tim Plumb <tim@...> wrote:

I spent a few hours today playing with the Xweb b1 beta and other than an odd (editing text) hard crash the application did well. I'm still trying to get my head around the interface and specifically the inheritance of styles. I'm sure I've created a less than optimal set of CSS!

Overall I think this is a good idea as it forces you to think about styles much as they are used online.

My biggest concern in that a lot of Freeway users (especially Express users) have grown used to creating their web pages like a painting; placing elements where they like, sizing them how they want and styling the elements as they see fit. This care-free approach to web design can be great and is one of the things that made Freeway so very popular back in the day. Xway, by its very nature, is a more considered environment and makes you think about layout and styling from a right brain perspective. You can't (for the most part) just drag and drop stuff on your page, style it and hit publish.

Don't get me wrong the web has matured and web design is more than just table based layouts these days but I'm concerned that the structured nature of building a page in Xweb will be a turn off to users who still expect to design pages in a DTP-like fashion. Still, maybe these people are using Blocs, WordPress and Divi or something similar where they can assemble their sites from a selection of prebuilt components.

Anyway you can find the output from my afternoon's play with Xweb here with a download link to the file at the foot of that page.


--
Marcus V. Do Carmo
Miami, Florida 
iMac 27" - Mac OS 10.14.6 - Freeway Pro 7
http://www.plusartgraphics.com


Jeremy Hughes
 

You probably know that I'm not adverse to shoe-horning things in that aren't currently supported
I'm actually pleased that you managed to shoe-horn the things you wanted - it shows that Xway works for power users as well as normal users!

- as Freeweb did ;)

Jeremy


Tim Plumb
 

Xweb certainly shows promise but b1 is still a little too lacking (for me at least) to do any real work with it. I found it a little like working with Express in that I had to be a little bit creative about adding things to the page that the app didn't support. Those will come in time I'm sure.

A couple of things that I spotted that I think could be improved on are;
1. The CSS Markup and JavaScript Markup areas are tiny! I didn't add to much to these but found myself having to copy and paste the code in from a text editor as I couldn't manage editing the code in those areas. I'd suggest replacing the text area for a button that either opens a sheet or a file in an external editor. Extra points if you can use the Freeway trick of underlining the button text to show if there is content in there.

2. The +- controls for the Para and Span Extended Properties and Attributes don't display. They appear to be there as you can click where they should be and the app pops up a welcoming Name/ Value bubble (I've never seen inputs in a bubble before). This is more of a bug than a suggestion.


Jeremy Hughes
 
Edited


1. The CSS Markup and JavaScript Markup areas are tiny! I didn't add to much to these but found myself having to copy and paste the code in from a text editor as I couldn't manage editing the code in those areas. I'd suggest replacing the text area for a button that either opens a sheet or a file in an external editor.
I think we expect people to copy/paste code from a text editor (that's what I do). Xway (in contrast to Freeway) tries to avoid being excessively modal, and sheets are a modal option - you can't do anything else in that document until you dismiss the sheet. Having a text view (that can display at least part of the markup and which allows you to copy/paste all of the markup) seems like a better option than having a button (underlined or not).

Jeremy

 


Jeremy Hughes
 

I can't reproduce "The +- controls for the Para and Span Extended Properties and Attributes don't display". Are there some steps that I'm missing?

The bubble is a popover (NSPopover). Calendar is an example of an Apple program that has inputs in popovers.

Jeremy


Tim Plumb
 

https://xweb.plumb-design-dev.com/template1/screenshots/plus-minus.png

Mac OS High Sierra 10.13.6

I'll try it with a few more documents and keep and eye out for those controls.


Jeremy Hughes
 

https://xweb.plumb-design-dev.com/template1/screenshots/plus-minus.png

Mac OS High Sierra 10.13.6

I'll try it with a few more documents and keep and eye out for those controls.
I’m not doubting you - just looking for a way to reproduce the problem!

Does it happen in a new document?

Can you provide a simple series of steps?

Does anyone else see this happening?

I haven’t run Xway in High Sierra recently.

Jeremy


Tim Plumb
 

On Fri, Nov 8, 2019 at 04:31 AM, Jeremy Hughes wrote:
I’m not doubting you - just looking for a way to reproduce the problem!

Does it happen in a new document?

Can you provide a simple series of steps?

Does anyone else see this happening?

I haven’t run Xway in High Sierra recently.
I'm sure you're not.

I just tried this on a new document (same Mac) but still get invisible + - controls for those elements.
Incidentally how can I edit the name field once added? I can edit the value without issue but the name is set in stone.
I can send a screenshot if you don't believe me! :-)
Thanks.


Jeremy Hughes
 

Incidentally how can I edit the name field once added? I can edit the value without issue but the name is set in stone.
You can’t edit the name field (currently), because mostly you wouldn’t want to change an attribute into a completely different attribute and have it retain the same value.

If you make a mistake, it’s simple to delete the attribute and create a new one.

Jeremy


Richard Cacciato
 

  1. On Fri, Nov 8, 2019 at 07:28 AM, Tim Plumb wrote:
https://xweb.plumb-design-dev.com/template1/
Tim, the link you posted doesn't work. Do you have a new one?


Tim Plumb
 

Yep, try this.


Jeremy Hughes
 

Hi Tim,

Just noting that you can also edit your original post: click on More (beneath it) followed by Edit Message. I usually avoid re-sending when I do this.

Jeremy


Tim Plumb
 

Thanks. I only get the option to 'save and send to group'. Maybe the silent editing is an admin option.


Walter Lee Davis
 

Unless the result of "editing an e-mail" is to send a new, corrected e-mail, I don't know how this system will integrated 1:1 with the mailing list feature if it allows direct editing.

Walter

On Nov 12, 2019, at 1:25 PM, Tim Plumb <tim@freewayactions.com> wrote:

Thanks. I only get the option to 'save and send to group'. Maybe the silent editing is an admin option.


Jeremy Hughes
 

Unless the result of "editing an e-mail" is to send a new, corrected e-mail, I don't know how this system will integrated 1:1 with the mailing list feature if it allows direct editing.
The Swift forums (using Discourse) are like this. If someone edits a post, it doesn’t get re-sent.

Thanks. I only get the option to 'save and send to group'. Maybe the silent editing is an admin option.
You don’t see a “Save Without Sending” button (immediately after “Save And Send To Group”) ?

Jeremy


Tim Plumb
 

On Tue, Nov 12, 2019 at 10:43 AM, Jeremy Hughes wrote:
You don’t see a “Save Without Sending” button (immediately after “Save And Send To Group”) ?
Sadly not, just 'Save and send to group', cancel and delete.