FreewayTalk

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Jeremy Hughes

31 Oct 2019, 7:30 pm

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

Richard van Heukelum

5 Nov 2019, 4:01 pm

Well … any second now …

Ontwerpzaam.nl | Papendrecht, The Netherlands

Hardware: 27” iMac i5 3.1GHz / 32GB RAM / 4TB SSHD / 1GB VRAM /

Software : macOS 10.13.6 High Sierra / Freeway7 (user since Freeway1)

Has moved on with CoffeeCup Software : Site Designer / Form Designer / Content Slider / Email Designer / Sonar / Website Insight and occasionally Blocs Web Design App. Use CraftCMS.

Replaced Adobe with Affinity Publisher, Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo.

Jeremy Hughes

5 Nov 2019, 10:43 pm

[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

vloerengilde

5 Nov 2019, 10:45 pm

gratz!! and thanx for the hard work!

www.vloerengilde.nl

DB Brown

7 Nov 2019, 8:27 pm

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.

Joe Muscara

8 Nov 2019, 11:35 am

It is a 0.1 release, after all. :) 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? ;) )

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.

Jeremy Hughes

8 Nov 2019, 12:03 pm

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

Jeremy Hughes

8 Nov 2019, 12:12 pm

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

DB Brown

8 Nov 2019, 4:36 pm

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.

Malcolm

14 Nov 2019, 10:11 am

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!

Alistair Johnston

18 Nov 2019, 9:35 am

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.

Alistair Johnston

18 Nov 2019, 1:31 pm

[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.

Alistair Johnston

18 Nov 2019, 1:33 pm

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

Gordon Low

18 Nov 2019, 4:39 pm

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

Alistair Johnston

18 Nov 2019, 4:51 pm

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?

Leif H. S.

18 Nov 2019, 5:46 pm

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.

Marcus Do Carmo

18 Nov 2019, 5:58 pm

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 protected]> 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.

Miami, Florida

iMac 27” - Mac OS 10.14.6 - Freeway Pro 7

http://www.plusartgraphics.com

Leif H. S.

18 Nov 2019, 10:18 pm

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 protected] 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 protected]> 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.

Arne Gustafsson

16 Feb 2020, 8:32 pm

Your www.nicholas-robertson.uk http://www.nicholas-robertson.uk/ is absolutely one of the best websites I have seen so far! So very happy that you created it in Freeway!

I am still struggling with learning how to use this wonderful application. My hopes for Xway are enormous… I am hoping that future version nas a better user interface.

Arne in Stockholm

PS Is anyone of you living in my area?

On 15 Feb 2020, at 15:25, Nicholas Robertson via freewaytalk <[email protected]> wrote:

I have just downloaded Xway beta and am surprised how lightweight it appears. I have only generally played with it, but it has the feel of an ‘Entry Level’ program. I was expecting the same features and breadth as Freeway Pro that has enabled me to easily build clean, creative and responsive sites like www.nicholas-robertson.uk . I hope I am wrong and being premature as I have used Freeway successfully for years. I would like to hear comments from other Freeway Pro users who have looked at the Xway beta.

Jeremy Hughes

17 Feb 2020, 4:41 pm

Hi Nicholas,

There is a long-standing issue that prevents some people’s messages from appearing in Freeway Talk, although they are still sent to people who have email subscriptions. This is one of the reasons that we have switched to a different discussion forum for Xway Talk.

Xway Talk is also a better place for asking questions about Xway:

https://softpress.groups.io/g/xway-talk/

The Xway User Guide is embedded in Xway’s application package. I’m not sure what is saying “No Results”, but what I suggest trying is:

  1. Select Xway.app in the Finder
  2. Control-click on it and choose Show Package Contents
  3. Double-click on “Xway User Guide.pdf”

You shouldn’t need to do this unless there is something unusual about your system. Xway passes the address of the User Guide to macOS, and macOS should open whatever application is configured as the default application for PDF files (normally Preview.app).

Jeremy

On 17 Feb 2020, at 16:17, Nicholas Robertson via freewaytalk <[email protected]> wrote:

For some reason (have checked Safari preferences) my messages are not showing on this site in my browser, So I am hoping they are getting through none the less. I cannot access the’ Xway User Guide’ that supposed to be in the Help menu of beta Xway, it just says No Results. Advice please.

Jeremy Hughes

20 Feb 2020, 3:53 pm

Hi Nicholas,

do you have to subscribe anew to this forum?

Yes, and new users are moderated for their first Xway Talk post (to avoid spam) - but we try to be prompt in un-moderating people.

Jeremy

DB Brown

22 Feb 2020, 10:01 pm

I dunno. Maybe I’m just too old to get it. But I’m so used to being able to easily create, resize and move text and graphics boxes at will in Freeway Pro and it appears that Xway doesn’t do any of that…or maybe I’m missing it. Plus, some pages on my websites need iFrames and Google AdSense which I don’t see as features in Xway yet. Perhaps, what might help those like me who are struggling to make sense of this totally new way of working is a video or two on how to create websites in Xway. It would certainly help many of us to visualize the workflow of Xway.

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Jeremy Hughes

28 Feb 2020, 5:48 pm

Hi Daniel,

There are two kinds of boxes in Freeway and in Xway - not counting table-layout boxes, which Xway doesn’t support (table layout is an old layout method that has been superseded by CSS layout):

  1. Inflow boxes (boxes with relative position)

  2. Absolute boxes (“layers” in Freeway)

Xway defaults to inflow boxes, because these are better for flexible layouts - layouts that will display on different devices (phones, tablets, desktop computers). You can also create inflow boxes in Freeway (they’re used in Freeway’s responsive templates) but Freeway’s support for inflow boxes is hard to use (and is often buggy).

If you want to create an absolute-positioned box in Xway, it’s easy to do this:

  1. Insert a box (click on the box icon in the toolbar)

  2. Choose Absolute position in the Style section of the Box Inspector

Absolute boxes are identical to “layers” in Freeway. You can move them anywhere on the page, and resize them freely.

But the problem with absolute boxes is that they don’t work well on flexible pages, unless you use them really carefully. Absolute-positioned boxes are independent of other boxes, so they don’t adapt to changes in the size and position of other boxes.

Xway b1 doesn’t have iframes, although you can use markup items to insert them. But Xway b2 (which we hope to release in the coming weeks) does have support for iframes: they’re just another kind of box that you can add by clicking on the iframe icon in the toolbar.

I certainly agree that a tutorial video would be nice, but we don’t currently have the resources to do this. However, there is a PDF (step-by-step) tutorial which you can download from our website (choose “Xway Resources” from Xway’s Help menu).

If you have other questions about Xway, a good place to ask them is Xway Talk, which you can get to by clicking on “Support and Community” in Xway’s Help menu. One other advantage that Xway Talk has over Freeway Talk is that messages are less likely to be treated as spam. I have to check online and rescue Freeway Talk messages from my spam folder - which is why it sometimes takes a while for me to get round to answering (as in this case).

Jeremy

On 22 Feb 2020, at 22:01, DB Brown <[email protected]> wrote:

I dunno. Maybe I’m just too old to get it. But I’m so used to being able to easily create, resize and move text and graphics boxes at will in Freeway Pro and it appears that Xway doesn’t do any of that…or maybe I’m missing it. Plus, some pages on my websites need iFrames and Google AdSense which I don’t see as features in Xway yet. Perhaps, what might help those like me who are struggling to make sense of this totally new way of working is a video or two on how to create websites in Xway. It would certainly help many of us to visualize the workflow of Xway.