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  1. This week, I learned that Softpress, who made the web design application Freeway, closed its doors for good. Not a great start for the week for anyone involved in that project with present and past. I’ve been using and had input into the Freeway project for the best part of twenty years. For those who don’t know, Freeway is a DTP-like web design tool. You draw items on a blank page, and Freeway builds the HTML/CSS necessary to display your design in a browser. Extra functionality can be added using Actions - plugins which run at publish time to amend output. Actions can do a multitude of things, from massaging the HTML, to repurposing it for PHP (or indeed other server side scripting languages), and run using a JavaScript engine. The recent video posted of the Affinity DTP project, which showed responsive behaviour for print really chimed in my mind. If, I thought, they are doing this, then they’ve clearly solved UI problems that Softpress were’t able to with their responsive offering. The idea that this application could be tuned not just to printed documents, but also HTML/CSS/ etc. got me thinking that here’s a potential for a Freeway replacement. And, rather nicely, it would be borne from a DTP application - just like Freeway was all those years ago. So, my request - and I know it’s big ask, but I really hope that the minds at Serif can be turned to this - is a DTP-style web design tool in the Affinity brand. The Affinity software I have already feel more than familiar to me, and being able to build websites in an environment that feels familiar like that would be fantastic. DTP for print is just part of the tool kit for a modern designer - web sites really should be there too.
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