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Jamarr

Web developing tool in the works?

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As a graphic designer, I've always resented having to learn and stay on top of the changing standards of HTML, CSS, and scripting languages to do page layout and simple interactive behaviors. I just thank God that I never had to learn postscript to design a brandmark or to layout a page.

So, speaking of poorly met needs and pain points that present business opportunities, it would be a godsend if Serif could develop a website design tool for print publication and graphic designers that would leverage all of their design skills and knowledge, and their familiarity with tools like Designer, Photo, Publisher, and make it possible for them to build modern, attractive stand-alone websites. And then have the code generated by the app to be clean enough, and standard enough to be handed off to a web development team to tie in their scripts for applications, and database connectivity.

Does that make sense?

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Apparently, Adobe took a stab at this with their application named Muse. It appeared to adapt the UI elements UX conventions familiar to all graphic designers who used Adobe's other creative apps (e.g., Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign), and eliminated the need to worry about code. Are the Serif staff familiar with Muse?

For some reason, Adobe is now discontinuing Muse. Perhaps they plan to roll the best of Muse's capabilities into Dreamweaver.

At any rate, Muse is a perfect example of the kind of graphic-designer-friendly website design tool that I'd love to see join the Affinity Suite someday soon, giving print publication and graphic designers the ability to leverage their knowledge of graphic design, typography and the Affinity Suite to produce modern, responsive websites, without having to worry about code.

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For me Serif Inc. should bring Affinity Publisher to iPad at a first job after this heavy period of programming/development with Publisher Mac/Win & iPad Designer/Photo!

But, first after June the 19th I hope the staff take some time off for resting! It has been an amazing period of time for us endusers!

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On 6/13/2019 at 12:17 PM, Mark Oehlschlager said:

Apparently, Adobe took a stab at this with their application named Muse. It appeared to adapt the UI elements UX conventions familiar to all graphic designers who used Adobe's other creative apps (e.g., Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign), and eliminated the need to worry about code. Are the Serif staff familiar with Muse?

For some reason, Adobe is now discontinuing Muse. Perhaps they plan to roll the best of Muse's capabilities into Dreamweaver.

At any rate, Muse is a perfect example of the kind of graphic-designer-friendly website design tool that I'd love to see join the Affinity Suite someday soon, giving print publication and graphic designers the ability to leverage their knowledge of graphic design, typography and the Affinity Suite to produce modern, responsive websites, without having to worry about code.

The reason why Adobe dropped Muse is quite simple: Muse's design view was decoupled from the actual html/css/js output. When the development team had to implement support for responsive page designs, it became quite clear how difficult such an approach is to maintain as developers while keeping up with the quickly evolving and changing web tech landscape.

Simply stated, Muse became a bear of an application to maintain and develop.

This is one of the main reasons why applications like WebPlus, Muse, and many others over the past decade have tried and utterly failed. Muse and its older brethren also tend to save to their custom proprietary file formats, rather than directly working with html, css, and js files (which is just plain silly, because those are open, human readable standards!). This made is pretty much impossible to work with a developer or in a team. A static Muse site's code is a horror, and utterly incompatible and unworkable for a developer to integrate with server-side code or convert to a CMS like WordPress theme (for example).

And it isn't even possible to open existing sites in Muse (again because of that decoupling mentioned earlier)!

Designers without an inkling about web coding couldn't care less about the code Muse, Xara, or WebPlus generates. They just want snazzy eye candy effects, and that was another reason why Muse tanked. Browsers are an ever-changing live target, and scripts/effects that may have worked two years ago, may cause issues in a newer browser.  And let's not talk about the ridiculous size (file size) of some of those Muse sites.

In short, Muse was (is) a disastrous approach for proper web development. Great for the odd static eye-catching website or portfolio/online business card and for quick prototyping. For anything else just a Very Bad Idea. And an elephant of an application to maintain for its developers. Always running after the facts.

To my knowledge, the only surviving still developed purely visual off-line web page editors are Xara and Sparkle. And both rely on a proprietary file format. Which makes no sense to me: after all, the web is an open standard. Work with those standards, rather than against it. The only reason for a proprietary file format is to lock the customer into their own software ecosystem.

Sparkle is a good example how NOT to create output code: they proudly proclaim their home page is created with its home-grown software. Well, the code is atrocious. Designer may not care, but if you plan to work together with a developer, the code is unusable.

In contrast, an editor such as Pinegrow actually works WITH the html/css/js files, and will open any standard web page. The drawback is that basic knowledge of html and css is required to make the most out of it.

Can't have your cake and eat it too.

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18 hours ago, Medical Officer Bones said:

... both rely on a proprietary file format. Which makes no sense to me: after all, the web is an open standard. Work with those standards, rather than against it. ...

Could not have said it better. 

 


MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 10.14.5

Affinity Designer 1.7.3 | Affinity Photo 1.7.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.7.3 | Affinity Designer Beta 1.7.x.x | Affinity Photo Beta 1.7.x.x | Affinity Publisher Beta 1.7.x.x

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I don't know. Seems like the code governing page structure and presentation should be something that an Affinity Suite app should be able to handle. A <div> tag is a <div> tag. Translating size, positioning, stacking order, scaling, color, transparency, paragraph and character styles into clean, standard HTML5 and CSS3 should be manageable these days. Even building a UI that allows the designer to determine layout adjustments for mobile device breakpoints should be manageable.

Designing and building modern, static, responsive websites should not require much knowledge or mastery of HTML and CSS. 

Leave the burden of coding to those developers who build the back end of web apps, e-commerce and the like.

 

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