The quest for a 'replacement'.

Advocate ,
Apr 08, 2018 Apr 08, 2018

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Gaaaahhhh!!!

Proactively, I've begun my quest to find something to replace Muse. I left Wordpress when Muse was first released, because Wordpress was maddening. Now, it seems that I may be heading back that way. At least the Wordpress page builder scene has come along nicely. But still, there are huge hurdles, especially now coming from something that allowed for an ultimate design flexibility/speed combination such as Muse.

I'm tasked first with trying to recreate our company's site design...

http://creativeillusions.biz

In Muse it was so simple - I want this element to be here, and these buttons there, spaced just so. Text here, a video there, and a big photo as the background. Boom.

In Wordpress, even with a page builder plugin(Elementor) the process of trying to get this look is a nightmare of columns and sections and padding and margins and alignments and widget spacings and on and on...

Luckily, we have a year or so before it becomes imperative to find something else, but I like being proactive, especially when faced with yet another learning curve. At 60, 'learning curves' start to take on a whole new meaning.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 08, 2018 Apr 08, 2018

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sebrame  wrote

In Muse it was so simple - I want this element to be here, and these buttons there, spaced just so. Text here, a video there, and a big photo as the background. Boom.

In Wordpress, even with a page builder plugin(Elementor) the process of trying to get this look is a nightmare of columns and sections and padding and margins and alignments and widget spacings and on and on...

I'm probably going to upset a lot of people, designer, coder, acp's and Adobe in general.

The reason you have grids in programs that require some coding knowledge is simply because those programs used frameworks that relied on pre flexbox methods for layout, (flexbox is how webflows layout works). It would not be very difficult for Dreamweaver to introduce a visual tool for using flexbox, and it has been suggested for over 5 years now. Dreamweaver did make an attempt to create a visual css tool, a number of years ago in an attempt to make the use of css much more simple.

The problem is that Adobe never wanted Dw to use flexbox, and no improvments have been made to the visual css tool for years. If Adobe and more specifically the Dw team wanted to help ex Muse users then a visual layout tool and improvments to Dreamweavers visual css tool, would be easy for them to implement.

O/K, not a real replacement for Muse, but these simple improvments to Dreamweaver, (and i do meen simple to implement) would help the Muse user who are stuck with a CC subscription anyway to have an Adobe alternative, at least until Adobe Spark is out of pre-release.

Everything mentioned by the OP could be done visually. Without the need to write code. I'm not saying that the more difficult items would not require some coding knowledge, but that many programs now used by coders make coding more difficult than it needs to be, especially when it comes to the basics such as layout.

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Advocate ,
Apr 08, 2018 Apr 08, 2018

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I wrote my first web site for BellSouth Corp. in both 'vi' and Notepad around 1993. It had 650 individual pages. Visual tools did not really exist in any usable sense.

I then moved with the technology towards tools such as HoTMetaL Pro, Allaire's HomeSite, which became Macromedia Dreamweaver which became Adobe Dreamweaver and others. I went to Allaire's HQ to study HomeSite, which led to being a beta tester for Dreamweaver. Along the way starting to pick up the early attempts at WYSIWYG - the aforementioned Dreamweaver, FrontPage(shudder), and a few other smaller offerings.

It's 2018. I'm tired of writing code, and I shouldn't have to. Adobe Muse proved that we could have extremely flexible design without much, if any, need to write a bit of code.

And yes, I realize and understand that frameworks are the culprit, or at least the tool of the culprit. I'm not interested in 'responsive', I prefer 'adaptive', which is almost impossible to accomplish with current toolsets without jumping through hurdles. But...'hurdles' make developers money because they discourage the 'regular Joe's' and guys like me who are tired of coding, from creating and maintaining a functioning site that looks like we want it to look.

And yes, I also realize and understand that "everything mentioned by the OP(me) could be done visually", in fact, after two solid days I have almost accomplished it. Never said that I couldn't. However, the original took less than 2 hours in Muse. But then, if it were a client's site, I wouldn't get to bill them for 2 days of work - only 2 hours which, by the way, I suspect is the actual 'culprit'.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 08, 2018 Apr 08, 2018

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The length of time taken to write the site you link to in the original post, would be about 4 hrs, maybe not the 2 you required in Muse, but certainly not the 2 days.

A lot of what we do is as much to do with familiarity with not just how we do it, but the program we use to do it.

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Advocate ,
Apr 08, 2018 Apr 08, 2018

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Yes, I'm sure you're right. Sorry.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 08, 2018 Apr 08, 2018

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No need to apologise, I've been looking for a good coding program for months and have simply found that how a program works, is often the deciding factor for considering it.

Still looking for the replacement though .

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Mentor ,
Apr 08, 2018 Apr 08, 2018

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Hi @sebrame,

I tried to find the BellSouth Corp via internet archive, no luck. 😉

Speaking in regards to Visual Helpers in this thread, if you are not previously aware of it, Pinegrow offers Visual Helpers for both Flexbox and CSS Grid, CSS in general, drag and drop HTML elements, etc.,

Here is an article concerning some of the Visual CSS Grid features, Pinegrow offers:

https://medium.com/@mattront/how-to-learn-css-grid-with-pinegrow-e865ece2e137

Again, if you were not previously aware of Pinegrow, it has various visual features of drag and drop of HTML Elements and Components that can be used in conjunction with the Visual CSS Editor and Live Page View. You can do most all the heavy lifting for visual creation. You can just use HTML5, etc., if you prefer not to reply on a framework, but it does offer the latest Bootstrap and Foundation workflows with Visual Helpers also if you want. Or you can use anything else you desire, Adaptive creation, etc., it works from native source, so you are open to work with most anything, even your exported Muse site.

I spoke about it and BlocsApp in the following post and follow up posts you will find here [ Link ]. Given your background I don't think the workflow would offer many difficulties and would provide additional features you may like also. Both Blocs or Pinegrow could easily make the site you linked too in your first post, I looked through all the pages.

Again you can see that linked post and others linked in it to know a little more about it.

Don'y blast me pziecina​, 😉

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Advocate ,
Apr 09, 2018 Apr 09, 2018

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W_J_T  wrote

I tried to find the BellSouth Corp via internet archive, no luck. 😉

The site was not for the Internet, but for a kiosk running at the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, funded by BellSouth. It was a directory of the cultural venues in Atlanta. It actually resided on an old 'giant' laser disc and the viewer used a giant trackball to navigate. I still have the original on a CD. It barely runs now due to the antiquity of the HTML standard. I was paid $65,000 for it. Ahhh...those were the days.

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Mentor ,
Apr 09, 2018 Apr 09, 2018

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sebrame  wrote

The site was not for the Internet, but for a kiosk running at the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, funded by BellSouth. It was a directory of the cultural venues in Atlanta. It actually resided on an old 'giant' laser disc and the viewer used a giant trackball to navigate. I still have the original on a CD. It barely runs now due to the antiquity of the HTML standard. I was paid $65,000 for it. Ahhh...those were the days.

Ha ha, thats great, sounds fun. I was in the Kiosk industry years ago designing and developing, those where the days!

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Advocate ,
Apr 09, 2018 Apr 09, 2018

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Currently on my machine I am testing the following -

Elementor Pro(WordPress)
Thrive Architect(WordPress)

Webflow

Pinegrow

CoffeeCup Responsive Site Designer

and I just installed WYSIWYG Web Builder

Hopefully in a year I can find one that I like.

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Mentor ,
Apr 09, 2018 Apr 09, 2018

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sebrame  wrote

Hopefully in a year I can find one that I like.

Sounds good, it's personal to everyone. But just to clarify, webflow does not reside on your machine ;--)

@pziecina made a nice statement elsewhere later yesterday ...

pziecina  wrote

Let's get it right, we both know I have championed visual aids for Dreamweaver users for years, and been shot down for doing so constantly. A few others had the same opinion as me, so I am not saying I was alone.

If I was looking for a Muse replacement I would not choose Dreamweaver then purchase extensions, like @W_J_T recommends to Muse users I would choose Pinegrow.

That is because it includes almost all of the basics, (and a few advanced) features one requires for working with css in a visual format. There is no need to purchase extensions, (adding to the cost) for what I consider should be included in any program both for designers and developers.

Again, I hope you find the solution that is best for you. Just think though, in another 25 years you can fire up an old computer and reminisce the Muse sites, just like that BellSouth Kiosk.

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Advocate ,
Apr 09, 2018 Apr 09, 2018

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"But just to clarify, webflow does not reside on your machine ;--)"

Nor do Elementor or Thrive Architect. See? I'm smart too!!!

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Mentor ,
Apr 09, 2018 Apr 09, 2018

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Wordpress is generally though as such. Sorry, did you feel I was implying otherwise? I was not.

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Advocate ,
Apr 09, 2018 Apr 09, 2018

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Not sure how, since it resides on the server and is accessed via the browser. But, whatever. No worries.

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Mentor ,
Apr 09, 2018 Apr 09, 2018

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Sorry, * thought of as such .. (not though)

The "Sorry, did you feel I was implying otherwise? I was not." was in reference to your "I'm smart to" comment. So I offended you? It seems like we are speaking the same thing, just with some forum disconnect and typos.

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