Flux 7

An in­no­va­tive web de­sign and cod­ing tool

Mac|Life - - REVIEWS - KEITH MARTIN

$99.99 De­vel­oper The Es­ca­pers, theesca­pers.com Re­quire­ments OS X 10.11 or later

Flux 7 is a web de­sign and pro­duc­tion tool that tries to re­think the old ways of creating pages and sites. It presents an in­no­va­tive mix of vis­ual and code-based web page de­sign items for use within your pages, a cen­tral area for show­ing the HTML or CSS file be­ing edited, and a pane on the right for deal­ing with prop­er­ties, at­tributes, and ac­tions for what­ever’s se­lected.

This ver­sion has an im­pres­sive list of new fea­tures: Code Con­text, for ex­plor­ing op­tions rel­e­vant to any given tag or prop­erty; pre­views for Google Fonts; CSS as­sis­tants right in the code edi­tor; CSS clip­ping path sup­port, and more, all within the same method of work­ing as be­fore.

Flux 7 can be used in two main ways: as a WYSIWYG assem­bly tool where the prime ap­proach is the vis­ual struc­ture of the page, or as a code tool, where you work with syn­tax-col­ored code for HTML and CSS. You can show both, although the ver­ti­cal ar­range­ment of the two views means there’s then not much room for see­ing your page’s con­tent.

The WYSIWYG view presents el­e­ments (divs, im­ages, para­graphs, and so on) as se­lectable ob­jects that can be moved around at will. When work­ing in the code view, click­ing a tag calls up a lengthy list of the pa­ram­e­ters that can be used with it, while

ç- click­ing on a prop­erty pops up a small panel with edit­ing op­tions.

While Flux 7 is unar­guably clever, if you don’t re­ally un­der­stand web cod­ing you’re go­ing to strug­gle. Get­ting any­thing done beyond very sim­ple sites re­quires a fairly in­ti­mate knowl­edge of HTML and CSS, and un­til you get your head around the app’s id­iosyn­cra­cies you may feel quite frus­trated.

Drag-and-drop lay­out is a se­duc­tive prom­ise, but it can be frus­trat­ing in prac­tice: if el­e­ments aren’t han­dled well they can ef­fec­tively van­ish, or re­size strangely when dragged. The work­flow ends up be­ing more about se­lect­ing items then edit­ing prop­er­ties rather than drag­ging them around.

Flux 7 is unar­guably pow­er­ful, but its in­ter­face is quirky; side­ways tabs, text items in the ti­tle bar that are but­tons or menus or just la­bels, over­lap­ping el­e­ments... it al­most feels like there’s just too much on of­fer and it needs to fig­ure out how to han­dle it all.

THE BOT­TOM LINE Flux is a pow­er­ful and in­no­va­tive but con­fus­ingly quirky web­site edi­tor.

Hold down the mouse or track­pad but­ton on a page to re­veal a pop-up list of el­e­ments in that area.

The new Code Con­text fea­ture helps you find and un­der­stand HTML and CSS code de­tails, and ap­ply them.

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