An innovative web design and coding tool
$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.