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Sjsw reviewed on 13 Dec 2010
Being a pro web designer/developer, I just wanted to inject that it's not really fair or accurate to compare Flux to some of the other wysiwyg development packages out there for the Mac. That would include iWeb, Rapidweaver, Sandvox, Freeway, etc. I've used them all, at some point over the last few years, and I can say with great confidence that Flux is clearly much more of a "pro" tool than the others. A more accurate comparison for Flux would be with Dreamweaver which is perhaps the biggest compliment I can give it considering Dreamweaver's cost, feature set, maturity and longevity. This new version of Flux is truly remarkable with the caveat that you really must know (or be willing to learn) some basic html and css in order to get the most out of the program. It does have a little bit of a learning curve (as most powerful software does) but my experience is that if you put in the effort you will be rewarded with a true "blank canvas" approach to design as well as infinitely superior results in relation to code output. Flux does an incredible job creating semantic, valid markup especially, as I mentioned, if you have some idea of how a web page is structured and styled. Very highly recommended for anyone wanting to take the time to learn about web development basics in order to achieve superior results.
[Version 3.1.7]

1 Reply


Sjsw replied on 04 Jan 2011
I can't speak for "other" designers/developers out there but I try to keep an open mind about the tools that I use when accomplishing my front-end design and development work. A lot of times it depends on how complicated (technically) the project is and the amount of time I have to complete it. In all honesty, I'm a hand coding "Coda" kind of guy. Most of the time I'll use Coda when creating a site from scratch although Flux has worked it's way in on a few projects where time was tight and the client wanted something "custom" (in other words, "not" a WordPress site). Where I find Flux the most useful though (and this answers one of your questions) is for working on existing sites (that I didn't develop initially) precisely because it can, in a non proprietary way, "open" them and give me a nice "visual" representation of what whoever created the site was doing with the design and code (for good or bad). From there I can make my edits/changes quickly and be done. While Dreamweaver can do this as well, I prefer the overall work flow and code output of Flux although I do have one small quibble in that Flux's CSS output can be somewhat "verbose" precisely because it's a "generator" and not just an "editor". It's not that the CSS it generates is bad or wrong, it's just that it doesn't know any "shorthand" if that makes any sense. At any rate, my overall experience is that Flux has much of the power of DreamWeaver without the very steep learning curve and the code output it produces is much less bloated. The fact that it's a Mac only program gets a big plus from me as well. DreamWeaver (I have version CS3) doesn't feel like a Mac program to me. As a caveat to this, I want to admit that since I started hand coding (with Coda) a few years back and having found Flux that I haven't used DreamWeaver in a long time (as witnessed by my version being CS3) so I can't really speak for newer versions. That being said though, I used DW a lot when I first started out and I wish that Flux had been around at that time.

Sjsw reviewed on 06 Aug 2010
I have to say that as a website designer/developer this is perhaps the best money I have ever spent on a piece of software for my craft. It does EXACTLY what it says it does without any choking on all of the various javascript libraries I use which is not the case with some of the other products I've tried in this category. I generally get anywhere from a 25 to 50 per cent improvement in the speed of my sites and with Google recently making page load speed a factor in page rank, Web Site Maestro has become even more valuable to me. At any rate, give the demo a spin, you'll be quickly ordering yourself a license. Congrats to Ton for this invaluable piece of software.
[Version 8.2.2]

Sjsw commented on 11 Mar 2010
In my opinion, developers should let users know when their app utilizes some kind of "plug-in" architecture to facilitate the app working on OS X. Many users (including myself) consider these "work-arounds" to be "undesirable" as they are not supported by and, in fact, discouraged by Apple. In fact any crash report that goes out to Apple with with any of these "facilitators" installed is completely ignored due to the problems they have caused in the past. Personally, I've had bad experiences with APE and SIMBL so I will not install them on my system, I just think that developers should be upfront with users that they are installing another piece of software besides the app. For instance, under "requirements" on MacUpdate TastyApps could list "Spicerack" as a requirement (and explain what it does) since it is technically needed to make the browser plug-in function. That being said I have no experience with "Spicerack", but someone would have to convince me how it is fundamentally different than APE or SIMBL (other than being a prefpane) for me to install it on my system. Basically I'm just saying that I want to know what is being installed on my system, that's all. I have no quarrel with developers who use them, I just want to have the information in order to make an informed decision.
[Version 2.4.2]

1 Reply


Sjsw replied on 24 Mar 2010
I'm glad that you agreed with my premise that users should have the information in order to make an informed decision. That was the only point that I was trying to make. In no way was I trying to disparage the work of this or any other developer who uses workarounds which is why I purposely did not use the word "hack" in my comments. I just believe that we (end users) should have the information if a program is dependent on an unusual technique (which in this case is a separate program) to make it function. I'm not trying pass judgment on a developers motives nor do I believe that Apple is blameless it's just that I don't think its too much to ask to be informed.
Sjsw commented on 17 Jan 2010
This program does seem to use James Chans Gmail Notifr source code. Of course James has always maintained his project as "open source" and so anyone could download his work and tinker with it. Can't really see what this brings to the table though...perhaps these gentlemen wanted a Spanish localization of Gmail Notifr although I can't imagine that one didn't already exist. Otherwise I don't really see the point. This version doesn't, as far as I can see, improve upon the original at all.
[Version 1.1b]


Sjsw reviewed on 28 Dec 2009
I agree with MACTECHHEAD this is indeed an impressive little program. The "tatter" feature is, in my opinion, amazing in it's simplicity as well as it's output. It would take quite a while to pull the same thing off in PS and I haven't seen a PS action that does the same thing with quite as much control. My only quibble, and I want to stress this is not a deal breaker, is that I think that the price is slightly high for the relatively few "tricks" that it does. That being said, I'm considering purchasing a license because what PhotoStyler does do, it does very, very well and I really apreciate that aspect in ANY program. Congrats to the developer and hopefully he will keep adding features as development progresses.
[Version 2.4]


Sjsw reviewed on 20 Dec 2009
In the description it says "the application can be hidden in the task bar" (As of 12.20.09). They want to actually SELL this to Mac users? C'mon man, write a real Mac app that respects Mac users and OSX. This ugly Java crossover Windoze port just won't cut it in the Mac world. The standards here are higher!
[Version 2.6]


Sjsw reviewed on 03 Dec 2009
Beware of this!

The first thing it asks when you launch the program is if you want to install a background "license" daemon. If you don't agree then the program will not run, even to demo it.

This is obviously an ugly Windoze port that disrespects Mac Users both with it's interface as well as with it's usability. Never before in 20 years on Macs have I had a program ask to install a "license" daemon before it would run. The developers need to realize that Mac Users have high standards and don't put up with crap like this. They need to develop a "Mac" version that respects OSX and Mac Users if they want our hard earned cash. If they don't want to do this then they should just keep it in the Windoze world where the standards are much lower.
[Version 1.1.0]


Sjsw reviewed on 27 Oct 2009
After demoing this "new" version I can say with complete confidence that this does not look, act, or feel like a modern Mac Program. It feels and functions like a "leftover" from OS 9 which, after a little research, it appears that it is. I find it hard to believe that the developer could justify the price tag he's put on this semi-restored relic when Art Text 2 is 1/5 the price, has much of the functionality and is elegantly designed for OS X. Maybe it's just me, but I prefer that my software is updated more than once every ten years...then again, maybe P.T. Barnum was right.
[Version 10.6.35]

sjsw commented on 23 Aug 2009
I agree with others that this app has some real promise. The interface is very nice and shows some real thought but it does comes up short on what I consider some pretty basic features such as being able to check Google Apps accounts, growl notifications, and limiting one to only 4 accounts (I have six counting my Google Apps accounts). Also (and of lesser importance) the menu bar icon could be certainly be improved to something that's a little less of an eyesore. A trip to Deviant Art to ask one of the many fine artists there for permission to use some basic mail icons could be one solution for the developer

Overall I'll hold off on any kind of rating, I realize this is a new app and I really appreciate it being free at that. Hopefully we'll see some of the features mentioned above be implemented as that would make it a genuine competitor against some of the other apps in this category. Right now, Gmail Notifr is still the king, but I'll be pulling for this one, as I said I really like the interface design.
[Version 1.0.1]


sjsw reviewed on 16 Jul 2009
This program is "just" ok for it's category and the reason I say that is partly because of some quirks in it's functionality and also because it doesn't support png transparency.

One of it's major quirks is that Funtastic Photos upon starting the program opens a finder-like (I say that because you're not in the finder) browser window that forces you to use it to navigate to a file you wish to edit (no drag and drop). If you dismiss that window (say to open a file from the file menu) the program quits. This is extremely Un-Mac like and reminds me more of a windows program that quits when you close the last window. This is annoying to me as I like to quit a program when I want it to quit, not when I simply close a window. At any rate, the whole process of opening a file without drag and drop or standard Mac dialogues is frustrating and frankly not very well thought out in my opinion.

Also Funtastic Photos does not support png transparency which is also very odd for a graphics editing program these days. I realize that the program is supposed to be primarily for photos (jpegs mostly) but it does have a save as png option that literally strips the transparency from a png if the original file you opened was a transparent png. This, in my opinion, is unacceptable and makes Funtastic Photos useless for editing graphics for web use where transparency is vital for use on colored backgrounds.

All in all I would say that the program has some potential if some of the quirks get fixed but for right now I would say that I cannot in good conscious recommend Funtastic Photos (and yes, I do own a license, so I have spent some time with it). I would recommend Demoing Pixelmator or Acorn for Photo editing as both of these programs are not only more powerful but also adhere closely to both Mac and graphics standards.
[Version 1.0.6]

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