Sunday, November 23, 2014

A peek at the Landscape early alpha

Every story has to start somewhere, right?

This is the first prototype of Landscape, from 2004. The problems I was faced with were not in the environment (SuperCard in this case), but with web design in general. We didn't have Google Fonts, and I couldn't get CSS to behave across platforms if my life depended on it. 

As you can see here, forms, Quicktime and Flash were my main concerns back then. A "Replicant" was something that would be imported when the page was built. This is exactly the way I add Unity3D content now. 

I was pretty sure people would prefer to drag and drop things from a palette window instead of from the Finder, and I didn't have the concept of 'tools' in the product at all. You had a pointer.

That actually led me to create the "Non-terface" design behind Conjure, where the one tool does everything, changing to fit the context and circumstances. So I'm glad I went down that road.

The project still runs, but all of the external plugins I made for it are broken now. So it doesn't do much beyond sit there. 

I did have one feature I haven't added to Landscape that I really liked. The SuperCard version of Landscape had a thing I called "snapdragon", where if you dragged an item near another item and held the command key down, it would snap along the edge, so the two would sit flush next to each other. It made assembling sets of tiny graphics into a single large graphic really easy. But that's about all it really helped with. You usually don't want different things flush up against each other, no matter what you're designing. 

And here's version 1.1, with Unity support...

I'm so glad we're where we are today!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Landscape: Into The Future!

Landscape 1.0 is a 1.0 release. As in, I didn't cram everything in there, because some of it needed to be thought out more.

So here's a list of where things are going, and when I expect them to go to there...

Windows version - Construction on the Windows version has already begun, and I expect a beta sometime in the next 1-2 weeks. If you're a registered user now, you'll get the Windows version for free. Otherwise, it will be an additional $900. Or less. I don't know. integration - You know, so you can change things on and Also, so I don't have to type my blogs out in these dinky little windows.

Wordpress Integration - Same thing. I have a few sites that use Wordpress, and I'd like to be able to tweak the templates. How about you?

Shadows - This is an obvious omission, and will be in there soon. Basically, I wasn't happy with the difference between Cocoa shadows on the Mac and CSS shadows in browsers on Windows. It'll happen though.

Buttons - I would like to offer both CSS based buttons and multi-state image buttons. It took me awhile to wrap my head around how that would work in the UI, but basically you'll select multiple images and bind them together in a button object, for multi-state image buttons. For CSS buttons, it's much easier--just fill out some stuff in the info window.

Slider Carousel with those little buttons - This is the only visual thing I think I missed with Landscape. Basically this would be a series of images that would transition from one to the next. The way this will work is just like the multi-state button. Click the little buttons to jump to a scene, or it transitions on its own.

Better support for YouTube, Vimeo, Google Maps, etc. - Basically, you can currently and easily create any kind of raw html drop in, but I'd like to wire it up so resizing the container also changes the embedded size in the html so it resizes, too.

Full width support - This will be a tricky one, because in order to make this work, I have to figure out how to make it work while letting the user also control the vertical layout of objects. It turns out, that's the bigger, stupid issue here.

What'd I miss? Probably a lot. If you have any suggestions, please let me know!

-Chilton Webb

Landscape 1.0 is go!

Landscape 1.0 for OS X

San Antonio, Texas - Landscape is a fun new way for OS X users to build responsive websites that look great on all platforms. It's easy enough for even young kids to use, while containing many features for professional web page designers.

Landscape lets you build web pages by dragging and dropping any type of file (including Photoshop!) in a freeform environment, to quickly assemble web pages. To add text, just type anywhere. A simple Desktop/Tablet/Phone switch lets the user change layouts for each page. The end result is a web site that all modern browsers will render in an almost identical fashion.

Landscape features tightly integrated Google Font support, so if you're using any of over 600 Google Fonts, it will detect them and embed code in your page so the viewer's browser will display it properly. Landscape also automatically builds light boxes if you've designated any images as Lightbox images. It's one checkbox in the info window, and Landscape does all the rest. Similarly, it features tight integration with Facebook, so adding a Facebook image preview to any page is simply a matter of checking off an item in the info window.

The Background and Hidden modes let you treat webpage design easier, by making it so you can't accidentally drag background elements around while laying out foreground elements. You can hide elements or drag them past a barrier, and they won't be rendered on platforms of your choosing.

Landscape has several unique tools, including a knife for slicing up existing images and websites. The knife will let you take any already built website , and quickly create a new version of it that works on more platforms. The mind mapping tool will let you quickly create site charts, org charts, flow charts, and mind maps.

"Our goal was to take eliminate some of the most tedious parts of web design, like light boxes, font handling, Facebook integration, and especially responsiveness. The result is something powerful but simple, and very unlike any web page design tool on the market." said Chilton Webb, president of ConjureBunny Software. "We built a tool that can quickly assemble complicated web pages without confining the artist to a template or a limited design. We designed it to be completely free form, and at the same time, responsive on all platforms."

For more information about Landscape, visit the company's website:


Pricing and Availability

Landscape 1.0 requires Mac OS X version 10.7 or higher.

Landscape is regularly priced at US$40.00 and available directly from ConjureBunny software. This is an introductory price, and as features are added, the price will go up. Updates through the end of the 1.x cycle are free for registered users. New licenses can be purchased directly from ConjureBunny software by visiting:

About ConjureBunny Software
ConjureBunny Software delivers unique tools and exciting games to users worldwide. Conjure is our flagship app, but we also have a variety of games and productivity products for Mac, Windows, and Linux users.

Product Video:


Download it here:

Fight the power! Stay off the Grid!

I have a beef with this idea that fluid grids are some kind of salvation. They're good for laying out a single page that responds between two breakpoints, but they're not good beyond that.

Let's say you have a standard page with breakpoints for tablets, that looks something like this...

And the content in the blue is the 'meat' of your content. 

If you have placed your other content links in floating grid, that will work and look fantastic for that platform. 

But if you need to rearrange things for iPhone, you might want them OUT of the grid, like this, so some of them come before your content and some after.

And that right there is why I didn't include fluid grid support in Landscape 1.0. 
If you have a suggestion for how I could address this though, I'm all ears!

And now that I think about it, I remember a similar problem with tables, back before CSS. 


Landscape and You (assuming you're a blogger)

As you might've noticed, something amazing materialized over the weekend, to help web designers across the globe.


This is huge for most website owners, but it's currently not compatible with blog sites. I plan on changing that, but I'd like your feedback while I'm working on it. If you have an online blog and you'd like more control over how it looks, please get in touch and let me know what you'd like in such a product, if it were to magically appear.

Thank you!
-Chilton Webb