Pinegrow Community Support Forum

Pinegrow Offspring -- Pine Seedling -- Designer App Coming?

I recently noticed the following public statement made by Pinegrow in their youtube channel comments.


Pinegrow 3 weeks ago

Thanks Manuel, for the detailed feedback. Actually, I’m working on creating a web design tool that would give a lot of creative freedom, but without needing much coding skills. It’s still in the early prototype / experimental stage though.


So it sounds like Pinegrow is gonna have an offspring, a little pine sapling, seedling.

pine-seedling

This new offspring is perhaps heading back closer to Pinegrow’s own original “roots” regarding the 2011 online ’no coding required’ version that was never actually launched. But which instead brought forth the 2014 Pinegrow desktop app we all know today.


Given this tidbit of public reveal regarding a new app, I’m now more curious about “Pinegrow 5” and how it will progress forward provided that another app is being given development attention also. If I had to guess though I would assume this new app will be an actual offspring of Pinegrow’s own development, but instead be stripped down, reworked extensively with a modified overall workflow mindset.

So maybe not really another app development cycle completely for the team. But instead taking aspects of Pinegrow’s visual maturity and leveraging them into a simpler app workflow focused more towards a designer based visual mindset without all the additional code clutter. If each is based on the same core code base, then features may find their way upward to Pinegrow or downward to the new sapling as development occurs.

Hopefully this new app will likewise be a desktop app like Pinegrow and not the proposed hosted idea back from 2011, like so many other of todays online offerings for designers.


So it now sounds like previously discussed features are instead moving into an entirely separate app.

But I hope Pinegrow will likewise still move further in this direction some also, with its visual tools.


@matjaz, regardless if you need any alpha / beta prototype testers – add me to the list.

@earnoud Thanks for tweeting about that youtube video, I would have never seen that comment otherwise.

:evergreen_tree: :hearts:

PS: This thread will probably be removed by admin in T-minus … :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

Interesting post and good catch of that comment!

Cool, we have to wait and see what this will be they are working on.
My first thought was: Will this indeed be a separate product or a (special) “design mode” in Pinegrow…?

Till we get some (more) official info it’s only “assumptions and speculation”. But nice to dream, discuss and talk about what this maybe could be…

:wink: Agreed.


Pinegrow does various things visually, really well. They certainly have a solid core foundation to build upon when stripping away advanced features and creating a more streamlined designer focused app or user mode.

So I’m interested to see Pinegrow’s perspective on this already crowded designer specific app space. If it would likewise be a cross platform offline app, then that would certainly be an advantage out of the gate verse the current plethora of online only and offline but platform specific app offerings.

If it still would have basic entry points and requirements for adding popular JS/CSS plugins & libraries, etc, then it could be a quick visual scaffolding app/mode for coders also. Curious though if it will be focused on a singular particular framework or approach?

I watch this particular product space across the industry a lot (both offline and online). So I am curious what features their take on a designer centric app includes and will offer. It sounds like the seed is already planted and growing, so it will be interesting to see what it becomes.

pine-tree-planting

:evergreen_tree: :hearts:

Continuing the frivolous discussion …

If it’s offered as separate app and still remains branded under the Pinegrow product umbrella, then its curious where it might fit in with the present offerings and prices.


Seemingly it would need “project” features for multi-page sites. So does it fit between Pinegrow Standard and Pinegrow Pro, as “Pinegrow Designer”, or below Standard? Or maybe it gets branded entirely under its own different ecosystem entirely?

Ideally it fits somewhere in the Pinegrow product ‘forrest’, allowing it to bring more users onboard across the various product offerings over time as they learn and ‘grow’. Pinegrow would have the added bonus of then being able to truly market to “designers” and those seeking “code-less” based “web development” approaches.

So there are lots of additional opportunities ahead for Pinegrow with designer customers.

pine-seedlings


Designers may soon be able to “see the forest for the trees”. Having a streamlined Pinegrow app or mode they can feel more comfortable using as non-code based users. Allowing them to leverage instead their creative talents and skills.

:evergreen_tree: :hearts:

Even if its all frivolous speculation at this point. :stuck_out_tongue:

@Pinegrow_User & @Marf And I thought nobody reads those deep nested YouTube comments :slight_smile:

Yes, we are working on a Pinegrow sibling.

Pinegrow is a general purpose editor for HTML and CSS/SASS/LESS. That means we can’t make many assumptions about what kind of projects the user will load and what kind of edits they’ll do. On one hand, that makes Pinegrow very useful and powerful, but on the other, it limits us in ability to make editing tools simpler.

Like Pinegrow, the new app (let’s call it PGS here, like PineGrow Sibling) also comes from the need / wish to make certain parts of web development easier - but this time more from the creative / design side.

The main point is that at the moment, turning a creative vision into a web representation is quite a technical process. So in PGS, instead of working with CSS directly, we have a collection of design skills that accomplish a set of common design goals directly.

For example, let’s say you want to display a 100px wide line under all H3 headings. In PG (or in any CSS based approach) you need to translate this into an :after CSS rule with a bunch of properties. In PGS you would just say “Add a line under headings” and set its parameters…

Of course this approach has some limitations in what you can do. But it’s quite easy to expand the set of design skills as needed.

So the main difference between PG and PGS would be in how styling is done. As far as building the HTML structure is concerned, I think, what PG does now is quite solid. Also, the success of tools like Webflow shows that designers are able to move beyond the “paint rectangles on screen” approach and embrace working with the styled nested HTML structure instead.

PGS would be a desktop app, like PG. It will work with HTML files directly and output properly organized SASS and CSS code. You’ll be able to edit the project in PG or other tools, except styling that was done in PGS (if you want to keep the ability to continue editing it in PGS).

So, we’re sticking with our “the more is better” approach to web tools. What we have to do right is the product placement. The difference between PG and PGS and how the two apps can work together have to be very clear - PG is confusing enough by itself with all its features and editions. Imagine adding another product into our existing PG pricing tables :wink:

Looking at the app architecture, Pinegrow is at its core a general purpose visual builder for structured documents with add-on modules that implement stuff like CSS editing, WP integration, Bootstrap support and so on. That allows us to relatively quickly develop separate apps based on the Pinegrow platform, sharing the same code. Most features are part of the Pinegrow core, so there is the benefit of improvements done in one app being carried over to the rest.

For Pinegrow 5 the main focus is improving the styling with CSS/SASS. What we have now is a powerful foundation, but some parts of the workflow are still awkward, for example, working with nested SASS structure.

3 Likes

So you teamed up with Apple and brought Siri into Pinegrow (PGS),
simply speak and create websites? – Just kidding.

Thanks for taking time to provide a detailed response and providing further details on PGS @matjaz. It sounds interesting even when discussed vaguely, it will be intriguing to see the outcome of this new endeavor.

So with that as an example, will it be as feature rich concerning visual tools and overall features like Webflow?


Regardless, how far off is this little seedling from seeing daylight and being planted in the product mix?

Congrats, that should really broaden the product offering and marketing abilities.

Thanks again for the thoughtful response.

:evergreen_tree: :hearts:

So you teamed up with Apple and brought Siri into Pinegrow (PG S ),
simply speak and create websites? – Just kidding.

Typing & clicking is faster than speaking :slight_smile:

So with that as an example, will it be as feature rich concerning visual tools and overall features like Webflow?

The approach is different. Like in Pinegrow, the styling in Webflow is done by manipulating individual CSS properties and in PGS we are working with controls for accomplishing design goals without having to know how they are implemented in CSS.

@Pinegrow_User is king :crown: in digging these secretly hidden comments up !!!

Thanks @Matjaz for taking the time for a little insight and explaining which direction this is going to! Looking very promising and cool. (I have not much time now, I shall post a longer reply later today).

Fantastic! Keep empowering PG and all it’s visual and code editing capabilities , see webflow! as for PGS, I imagine a kind of Adobe Muse or something like that.
Anyway PG Rules!

Devs should take a look at Bootstrap Studio, which is in many ways similar to Pinegrow (though not nearly as powerful/versatile.) But the program does do some things in a very elegant, intuitive way. I think they make extremely good use of the screen space, and have many active menus that change when different elements are selected.

For example, to change the width of the window from large to medium in Pinegrow requires you to click on the drop-down menu and then select (or use a keyboard combo.) BSS simply has four small buttons/icons to represent the different device sizes, and with a single click you can change the display. These little UI features make using the program faster.

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Thanks again for the response @matjaz.

Obviously at this point its still hard for others to surmise or properly imagine what this product may ultimately be concerning workflow and features.

But even so, I wish you much success with this new endeavor. Historically designers are rather particular with the requirements and expectations of their apps. With those needs seemingly growing exponentially over time with these types of apps, its a fickle product space. I trust you understand this with your own observations of the market, concerning what designers are seeking, regarding the ability to use their design skills freely even within confines.

Ask 5 designers what they want and get 15 responses. – just kidding [ kind of ]


But in all seriousness, this fact can be seen when following the demise or progression of various apps marketed in this product space. So - “I wouldn’t try to mimic anyone else aside from being inspired by the very best approaches and features from everyone,” - especially Pinegrow. ;–)

I trust your approach on workflow and features will successfully satisfy the majority of designers vast requirements and expectations entering the Pinegrow product family.

Hopefully you will have happy trees and “designers using Pinegrow”.


It’s certainly an intriguing bit of news and development at this point, I will say that. :eyes:

Thanks again for the response @matjaz.

:evergreen_tree: :hearts:

Curious why is that? Are the settings contained in a JSON file or something, so once changed externally via the native SASS/CSS files the reference is lost for PGS?

As a designer and confirmed ‘codephobic’ I have just one word to say about the concept of a PGS – drool. :crazy_face:

1 Like

16 responses… I’d like it to be unbelievably intuitive, fully-featured with design elements, totally site-wide manageable, no or few element placement limitations, and cross-platform compatible with all browsers. And WELL documented. :sunglasses:

Great description of PineGrow. PGS sounds like an interesting step in PG’s product line and I hope that creating clean code (html/css) that will help users learn how to write it if they want will remain an important part of the product. I think the PG team have done an incredible job of bridging the gap between handwritten code and a visual editor and I look forward to seeing what PGS brings, hopefully strengthening your market share.

@Pinegrow_User great topic

When will the PG be finally developed? If really this SOFTWARE PRODUCT will be in demand for designers-it will be a bomb! I can’t wait… When??? Date. It’s time. Place? Appearances and Passwords…

Exciting news!
Hope you won`t let PG die.:muscle:

It sounds very preliminary in the overall process – “It’s still in the early prototype / experimental stage”

Pinegrow will certainly remain the core app and essential piece of the product line.

Much of its current core allows moving further upward towards more advanced features and downward towards greater simplistic approaches. Along with the opportunity to blend products both ways in various instances.

Can we assume that PGS is going to be framework-agnostic or still generate HTML/(S)CSS for e.g. Bootstrap?

Hi @matjaz, my first post here … :slight_smile:

To me this would be great news! I build a couple of websites a year, so not that much. I’ve been using Webflow, I think I master that pretty well. On the other hand I have a copy of pinegrow and even Blocsapp. Because I don’t like the business model of Webflow, I don’t like the idea of being stuck to the more or less closed system that Webflow is. I don’t like the bugginess of Webflow because it is a browser based sitebuilder, plus I don’t like the fact that a lot of fairly simple user requests (like a more useable asset manager) take ages to be implemented.

What I do like in Webflow though is the way It lets its users build sites, change styles, use flex or grid. Not to forget the excellent documentation and videos. Being used to working with Webflow I still find it hard to grasp the way in which I have to style elements in Pinegrow.

So I would love to see this PGS especially when it will be very similar to Webflow!

Greets, Tom