About this project
Macaw is the first web design tool to blend the fluid and intuitive interface of an image editor with a powerful design-to-code engine. We're striving to make life easier for designers and developers and we hope you'll join us. Check out the video below to get an in-depth walkthrough on how Macaw works.
Fluidity comes in many forms within Macaw. Not only is the process of designing made fluid with Macaw's intuitive drawing mechanics – everything within Macaw is also fluid. The canvas is fluid; the grids are fluid; even the elements you draw are fluid. So, designing percentage-based layouts is made dead simple. Drag and drop elements where you want them and Macaw will take care of the calculations for you.
Macaw is bringing popular development practices such as Don't Repeat Yourself (DRY) to the design world. Save commonly used styles, apply them to multiple elements and edit them in one place with Macaw's Style Editor. You can even save complex components such as headers and footers in your library to reuse across multiple pages. Again, edit them in one spot and the others will automatically update.
Deriving usable code from a design tool has long been thought impossible. Macaw unlocks the language of the web with its powerful design-to-code engine called Alchemy, which is programmed to learn as you design and applies the same logic a developer would use – considering things like applicability, specificity and semantics. Alchemy also provides an advanced workflow for developers looking to pull code that meets their personal preferences.
If we hit $200,000 we'll integrate a broadcast mechanism so you can preview your designs across multiple devices as you work! You'll be able to use your phone or tablet's standard browser and view the fully interactive pages that you're designing within Macaw. We'll even include a live reload so you don't have to hit that pesky refresh button.
We're two guys tackling a very large problem. We've been working on Macaw for well over a year now. We have a ton of Macaw already built, but it's an extremely complex app and we could use some developer muscle to help finish things up in a timely manner. Kickstarter funds would be used to bring in development resources for the following areas:
1. Core development: Much of the core is complete. We need to round out a couple features and take the time to thoroughly test everything.
2. Native OS X: We need to round out some application support mechanisms such as updates and feedback.
3. PC version: We've been focused primarily on the OS X version, but can easily port it over to PC.
4. User support mechanisms: We'll be deploying forums and developing a robust help section.
5. Special features: We have a few unmentioned – and pretty awesome – features that we'd love to give you in version 1, which we'll be able to do if we raise enough.
Risks and challenges
Macaw is a huge engineering challenge. Behind the scenes is a complex architecture and surfacing its power in a usable interface can be difficult. However, we've been using design tools for nearly two decades. We've taught aspiring students how to use them and we've published ebooks and articles exploring the same mechanics that we're now building. The Kickstarter funds will ensure that we can overcome the engineering challenges in a timely manner.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We have no plans to bring Macaw to Linux at this time. Once the Mac and Windows versions are released we will look into Linux.
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