I’m new to Sparkle and imported my website designed with webacapella into Sparkle. Webacappella is based on bootstrap but doesn’t offer enough layout-wise. I would like to share my experience to the Sparkle community in the following text as a newcomer and switcher.
As a power user of iWork, I immediately felt at home in Sparkle: big compliments to the developers! Real bootstrap framework is not so important for me, as you have to design two different layouts there too.
My site consists of 40, quite text-heavy pages, eight of which are bilingual.
My big disappointment with Sparkle was that the horizontal and vertical menus don’t show an active state. I feel this is an existential shortcoming of the app, since millions of websites can display active status and billions of users are used to it! And to be honest: If I were a professional web designer, this shortcoming would be a reason for me to stay away from Sparkle.
So I tried to compensate this shortcoming with workarounds. First I tried to give each of the 8 menu items a color background, for each page separately. And since these pages are bilingual, there are 16 boxes with different sizes for the menu items, see [https://herbert-gietzen.de]. Unfortunately I found out afterwards that this does not work for the tablet 768 px: The boxes were shifted. So I personalized this device layout and adjusted the boxes. But this was only possible if I orientated myself on the preview: In the editor the boxes are still shifted by several pixels once they are placed correctly in the preview. Is this a bug? (I have this version saved as backup and could send it to the developers).
Unfortunately, I Sparkle newbie hadn’t considered that I need to design all 40 pages for the newly personalized layout. And so halfway (after several hours!) I discarded this workaround and used old school style 16 single buttons instead of the 2 menus. (In the phone layout I have of course placed 2 hamburger menus in 2 sections.) So I could reset the device 768 px to automatic again.
Question to the developers: Would it be theoretically possible to personalize a device only for selected pages and leave the rest at “automatic”?
The second disappointment was the letterbox in the image gallery. Since I have both portrait and landscape images, I can’t use “fill”. Unfortunately, the images are always centered. It would be very helpful if all images were pinned directly below or above the thumbnails or could be placed separately!
Also at the top of my wishlist would be the ability to also implement a “selected pages” radio button when making items and groups visible in the arrange panel. The „show on all pages in this section" option is not flexible enough, especially since you can’t create subsections.
If there was this possibility to apply the visibility of elements or groups to any pages, these would then turn out to be real templates, which are called subpages or classes in other apps. If they were listed in the left panel (next to pages and layers) as a third category called “templates”, the flexibility would be perfect. (This ist possible in webacappella!)
And since Sparkle is so beautifully modeled on iWork, the next logical step would be to implement editable forms, tables (just simple ones with plain text) and charts from there. Not everyone wants to buy and learn sketch to use it as a plugIn in Sparkle. The functions of iWork, with which almost every Mac user is well acquainted, will suffice in the vast majority of cases. Is a direct embedding (without export) of forms and tables from iWork conceivable in the medium term?
Finally, I would like to say that I have not regretted the purchase of Sparkle at all, despite the difficulties described above. On the contrary, I think the app still has a lot of potential.
P.S.: The correct translation of “copy” (seen in the layers panel) into German is “Kopie” and not “kopieren”. “Kopieren” means “to copy” (verb) but here the noun “copy” is meant. By the way, I easily could do without that hint, I do know that this or that element is a copy. It disturbs the clarity of the panel. It would be nice if one could disable this in the settings.