I am writing this as my observations of trying very hard with Pulse and Freeway sites. I do not intend any criticism of the system or any individual. However, my experience with Pulse has been frustrating to put it mildly, and this I feel is down to the difficulties in getting advice and support.
I started off with a requirement to incorporate a simple CMS into a client site, so that he was able to edit and insert items of stock he had for sale. I use Freeway to design my web sites, and so I asked on the Freeway Talk forums for advice. I was pointed in the direction of Pulse v3.
So, I downloaded the trial version to see if Pulse would meet my needs. In principle, it looked like it would.
I had huge difficulties getting Pulse v3 to do even basic things, like logging in to the admin panel. Passwords being rejected, etc. etc. After many hours of toil, I sought advice both here and on the Freeway forums. In the end, someone (I can’t remember who!) eventually solved my problem. It was down to the fact that Mac OS X uses ‘smart quotes’ as a default, and that was causing issues in my Pulse config file.
I resolved the issue by using a separate App from the OS X default TextEdit, and these issues disappeared. I have to wonder however, why this issue is not mentioned anywhere in the Pulse docs. I had never even heard of ‘smart quotes’ before all this.
Following this, I was able to get Pulse 3 working satisfactorily for my purposes, with some help from Tim Plumb on the Freeway forums.
As I had seen various quotes from Michael about Pulse v3 not being supported in the future, I decided to try and replicated what I needed in Pulse 4. This is when my major problems started. In order to simplify what I was trying to achieve, I put up a simple test site of a row of 3 boxes with content using Freeway, and tried to replicate them as a Pulse template.
Again, after many hours trying, I sought advice from the forums here and at Freeway. One example is here Can't get Pulse 4 to work on existing site
The problem is that on the (always very helpful) Freeway forum, although people were prepared to help, no one had any in depth knowledge of Pulse, except for Tim, and although Tim chipped in from time to time, I was getting nowhere. I also had an exchange of emails with Tim, but, in the end, I stopped getting replies. There is no criticism intended there, as I appreciate that people like Tim give their help for free, and are very busy people.
Similarly, seeking out help on the Pulse forum, I got a similar - but opposite - type of response, i.e. some people were prepared to help, but no one seemed to have any knowledge of Freeway – except Tim. Even Michael, in his email replies to support request, suggested that I put my question to the forums as he had no knowledge of how Freeway works, and suggested that Tim would be my best bet to help.
So, it would seem that my only hope is Tim, who has knowledge of Freeway and Pulse, but Tim is obviously a busy man with limited time to respond to requests for guidance.
I am not a novice in a lot of fields, I have developed apps for the Apple App Store and have knowledge of certain coding environments, however, I chose Freeway as a web design tool as it does not require much coding knowledge. I had hoped for the same situation with Pulse, i.e. an easy to use CMS that I could incorporate into my existing Freeway sites. My experience has been that is not the case. Although I can see how Pulse 4 works with existing templates, and how attractive designs can be achieved, I have not been able to do fairly simple things using simple test sites from Freeway. Even stuff I have managed to do has involved adding custom code, organising ids and classes, and manipulating existing code a lot more than I had expected.
Maybe my expectations were unrealistic, but my experience of trying to get Pulse working with existing sites has involved days of frustration, and I am now going to rely on v3 to keep going and be supported my Michael for the foreseeable future.
I just want to repeat that I am not intending any criticism here, just documenting my frustrations and observations!