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Feature wishes for CD 3.0

Not sure if there's an official or not-so-official list of what'll be in CD 3.0 - from using CD 2.0 Starter for a bit, I have these wishes:

* Ability to specify an external CSS editor (I'd really like to use TopStyle for this!!)

* Ability to reference images externally (instead of packing them into CD itself) - would be great for those vacation picture galleries.... (yes, I know - you'd have to make sure yourself that the external links are valid at runtime)

* Ability to store CD database in SQL Server 2000 (if present already, as on my developer system)

* Easier sharing of templates / samples - seems a bit "klunky" to have to open a complete *.cty file - there's no easy way to copy stuff between CTY files..... (e.g. like a directory synchronizer - a CTY synchronizer - show me the contents of two CTY files side by side, and allow me to copy individual articles or entire folders from one CTY to the other)

Marc Scheuner
Monday, December 01, 2003

* Ability to specify an external CSS editor (I'd really like to use TopStyle for this!!)

You can already do this. View|File Types and change the action for CSS to "edit with Windows default". I use Topstyle all the time.

Michael Wild
Monday, December 01, 2003

Access will let you create a 'table' in a local database that is actually a link to some external resource.

Once upon a time, I had an .mdb file that was just a bunch of links - via ODBC - to tables in a MySQL database on a Linux machine somewhere.

I wonder what effect that would have on performance.

Here's my CityDesk 3.0 wishlist:

1. Folder-specific settings for new articles: in particular, I want new articles in folder X to use template X, while new articles in folder Y use template Y.  Defaults for other fields - author, headline, keywords, etc. - would be nice, too.

2. HTML view for headline, teaser, extra1, etc., etc. If I could create an article whose body was an <img /> tag pointing to a full-size image, and whose extra1 field was an <img /> tag pointing to a thumbnail, all sorts of interesting photo-gallery things become possible.

3. Let me specify whether new articles come up in HTML View or Normal View.  It may be irrational of me, but I never use Normal View.

(Sometimes I feel bad for Joel & Co.: they put so much effort into Normal View, and I never use it.)

Pat Rice
Monday, December 01, 2003

Here's some more feature requests:

A random sort or select - so that you could select 10 articles at random at publish time. This would be very helpful for doing things like including a random lists of articles about a topic, or putting 10 links out of a larger number into a blogroll.

More .extra fields. At least 10.

The ability to assign a default template to a folder. I use several templates, and it's an extra step to assign the correct template every time.  It would be nice if the articles in the "news" folder could be assigned the "news" template.

Jim L
Thursday, December 04, 2003

The default template would be good when you are trying to show someone how to use the site that isn't as well versed as the designer. That is a step that is easy to miss for an secondary author.

Ron Lane
Thursday, December 04, 2003

10 .extra fields, and if you rename them you could use the new names in the template...

Ruud van Soest
Friday, December 05, 2003

Instead of "10 extra fields", I'd rather see the possibility to define dynamic arrays (of text fields), attached to an article.

As a side effect, that would elegantly enable full support for tabular data within CD, be it for football results, text in tabular form, and so on...

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Similar to Ruud and Vic, I'd like to be able to create tables. But I'd rather they didn't have to be attached to articles.

To get an idea about what you could do with them, here are two examples:

1) Create a list of books (with fields title, author, ISBN, topic, URL, etc). You could then write CityScript to include all the books about "web design" on one page, "hockey" on another page, etc. Alternatively you could make lists of books by the same author. Each list element could link back to that book's URL (which might be the author's web site, or an page, or your own review, or whatever).

2) Create a list of handy URLs (with fields title, URL, description, topic, score, etc). Then you could easily create Links pages, sorted/filtered by score, by topic, by title, or whatever.

Darren Collins
Sunday, December 07, 2003

Don't waste your time--they didn't listen for 2.0, they won't listen for 3.0...

Monday, December 08, 2003

Even CityDesk 3 won't be for everybody. I'm sure Fog has made some agonizing decisions about the CD 3.0 feature list, which was probably closed out months ago.

I have my one pet feature wish; it could save me buckets of time. I don't think Fog owes me that feature though.

I'm sure CD3 will both amaze and disappoint each one of us.

Monday, December 08, 2003

You're very negative, 'me'. Fog Creek did listen to how the users were using CityDesk 1.0, and made improvements in CityDesk 2.0 to help those users. It would have been impossible to add every new feature that was suggested, but I think they made a pretty good compromise between features and delivery date.

Sure there's plenty they could do to improve CityDesk, but to say they don't listen to users is simply not true.

Darren Collins
Monday, December 08, 2003

Darren, you are right. To some extent anyway. But it's very easy to get the impression that Fog Creek couldn't care less when you never hear from them in any constructive way. I think also that the contrast between JOS's "superior knowledge" and self proclaimed guru-ship and the way CD and this forum works sometimes is too much for some frustrated users.

Jorgen Brenting
Wednesday, December 10, 2003

I recollect Joel stating that CD2 is more of a maintenance release, so I'm not sure it's fair to judge Fog Creek's response to CD feature requests solely by 2.0.

David Walker
Wednesday, December 10, 2003

That's my impression too, David. They made some changes to CD1.0 to make our life a bit easier, but didn't want to do too much because there are more fundamental changes coming in 3.0. It's a lot of work to duplicate features across two separate source streams.

Darren Collins
Wednesday, December 10, 2003

CD is a great simple solution and I guess the real challenge is keeping it that way whilst supporting a user community that is starting to stretch its capabilities.

Here's my wish list...

1. More custom fields
2. The ability to use field values in scripts
3. Alternatives for the db eg MySql, SQL Server
4. Capability to assign templates to folders
5. Capability to maintain a list of keywords and multi select these - as opposed to typing/copy & paste
6. Support css and html tags in WSIWYG (as opposed to font size etc)

Friday, December 19, 2003

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