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Storing information/Variables

Although i said in this topic http://discuss.fogcreek.com/CityDesk/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=11968&ixReplies=5

that i didn't have the time to turn a template into something, where the user wouldn't have to wander around in the html source or stylesheet, i started changing Sinorca2.

For the storing of the information that can be changed (colors, text, font-families) i use variables. I have 20 variables now and there will be another 10-15 before i am ready i guess.

I saw the documentation of the telepark templates and i used a template by mutt-software a couple of months for my own site. They both use articles to store the kind of information I put in variables.

Why would you choose to use articles to store information instead of using variables? I know you can store images this way, so that would be a plus for articles.

I put a pdf that can be found at http://www.mijnplekophetnet.nl/plaatjes/sinorca2.pdf so you can see some of the variables used and what they represent.

PeterM
Friday, April 09, 2004

Here you can find a different way of showing the variables and there effect.

http://www.mijnplekophetnet.nl/plaatjes/sinorca2variables.png

A bit like the testpage on Darren Collins his site.
http://citydesk.pool-room.com/test.html

PeterM
Friday, April 09, 2004

The main reason to put it into article fields instead of variables is simplicity and order. As long as variables don't support folders of some kind, its just a long list of items. Not that nice to work with (except for those who like to or have to).

With articles, we can offer a meaningful grouping of parameters using folders, have a nice way of grouping parameters which belong together in one and the same article with nicely separated entry fields, and we can also put some extra information in the articles body for added convenience / support, e.g. information about color codes (a whole list of color blocks with their respective RGB codes for example).

Furthermore, variable naming is too restrictive: you cannot use spaces and parentheses. So for example an article field header like

LINK COLOR (enter RGB value e.g. "FF00AA" or color name e.g. red)

is not possible as a variable name.

Thats why our CityDesk Wizards / Templates are very simple, very intuitive for the non-HTML-developer end-user.

At the end, it boils down to the target group one is after. Ours is people who don't want to spend time thinking about HTML code or the meaning of long lists of variables they have to tweak.

Another smaller issue: it was unclear if the contributor edition would allow one to *change* variable values. With "Article-Based-Configuration" :) as in in our CityDesk Wizards / Templates you can design your website even with a Contributor license, saving an extra 200 US$.

Cheers

Patrick
http://www.telepark.de/webwizards/

PS: No, we don't sell contributor licenses stand-alone, don't ask :-)

Patrick Thomas
Friday, April 09, 2004

@Patrick

Thank you for your answer. It makes a lot of sense now. Especially the part about the extra information you can give inside an article.

PeterM
Friday, April 09, 2004

They only thing people can change, at this moment, in my template are the colors, the font-family, and some text. The only variable that is doing something with folders is the variable Submenu.

People cannot change the layout of the template without fiddling in the html itself.

The user has just to fill in a couple of colorcodes and they have a "new" site. I have only experience with the template from Mutt-software as to the use of articles for storing variables. Sometimes it was hard to find the right place to put someting.

You said it yourself: "As long as variables don't support folders of some kind, its just a long list of items".

In my case that is just what it is. A long list of items.
With the help of a PDF-file i can explain which variable belongs where. See the link to the pdf-file in my first message.

PeterM
Saturday, April 10, 2004

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