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Where is the news??

In november 2002 FC made www.citydesknews.com.

FC stated: "The Fog Creek CityDesk crew is interested in hearing some of your feedback about CityDesk News. Do you think this site should contain general news about web design, even if it's not directly related to CityDesk? Or only CityDesk specific news? What would you change about CityDesk news to make it more useful?"

I don't see much news. One message every month for 6 months now, except for december. And it feels to me that some of the messages are placed there just to say something.  And now two months nothing. Is there so little to tell about Citydesk? If i didn't know about this forum i would think there is little or no development. And even on the forum FC is very quiet about changes surronding Citydesk.

What would i like to see on citydesknews:
1. a REAL forum, like phpBB2, with sections for templating, cityscript, blogging, php, (my)sql, asp, external tools (like htmldbscript), perl, javascript, tips & tricks, complaining (we are good at that you know ;-) ), new sites, etc.
Citydesk official knowledgde base is "nothing" compared to the knowlegde base you create when you have a real forum. Thanks to the work of Terry some of the things we discuss here are saved in an easy to access way.
I would even volunteer to moderate such a forum.

2. More news, i guess it's not called citydesknews for nothing. News about developments, screenshots of upcoming versions (teasers). Citydesknews.com is just one page now, with a lot of links. The news could even be non Citydesk related as long as it is about webdesign.
The information there is now about citydesk, is scattered over a couple of FC fora and Joels own website.

3. News should be updated. An example: On your site you speak about HTMLDBscript. The screenshot is of version 0.2 beta, but you can download 1.0. And version 1.5 is on the way. Why don't you also have news about for example the ctycalendar made by Ken McKinney.

Or why didn't you have news about all the new templates that are available on http://templates.fogcreek.com? There is in my view much to tell, a lot of people are very busy with Citydesk, so why not show that on citydesknews.com.

You asked "Don't be bashful!" but i guess i wasn't.

PeterM
Monday, May 03, 2004

I sometime wonders what would happen if a more PR-minded company came along with a product similar to CityDesk. My guess is that all 5 (or is it 6?) 'members' of this forum would migrate with tears running down their cheeks.

Jorgen Brenting
Monday, May 03, 2004

Jorgen,

The fact that there are few people on this forum, and other reasons, prompted me to post this  http://discuss.fogcreek.com/CityDesk/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=11528&ixReplies=15 

I hope that my posts, and that of the other "5 or 6" here, will prompt Joel to improve CD.

Peter has good ideas. A lively user group helps spawn more users. Right?

-Bob

Bob Bloom
Monday, May 03, 2004

It could be misleading to extrapolate the number of citydesk users from the relatively low number of people posting (rather technical stuff) to this forum. Looking at our CityDesk Wizard / Template user base and comparing it to the list of forum posters, the overlap is minuscule.

It could simply be that CD is a fine tool - as is - for most users who simply want to get their job done. That is also the case with our other (non-Wizard) CD customers who would not even dream of posting here.

The one thing to balance for FC is the feedback they get from, say, developers (to be found on this forum) and "regular users" who might have totally different issues they would like to see improved in CD. Examples: CD remembering "view second language" correctly or having an option to turn-off HTML-awareness of selected article fields (those hidden paragraph tags driving one crazy) or avoiding double-paragraphs when pasting Word data...etc. "Trivial stuff" to some, but very annoying issues in daily use.

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

Patrick Thomas
Monday, May 03, 2004

Bob,
That's (your other post) is exactly what I meant. We would all be sad to leave CityDesk, but we would do it if another, more responsive, 'partner' was available.

Jorgen Brenting
Tuesday, May 04, 2004

What time would it cost to update a website? I manage 4 websites and it takes me about an hour a week to update all of them.

I agree with Bob as he says :"A lively user group helps spawn more users. Right?"

So is a lively website. I can understand that the developers at FC are working hard. But what if someone would take 15 minutes every week to update the site.

This is all PR. Keep the users of your product happy and try to get more users.

I wonder if all these comments have any effect. FC askes for feedback but then. What will change. The only thing that has changed in the time that i use CD is the layout of the CD website.

PeterM
Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Kids. Cool your jets.

If you want software which sells itself through PR, look elsewhere. Macromedia has hyped Dreamweaver enough to make it an automatic seller. Most reviewers gloss over the fact that the latest release is rather poor.

Otoh, here's Fog Creek, which has put out a decent product which you can try out to see if you like it and then purchase if it meets your needs. If it doesn't, don't buy it or get your money back.

Fog Creek will surely crank up its marketing engine again when it gets CD3 out of the door. Joel Spolsky is a very good salesperson when he has to be. Right now, FC is obviously busy doing things such as *coding*.

(Contrary to popular belief, posting a news item is quite an effort and a distraction.)

GeraldH
Tuesday, May 04, 2004

"Kids. Cool your jets.

If you want software which sells itself through PR, look elsewhere. "

First, i'm no kid and i don't have to cool my jets.

Second, PR is also keeping your users/costumers. This is what i mean by my posting this topic. I like Citydesk very much and that's why i hate the lack of information and the lack of a proper way of sharing information.

PeterM
Tuesday, May 04, 2004

A user forum is what it is: a user forum. It is not a software makers forum. Software makers use their time to make software. So, it is allright with me that the FC people don't engage in all the discussions about this or that feature that should be added or removed or disabled. I don't know of any software maker who does that. Of course, if they are wise, they will follow what's being said end use it as feedback.

On the other hand, the complete radio silence that FC keeps, is disturbing. Citydesk is not just a nice gadget, we use it for serious purposes and sometimes we advise our  customers to use CD. We simply need to know what lies ahead, to be able to plan our business.

That is not asking for detailed information. The CD clone that showed up, clearly illustrates that it is wise for a small company as FC not to show all their cards. But at least we would like to know which of the main issues around CD are being worked on - they are by no means a company secret, we all know them. There is a column on FC software by Joel, isn't there?

Actually, I guess I did get an answer to at least one of my questions in a direct e-mail from FC. But I don't know what the status of this information is (from the service desk), nor if my question was understood correctly, and anyway, it should be a public communication from FC.

As to the HTML question - enabled or not: I simply don't see how the big html editor company's can ignore the kind of functionality that CityDesk offers. It is evidently very powerful and needed. So my prediction (IMHO) is that they will incorporate it in their own packages, in a form that will not compete with their own online 'big iron' cms'es.

If that's so, then the editor side is not the side where FC can distinguish itself and where their developing efforts will go. CityDesk will distinguish itself by bridging the gap between desktop cms and big iron (powerful scripting, remote management etcetera) . The big guys cannot do that, because then they would be competing with their own expensive online cms packages.

Well, at least IMHO on this beautiful tuesday night in Amsterdam.







It is also the only raison d'être I can think of for the CD clone.

Ruud van Soest
Tuesday, May 04, 2004

The CityDesk clone (SiteBreeze) also runs on Linux, Solaris, OS X, etc instead of just Windows. And it's about half the price of CityDesk. So there are a few reasons for its existence.

Darren Collins
Tuesday, May 04, 2004

"A user forum is what it is: a user forum. It is not a software makers forum. Software makers use their time to make software. So, it is allright with me that the FC people don't engage in all the discussions about this or that feature that should be added or removed or disabled. "

Joel's got time for:

Ask Joel http://discuss.fogcreek.com/newyork/

Joel on Software http://www.joelonsoftware.com/

So he has time to let us know about this feature and that feature.
----------------------------------------------
"On the other hand, the complete radio silence that FC keeps, is disturbing... We simply need to know what lies ahead, to be able to plan our business."

Frankly, it's HTML DbScript v1.5 that I want tweaked, more than CD! I can stay with CD2 for a long time.

-----------------------------------------------
"The CD clone that showed up, clearly illustrates that it is wise for a small company as FC not to show all their cards"

I took a chance on CD1 & Beta because it was a terrific concept, and that this forum + Darren's web site + what reviews are out there said that this was an up-and-coming product. The forums and websites were crucial because it showed that there was a real user group that could help me learn CD. Plus, Joel was answering techie questions in this forum, and I was impressed.

I don't know why CD has to have such a massive project schedule with unbounded timelines. Publish additional functions with incremental releases, and have the paypal jar handy. So what, you have 20 v2 releases, and I take every second release, and drop $5 in your paypal jar. Maybe this isn't going to mean big money, but it's a way of making some dough while keeping close with your paying customers -- who are showing obvious commitment to your product. This way you can add {$.template$} and {$.templatefamily$} to your product without waiting for a whole new production cycle!

-------------------------------------------------------
"If that's so, then the editor side is not the side where FC can distinguish itself and where their developing efforts will go. CityDesk will distinguish itself by bridging the gap between desktop cms and big iron (powerful scripting, remote management etcetera) . The big guys cannot do that, because then they would be competing with their own expensive online cms packages."

See, it's not just me! HTML editing is a red herring. CD is a CLIENT-SIDE MIDDLEWARE CMS.

CD should have dynamically created html pages (oh, did I mention that in a dozen other posts?!), built in <email this article> <print this article> <5 most popular articles> <etc> functions, Related Articles function (I can probably figure this out using my external Access db), and other glorious CMS functions.

CD sits between the published pages, and the db that supplies the content.

Good posts, many thanks!

-Bob

Bob Bloom
Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Bob, it sounds like you're after a different product. Something like Zope, perhaps, is more of a middleware tool that can be used to build those more dynamic sites.

Features like <email this article>, <5 most popular articles>, etc require software on the server. That would take CityDesk in a different direction, and it would no longer be a client-side desktop CMS. And that's CityDesk's biggest advantage gone.

Darren Collins
Wednesday, May 05, 2004

That said, there probably is a place in the market for a tool like CityDesk (i.e. rich client) that uploads/syncs its data with a server product. I don't think I've ever come across anything like that, but it would be interesting. It would combine all the great things about CityDesk with the dynamic flexibility offered by a server-side solution.

My biggest problem with server-side CMSes (the ones I can afford, at least) is the hassle of editing and managing the site in a browser. That really isn't a pleasure!

Darren Collins
Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Darren,

As always, I appreciate your post.

Just glancing at http://www.zope.com.

"Clients receive secure access to the source code repository, which allows them to download, install, contribute to and use the software as soon as a particular feature is developed and/or fixed without waiting for formal product releases."

Made me laugh!

Thanks for the reference to Zope.

Are there other products that can create static html pages from an external db, and the FTP those pages to a web server?

-Bob

Bob Bloom
Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Darren, you're right!

I'm still looking for an <email me> cgi script. I don't really need <most popular>...

-Bob

Bob
Wednesday, May 05, 2004

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