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Questions for CityDesk users

I'm thinking of buying CityDesk, but before I spend the money I have some questions for people who are already using it...

1. How does CityDesk do with large files? Will it start to have problems if the file for a site gets over 10 MB? Or if I import many 200-300kb jpegs?

2. Is there any way to put information from a database into a CD site, perhaps using an third-party tool? For example, I have a site (currently in Frontier) which creates several hundred static pages by reading from a Filemaker database.

3. Is anyone accessing the same CityDesk file from computers in different locations? I'm using a 128MB USB keychain thing, but that's not much space...

Ken Hagler
Monday, August 30, 2004

1.  CityDesk does not handle large files well;  When the CityDesk database gets large (over 10 MB in my experience) it slows down significantly when previewing and publishing.

2.  HTMLDBScript, a third party add-on to CityDesk, might fill this need using an external Access database.

3.  I keep all  my < 12MB CityDesk sites on my thumb drive.

David Burch
Monday, August 30, 2004

I've got one 55mb and 8 others over 10mb. It certainly slows as sites get bigger. I've got a 2.8 gig processor and it works fine for me. We're all hoping for improved publish times in future versions.

Managing images is another issue. If we could use CityScript with images files, we could do some extraordinary things.

If you have a lot of pictures and want galleries and slideshows, you'll need to find some javascript methods to make it happen. I have a lot of pictures on a few sites and I wish CityDesk helped me a little more.

I have some galleries and slideshows but I had to brute force them.

Make sure to try things out with the free version.

tk
Monday, August 30, 2004

If you are able to install some sort of image gallery script (e.g. Coppermine) on your web site, that's the best way to manage lots of photos. You can then link out to the gallery from within your CityDesk site.

Trying to maintain photo albums within CityDesk is a bit hard, as CityScript can't do anything with non-article items.

Darren Collins
Monday, August 30, 2004

I can live with slow previews and publishes with large files. I was mostly worried file corruption and data loss.

I made a good start at figuring out how to do a gallery by hand: http://www.orange-road.com/Photography/Music/Bayadera/

I have a CityScript question about the index page, though. Currently the thumbnails are inserted using a foreach loop--each thumbnail is the teaser for its corresponding page. I'd like to have a table with four or five thumbnails per row--is this possible?

Ken Hagler
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

You can't count with CityScript yet. It's a much requested feature. With "odd" and "even" you might be able to do rows of two. I don't know if anyone has tried that.

tk
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

I've never corrupted a database and the automatic backups are handy.  CityDesk is very reliable as long as you know what not to do. 

The only problem comes from switching back and forth between the so-called HTML mode and Normal mode.  You must know what proper XHTML is or you might lose some of your article when CityDesk's built-in HTMLTidy code attempts to tidy up your incorrect code.

Unfortunately, I have found it impossible to stay in normal mode, especially when cutting and pasting code.  The normal mode just isn't robust enough.  So I stay mainly in Normal mode for simple stuff and mainly in HTML mode when I need to tweak the code and I'm very careful and make sure I have a backup when switching between modes.

David Burch
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

I put risky javascript code and particulary forms into variables to avoid the normal view problems.

tk
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Instead of putting your thumbnails into a HTML table, you could just put them all next to each other on a line, with spaces in between each <img> tag. That way, the line will wrap and it'll look like a big table full of thumbnails.

The nice thing about this technique is that the number of thumbnails per line automatically adjusts to the user's browser window size.

It looks neatest if you center the line containing all the thumbnails.

Darren Collins
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

This page gives an example of what I mean:
http://www.dsansw.org.au/photos/Gallery5.html

Drag your browser window wider and narrower to see how the pictures rearrange.

And that's my daughter in the last photo :-)

Darren Collins
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

An extension to Darren's example is to wrap each image in a div tag with it's own class.  Here's an example generated by CityDesk where each image is in a <div class="listing"> tag and uses CSS to control the appearance.  It also wraps nicely as long as all the images are the same height:  http://www.lakemonticelloproperties.com/listingsa.htm

David Burch
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The div method does what I was looking for. Thanks!

Ken Hagler
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

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