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Citydesk as blog front end?

I mentioned this before but after reading the latest article link about native apps vs web apps I thought I'd bring it up again.

Any thought to making a Citydesk version that supports existing CMSes/blogs through exsiting standards (blogger API, movabletype API, etc?)

I've been looking for a good blog editor.  Currently when I want to update my blog or website I have to hand edit/crop each of the photos in photoshop, hand FTP them up, and then type in mostly text but with some HTML mark up.

I've tried several of the freeware and shareware offline blog editors like Ztempt, w.bloggar, SharpMT etc but none of them a really well designed or easy to use and they don't do what I want.

What I want is a system where I can take some images I snapped with my digital camera, crop, resize, adjust levels, hue-saturation, brightness, contrast and sharpness, paste them in a post, edit the post WYSIWYG and then press one button and post it (have it upload the images and the article).

I live with the old manual way because I have to so far.  All of the products mentioned above don't seem to handle this relatively simple task.  Some will upload images but they still do it manually, one at a time.  None of them will edit the images.  As such they don't actually give me any benefits that I need.

Maybe Citydesk could?  Just an idea.

Gregg Tavares
Monday, September 27, 2004

CityDesk does work pretty decently for maintaining blog-like web sites.  It has limited built-in editing (resizing/cropping, etc.) for JPEG images. 

However, CityScript works only with articles, not images.  So, if you want an automated photo album, you have create articles for each of the images, import the image into one field, type the caption in another, and use CityScript to extract the field contents into placeholders in the HTML. 

Or, if you have PHP on the server, you can use the gallerymaker template from here: http://www.ryanstudios.com/spanish/noticias/2004/05/citydesk.html.  Or you could do something similar yourself combining CityScript and PHP, ASP, or whatever server scripting language you have available.

Also, HTMLDBScript might prove useful:  http://www.greenwave-solutions.com/HTMLDBScriptForCityDesk.html

David Burch
Monday, September 27, 2004

There's also this: http://drupal.org/project?from=80&tid=14

David Burch
Tuesday, September 28, 2004

More open source at http://www.opensourcecms.com

-Bob

Bob Bloom
Tuesday, September 28, 2004

For photo gallery creation you can try http://jalbum.net/
and link to pages you create using it through your CD-created page. I haven't tried it, but you can modify the layout of jalbum so that pages created with it look just like the rest of your site. I've used it to simply generate web photo galleries and it's pretty damn good.

George Illes
Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Take a look at Easy Blogs ( http://www.easyblogs.com ). It lets you insert any number of pictures in each entry.

Brad
Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Thanks for the suggestions but...

drupal is just other blog software.  It's not a front end.  I don't really care what the backend is, I just care about a front end that supports standards so I can use any backend.

opensroucecms is also a backend

jalbum is a gallery maker.  Again, not what I'm looking for. I'm looking for the standard blog style of 1 or 2 images every one or 2 entries. 

easyblogs is not WYSIWYG.

like I said, all the current solutions are pretty poor IMO.

Here's an example of what I consider a typical blog
http://www.mediatinker.com/blog/index.html

Notice that every other entry has one or 2 pictures.  Preparing those pictures to upload requires a trip to photostop then manually uploding them.  Referecing them in your post requires typing HTML.  None of this is WYSIWYG.

Sure, people do it but it's like the difference between old DOS word processors and modern WYSIWYG word processers.  Blogs are still at the DOS stage.  Products like Frontpage tried to make editing HTML pages more like modern word processing but Frontpage does not support blogs.

Citydesk is kind of like a middle ground as far as I understand.  It works but unfortunately it's tied to it's own way of doing things.  It doesn't support standards so it can't be used with other systems.  There's an untapped market for a product that would make updating a blog like the one above nearly painless.  Apple will probably make something called iBlog to do it although they will probably also make it only work with mac.com

Citydesk seems like the closest product so that's why the suggestion.

Gregg Tavares
Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Gregg Tavares :re Blog Front End

If you're looking for a 1st class front end to accomplish most of what you have identified you should check out CMS Encore Pro http://biitsoft.com/ -- its currently in Release Candidate 1 stage.

The learning curve is a bit steep because the documentation is lagging way behind but if you can afford to invest the time and effort You will find that Encore does everything you need and does it outstandingly well. What makes the Encore experience a good one [in view of the fact that the documentation is lagging] is the outstanding support the developers provide to those that ask questions either via the public forum or via email.

David Mozer
Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Thanks for the recommedation but again, it's not even close to what I'm suggesting and/or looking for.

It's not a front end to other systems.  It's a front end to its own system.  In fact, it's basically a competitor to Citydesk.  On top of which it appeas to have a massively over complicated interface.  Maybe all those features are needed for the service it provides but I'm not looking for something like that.  I already have a CMS, I'm just looking for a way to post to it more simply than I can now.

Joel mentioned Citidesk, while doing fine, is not quite the blockbuster hit he had hoped.  Blogging on the other hand is taking off all over the world expectially with Google and MSN offering free blogs.  Google's system as well as MoveableType, Typepad, WordPress, and a host of others all support standards that enable posting from external software.

I'm suggesting that none of the currently available external posting software are any good and that Joel's expert interface design and social engineering would allow Citydesk to become the tool of choice for updating these blogs therefore turning it into the runaway blockbuster he had hoped for.

Gregg Tavares
Thursday, September 30, 2004

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