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fog###### name

Is there a way to control the filename of the resulting article pages?  Right now they all begin with FOG and a series of numbers.  FOG, obviously due to Fog Creek Software.  Id like to change that prefix.  Or even supply an over-ride name for some files.

David Whatley
Thursday, February 21, 2002

They'll be changing that, I believe in Service Pack 1. You can change the string and they'll delete the leading 0's.

Mark W
Thursday, February 21, 2002

Actually after much discussion our current plan is to take the article name (as shown in the main window) and use THAT as the generated file name -- unless it would result in an illegal URL, in which case, we will mush it a little bit.

For example, spaces will be removed and accented characters will be un-accented.

If that results in a duplicate name, you'll get -2, -3, -4 suffixes.

So if you have an article named index it will be published as index.html. If you have an article named "Olé, I love you!" it will be published as "OleIloveyou.html". Etc. Now if you make another article named "Olë... I LOVE you?" it would be squished to "OleILOVEyou.html" but this would not be unique on some web servers and thus would be renamed "OleILOVEyou2.html" to make it unique automatically.

fog### will be a thing of the past.

In order to prevent linkrot (broken external links) on pre-SP1 sites, any articles that were created with the older version of CityDesk will continue to publish as fog0000000000.html until you rename them. I will probably never rename the articles in the Joel on Software archive, so that they keep their URLs.

Does this sound too confusing?

Joel Spolsky
Friday, February 22, 2002

Wow. This means that my site would look totally "normal" and not generated at all. The more I hear about SP1, the more excited I get.

If you're combining articles and html files, this means we'll be able to open up articles in the HTML editor of our choice? This would nearly, if not completely, solve Paul's issue of CityDesk's "feeble" editor.

Mark W
Saturday, February 23, 2002

I've actually gotten used to the fog### URL's because I could just forget about coming up with memorable, unique file names.  I don't mean memorable to the surfer but memorable to me as the content manager.  Being able to have a 50 character file name makes it easy to figure out what's in the article without opening it.  Now I'll have some 50 character URL's.

But, I think this is a great solution because it solves so many other problems.  It's also something you don't have to explain to new users.

I have to ask though, is this a step towards eliminating "magic names" as well?  That's another topic that is difficult to explain to a new user.  "Copy URL" seems more normal than "Copy magic name."

TK
Saturday, February 23, 2002

What Joel proposes is of course very simple to use. You would in fact have the same explorer-like view of folders and files as the FrontPage "Folders" view.

However, like Terry, I would miss the ability to use longer file names in the main window: they allow you to have a meaningful description of an article for the 'content manager'. If this file name becomes the actual html file name automatically, they will have to become shorter and thus loose their descriptive clarity.

I realize simplicity of use is important, but I would vote for a solution were we can have control over both the filename in the main window (so it can be long and descriptive if wanted), and the actual html filename. Suggesting a default filename based on the filename in the main window is fine, as long as I can still change it to my liking (with the software performing a test whether that name can be used).
Having control makes you happy.

Paul Iliano
Saturday, February 23, 2002

I forgot the following:

Will this planned combining of articles and html files, as Marks thinks, enable us to open up the body of articles in the html editor of choice, as is the case for html files now?

Wow, that woud be great!!!

Paul Iliano
Saturday, February 23, 2002

After some reflection, I realize I'm advocating having control over 3 key items on order to make a great product even better:
1)being able to change the suggested html filename
2)being able to use a long descriptive fimename in the main window (as you can now)
3)being able to use the editor of our choice to write the body of articles

As Joel says on his web page User Interface Design for Programmers - Chapter 1: Controlling Your Environment Makes You Happy: "To make people happy, you have to let them feel like they are in control of their environment." http://www.joelonsoftware.com/uibook/chapters/fog0000000057.html

My 2 cents to improve a great product.

Paul Iliano
Saturday, February 23, 2002

Joel,

I think your idea is a good one.  It was actually what I thought about asking, but figured it might be too much for a service pack.

The idea of being able to optinally specify a filename is also a good one.  These two options would easily work together (the default is just the mushed name).

David Whatley
Saturday, February 23, 2002

Now it gets complicated :)

Technically speaking an article has three names:
*the name in the main window ("filename")
*the name of the file that gets generated (the "publish as" name)
*and the headline

Currently, these behave like this:
* the first time you change the filename, it gets copied to the headline
* the publish as name is always fog00000000.xxx

In SP1:
* the first time you change the filename, it gets copied to the headline.
* every time you change the filename, it gets mushed into a legal URL and that becomes the publish as name.
* old articles from earlier versions will keep their fog000000.xxx names until you explicit change the filename.

Theoretically, we could let you control the publish-as name completely independently from the filename. But I'm pretty convinced that most people will find that confusing and a bit burdensome. I think most users will have the user model that the filename IS the publish-as name. That's what most people will expect. When they see that we remove spaces and illegal characters and stuff, they will understand that all we're doing is conforming their names to the WWW. But if we have a separate, separately controllable publish name, well, that doesn't correspond to what users expect and it won't be as easy to use.

You can still use long, meaningful names for file names; we'll probably chop them to about 24 characters or so to keep the URLs decent.

Joel Spolsky
Sunday, February 24, 2002

Can I say that I'm a little displeased with this?

Let me preface this with the fact that I'm just fine with the "fogxxxx" URLs, because I have a weblog. Thinking up new URLs would be pointless and mildly painful. In lieu of "fogxxxx", I would probably just use some date-based format that would have just as little meaning to the end user, like "2002021801".

Perhaps more importantly, I really like the idea that I can have an article name displayed, rather than a file name. In my particular situation, the displayed name (the "icon name") is also not precisely the headline, for organizational purposes.

Here's how I use CityDesk:

My articles are all in an "archive" folder. My main index page is a list of the newest articles, plus a link to the archive list which lists them all.

On my main window, the "archive" folder names the title of the articles, and the date when I wrote them. By virtue of the way CityDesk works, it perfectly "sorts" these as newest at the top (which I can verify because the names on the main window include dates as well as the headline). So for example, I might have:

    filename = fog0000000049.aspx
    headline = Ill Informed E-mail
    icon name = 2002/02/18 Ill Informed E-mail

With this change, I'm going to be rather disappointed. I don't want to lose the visibility of my article title (plus the date I wrote it, which I consider to be an important piece of information). The article title is too long to be realistically used as a filename; besides which, the article names may end being duplicated from time to time, which makes them unsuitable as filenames for me.

I love things the way they are! I like the fact that you auto-generate a filename for me. What would've been so hard about just making an additional property of the article which was the article's published filename, which auto-defaults to the "fogxxxx" URL, which would then be changed by the end user?

As it stands now, there are no really significant bugs for me, so I doubt I will be downgrading my usability just to say I have SP1 installed. :(

Brad Wilson
Sunday, February 24, 2002

Acutally I wanted to have my cake and eat it too, to tell CityDesk to "fog" an article or name an article.  But I do think SP1 will be a simplification for most folks most of the time.  Good grief, I might even start naming files fog224.

The magic name thing will remain confusing.  I don't know if you can reasonably do anything about it.

TK
Sunday, February 24, 2002

Given your scenario:

headline = Ill Informed E-mail
icon name = 2002/02/18 Ill Informed E-mail

wouldn't your filename be:

20020218IllInformedE-mail.aspx ?

and wouldn't this then be in more or less chronological order? Also, you could make a file with an index in chronological order something like:

{$foreach x in (all) SortAscendBy .fileddate$}
{$x.fileddate$} {$x.headline$} {$x.filename$} {$x.link$}<br>
{$next$}

I can see your point though, it makes CityDesk less of a blogger and more of a Content Management System. Perhaps some SP2 function that creates the files based on the date and time? 200202181345 for Feb 18, 2002 1:45pm. Tres Manila.

Personally, I think CityDesk is doing the right thing by creating filenames this way. The appearance is so much more professional. CityDesk is so much more than a blogger, and if what you want is a blogger, there are enough free ones web-based available to you... And those you can add to from any browser in the world. On the other hand, no blogger does what CityDesk does.

To create files based on chronological names, discipline yourself to start create "icons" as you call them starting with the date, as you seem to do.

my 2 cents.

Mark W
Sunday, February 24, 2002

I like checking for fog000... in google every week or so.  Its fun to see all of the new citydesk sites being created.

Joel Goldstick
Monday, February 25, 2002

> Given your scenario:

> headline = Ill Informed E-mail
> icon name = 2002/02/18 Ill Informed E-mail

> wouldn't your filename be:

> 20020218IllInformedE-mail.aspx ?

It sounded to me, by reading Joel's email, that both my icon name and my file name would be something like "20020218illinformedemail.aspx".

I don't mind the filename; that's fine. But if that's my icon name, I'm pretty unhappy. And I don't want the icon name to be strictly the headline, either, though that's at least a little better, because it's missing a key piece of useful, used information (i.e., when I wrote the article).

And, I don't consider what I do "blogging" in the way that traditional bloggers do it. I'm not link spewing. I'm actually creating content (or so I'd like to think ;), unlike most bloggers, who create an anarchic link-fest. CityDesk is very poor for "true bloggers" in my mind.

Brad Wilson
Monday, February 25, 2002

My take on Joel's post is as follows:

When you create an article, the "icon name" is *copied* to the headline. Any changes to one shouldn't affect the other.

The file name is created based on the "icon name" sans illegal characters. Your "icon name" stays the same.

For example. You create an Article with the Name: "My New Article!" The headline becomes "My New Article!" but you decide you don't like that headline so you change it to "Welcome to my site!"

The Article name *remains* "My New Article!"

When published, it becomes "MyNewArticle.html"

The next time you open your site, you have an article named "My New Article!" with the headline "Welcome to my site!" and it's published as MyNewArticle.html.

note: icon name = article name.

Mark W
Monday, February 25, 2002

Joel, in a previous life I was the founder/owner of a software company, and designed the UI for 2 applications, so I couldn’t resist giving this filename issue some thought, and I came up with a solution.

What I did in similar design choices, was try to leverage existing mental models users already have by piggybacking my UI to what people already know and expect, and I always found it’s so easy to go with the existing flow.

For example, with what you are proposing for SP1, the main window comes VERY close to Windows Explorer’s List or Details view (and the FrontPage Folders view too by the way). So why not be consequent and piggyback on the mental model users have of Windows Explorer, and mimic it.

That would mean the following for the main window:

1. There is only 1 filename: the filename as it will be published. You can change the filename any way you want, as long as it is web-legal (checked by the software). Advantage: takes away the current confusion with multiple filenames, and all guessing on what kind of name will be published is gone.

2. Show Properties on mousing over the filename (mouse over any Office document in Windows Explorer, and you will see what I mean). This shows Headline (or better Title?), Author, etc. Advantage: you can see properties at a glance without opening the article.

Having used CityDesk as it is now, I have grown to use the current main window filename as some kind of description to remind me what the article is about, without having to open it. I would hate to see this functionality go, and I suspect most of us who are fond of the current long filename use it for that purpose. That’s the reason why I was arguing for having control over the published filename: to keep it short and separated from my descriptive long filename in the main window.

In order to keep this functionality of a description, I propose to have an additional Comments field in Properties, which will be visible on mousing over the filename in the main window. This is simply again piggybacking on existing mental models: every Office document has a Comments field under File > Properties, visible in Windows Explorer on mousing over the file, along with the other properties.

I have no idea of the difficulty of implementing what I suggest, but it would:
1.    Do away with the confusion on multiple filenames
2.    Provide the opportunity to see Properties without opening, including a new Comments field that can be used for whatever kind of notes or description we want (and now often use the long filename in the main window for)

My 2 cents.

PS: For reasons of using the existing mental model of Office, the field Headline would probably be better called Title, but that is a minor issue and could perhaps entail an issue of backwards compatibility.

Paul Iliano
Monday, February 25, 2002

My email address was not correct. This one is. Sorry.

Paul Iliano
Monday, February 25, 2002

MarkW's explanation is exactly correct.

The advantage of the new system is, for example, if you make an article named "index", it will publish as "index.html." So now your index.html can be an article and it can be based on a template, ta da! In fact I expect people will hardly ever need to know about HTML files as distinct from Articles, which makes CityDesk that much simpler.

No matter how much I think about it, any other system is going to be more confusing. My original idea, to have a "publish as" name that you set in the properties tab which is completely separate from the name in the main window, would confuse most people. "I changed the name of the article but the URL isn't changing!" they would say. It's easy to implement but I just think it's too confusing.

Joel Spolsky
Monday, February 25, 2002

I should add an explanation of why we don't simply restrict the main window to "legal" characters.

The first problem is that when you consider the universe of possible web servers and what's legal in URLs, you are limited to A-Z, 0-9, _, ., -, and +. Everything else is either illegal in a URL or confusing to certain file systems.

In particular that makes life very difficult for people who are working in non-Latin languages. For example if you want to create file names in Japanese, the new system will allow that. (In order to convert a Japanese string to URL-legal, we actually squish out all the Japanese characters. Since that leaves us with nothing, we insert "fog" in this special case because we like to hear our own name. Then we add numbers to make it unique. So if all your filenames are Japanese you get fog, fog-2, fog-3, etc). Or if you include European accented characters we remove the accents to get legal URL characters.

Even in the US, we let you keep spaces and / and "s and all kinds of useful things in the filename, then squish them out when we have to make something legal to publish.

Somehow, even though this means there is not a 100% correspondence between the main window and what you publish, I think it's easier to understand than having two completely separate concepts.

And if you're willing to use totally legal names for your files, there's no guessing about how they get published -- they get published exactly as is.

Joel Spolsky
Monday, February 25, 2002

I think exposing the "publish as" filename as a field on the properties page is not going to confuse anyone.  Afterall, you just ignore it if you are happy with how it mushes names to begin with.  I know we're getting into subjective areas... but with so little effort you can add a lot of power.

Power vs. easy of use, I know. :)

What happens if a mushed name conflicts with another article?  Or with another file by unforseen mushing side-effects?

David Whatley
Monday, February 25, 2002

I can see a few cases where this might be confusing.

For example, you have in a directory an article named "index!" then you create one named "index"

The latter will be published as "index2" or "index-2" or some such. Confusing no?

Now, I'm going to assume that copying it to another folder, with no such name, and re-working it a bit (changing conditions so that it loops that folder's contents, for example) means that the name won't change.

So now I'm looking at /articles/index but what I get is /articles/index2.html.

Is this correct?

Perhaps an "in between" solution will work. Something like:

In the properties tab there's a grayed out field called "publish name." It becomes alterable when you're in designer mode, or if some option gets turned on somewhere (either in the article or globally).

Or, when in designer mode, you get a "details" type view where you see and can change the actual "publish as" name. This way Joe Content Provider doesn't even know that it's there, but Jane Designer knows and can control it. Now, from a UI perspective, which is the article name and which is the detail?

And somewhere, some universal option that keeps everybody happy "create publish filenames based on: date time, article name & change when article name changes, article name & keep when article name changes."

This is similar to the 16bit v. 32bit names we all had to get used to, and which confuse anyone who started using computers after 1995. 'What do you mean 8+3?" While those of us "in the know" knew all our files looked like extralo~1.doc on win9x systems.

my 2 cents.

Mark W
Monday, February 25, 2002

I hestitated to say that the publish name field would vanish (or disable) if not in designer mode... because in reality it isn't a designer mode type thing per se.

I still think its the right way to go.  I'd use it immediately to correct mush name issues (and they will crop up), plus prettify some URL names for key pages, etc.

David Whatley
Tuesday, February 26, 2002

One of my complaints with the existing CD system is that I can't name folders the way I want. I wanted to have a "publish as..." on folders (as well as the ability to publish different folders to different Locations so I could put my images on a fileserver - does no one else do this?!).

Now I learn that instead, we'll make the article names ugly too. Grumble.

I really don't understand this. If there is no publish-name, use the article name. If there is, use that.

How is this confusing? If users shouldn't have to deal with this, make it a design-mode-only field. I don't know, but allowing the site admin to define the filename without changing anything the user does sounds like a feature to me.

Well fine, I'll deal either way. But Joel, DO NOT MUNGE THE NAME! If you're doing this to make life easier, making hidden and unknowable changes to names is NOT the way to do it! I would seriously re-consider that point at least, and limit the names to URL-friendly names.

Maury Markowitz
Tuesday, February 26, 2002

As this is my first post to this forum I'd just like to say how much I like CityDesk, it's simplicity, focus, ease of use and power is a breath of fresh air. Good stuff. As soon as SP1 is out (and I'm back to my ADSL connection rather than 9,600bps mobile phone connection) I'll no doubt be coughing up for and downloading the full product.

Back to the discussion...

From what I understand of Joel's explanation of how he intends to implement the new publish names, if you change the name of the article the publish name will change too. Isn't this a little inconsistent with the way that the headline field is first populated and then never changed automatically?

If the publish name is to always change when the article name changes, I think that the article name itself should be "web safe", and should include the suffix too. I.e. the article name and publish name should be one and the same.

Alternatively (and this is my preferred option), the publish name should be initiated in the same manner as the headline (although web safe as Joel has described), with the same ability to change the publish name as you can with the headline. I feel this would be much more consistent and allow people to have nice descriptive article names with a short (or longer) url as they see fit.

A "radio button" option alongside the Publish Name field to switch the Publish Name to the unique fogXXX... name would be a great addition too. For articles created before SP1, the radio button should be set to the foxXXX setting, all new articles will default to web safe headline.

Can we have a "lower-case suggested publish name" global option too?

Just my 2 pence worth.

Ian Jones
Tuesday, February 26, 2002

What Ian said.  :-)

Maury Markowitz
Tuesday, February 26, 2002

It's easy for developers to think of the pathological cases (and of course the software has to deal with them) -- but I think it's worth bearing in mind that the average user won't hit these cases. It's not like Joe Blogger is going to sit down and say "Ah, I know, let me name this article Index1 even though there's already an Index in this folder so I can see what happens!" More likely the average user will name the article "The latest news" and get "The latest news.html" and be perfectly happy.

Sure, squirrelly things will happen sometimes; that's the nature of trying to match up multiple incompatable character sets and rules. But will the proposed new system allow you to do what you want, or not?

Mike Gunderloy
Tuesday, February 26, 2002

I'm beginning to see why Joel says that the customer doesn't know what he wants.

Seriously though, I think we'd all be better off actually waiting for SP1 and raising legitimate issues with the way it handles article names/file names/headlines at that time, rather than complaining about something we haven't even seen yet.

Mark W
Tuesday, February 26, 2002

This new feature will be TRANSPARENT to old and new users.

ALL (i think) of the complaints here are because of misunderstandings of the way this will work.  Please be patient and you'll see that the SP1 fix will eliminate everyone's complaints about the fog0001 url's, not require you to do anything differently re: naming articles, etc, yet additionally let you control the name of your published file.

Also please note that all features (such as making all files have meta-data) are scheduled for major releases (2.0,3.0) not Service Packs which are reserved for bug fixes (the url thing slipped in there because it was a simple fix). 

Michael H. Pryor
Tuesday, February 26, 2002

I agree Michael.

Many of us, myself included, probably got ahead of ourselves here. Just proves how strong we feel about the filename issue ... and care about CityDesk's (bright) future.

Paul Iliano
Tuesday, February 26, 2002

hear, hear!

You'll like the new system, really, you will!

Joel Spolsky
Tuesday, February 26, 2002

You know, I would _completely_ be in _blissful_nirvana_ over this whole filename issue if you just changed the main window CityDesk UI.

Make it possible (user-choosable) to split the window in Explorer style: folders on the left, files on the right, and (important part here) give us an option for a "detailed" view which shows not only the filename, but also the article title, filed date (and whatever else might be appropriate; those are the two I care about).

How's that? :)

Brad Wilson
Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Brad,

Your desire for an Explorer view for the main UI is not really related to the URL name problem.  The URL problem refers to the resulting published files and their filenames.

David Whatley
Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Having the Explorer view with the folders on one side and the contents on the other side would be a real improvement.

In details mode show the filename/published as name/squished name.  In the next column show the article title.  This lets the user see exactly how the article title will get mapped on the server and gives them the nice description of the article.  Allow them to customize the filename in place or generate a name based on the title via a context menu.

Writing micro content like the filename is one way to make the site more useable.

Also this lets you go back and edit the articles, change the titles, while still keeping the original filename so you do not break any links.  So in Joel's case he would have one column of fog0000123 and another column of human readable names.

Gerry Shaw
Tuesday, February 26, 2002

David,

It solves my problem, which is: by implementing the "change the filename" functionality, they are removing a very valuable piece of UI for me; namely, that I can instantly see on the main window the proper title of my article and the date I published it.

Brad Wilson
Tuesday, February 26, 2002

you're confusing the ARTICLE NAME and the FILE NAME:

1. ARTICLE NAME = what you see in CityDesk

2. FILE NAME = what gets published to the site

3. the ARTICLE NAME is whatever you make it, this remains the SAME AS IT IS NOW.

4. The FILE NAME is based on the ARTICLE NAME.

CITYDESK UI = the same

URL on the website = New & more usable.

Mark W
Tuesday, February 26, 2002

I'd just like to reiterate:

CITYDESK REMAINS THE SAME AS IT IS NOW

but the published site won't have fogxxx names anymore, and will be better for you because the published filename will be based on the name you gave the article.

Article name as it appears in Citydesk: 2002/02/25 How are Files changed in SP1

File name as published on site: 20020225HowareFileschangedinSP1.html

Mark W
Tuesday, February 26, 2002

I think we all understand the concept Mark. I just don't like it. To put it in perspective...

> CITYDESK REMAINS THE SAME AS IT IS NOW

But, after all,  that's the problem we're trying to solve.

I have existing sites with names that are known to the world  - and most importantly, Google. I can't simply type in those names and have them appear that way. No, if you are right on how it will work (and there's no override) I'll have to rename my articles from Pax Imperia to pax_imperia.

People keep telling me that this is a good idea. That's because it might confuse some other unidentified and potentially non-existant people to have two names. Not confusing these potentially non-existant users is so important, that we have to do it even at the expense of making it more annoying for these clearly identified and actually existing owners.

I have now seen several people (including Joel) say that it's a good idea to have the article name copy into the headline where it remains editable, but that it would be confusing if the file name worked the same way.

What am I missing? I assume that I'm just being pig-headed here and missing some painfully obvious use-case where this would indeed be confusing (and the headline not). But for the life of me, I can't see it.

Maury Markowitz
Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Maury, either your misunderstanding how the new feature works or I'm misunderstanding why you're unhappy with it.

You wrote, "I have existing sites with names that are known to the world - and most importantly, Google. I can't simply type in those names and have them appear that way. No, if you are right on how it will work (and there's no override) I'll have to rename my articles from Pax Imperia to pax_imperia."

If your Pax Imperia article was created with CityDesk pre-SP1, then it used to appear as fog######.html. As I mentioned somewhere, to prevent linkrot, when you upgrade to SP1, existing articles will continue to appear as fog######.html.

If you're talking about a URL that you created in another program that was named "PaxImperia.html" and you want to convert it to CityDesk and still have the file name be "PaxImperia.html," just name the article PaxImperia. Done.

If you're talking about a URL that you created in another program that was named "Pax Imperia.html" with a space in it, well, that's not going to work very well on some web browsers which can't deal with spaces in URLs, I can't recommend making files that have spaces in the URLs and they are not allowed by the RFC specification. If you create an article named "Pax Imperia" (with a space) we will have to publish it (automatically) as "PaxImperia" (no space).

Joel Spolsky
Wednesday, February 27, 2002

I still think my proposal to leverage existing user models by mimicking the Windows Explorer UI for the main window, including showing Properties on mouseover, would be a very good overall strategy for CityDesk.

But I will quietly wait for SP1 and see how the new main window works.

Paul Iliano
Wednesday, February 27, 2002

> I'm misunderstanding why you're unhappy with it.

Or I'm just blowing it out of proportion - that's the most likely answer as it's been 70% accurate in the past.

But here it is. I like the idea that the internal and external representations of a site built using CD do not have to bear any strong resemblence. The fact that I have to name and structure my folders in the fashion they will appear on the server bugs me as it is. I expected this sort of thing to be a historical v1.0 issue that would slowly be relaxed.

Instead the product is suddenly evolving in exactly the opposite direction, where the internal and external representations are tightly linked. I really don't like this. I want to name the articles (and folders!) the way I want to see them, and have all the messyness of the server hidden away. Isn't that the whole idea of CD?

Maury Markowitz
Wednesday, February 27, 2002

"I want to name the articles (and folders!) the way I want to see them, and have all the messyness of the server hidden away. Isn't that the whole idea of CD?"

And this type of autogenerated URL isn't messy?:

http://discuss.fogcreek.com/CityDesk/default.asp?cmd=reply&ixPostParent=2133&sHeadline=fog%23%23%23%23%23%23+name

What about:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/flex-sign-in/ref=pd_ir_gw_r/002-3496265-5671254?opt=oa&page=recs/sign-in-secure.html&response=tg/recs/recs-post-login-dispatch/-/recs/pd_rw_gw_r

Is this really the direction you want CityDesk to go in?

I have a few usability reasons why I like Joel's decision:

1. You want to be able to read the URL to someone over the phone. We can't all be amazon.com with it's amazingly robust search that lets you find anything instantly.

2. Some users will "remember" the location rather than bookmark, or retracing their steps, and for those users, browsers take advantage of this by "auto filling" the rest of the URL as we start to type it.

3. In the absence of Breadcrumb Trails, folder structure may give a user some idea as to where they are in the scheme of things on your site.

Just recently (as in moments ago) my girlfriend was playing Tomb Raider and told me to "go to tombraiders dot net slash stella" and all I had to ask was "Is that with one L or two?" and I was able to find the Natla Mines walkthrough and read off a paragraph to her.

How would she communicate something like "Go to discuss dot fogcreek dot com slash citydesk slash default dot asp question mark c m d equal sign reply ampersand i x post parent equalsign two one three three ampersand s headline equalsign fog percent twenty three percent twenty three percent twenty three percent twenty three percent twenty three percent twenty three plus name"

Even counting the number of zero's in a fogxxx url would be impossible. "Was it fog000000009 or fog00000000009?"

If you like you can append ?&awer=ae8735kjnaw43aw46&asdfawe6aw76=w46awe4oi7ywa46lkuhae46s587d568 to every url in your site and it should work just the same.

Sorry if I'm being faceteous (sp?), I'm having a hard time understanding why you want to hide the site structure from the users, unless you name articles things like "Stupid article on why I hate the current administration but designed to look like I like it."

Mark W
Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Not having seen SP1 yet, this is a dangerous promise, but...Maury, how about an external publishing processor that would get you what you want? I can give you a window that lets you maintain two sets of names, the one that CD knows about and the one that you want on your site. You'd need to Publish from that external window -- under the covers, it would just swap data around, then do the publishing, then swap it back. Might be another manual step or two in there, depending on how SP1 goes...

Joel, I *really* want that COM object with Preview and Publish methods...

Mike Gunderloy
Wednesday, February 27, 2002

I'm going to just stop contributing to this thread. There are like 9 sub-threads, and people who are responding to me don't seem to get my point.

Brad - won't be installing SP1...

Brad Wilson
Thursday, February 28, 2002

Mike, that may indeed be a perfectly workable solution. It's a little geeky though.

What's wrong with a "filename" box and a "use article name as file name" check box that is turned on by default?

No really, what?

Maury Markowitz
Thursday, February 28, 2002

Maury, the only reason for suggesting the geeky solution is that it's something that can be done without being on the CityDesk team. But at this point my own strong feeling is that they're going to implement something useful that will make it a moot point anyhow.

But thanks to the open architecture behind CD, if they don't satisfy you, there are still ways to get what you want.

Mike Gunderloy
Friday, March 01, 2002

Obviously we are beating an (almost) dead horse...

A textbox that has the generated filename available for editing is my personal preference.

As has been stated by others, this is the same model of article names copying themselves to the Headline field but then remaining independently editiable.

Since CityDesk already works this way for article names / headlines, it is hard for me to see how such a thing is needlessly confusing in the filename context.

David Whatley
Sunday, March 03, 2002

This is off topic, but on this message board in Netscape none of the e-mail links in people's names show up. Also, names have completely disappeared from this thread. I'm guessing this has to do with Joel's protection script that prevents our names from being trolled by spam bots, and I'd rather not have my name make it on to some list than have this fixed, but I thought I might want to point it out.

I'm using Netscape 4.7, and this problem showed up in Netscape 4.06 as well.

Mark W
Monday, March 04, 2002

Dude, upgrade your browser. :)

The extra effort this message board system goes to in order to prevent spiders from globbing up email address for junk mail is much apprechiated.  I'm going to employ that trick myself.  BTW, is this a Joel original idea or have I just missed it floating around the web all this time?

David Whatley
Monday, March 04, 2002

I had the same idea a few years back, so I would say that it's something that a lot of people come upon once the realize how HTML and HTTP work.

I'm using the *latest* (or close too it) Netscape 4.x browser. I also use IE 5.5 and Opera 6.0. Here and now, I happen to be using Netscape.

I never said I didn't want the protection. I said the site doesn't work in Netscape, this thread in particular. Probably due to some sort of JavaScript/Netscape Refresh instability. Perhaps integrating the e-mail addresses into the HTML would help.

Mark W
Monday, March 04, 2002

PS. I have no idea who I'm addressing, but I will next time I check this message board in IE.

Mark W
Monday, March 04, 2002

Oh no!  I was counting on t  he Netscape thing to mask my identity! :)

David Whatley
Tuesday, March 05, 2002

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