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Bug: Unescaped Characters

I was following my own advice and using { instead of { wherever I had CityScript. I'd go into the HTML view and type my CityScript.

When I went to the Normal view, everything looked fine, but when I returned to the HTML view, Instead of { I find {. Apparently it got translated into the real thing somewhere in the process.

Mark W
Friday, March 01, 2002

The DHTMLEdit control is doing that and unfortunately it's beyond our control.  I know that answer doesn't really help you but if we could figure out a workaround, we will.

Michael H. Pryor
Friday, March 01, 2002

I figured the answer was something like that.

Speaking of DHTMLEdit, I've seen some implementations that have some cool features CityDesk doesn't have, like a popup window that add colors on the fly, etc. Mainly I'm thinking of Coranto (formerly NewsPro). You might want to look into that. I don't really remember specifics, but I remeber seeing and saying "oh, that's cool."

I'm guessing as of SP1, all articles will be editable by outside editors like Dreamweaver and Homesite?

Mark W
Friday, March 01, 2002

We are not currently planning to let you edit articles in outside editors in SP1.

Joel Spolsky
Friday, March 01, 2002

Huh. You can currently edit .html file outside CityDesk. If you merge them with articles, do you lose the ability to edit files outside of CityDesk?

Mark W
Friday, March 01, 2002

What do you mean merge them with articles?  If you mean making all files into meta-articles, then your probably thinking about a future version release.  SP1 is a bug fix release, not a feature release.

Michael H. Pryor
Friday, March 01, 2002

Hm. I see what you're saying.

The embedded HTML files have not gone away, you just don't use them as much any more because you don't need them when you want to control the file name. So you can still create an html file and edit it with an external editor.

On one hand, our philosophy is that the "end users" who are constantly adding new articles to CityDesk sites should use the built in editor, which leaves them with very little chance of getting in trouble or messing up a template. Using dreamweaver, front page, etc. for editing HTML was intended mostly for designers, skilled at web page design, who set things up once and then go away.

On the other hand, it's strange that we added this spiff new feature (name-preserving articles) and suddenly it feels like another feature has gone away, when it really hasn't :)

And on the third hand, (who's counting?) this is just a service pack release, it was supposed to be for bug fixes, not new features. Basically, we don't have time to implement external editors for articles because that would require rather sophisticated dealing with the fact that the body field of an article does not include <HEAD>, <BODY>, etc., something which we just don't have time to do.

So, even though I made myself into a three-armed space alien, I think that using external editors on articles will have to wait.

Joel Spolsky
Friday, March 01, 2002

AHHHHHHHHHH. HTML files aren't going away. I was under the impression that they were. Another case of "I really should just wait for SP1 and see." This board is an odd mix of communications about future plans and not knowing about future plans. We seem to be getting all of our facts mixed.

You're right, getting "just the stuff between the body tags" has a few problems, such as people editing stuff in the head and thinking that it'll change in the article, and other things that get other things thrown in automatically such as JavaScript when you make a rollover or popup or... well, juts about any JavaScript.

If you really had 3 arms you could type at full speed AND use the mouse simultaneously. Perhaps with an extra brain you could even pair program with yourself. Of course, you'd never get a date, but you'd probably get a permenant spot in the Enquirer and on Jerry Springer.

Mark W
Saturday, March 02, 2002

The external editor I need most is less the likes of FrontPage or Dreamweaver, but more MS Word to use instead of the feable CityDesk editor.

Paul Iliano
Wednesday, March 06, 2002

Paul, let me see if I understand what you're saying. You want a WYSIWYG editor that looks like a traditional word processor, but has more features than the current WYSIWYG editor. Is this correct?

Mark W
Thursday, March 07, 2002

Let me try to clarify this:

Today, you can use FrontPage or Dreamweaver when CityDesk's editor is on the weak side for html: designing the template, handling tables and the likes.

However, the same principle of using an external editor when you feel stuck in CityDesk's editor is not available for writing content.
I would like to be able to write the body of articles in MS Word. It would be fine to handle the other metadata fields (sidebar, extra1, etc) in CityDesk, but one should be able to use an external editor to write the main article body.

As most people on this forum seem to be designers, everybody finds it very good and natural you can use an external html editor for html chores.
Now imagine your main task is to write content and you are using CityDesk. Wouldn't you quickly like to have an external editor once you have to write more than just a handful of simple pages?

For me, that ideal external editor for article bodies would be MS Word (it can handle html format), but even FrontPage's editor would already by a big improvement. But I guess many more content writers have Word than FrontPage on their PC's anyway, so Word seems the way to go for me.

Paul Iliano
Thursday, March 07, 2002

And if the text editor were up to MS Word quality? Wyould you then be satisfied with allowing the articles to be edited inside CityDesk?

Aside from the table editing, what specific features do you find lacking?

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure I could find a million ways to improve the interface (and MS Word's for that matter). I'm just curious what specifically you find lacking.

Mark W
Friday, March 08, 2002

If the text editor were up to MS Word quality that would be fine. Do you know a way to upgrade it?

What do I feel is lacking?
I miss just about everything from the style box enabling to apply standardized headings and styles on the fly, over the immediate spelling check (the red squiggles), to tables. Plus lots of others goodies making life as a writer easier, like AutoCorrect, AutoText, etc.

Really, CityDesk's editor seems like a tool from the stone age when you are used to write in Word. Once something better exists, why should we be obliged to use a tool from so many generayions ago? Especially since you CAN use better tools for other tasks: the external editor for templates and html files.

Paul Iliano
Friday, March 08, 2002

Paul,

I can't argue with that.

Being based on the Microsoft native HTML editor, you should be able to copy/paste from Word straight into CityDesk and keep all your formatting. There are some places where this breaks down, like tables, but it's largely what you need.

For tables you may be able to export to HTML and copy/paste the source into CityDesk (only the stuff inside the <body> tags though...

Have you tried copy/paste?

Mark

Mark W
Friday, March 08, 2002

Yes, I tried copy/paste. That's in fact how I'm working now.

At first characters like ' and " were replaced by garbage characters, until someone pointed out the cure on  http://discuss.fogcreek.com/citydesk/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=2013&ixReplies=4

So it works now, but it's still a difficult way to work: these texts change regularly, so you have to do the copy/paste again from Word to CD. This necessitates having a system to track which Word sections have changed and need to be copy/pasted again. Awkward and time consuming; a real pain in the neck.

Paul Iliano
Saturday, March 09, 2002

Some suggestions to this for a next release:
- may be a checkbox for the extra fields (author, keywords etc.) that enables/disables HTML formatting per box?

(this still leaves the special characters problem; you can not expect an avarage user to type &-codes for special characters with &-codes).

Adriaan van den Brand
Tuesday, March 19, 2002

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