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Template Families problem

This I don't get: I want to have a HTML page with a printer friendly equivalent. So I create a Printer template and a Printer template family. I publish. What do I get? A whole new index with the helpfull words "CityDesk published the following variations of this site in subdirectories: etc". This index.html is at the root level. It takes over from my old index and I can't find a way to template it so that its usefull to me. I also get two new catalogues with duplicates of my images catalogue. I don't want any images on my Printer page so whats this doing here? If I happen to have heavy duty pics on my normal page this is going to take up alot of space on the server.

I don't understand whats going on here. Can anyone show a simple newbie the light?

Andrew Scott
Tuesday, April 16, 2002

hello,

you have to create two publish locations, the first one shoud be

www.yoursite.com

for the normal family template

and the second

www.yoursite.com/printfriendly/

for the printer friendly templates. then city desk will not create new index page.

To link from normal articles to printer friendly one,

just use the syntax

<a href="printfriendly/{$.abslink $}">printable version</a>

this is explained in the doc here:

http://www.fogcreek.com/CityDesk/help/Creating_Templates/UsingTemplateFamilies.html

Vincent Bénard
Tuesday, April 16, 2002

Right.

First problem, you're selecting "publish to all locations using subfolders" in your Location, or previewing on your computer (CityDesk publishes all templates and languages on preview). You'll need to change this to two seperate locations, one for printable, the other for standard HTML.

One can go to the root location of your site, the other to a subfolder called "printable."

Then in the HTML template do something like this:

<a href="/printable/{$.abslink$}">Printable Version</a>

Mark W
Tuesday, April 16, 2002

OK, I get it and it works. BUT! I don't want to have to think about publishing twice (or rather I don't want my client to have to think twice). When I've written my article I want to publish with a nice one click solution. To do this it would seem that I have to include both template families in a "Location" and then I get this new Index. It just don't seem right! I don't get what function this new index page has (except to irritate me).

Plus. Even when I publish separately I still get duplicate images. And that don't seem right either...

Andrew Scott
Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Andrew, I agree with all of your complaints. Hopefully the FogCreek folks will address this in vesion 2.x.

If you can modify settings on your server, an alternate solution would be to set up your server to notice a different default page (change the order so that default.html is recognized before index.html). Then put a default.html file in the root folder and re-direct it to the HTML template version.

CityDesk won't over-write default.html, nor will the CityDesk created index.html ever show up on the site.

Mark W
Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Thanks your words of condolense, Mark. I realy like the idea behind CityDesk and heard about it through reading Joel on Software. The first articles of his that I read really impressed me - all about working in a bakery and how good one felt when things moved smoothly. The problem I've bitched on about above seems to me to be one of those irritating things that screws up my whole attitude to what I otherwise think is a great piece of software.

The big issue here is that its harder for me to sell the software to clients if I think theres this kind of a problem. I want to be able to say: "write the article, choose the right template, put it in the right folder and press publish, the program does the rest."

Andrew Scott
Wednesday, April 17, 2002

This is why FogCreek isn't advertising CityDesk 1.x far and wide - they want CityDesk 2.x to be the version they become known for. We're early adopters who happened to stumble on it.

Mark W
Wednesday, April 17, 2002

hmmmm... like unpaid (paying) beta testers ...mmmmh

Andrew Scott
Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Not really. There was a beta period during which lots of bugs were found. We've purchased a functioning product. Do you regret paying for DOS 6.2 just because Windows 3.1 was 'in the works'?

Mark W
Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Err. That's a really bad example, DOS 6.2 came out after Windows 3.1....

Mark W
Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Yeah, its a functioning product and I like it very much. But it doesn't go the whole mile and the problem I highlight here is so crazy it defies understanding. What the **** is that new Index for. It just gets in my way. I can't explain it to clients. I can't say to them wait till v2. I could sell a whole bunch of licences tomorrow if that problem didn't get in the way. (Its not so much for printer friendly pages. I live in Sweden where there is a big demand for two languages on a site)

In the geek hierachy I'm way down at the bottom, a scripting newbie. But I'm one step ahead of ordinary people who want to get on the web and need a simple tool that can give sofisticated results. Theres work for me here because a CityPage site needs to be configured. But once thats done it should look after itself. In the past I've persuaded clients to buy Dreamweaver and configured a system of templates and libraries for them. I teach them some basic HTML and how to use the synchronisation FTP command. But its uphill work and they don't all have the mind set to cope (or the cash to pay me to administer).

CityDesk could be the tool of my dreams. I look forward to v2!

Andrew

Andrew Scott
Thursday, April 18, 2002

You can't just create 2 publish locations and tell them "You have to publish your site twice, once in English and once in Swedish" ? That doesn't seem toooooooo complex for most users.

Mark W
Thursday, April 18, 2002

In addition, if you create two publish locations, you can multi-select them in order to get it to publish both at once (and it will remember your multi-selection for the length of the session). 

Michael H. Pryor
Thursday, April 18, 2002

Cool!

Mark W
Friday, April 19, 2002

Yeah, this seems like a solution. Great. Thanks!

As to why I bitch so much.... Let me quote Mr Joel himself (from the last paragraph of the first chapter of his book "User Interface Design for Programmers"

"To make people happy, you have to let them feel like they are in control of their environment. To do this, you need to correctly interpret their actions. The interface needs to behave in the way they are expecting it to behave.

Thus, the cardinal axiom of all user interface design: A user interface is well-designed when the program behaves exactly how the user thought it would."

The problem I've bitched on about above breaks this rule. I didn't ask for that new Index file and I've no control over it. It pisses me off and gives me an unexpectedly bad feeling about the software. Thus I cannot be a trustworthy partner to a client and say "Buy CityDesk. It's *really* good!"

Sure, my clients aren't dumb and niether am I. I've already sold a major client a licence, but geekish folks very often forget that non geekishs folks have big problems with software. An excellent feature for CityDesk to develop is an interface that allows non geekish types to write article, put them in the correct folder, press Publish (one click only) and go to lunch. All with complete trust that CityDesk will do the job. Three steps to (web) heaven. Write, Place, Publish!

Thanks anyway for the answer. Lets hope the irritation goes any in v2.

Andrew.

ps. after re-reading this it occured to me that a really neat feature would be if a folder could be scripted to impose a  template onto the files that are placed in it.

Andrew Scott
Friday, April 19, 2002

"ps. after re-reading this it occured to me that a really neat feature would be if a folder could be scripted to impose a template onto the files that are placed in it."

We had a long winded discussion about this several months (?) back. This is a lot like how Frontier works. There are like 5 levels of "which template will be used on this file?" in Frontier and I can never figure out which will be used when.

Perhaps a better option would be 'which default template should be applied to articles created in this folder?' with the option to lock it down so all articles in that folder have that template. And then what happens if you move an article from one folder to the other? Do you as a user expect it to inheret the new template or default to the new folder's template?

MarkTAW
Friday, April 19, 2002

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