Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Knowledge Base
Documentation
Terry's Tips
Darren's Tips

Examples of newspapers/magazines using CD?

In the site example links I see personal and a few business sites but few if any from the publishing field.

Since CD offers so much for online versions of newspapers,
magazines and other content oriented sites with lots of
articles.... where can we see examples of how online publishers  are using CD?

Thanks,

Ron

Ron
Thursday, May 16, 2002

http://www.valleyofthegeeks.com is my favorite ;)

Joel Spolsky
Thursday, May 16, 2002

Hey, I gotta say that without CityDesk I never would have been able to create Valley of the Geeks.  Once the templates were set up, it is very straightforward to publish articles and get a very consistent and professional look.  I've taken advantage of some of the capabilities to automatically generate "What's New" pages, and with some effort a "Related Stories" type of sidebar that you can see on the site. 

I generally write 2-3 new articles every week and I feel confident that CityDesk could "scale" to accomodate 10x that amount.  (That being said, I don't think I can scale so easily.)

The SP1 service pack had some nice improvements and bug fixes.  Of course, there are areas where I'd like to see some additional capabilities to eliminate some of the manual housekeeping (e.g. updating the home page, dealing with images etc), but CityDesk is a very solid product and I recommend it.  If you want to find out more about the site and how it was built and hosted, check out:

http://www.valleyofthegeeks.com/About/SiteInfo.html

Also, I can also recommend GeoCities with complete confidence for being able to accomodate some pretty high traffic days (e.g. in excess of 10,000 page views when USA Today featured the site).

--Zack

Zack Urlocker
Monday, May 20, 2002

How do you do the related stories sidebar, exactly?  I'm just curious because I'm trying to do something similar.

Cody Hatch
Monday, May 20, 2002

To be honest, it's somewhat of a pain in the neck to do the related stories at present, since it's a manual process and requires working around a minor cut and paste bug in CD. (I have told Joel about this, but it remains to be seen how this will be fixed.)

For example in the "Unofficial Webby Award FAQ"
http://www.valleyofthegeeks.com/Features/Webby.html

there's a side bar with links to two external pages and one CityDesk story.  I end up creating HTML code that's like this (of course, I've used bogus square brackets rather than the proper angle brackets here to not mess up the text in this thread)


[UL type=circle]
[LI][A class=menuhead href="http://www.webbyawards.com/peoplesvoice/index.html"]People's Voice Award[/A]
[LI][A class=menuhead href="http://www.webbyawards.com/main/index.html"]Webby Award Site[/A]
[LI][A class=menuhead href="PTMFOG0000000091"]More Humor Sites[/A] [/LI][/UL]

Then I manually cut and paste this from the Normal view (not the HTML view) into the Extras box. 

Then in the template (and in fact in each of 5 almost identical templates, since the If statement is limited) there's code that  formats it and generates a random bullet also

[p]{$ if nonblank .sidebar $}[TABLE width=225 align=right bgColor=#ccccff border=1 frame=hsides] 
        [TR]
          [TD][P class=relhead]Related News:[/P]{$.sidebar$}[script type="text/javascript"]rndCalltoAction()[/script][/TD][/TR]
          [/TABLE]{$ endif $}{$.body$}

The rndCalltoAction() function creates a link to the store or to the newsletter or the "suppor the site" page. 

Ok, so this solution is rather cumbersome at best.  Ultimately, I'm hoping to shame the CD guys into implementing something much easier where I could just specific a list of pages and not have to do all this manual cut and paste stuff.  Nonetheless, I'm pleased that we were able to do it at all. 

--Zack

Zack Urlocker
Monday, May 20, 2002

I thought maybe you were doing it with a foreach loop based on keywords...

Michael H. Pryor
Monday, May 20, 2002

I think there are good ways around this. I'm preparing a .cty demo file in which I do some nice things with foreach and javascript.
If you create a javascript template (a template with a .js extension) then you can use foreach to create tables with URLs, keywords and teasers for instance.
The javascript could create your tables at runtime then..

Still having more cityscript functionality would be great.

Adriaan van den Brand
Tuesday, May 21, 2002

I'm sure there are more elegant ways, and doing a for each loop would be ok in some cases.  The challenge we have is that there is a growing number of stories we publish and each one might have different "related" stories.  Not sure that managing this number of keywords would be particularly easy.  So I had my colleague Ben create this solution for me.  If others can use it, great. 

Ultimately, I'm hoping for something more automated to be built into CD.  Nonetheless, even as implemented, it was far easier than coding it completely from scratch.  And I think it's resulted in higher traffic as people read more articles on the site... 
--Zack

Zack Urlocker
Thursday, May 23, 2002

You can do the formatting in Javascript as well; it is much easier just to type in article names with some separation (e.g. ,;space) Would be nice if cityscript could do things like that e.g.

{$foreach x in ($.extra1) $}        // for each word in extra1
  {$foreach y in (keyword_contains x$}
      <LI><A Href="{$y.link$}>{$y.headline$}</A></LI>
  {$next$}
{next$}

Adriaan van den Brand
Monday, May 27, 2002

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home