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I've been using CityDesk since it came out and I am now working on my fourth site with it.
I thought I would share what I like and dislike about it.
There are a few bugs in there too. Search for (BUG). Version 1.0.27 Build Date: 20020314A

Like:
1) Well the CityDesk UI is very clean and simple. I prepared a journal site for my wife (a non-technical person) and got all the templates
and look and feel ready for her and now she has been using it for 3 months without any troubles. That already speaks bundles about CD.
You did a great job making it easy to use.

2) I like the fact that when creating templates, if you use put references to html pages, articles, pictures, and objects, CD will
remember the appropriate path to them and depending if your article is in the root of the site or nested deep inside sub-folders, CD will
ensure the path to them is correct. I had been creating sites manually (just text editor) for a few years and that was THE feature
I had been looking for in a Wed IDE (IWE?).

3) The idea of having publish locations/languages/audiences is very good. I toyed with creating a site in both English and French
and played around with it for a while but then realized I was too lazy to translate everything. Anyway it is still a good feature.

4) Global variables are great and so are the article variables. I've been heavily using the Extra1 and Extra2 variables for things like
  Next Article/Previous Article, Banners to display for an article and things like that. I wish there would be more than just 2!

5) I like the fact that the search and replace dialog starts from your cursor position and that you can choose the "entire" direction
  to do the entire page (like vi).


Dislike:
My list of things that I dislike is much bigger than my like lists but they are mostly all minors things and don't out weight the benefits.

1) The Insert Picture Dialogs:
  1.1 The picture pull down should bring you back to the last selected picture. It is rather annoying to have to
    find your way back down folders to find a picture in the same folder as the last one. Try creating a page
    with multiple pictures from the same folder. You will see what I mean.
  1.2 You can't create links to URLs outside of CD. Well you can but you then have to close that dialog and do it in html form.
  1.3 Removing links on an image sometimes removes the stuff beside it. (BUG).
    I had 3 thumbnails pictures side by side each with links to their bigger counterparts. I decided to remove the link on the
    first one. When I did, the second picture (the one in the middle) was no longer there on the article.
 
2) Insert/Import Dialogs:
  2.1 The Insert/import dialogs (pictures/movies ...) should be able to select more than one file at a time using the Ctrl and/or Shift keys.
    I feel like we went back in time 5 years here.

3) Search and Replace dialog
  3.1 It doesn't bring the selected text right away when you bring the dialog up. I always end up having to type either the "Find What"
  field or the "Replace with" field. If the dialog brought up  the selected text into the "Find What" field, then all you have to do
  is "Control V" to paste into the "Replace with" field and you are ready to go. 
  3.2 There should be a Replace All button.
  3.3 Once the dialog is dismissed, it should be possible to repeat the last search by pressing F3 (or some other hot key)

4) Publishing problems:
  4.1 My web space got reduced recently to 10Mb from 20Mb and I didn't know about it. When I was publishing, CD published with
    no errors even though I had reached my quota half way through the publish (BUG?). When I would look at the site, half the pictures were missing.
    I had to use an ftp tool to figure it out. That leads to the next problem.
  4.2 There is no way of knowing how big your site is (besides looking at the .cty file). Just like word processors have a
    word count feature ;-), CD should have a "Web Site Size" feature. Then you would know in advance if you would run into space problems.
  4.3 Why do we have to care about "Compact Site"? That should be done automatically no? Just like you don't care about the
    "Maximize Search Capabilities" option in help wizards.
  4.4 When trying to fix the size problem, I deleted images using an ftp tool on my site and then deleted the articles in CD.
    Bad idea. (BUG). Next time I tried to publish, CD would choke saying it couldn't delete file x or y. There was no way
    of saying "ignore" or "skip". I couldn't publish anymore. I had to upload the deleted files back on the site which was kind of
    tricky since I was near my quota and also they had to match the names that CD expected (names with _).
  4.5 There is no way of forcing a publish (ftping) to occur. ie CD decides what needs to be published that's usually good except if you
    clean up your site (or your site gets hacked) you should be able to say "Publish All" or force a folder/file to be published.
  4.6 The stop button on the publish dialog doesn't work when ftp is occurring. (BUG)
  4.7 Pictures/Movies/Audio/Files should be ftpd first then html files. If html files are published first then if your site
    gets lot of hits, you have some time when your users will have missing images and stuff. (Not really my problem since
    I barely get any hits but one I take care of when I ftp manually)

5) Template dialog:
  5.1 Should be able to copy a template. ie I have the Simple template and I want to make "Copy of Simple" from it.

6) General:
  6.1 Is there a way to find out when was the last time an article was "saved"? ie I want to put on my template for my
    articles "Last Updated {$.dateSaved$}". Right now there is only the FiledDate which only tells me when it was created.
    I hear I can change the filed date in the properties tab but that would mean an extra step which could be forgotten.
    Plus I think they are 2 separate aspects anyway.

  6.2 Drag and drop looks like it would work but doesn't. (BUG). I created some articles and then tried to drag pictures from
    the main CD window into the article. When the file gets dragged over the article, the cursor changes into a cursor
    with a little rectangle which makes it look like it is possible to do so. Well that doesn't work. Either it should work
    or the cursor should remain at "Can't do".


I think that is it. Sorry for the long post and many topics but I felt it had to be done all at once.

Keep up the good work.

Sincerely

S

S Marcotte
Sunday, June 23, 2002

I want to add one to dislike-3: can't search(replace) in variables.

Adriaan van den Brand
Sunday, June 23, 2002

I had similar problems with ftp today.

Citydesk starts by creating directories, deleting files.
If a file is missing (even when the article has deleted in Citydesk ?!), it chokes on it in the FTP window.
Also:  citydesk.xml is not up to date when the ftp upload has aborted.  So aborting a ftp session in Citydesk is NOT a good idea....


I would prefer :
- first upload pictures and other files (good suggestion; these are always at the bottom of the html-food-chain)
- delete each file only directly before uploading (this limits downtime of the website considerably)
- some way to continue an aborted session if necessary.

Still: most of the time Citydesk does a great job!

Adriaan van den Brand
Monday, June 24, 2002

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