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"...only two serious bugs..."

Joel posted inter alia: "...After a week, the first beta (2.0.1) seems to be working very nicely, with only two serious bugs..."

With respect: I disagree. There is no reference here to the topic of my earlier posting -  "The HTML editor *still* messes up my code".

Is this not a serious bug? I agree the behaviour was there in v1.0 but that does not excuse it.

I have and use (principally) the following HTML editors:

- Dreamweaver
- HomeSite
- FrontPage
- AceHTML4
- Arachnophilia
- HTML-Kit
- JEdit

and also have tried Mozilla Composer.

Only one of these - FrontPage - ever messed with my code, and that behaviour was fixed long ago.

In all of these it is possible to launch a rendered HTML view without tags being altered.

I have only persisted with CityDesk in the belief that there would soon be a new version with better behaviour.

If however, this behaviour is not tagged as a bug - then it sounds like it will not be fixed.

If that is the case and the HTML render is going to continue to rewrite my code at its whim, then using the product is too much like banging my head against a brick wall, and I'd prefer to stop doing this. This is annoying since I have paid for the product and sold a couple of copies to clients.

MeJ

James Roberts
Saturday, May 10, 2003

The HTML-question may hide in the "small bugs" section. Let's wait and see next week. But I agree with you that this is something that should be fixed as son as possible.

Jorgen Brenting
Saturday, May 10, 2003

So..you try out a product and discovers that it messes up your HTML? Then you buy it for you and your clients anyway, hoping it will be fixed some day. When the first public beta of version 2 arrives and the author names the two biggest bugs in a little newspost about the new version but not the old anomaly - you get so upset that you threatens not to use the product anymore?

Gosh.

I agree that it shouldnt mess up your HTML more than neccessary, but calm down! It's one little newspost! I'm sure they've seen your post about the bug.

Fredrik Jacobsson
Saturday, May 10, 2003

>So..you try out a product and discovers that it messes up >your HTML?

No. I didn't test it sufficiently. My fault. It was only when I started trying to develop in XHTML - the current standard - that I realised the issue was there.

Again - mea culpa.

>Then you buy it for you and your clients anyway, hoping it >will be fixed some day.

I have actually been complaining about this for months.

>When the first public beta of version 2 arrives and the >author names the two biggest bugs in a little newspost >about the new version but not the old anomaly - you get >so upset that you threatens not to use the product >anymore?
>Gosh.

Golly gee! Yes. Precisely.

Products are effective when they save time.

Simple CMS systems that do not require server-side support are thin on the ground. CityDesk is one of the few contenders.

Since it's version 1, and effective at what it does, I bought it when offered a short-term opportunity to do so at low cost.

However its functionality is more limited than I realised - because of the editor issue. It therefore is costing me time, not saving me time. I persist - in hope.

>I agree that it shouldnt mess up your HTML more than >neccessary, but calm down! It's one little newspost! I'm >sure they've seen your post about the bug.

Wrong. It should not *in any circumstances* mess up your HTML, my HTML - any HTML. That is not the function of an editor.

If the editor did not do this, I would not be complaining about it. Perhaps it's you that should calm down. I will continue to complain until I find out if there is a result of my complaining...

'...'tis the squeaky wheel that gets the grease'

(for a contrary viewpoint, there's the old Chinese proverb -
'...it's the nail that stands up that gets hammered' - oops!)

:-)

MeJ

James Roberts
Saturday, May 10, 2003

So - have you mailed them asking for a fix or a refund?

What was the responce?

Fredrik Jacobsson
Saturday, May 10, 2003

>So - have you mailed them asking for a fix or a refund?

No - why would I do that? I had 90 days to accept or reject, and I accepted. It's still a useful tool if I'm working in HTML4.

I've mentioned the issues here on many occasions.

I still hope for a fix, but it may involve a fair bit of work. We'll see what Fog Creek comes up with - I'm sure they read this board.

I just don't agree there are only two major bugs in 2.0beta

;-)

MeJ

James Roberts
Saturday, May 10, 2003

two serious bugs.... implies two ways it doesn't work compared to how it was designed to work.

mucking with your HTML may be part of it's acceptable operating paramaters.

www.marktaw.com
Saturday, May 10, 2003

Why would you want to use xhtml?

John C
Saturday, May 10, 2003

Why would I not?

eg

http://www.MarisaMartin.com

James Roberts
Saturday, May 10, 2003

CityDesk has *never* preserved your HTML formatting, so we would consider this a feature, not a bug. And we recognize that it's a valuable feature, and we'd like to have it, but truthfully it's not our highest priority as CityDesk articles are intended primarily to be edited in WYSIWYG mode by people who do not particularly care what the underlying HTML looks like as long as it works universally on all browsers.

Joel Spolsky
Saturday, May 10, 2003

I've always found that if there isn't a compelling reason to use a new standard or technology other than that it's new and shiny, then I have to think very hard to make a case for using it. I can see no benefit at all from using xhtml instead of plain old html4, only disadvantages (old browser non-compatability being one).

From your first post James I can see that it causes you some amount of stress to generate xhtml with CityDesk (I don't do it because I know it'd drive me mad too) - is it worth raising your blood pressure over? I'm just thinking of your wellbeing. :-)

John C
Saturday, May 10, 2003

Some people (including myself) trust only the HTML view for templates and scripts. The normal view is then used to check if the results match the expectation, and it is
annoying to see the carefully edited source 'corrupted'.

My suggestions for hopefully simple work arounds
- 1: recognize switching to normal view as an action and mark it as such in the undo buffer (so there is at least a way back!)
- 2: add a [preview] tab that does exactly as the normal view without editing, and garanteed to be not messing up the source (for instance by working at a read only copy of the source).
- 3: think over the editor very thoroughly for Citydesk 3.0 as it is a major issue for some people, but also a major change for the Citydesk architecture I presume.

Adriaan van den Brand
Sunday, May 11, 2003

Thanks for the response, Joel.

"CityDesk has *never* preserved your HTML formatting...consider this a feature, not a bug...we'd like to have it, but truthfully it's not our highest priority ... CityDesk articles are intended primarily to be edited in WYSIWYG mode by people who do not particularly care what the underlying HTML looks like as long as it works universally on all browsers. "

Fair enough. I will, however, continue only to make webpages that conform with a valid DTD.

I do have a few comments:

1. Is this actually how users are using it? It's not how I'm using it, but I may be one of but a few. I want a *Content Management System* and not a *Content Creation System* (got lotsa those). I understand how hard it is to make a visual HTML editor that does not reformat code, but the visual editor in CityDesk is seriously underpowered compared to tools specialised for that function, so I imagine many others are using external editors for code creation. I also see it would be hard to allow an external editor to modify article pages.

2. Perhaps you could run a questionnaire on the site to find out just how people use it? (yes, I know, only the motivated respond so results are skewed...)

3. Next note: I'm English. I whinge ('whingeing Pom'), but Adriaan makes good practical suggestions:

" 1: recognize switching to normal view as an action and mark it as such in the undo buffer (so there is at least a way back!)
- 2: add a [preview] tab that does exactly as the normal view without editing, and guaranteed to be not messing up the source (for instance by working at a read only copy of the source).
- 3: think over the editor very thoroughly for cityscape 3.0 as it is a major issue for some people, but also a major change for the CityDesk architecture I presume. "

If the first two of these were implemented it would solve most of my problems with CityDesk. The third could then wait for a bit...

4. Let me make it clear that I am not regretting my purchase: you gave me the clear option on accepting the product, and plenty of time to do so. It's v.1.10 product. I'm regretting that I can't use it more generally, and I'm attempting to get a v.2.0 that I *can* use more generally.

However, I assumed that DTD's (or rather, their consequences) would be handled correctly within the program, which is not the case. I also note that many of your FogCreek pages now have no DTD - I'm sure they did when I first checked! Maybe I'm wrong.

5. I do think that it  should be made very clear to prospective purchasers that the internal editor cannot produce valid code if the visual editor is used (the HTML view now seems to work fine), and that it will rewrite code at its whim. This has the potential to seriously affect applicability IMHO, for example if it is being used for content on a site that requires material to be DTD-compliant.

MeJ

James Roberts
Sunday, May 11, 2003

JohnC said:

"I've always found that if there isn't a compelling reason to use a new standard or technology other than that it's new and shiny..."

XHTML was standardised in Jan 2000, so that's not really very shiny-new now...

" I can see no benefit at all from using xhtml instead of plain old html4, only disadvantages (old browser non-compatability being one)."

I haven't had many problems with that AFAIK. If you use a loose DTD it's HTML4.01 trans with a few tiny changes, that's all.

"From your first post James I can see that it causes you some amount of stress to generate xhtml with CityDesk (I don't do it because I know it'd drive me mad too) - is it worth raising your blood pressure over? I'm just thinking of your wellbeing. :-)"

Thanks, John - it gives me a warm feeling to know there are at least two people and three cats all of whom are concerned for my wellbeing (or availability to open cans, respectively :-).

I just thought I'd see what happened working in XHTML and by the time I realsised my awful error I'd done too much work to give up :-0

But I won't do it again, honest!

Seriously, HTML is as we all know an awful mess. XHTML+CSS is one of the first steps out of that mess of incompatibilities towards some (admittedly more rigorous) simplification and consistency. It's not that great a success, but it's an improvement and it's fully specified. Site-building tools need to support it - if not now, soon. My other tools do support it.

MeJ

James Roberts
Sunday, May 11, 2003

James,

I too would prefer a product that allowed validation against a DTD, and allowed you to change the DTD that was validated against.  Then again, that is more an SGML/XMLish sort of application and I would then want something like XSLT for transformation from content to multi-purposed formats: print, html, pdf, text.

That said, all your examples have been with XHTML which I would not expect the MS DHTML editor to fully support.

Can you show that the HTML produced does not conform to the HTML--Not XHTML--DTD?

David Burch
Sunday, May 11, 2003

It would be fairly easy to write an external tool that would take a snapshot of an article's HTML and then return that snapshot to the database. So, take a snapshot, switch to Normal view, see if it looks right, switch back to HTML view, shove the snapshot back in.

But - (1) you could do that with Notepad and cut&paste now (2) You'd need to have the pro edition so that the tool and CD could have simultaneous database access.

So I guess I don't see a viable tool here, but if someone else does, I can think about writing it.

Mike Gunderloy
Sunday, May 11, 2003

Hello David:

"...That said, all your examples have been with XHTML which I would not expect the MS DHTML editor to fully support.

Can you show that the HTML produced does not conform to the HTML--Not XHTML--DTD? "

I spent some time on testing this. It all depends on which doctype is used.

I can fairly easily make CityDesk produce valid HTML4.01 transitional. To test this I used Darren's 'Not for profit' template (hope that's OK Darren) and modifed it to make it compliant (which was trivial - just get rid of the IE-specific tags and sort out the various 'alt' and 'url' issues, especially with the 'Made with CityDesk' image link.

Having got it valid, it's possible to view it in the graphic editor view and still have it validate when it's built afterwards.

I also tried in HTML4.01 strict - which took a lot more work to get it valid, and  meant that without me rearranging the CSS the site look changed slightly (fairly easily fixed though).

Once again, I could open the page in graphic editor mode, and it still validated afterwards.

In both cases the pages still validated  after I inserted text in graphic mode.

Of course, it all falls apart in CityDesk1 (and HTML 4.01 strict) when I insert a picture. I used 'raw' to be as kind as possible, but it generates attributes that aren't part of HTML4.01 strict, and there isn't any way of changing the generation of this that I can see.

Since I left the beta-ised version of CityDesk in London, I downloaded CD2 beta onto another machine here in Spain and tried the same thing. The insert picture code is very much cleaner than before, but when I inserted the image (using 'inline') it still invalidates the page in HTML 4.01 strict since the attribute 'border' does not exist there.

So I retreat, weary but unbowed.

CityDesk works best in HTML4.01 transitional, as we might all have suspected. In the three other DTD's I have tested (XHTML 1.0 strict and transitional, HTML4.01 strict) it on occasion breaks the code in very minor ways, which surely could be fixed!

Now, I must emphasise that I have *successfully* generated various sites in XHTML 1 (trans) using CityDesk to do all the hard work (well, some of it). There is nothing in CityDesk that prevents this - *apart from the editor in graphic mode*!!

MeJ

James Roberts
Sunday, May 11, 2003

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