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exploit the database behind CD

I had to make another entry here.

I'm one of 2 volunteer webmasters for http://www.beitrayim.org, and I'm leading the charge to use CD for our volunteer contributors. We don't have CD "implemented" yet, but I'm doing the grunt work to make it happen.

'Nuff of the introductions! The ability of the volunteer contributors, each with their own mixture of web and MS Office skills, to type up the <BODY></BODY> and have CD "do the rest" is incredible.

Having spent some time recently of porting the existing site to CD, reading this forum and some pretty good web sites, studying the help, and peeking at the CTY file...

I find myself drawn, inexorably, to the "user defined" fields, such as TEASER, EXTRA1, etc.

Is it a big deal to dispense with the limitations, and let me define my own templates with as many or as little fields as I need? I don't really need articles as much as I need fields and records. Then I need CD to manipulate these fields and records.

I agree that the concept of an ARTICLE must still exist, and that these fields be attached to an ARTICLE. On the other hand... for some things, like event listings, I'd be happy with fields only...

How about subtemplates that use all the fields in its parent template, so that I don't have to recreate the fields manually. Maybe this feature exists already, I haven't explored it.

I just discovered that I can change the field name but the original field name MUST be used in my articles/templates. Ooooh, that's, um, inelegant. I appreciate the field name "mask" because it'll make it easier for my volunteer contributors. However, why make me map 'em? And there's no drop down anywhere with the real field name and its masked name. I barely remember anything since the twins were born, so take pity on me and my volunteers!

The power of CD is its "development environment" of templates, variables, and scripting. So blast the development environment open for us.

So far, CD isn't even remotely acceptable to write HTML. Hopefully, it never will. It is obvious that I have to develop pages in FrontPage and then cut-and-paste 'til I scream. That's ok! And FP always makes me scream a lot. Just have CD stop reformatting my html tags 'cause my comments keep getting bunched up!

I'm starting to ramble... CD is fabulous. Blast open the ability to create user-defined-fields, and create an elegant development environment this product wants to go.

And why don't I see a write up of CD in pcmag.com? Why haven't I heard of this program before????

Bob Bloom
Wednesday, May 21, 2003

It makes sense to me that the variables remain the same even if you can change them on a per-template basis.

What if you have {$.extra1$} in an article and not a template? It would break for some templates and not others.

www.marktaw.com
Wednesday, May 21, 2003

I'd love the ability to define a table in CityDesk, and then be able to do things with the rows in that table using CityScript.

But that's a pretty advanced feature, and there are a lot of other things that will be done before the Fog Creek guys consider such a feature! Maybe in another version or two they'll think about it.

Darren Collins
Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Actually, this is what I was wondering about, too.  It's why I was excited about the appearance of a version 2.  There's a little program called Edit Plus which I use extensively, primarily because of its modular design, allowing the user the ability to create command libraries, syntax files, and control libraries.  The program checks in at a whopping 900K in size.

I would really look forward to seeing this sort of extensibility in City Desk.

Rob Hurley
Friday, June 06, 2003

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