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CityDesk as middleware

Just reading up on Allaire's Cold Fusion and Vignette...

I hope that Joel does allow CD to create dynamically created html pages from external databases. This means that CD will become true middleware.

The difference from these other programs is that CD is client side. The dynamic creation occurs on our PCs with the html files ftp'd to the webserver. Instead of the webserver fetching and creating the stuff you see in your browser in real-time, as you request the content.

I chuckled when I read this user comment (from

"one fault i have found however, is that switching from code view to design view and back again drastically reformats code meaning that nine times out of ten it wrecks the page. my advice : avoid doing it...its not necessary."

This is an old post, so maybe they've solved this little problem!

Well, there's my feature request: dynamically created html pages from external databases (Access at the least).


Bob Bloom
Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Bob Bloom :re CityDesk as middleware

I for one am very pleased that CD is *client side* and hope that it stays that way! ... and yes I would like to have the ability *from the client side* to publish my STATIC HTML pages *that* at the same time *just prior to publishing same* gather data that may have been updated on the fly in either the native AccessDB or any SQL compliant DB..

Now it seems to me that Louis Franco's “HTML DBScript" is on the right path in enabling just exactly what I am looking for. :-) It certainly would be very nice to have a CD front-end [interface] that provides the ability to enter data into “fields” created for that dynamic purpose and populated in the Article of choice which when published renders the cats meow.

Now CD does provide a number of fields like Extra etc but the number of extra fields is currently very limiting.

BTW, Access is a fabulous DB although I do prefer Visual FoxPro still that fastest DB out there.

David Mozer
Wednesday, February 25, 2004

There have been numerous posts recently about creating dynamic pages within CD. I think this discussion is a matter of apples and oranges.

First off, strictly speaking CD does publish pages dynamically from a database.

CD isn't meant to be middleware. CD is expressly designed to be a client-side publishing tool. Personally, I like this and only want certain bugs straightened out and some features added. I suppose having more dynamic CD scripting would be nice, but that would still be within the framework of the client-side publishing.

We use CD to create dynamic PHP apps -- it works fine, so why re-invent the wheel? Publish locally to preview.  You have to set up a web server and scripting on the local machine.

We connect to a mySQL database, but we could just as easily connect to the .cty file.  We chose mySQL because a lot of functions for it already exist in PHP.

To make life easier, the following would be excellent additions:

1. be able to select the charset for a particular site.
2. have more active tag coloring. In the Zend IDE, for instance, if you put the cursor over a bracket, it will color code the logical partner bracket -- great for troubleshooting nested statements and loops.

Another idea would be to have a third type of file window, other than Article and HTML page, which would act in a web-formish way to enter data into the database.  This could simply content entry by having all the required fields on one page -- body, extra fields, etc.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Amos, David,

Thank you for your great posts!


Same Citydesk creating static html pages that get ftp'd to the web server.

Middle = between the static html pages that CD creates & the database

Don't get me wrong: I like the current CD structure with the extra, author, about, etc, fields. And that stays!

When I have lists of contacts or events or links, it would be much easier to maintain 'em in an mdb table, instead of creating one article per contact/event/link.

HTML-DbScript is fabulous -- now I can keep my lists in a separate mdb. Each record is listed in a CD article in a table.

But... if I want to create one html page per record (eg, keeping recipes in an mdb table), then I'm SOL.

IMO, creating dynamically created static html pages from an external db is the "killer" feature for CD to implement.


Bob Bloom
Thursday, February 26, 2004

Bingo, we run a daily log where we are copying and pasting an Access query result into an article, HTML-DbScript is going to be able to help with that, but if it were native CD and it also created the article, and it was set to publish from the command line as a scheduled task, then that would be even better.

Ron Lane
Thursday, February 26, 2004

Bob, AMEN! we are all saying the same thing! perhaps Joel is listening ... Joel are you?

David Mozer
Friday, February 27, 2004

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