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New features wishlist for Citydesk:

Citydesks impressive easy usability shows the great care and concern, that fogcreek has for building software, that users can and will use. Seeing this, I would like to share my wishes for new features in an upcoming version of citydesk.

1. New feature wish:

So far, Citydesk provided a template mechanism to customize Data publication.

In the future, Citydesk also provides an analogue template mechanism, allowing designers to create customized article templates.

Designers can define as many fields as they need for specific article data structures. They can name each field the way they like. They can attach a little help text for users to each field. They can mark fields with data that won’t have to be translated. They can assign some formatting options to each field. For example, they can assign a popup list with predefined values to a field, or they can assign regular text formatting to a field.

Data entry into these articles can be done one by one manually (just like before). But Citydesk additionally provides a new mechanism, that allows Data to be imported from external data sources such as databases or xml files. This happens in a few simple steps. You select the data source, you map its data structure to the fields of a specific article template. You select a destination folder in citydesk’s folder structure. You import the data. Citydesk automatically creates one article for each data entity in the source.
After this Citydesk’s translation mechanism are available for each article that was automatically created.

2. Multilanguge related wishes:

Folder, Files and articles can all be assigned different names for each language in a project.

Variables can be translated.

3. Files related wishes:

Citydesk provides a mechanism to allow side by side translation of HTML Files.

Citydesk provides a new mechanism to assign publication start and end dates to all files and folders.

Citydesk provides a mechanism to assign audiences to all files and folders.

4. Search related wish:

Citydesk lets you specifically search for files and folders with publication dates.

Thank you in advance for considering this.

Maurice Fäh
Friday, May 14, 2004


1. Files related wishes:

Actually it would be helpful if Citydesk could offer two names per language, one for internal usage (names that everybody in a company knows, but that they don't want to publish) and one for external publication usage.

2. Scripting related wishes:

It would be great if in a loop, one could address and print out the name of folders and other files, besides articles.

Thank you.

Maurice Fäh
Friday, May 14, 2004


1. Multilanguage related wishes:

Citydesk offers a side by side split screen mechanism to translate (currently only) articles. The site tree remains in one "predominant" language.

But a multilingual setup doesn't necessarily mean that one language is always the predominant one. There are many companies and organizations where you have two groups of people each speaking and working in their specific language. From the perspective if each of these two groups their language is the important one.

Maybe Citydesk could reflect this too.


Maurice Fäh
Friday, May 14, 2004

1. Random support - for example, the ability to select x matches at random from returned set.

2. Ability to test for folder - for example, if the article is in the news folder, use the news navigation, if the article is in the reviews section, use the reviews navigation.

Monday, May 17, 2004

More wishlist stuff -

Additional extra fields!

Monday, May 17, 2004

CityDesk is indeed a fine app as far as it goes, but for me, it would be nice to have the spell checker sorted out.

It's rather perplexing to set the primary language from English to English (United Kingdom) and then be told that "CityDesk does not currently spell check for languages other than English".

Why do I want to set the language to English (United Kingdom)?  Because the ability to format dates based on a locale seems to be poorly supported (i.e. the locale of the browser is ignored).

I can survive with an American spell checker (I doubt other lanuages can).  Knowing what data 1/5/3 actually is however, is an entirely different matter.  At present any template or tag that uses {$ setDateTimeFormat "*" "short" "hh:mm" $} (such as the default index) has to be changed to {$ setDateTimeFormat "*" "long" "hh:mm" $} to circumvent this ambiguity if you stick to English as the primary language.

I suppose I could also figure out some funky HTML to resolve this and put it in a template, but as a user aren't I suppose to be protected from such things by the fluffy pillow that is CityDesk?


Also, while on a Joel style rant - developers and readers of Joel's "User Interface Design for Programmers" book, go read Alan Cooper's book, "The Inmates Are Running the Asylum".

Some CityDesk UI features within this already slick site creation tool could be refined just that little bit more; from menu content through to how some operations are performed.

An example?  The dreaded (and common) dialog hierachy problem.  CityDesk->Templates->Edit.  I then press close on the Templates dialog - poof, the Edit also closes despite CityDesk, Templates and Edit all being accessible and appearing independent to the user.

To a technical person this sounds like splitting hairs, from a UI design point of view this is indemic in whether a technically illerate user can use your software and I would suggest that such processes are flawed in their design.

There are many other examples scatter through CityDesk that could do with some polish.

I will however leave on a positive; the underlying mechanics of CityDesk can't be faulted.  This is a very productive tool and I like it a lot.

Justin Howard
Wednesday, May 19, 2004


1. Citydesk help related wish:

Maybe Citydesk will include several project examples for different experience levels, illustrating best use practices in setting up and structuring different kinds of projects.

I want to implement an online shop, with a community area and subject related directories.

Thank you.

Maurice Fäh
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

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