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More feature requests

Tab key should indent paragraph.  Shift-tab should outdent.

I want to be able to spell-check the whole site, or a folder.  Just open article windows as the check progresses and leave them open for me to save/close.

I want search/replace on the whole site, works the same basic way.

forced scaling of images:  allow percentages, allow fixed aspect ratio

And repeating my favorite request:  don't make me switch to HTML view to use H1,H2,H3,H4, etc

Eric Sink
Monday, August 23, 2004

First and foremost, the WYSIWYG editor needs work.  All it really needs to do is handle basic xhtml elements correctly (h1,h2,p..etc). Tables would be useful as would being able to select styles from your stylesheets.

I would like to see a way to hide (or lock) certain files when not in design mode.  You don't really need things like style.css open and vulnerable all the time.

I may be in the minority on this, but I would like CityDesk to use a two-pane interface (file tree on the left, edit content on the right).  It just seems more convenient that way.  And the little windows that pop up when you click on preview/publish are annoying.  It seems like CD is always throwing up small windows and stuff to click on that is (IMHO) unnecessary.

Image management and associated files gets to be a pain when your site gets larger.  When I look at the file list all is see is a bunch of files out there but there is no way to tell which picture goes with which article or which ones aren't even being used anymore.  Maybe images could be shown as a subtree to articles they are included with or highlighted when the article is selected.  Or hidden away unless they are selected as "common" files to be used by more than one article.

The file tree is very spartan.  It could include things like file sizes, dates, comments, etc.

META-DATA!  Pictures could have comments (possibly extracted from EXIF data) and used in CityScript like {$ x.caption $} and edited via the photo editor or maybe straight into the file tree....

None if this should be very difficult to do, especially since CD uses a database back end.  A few intelligent design decisions could practically improve the usability of CD several times over.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

If Joel is ever going to accede to our demands, I think we CityDesk users need to agree on a common strategy for coersion.

I am starting to think that posting large lists of features we need in the WYSIWYG editor is actually counterproductive to our goals.  This belief is based on a theory I have about Joel:

Joel is reluctant to make changes to the WYSIWYG editor because he knows he would be stepping onto a slippery slope.  Once he takes a single step, it might be difficult to find a safe place to stop.  If he ends up sliding all the way down the slope, he will slam into the lodge, which by the way is labeled with a big sign that says "Macromedia".

For this reason, standing at the top of this slope is somewhat paralyzing.  If he believes he can't stop, he will choose to take no steps at all.

If my theory is correct, our strategy therefore must change.  We must never talk about the size of the slope.  We should not make remarks about the sheer quantity of work the WYSIWYG editor needs.  We should not be asking for every WYSIWYG feature we can think of.  The more attention we draw to the size and steepness of this slope, the more likely it is that we will get nothing at all.

Instead, we must convince Joel that there are safe places on the slope where he can stop.  Our job is to point out those places, not to talk about how much we would like to be sipping hot chocolate at the new CityDesk lodge which he needs to build at the bottom of the mountain.

So for example, I want Joel to bind the tab key to the paragraph indent command.  I'd say this step is safe.  He's not going to fall down the slope just on this one.

I also want to be able to change a paragraph to an H4 without switching to HTML view.  This one is scarier.  That part of the mountain is steeper and more slippery than most.  It might be helpful to remind him that we don't really need a clone of TopStyle integrated into CityDesk.  We just want to be able to use subheadings while we write.  I think there's a safe spot on the slope, not that far from the spot where CityDesk happens to be standing now.

Our goal here is obviously to manipulate Joel and get him to do what we want.  To accomplish this, we're going to all need to work together.

And most importantly, we can't ever tell him about our tactics.  As long as we all use the same approach and keep Joel in the dark about our plan, I'm pretty sure we can get away with it.


Eric Sink
Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Perhaps he's just not up to the challenge the UI presents? Perhaps he's not up to the programming challenge even the simplist change needs? Perhaps he's been sitting back on his laurels too long?

Or maybe he's rewriting all of CityDesk from scratch in Assembler.

Bill Nalen
Tuesday, August 24, 2004

There goes my rant about Dialogs...

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Joel's talked about how shitty the WYSIWYG is, and how it's based on the DHTML Edit control. They use the DHTML Edit control because it's there, and it works, and it's good enough.

Getting it to do more than it does would involve "rolling their own" HTML editor, at which point, yes they might as well roll out a sign that says Macromedia. The focus is Content Management, after all.

aside: I use this Wiki software called WakkaWiki. To create bullet pointed lists you need to type [TAB]- (tab, dash). Only, it's impossible to insert a tab in to the input box of the browser! So I have to make one in notepad and copy/paste it.

Besides, how do you propose to get around the different fields in CD?

9 times out of 10 what you really want is Indent (i.e. <blockquote>) anyway. Or "space 5 times" or something like that. A pure tab won't show up in HTML. There's probably some sort of HTML equivelant of tab (like &tab;) and you can define what it's supposed to be in CSS or something, but I almost never see it used.
Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Couldn't a clever "paste from word" option (with good html cleaning) make the point ? Instead of rewriting a new Wisiwyg editor, Fog creek could aloow us to use the most usable and actually used rich text editor in the world: MS word itself.

word user
Thursday, August 26, 2004

Paste from Word?

Ack!  That isn't what I want.

Paste is a one-time event.  After I paste the data in, CityDesk owns it.  If I want to edit things further sometime later, I will once again be using the WYSIWYG feature of CityDesk.

The obvious alternative is to go back to the DOC file, do my editing in Word and re-paste.  And that's what I don't want to do.  I want my editing to be nicely integrated with my content management, and I want all my data stored in the CTY file.

Another alternative would be for CityDesk to integrate very tightly with Word.  Invoke the Word UI inside a CityDesk window.  Store the Word data in the CTY file.  This would be quite cool, but I doubt Joel wants his product to be dependent on Microsoft Office.

Eric Sink
Thursday, August 26, 2004

the slippery slope is a good metaphor

personally don't care about WYSIWYG between text and HTML tags - insert some CityScript and a few complex variables and what you see is abstract rubbish anyway

far better to work on speeding up preview, especially for single page - surely it doesn't need to take that long

with CSS the now preferred way of formatting, WYSIWYG needs to incorporate external stylesheets or it's meaningless (and you still have script & variable to deal with)

plus - if FC write own browser emulator (don't do it) what do they do? copy IE and its rules or go W3C standard? Just create the HTML faster/only do pages that change (as in publish)

far better to focus on content management than presentation - FP did presentation - I bought CD for content management - structure and scripting, that's what I want more of

a CD 2.1 release of extra scripting features would have been nice - say testing field values not just blank/non-blank

a better editor is low priority for me - more CM functions high

NoteTab Light is a superb (free) simple HTML editor with near WYSIWYG - it uses your choice of browser
CD is a good but not great CMS - i'm waiting...

Mike Osborne
Saturday, August 28, 2004

Well spoken, Mike.

Jorgen B.
Saturday, August 28, 2004

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