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Tired of these postings...

Honestly I am getting tired of these recurring postings writing off or deriding CityDesk when I occasionally visit the forum. I mean, what's the point ?

If you don't like it, don't use it and "buzz off" - as they would say in Down by Law.

If you like CD but feel FC should be working harder on improving it and communicate better, actually buy the product and make suggestions for improvements. "No money in CityDesk" ? Maybe. Or simple self-fulfilling prophecy.

If you are from the competition (who knows) and need those tactics to deride a great product such as CityDesk, how low can you sink ?

Just my 2cents worth...

Phil Summers
Friday, December 10, 2004

Phil said:
"If you like CD but feel FC should be working harder on improving it and communicate better, actually buy the product and make suggestions for improvements."

The only thing users do here is talk about improvements, but improvements should be seen in a product. With CD there is nothing to be seen for more then a year now.
Communicating is a two way process. Communicating with FC is just one way traffic from the user to the developer. With FogBugz, money can be made, so there is a lot of response from FC there. But here it is very very quiet.

Phil said:
"No money in CityDesk" ? Maybe. Or simple self-fulfilling prophecy.

No just the words of the developer of CityDesk, and he should know.

Phil, did you make a suggestion to FC that you already saw realised? I don't know how long you have been using CD but if you are waiting more than a year for some sort of lifesign, like an upgrade, then you have to be al real optimist to see a bright future.

Some of the users on this forum are waiting even longer than i am, so what should they think about the whole situation.

The subject is coming up again and again because there is no communication with FC. If it was clear wich way CD was going these questions would have no purpose.

One of the six
Friday, December 10, 2004

I'm guessing that the money is still trickling (flowing) in.  When this diminishes to a critical point the plug will be pulled. Swirl!

Friday, December 10, 2004

I think Joel already pulled the plug, we just haven't realized it yet. 

When 2.0 was released he upgraded all 1.0 standard users to the pro version.  Could that have been his way of saying, "Well things didn't go as planned but at least I gave you good value for your dollar... Sorry, there will be no German version as promised...  Sorry, there will be no 3.0...  Fogbugz is paying for the view, so see ya!"?

Actually, I wish Joel had communicated even that much.  I love CityDesk but--thinking like Joel-- this is business.  So see ya Joel.  You put all your eggs in that FogBugz basket; better watch it.  Hope Dragnet doesn't eat your lunch... or some OpenSource software... or Microsoft...

No longer concerned
Friday, December 10, 2004

i paid for the 1.0 and for the 2.0... and later joel upgraded for free to other users.

now, i dont see any activity in CD, and i dont recomend it for my clients.

thats all

dissatisfied user
Friday, December 10, 2004

Hey, anonymous nonames, are you different people or one and the same?

Ruud van Soest
Friday, December 10, 2004

Phil, if fogcreek lets this forum "expression free", it's normal to see dissatisfied users calling for changes here.

Citydesk is a great concept, but still requires improvement. People taking time for reading this forum and whining here for these improvements are doing it because they praise the concept, and have great hopes for improvements in its implementation. That shows to FC team that even dissatisfied consumers still show interest in the product. It should reinforce them in their commitment to the product.

I hope FC guys still read that forum. But I'm in doubt, since they didn't even fix the link to "documentation" in the left column, the link goes to the 1.0 version of the doc, not to the 2.0... This "bug" has been reported several times and hasn't been fixed.

FC should care more about his consumer base, even if it's not so large than expected. These people could be great "word of mouth" vectors if a new version finally come, and if not, I'm not sure the image they give of themselves by letting users in the fog is good even for people interested by any other product they sell.

Friday, December 10, 2004

I don't think Joel will ever explicitly pull the plug on CityDesk.

It doesn't cost him anything to keep selling it, other than a little space on the servers & bandwidth on the internet connection (lost in the noise, I'm sure, compared to FogBugz). It's free money whenever somebody buys a copy.

So there never will be an official CityDesk end-of-life announcement from Fog Creek - just the occasional slip-up by Joel (e.g., referring to CityDesk in the past tense in an interview).

P.S. No, I am not the same as all those other pseudonymous posters. At least, I don't *think* so.

drawoC suomynonA
Friday, December 10, 2004

I do sympathize with how Phil feels but have to acknowledge that FC do not show the level of excellence in communications and marketing we would appreciate.

Nevertheless, an entertaining (as always) interview in Salon. What I found most interesting where those four snippets:

On FogBugz: "we had a ready-made audience in the Joel on Software audience of people that might consider using it to spread the word"

Translation: Viral marketing at basically no cost, the reputation of Joel (alone?) making the sale.

On CityDesk: "It had some design decisions which I wouldn't have made today, necessarily, and I still feel like there isn't a heck of a lot of money to be made from blogging tools, basically."

Translation: We are stuck technically, are unsure on how to position it, don't know which way to extend it. Heck, we'll have to do some marketing if we do anything other than developer tools...of which he says "And there's never that large a market for development tools, although there seems to be a pretty big market for FogBugz."

One dilemma for Joel is that he puts himself in the everything-web-based-camp with the same energy he argued for rich client apps earlier. Why ?

"it has turned out to be easier to rewire the entire world for high-bandwidth Internet than it is to make a good replication architecture so you can work disconnected!"

And thats the core of it all IMHO. But is it really that hard to create a smart replication architecture ? Doesn't Groove do that very well already ?

In light of all this, I would be surprised if FC chose to become a 1-product company and not create something inspiring for CD3. But I agree that a bit of smalltalk would do well while waiting for the main course...


Patrick Thomas
Friday, December 10, 2004

We "whiners" are right! CD's been abandoned.

It's us whiners in this forum that are providing the development, especially Telepark. And the guys providing the HTML DbScript util and the CD Calendar util. And whomever uploads templates. And all the wonderful tips for using PHP-MySQL. Whatever sales Joel gets from having us provide him with an active forum; well, he owes us whiners a great big thank you!

Bob Bloom
Friday, December 10, 2004

Actually, the future could be very bright for CityDesk.
"Blogging" is a technocrat's term. It's becoming more well known, but it's still not something that the average person running a business thinks they have a need for.

"News Feeds" are another matter. A way to keep people informed that lets them sign themselves up. You don't have to maintain a mailing list (although it sure is nice to know how many listeners you have), and you're not fighting to get through the spam. RSS 2.0 hit the major use case with the  simplest possible technology, and it's growing fast.

I'm such a late comer to this field, it's embarassing. But I got here because I needed a news feed--not because I was enamored of blogging.

As RSS feeds grow in popularity, CityDesk is well-positioned to give people a *very* easy way to get their stuff out the door.

I do have to note that it's not quite as easy as it's made to sound, however. I'm a coder by trade, and I know HTML, DreamWeaver, and templates. Without those skills, I would have been hard pressed to make things work.

Those problems are solvable however.  The HTML editor really only needs h-level heads to keep me away from the HTML view. There's not much else that I really need for news articles. (Tables are needed so rarely that there's no reason to exert the effort until it becomes a competitive differentiator.)

The one thing that CityDisk really needs is a collection of pre-programmed templates, a way to see what kind pages they produce, a way to reference an *external* CityDesk template. (Actually, I'd love to come up with a different name for it, too, rather than "template".)

Here's the way I'd like to see things work:
  1) I already have a template for my site, that I created
      with DreamWeaver. That gets changed occassionaly,
      but not that often.

  2) I use it to create a CityDesk "format file". (Calling it a
      format file helps me distinguish it from my template.
      Right now, I have two kinds of "template" related
      activities, and I have to context switch between

  3) In CityDesk, I look at several examples of article-lists
        and article formats. I pick and choose the parts I
        like, and copy the code snippets into my format file.

  4) I point CityDesk to that external format file, and
      life becomes very, very good.

The nice thing about that strategy is that when I change the template, DreamWeaver automatically applies the change to every file in the site. Right now, the CityDesk format file isn't *in* the site, so after I change the template, I have to go to CityDesk, open the Designer view, open the CityDesk template, close it again because I double clicked it on it and that won't work, right click and open it with DreamWeaver, Choose Tools->Templates->Apply Template to Page.  *Then* I'm done. It's a lot of work that could be avoided pretty easily.

The imminent explosion of RSS Feeds, together with that slight improvement in ease of setup and ease of use, have the potential to usher in a bright new future for CityDesk. Heck, it even has the best name out there for a News Feed!

Eruc Armstrong
Thursday, December 16, 2004

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