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Stuff I found while testing CityDesk

I downloaded CityDesk (free edition) yesterday. I have known about the product for quite a while and even used it in january, but had no use until now.

Setup was easy. Then I started to use it. I really like CityDesk, but while I was creating my site I noticed I had forgotten something: a pen and some paper.

Why? Because Joel might want to know about my experiences (indirect hallway usablity testing?) as a newbie to his product.

First: I created a html file in the normal view. Oh, that won't work as a template --> open the designer view, templates folder. Drag and attempt to drop html file from normal tree to templates tree. You know what? That didn't work! I was surprised. Maybe you could fix that in Version 2.0?

Second: I am going to write my Site in German. An English version of the site will be created using the mulilingual functionality of CD in the future. I know this is a known BUG, but it did really spoil my evening: "Umlauts" are not translated to html escapes! (ä--> ä etc.). I can't even code them in html view, because when switching CD seems to synchronize between the two views. Joel has a fix for that. I can't buy the product before I can have that fix too. But I can wait :)

Third: I was working on an IBM Thinkpad with the little red nipple. There are three buttons for the pointing devise: Left, Right and a big button I use for scrolling: Hold, move nipple up and down. It works everywhere except for CityDesk. How come?

Don't get me wrong: I am not sulking. I just thought my input might help make a good product great.

Daren Thomas
Tuesday, November 12, 2002

More on the template view:

- I can't copy/paste a template to create a new template just like the old one. How come? In fact, not being able to do so suprised me a lot. I had to stop and ponder, then work out a new way to do it.

- Missing feature: Why can't I base a template on another template? That way I could create a base template for my whole site, but have a different static picture on each derived template. Then a mechanism for defining CityScript variables with template scope (that instantiate after an article has been assigned) could provide the data to be filled into the base template.

-  But wait. Template inheritance would be cool, but my proposed implementation above most probably sucks. That's because I don't have a spec ;)

Daren Thomas
Monday, November 18, 2002

I use the HTML view of the Template Designer to do some of what you're talking about above.

I copy one template's HTML, then paste it into a new template to create a duplicate. It's kind of clunky, but it's a work-around.

Similarly, you can copy a web page's HTML into a template's HTML view as a starting point for your design. Then you just replace static images with CityDesk magic names, replace menu bars, site name, window title, body, etc with CityDesk variables, and so on.

Darren Collins
Monday, November 18, 2002

Daren.  I often copy "template" articles.  Ctrl-C Ctrl-V.  It makes it easy for me to remember what goes in the keyword and extra fields of a new article.

Until your comment I never thought about how nice it would be to copy templates as well.  If I'm changing an existing template, I always create a test or backup template first.  A two-keystroke method would save me some time.  That's a good idea.

Monday, November 18, 2002

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