Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Knowledge Base
Terry's Tips
Darren's Tips

Multi-user CityDesk

Am I mistaken, or does CityDesk 2.0 continue to lack support for multiple users over a TCP/IP network.

I find this to be a major limitation of the product.

Sunday, May 11, 2003

Should work fine over TCP/IP under the same conditions as Access (I think - Fog Creek will correct me if I'm wrong): namely, that you be able to see the CD file as living on a drive. If you're using a VPN and map a drive, it should work fine. If you're talking about just hitting a database on a Web server, well, no, this isn't the right product.

But CD certainly runs fine over TCP/IP - I don't run any other protocols on my internal network, and it talks fine across boxes.

Mike Gunderloy
Sunday, May 11, 2003

Is the documentation on team use of CityDesk.  Haven't tried it yet - but it's on my to do list.

Guy Bjerke
Sunday, May 11, 2003

I am wondering about the case where you can't map a network drive.

Alan Armstrong
Monday, May 12, 2003

Alan, If you can't see the drive, you can't use the CityDesk file.

I wonder if there's a tool that will let you 'mount' an FTP server as a drive.
Monday, May 12, 2003

Mark, unfortunately, there isn't, and that would be impossible. The ftp protocol doesn't include ways to do things like read a range of bytes or write a range of bytes, which are necessary to support "true" file systems. When CityDesk writes out your changes to an article, you need a way of writing only the article that has changed. The FTP protocol only includes commands for putting and getting an entire file.

Joel Spolsky
Monday, May 12, 2003

Joel... that's too bad.

I still think you could use the existing publish mechanism to make a flat-text mirror of the database - one file per article/template in an XML-esque format.

Then use the "citydesk.xml" to determine what articles have changed between the local & remote versions and download/upload the appropriate changes.

But... I'm not a software engineer.
Monday, May 12, 2003

Oh, nor am I the CEO of a software company. Surely there are other issues beyond feasability, such as cost to develop v. people it would benefit enough to influence their buying decision.
Monday, May 12, 2003

Joel, wouldn't WEBDAV do just this? I thought it was supposed to offer the NETBIOS file primitives (as in NETBEUI or NBT) over HTTP. Have you tried CD over WEBDAV?

Michael Wild
Tuesday, May 13, 2003

There are utilities that you mount an FTP site as a Windows drive, such as Web Drive (, but, as Joel said, that doesn't mean they provide actual filesystem services.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

No one has said yes or no as to whether this is a problem for them.

I think it is a barrier to larger adoption beyond the 1-man shop.

Alan Armstrong
Tuesday, May 20, 2003

I agree. It is a part of our long-term (3.0) strategy for CityDesk to support remotely distributed teams, probably with a more expensive "server" version.

But it is our short-term (2.0) strategy to support our existing customer base first, which mostly consists of smaller teams, colocated (on a lan) workers, and individuals.

Joel Spolsky
Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Joel... I wonder if these inelegant kludges we see today are the result of products that grew beyond their initial vision. For example, CityScript. As you add more features, will it become less and less cohesive?
Thursday, May 22, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home