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Presentation vs. content, Images & Citydesk

Hi - I've been looking at how to recreate a large, professional, designed site in Citydesk, and on the whole it is great but the image functionality is on the weak side.
My problems are
a) The images have only one piece of metadata (their filename)
b) I can only attach images to an article at the article level, so I have to do my presentation there, but I would rather sort out my presentation at the template level - to separate presentation from content and to split graphic layout from writing
c) If I do put in images in the article, that means I have HTML in my .body, which reduces my options for producing WML sites etc.

So current problems I have which I can't solve simply (e.g. no postprocessing, client processing or mdb hacking)
i) Can't create a digest page with thumbnail links, without matching an image filename to the article name
ii) Can't do templated layout of images without putting HTML in the article and using magic name links, or building a whole set of image file_name logic
iii) If I do put my images in the .body, my design is restricted (e.g. couldn't put an image above the .headline field)

[caveat - it may not be possible to do the following without breaking the usability, but if it could I think citydesk would be more BigCo friendly]

So - functionality I would like would to see

a) Ability to link/associate  image(s) (or file or article) to an article - either as a child or a symbolic link - would need to be represented on the UI. Then I could associate say 4 images with an article and use them in the template by looping through (openpages does this)
b) Extend scripting to handle above, also extend scripting to handle simple conditionals against metadata (e.g. if Extra1 is blank then X else Y)
c) Add the metadata tabs (e.g. properties and extras) to files in general ( and possibly folders)
d) Have a 'strict mode' where the article only allows text through, not markup (or semi-strict with limited mark-up)

Don't get me wrong - after 2 days I think Citydesk is great but with these kind of additions I think in certain areas it could really challenge heavyweight CMS systems yet remain simple (as long as the mdb doesn't fall over :))

Good work and good luck

jim dallas
Tuesday, December 18, 2001

Why don't you use one of the extra fields for the images?  Then you don't have to put <img src> in your .body and you can keep the presentation at the template level.  The template would just incorporate both .body and .extra1?

Michael Pryor
Tuesday, December 18, 2001

Could do as a stopgap, but that's not a flexible long-term solution. I suppose I'm used to building sites where a designer will say - here is a template for a generic article type  - and maybe it can take 1-n images down the right hand margin, or a large image across the bottom, or whatever, but I want to separate the responsibilities 3 ways (or more)  - A design layout responsibility (template) - A content responsibility (writers/ editors) and coding (tech). Often just finding and managing  images is another role.
Putting links to images in extra fields is a tech solution. Images often need as much flexibility and richness as articles

Just my 2c - thanks for responding so quickly

jim dallas
Tuesday, December 18, 2001

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