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I don't want to appear like a grump, but I'm unstalling CityDesk.

I found one fault on install: an error message about replacing common controls OCX.  ANd overall, I thought the package was fairly slick and performant

I don't have use for it.  And I can't quite see who will use it.

I think there is a real need for developers (amongst others) to able to create web sites very very easily.  The popularity of Radio/Manilla/Userland/Frontpage/SharepointTS all testify to the size of the market.  People need weblogs, file repositories, picture galleries,web link lists, discussion groups, surveys and more.  And they need it quick, how many developer hours are wasted 'playing' with ProjectX Web Sites over-engineered and over-flashed.

Was CityDesk supposed to be graphical like Sharepoint, our code-based like Userland?

I couldn't find a good reference page for what this package could do for me, so out it goes.

RIchard Black
Tuesday, October 16, 2001

Well, thanks for trying it anyway.  If you didn't have any use for it though, why did you sign up for beta testing?

CityDesk wasn't made for developers.  It was made for non-developers who don't have the time or the energy to spend installing a server app like Manila.  The problem with the server apps are 1) you have to be a developer to figure things out and 2) you have to have access to the web server to install them.  There are many, many people out ther who do not meet either of those criteria.  (Our copy of Manila crashes every other day, not an exaggeration, and I had to write *another* program just to keep it running.  I highly doubt any non technical person would be willing to put up with the headaches server software can cause.)

If you are a developer and you're going to dl CityDesk and say "Where's the XML? Where's the RSS?" then you are missing the point.  CityDesk is simple and we made key decisions during development to keep it that way.  Developers *can* do neat things with it, but you probably won't find out how by reading the docs, and that's not our focus (right now).  We want to make it so your church groups, Boy Scouts, AA group, and even your grandma can use content-management.

Michael Pryor
Tuesday, October 16, 2001

Thank-you for positioning the product for me. 

I'd be interesting the feedback you get from your intended audience.  Are you going through usability sessions with new users?


RIchard Black
Tuesday, October 16, 2001

This beta is our first real usability test of any sort. We'll have some more formal usability tests soon.

Joel Spolsky
Tuesday, October 16, 2001

I have to say - and I haven't even gotten it to work yet - I'm so excited about the product.  I work as the webmaster at a school - after all my other jobs there.  I am about to do a major redesign of our website and I would like parent volunteers - many of whom do not know HTML to help me.  I think this will be a wonderful tool for us.  I can set up a standard look and feel and let the parents put in the information they get from teachers and others.  It will be great!  I think there is a huge market out there for people like me.

Michelle Friend Hutton
Wednesday, October 24, 2001

This is *exactly* the kind of task CD is perfect for.  Someone with a little knowledge can set up the templates and everything else (in Designer mode) and then the app can be given to less HTML friendly people to fill in the content.

Michael Pryor
Thursday, October 25, 2001

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