Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Knowledge Base
Terry's Tips
Darren's Tips

Suggestion for Incremental Page Parsing

Joel's recent question about "Save & Close" raises for me a related issue, which is the number of steps to edit-preview-edit layout changes on CD pages. My gripe is that I don't want to really do all the following just to examine how a change looks:

1. Just to be sure I don't loose any work I usually "Save and Close" before I preview.

2. I select Preview (not clear if this saves all my work automatically. Maybe I can skip step 1?)

3. Wait for the entire site to re-parse;

4. Select which browser to preview in;

5. Wait for the site to load and review;

6. Close the browser when done reviewing the change(each preview spans a seperate browser window on my system, but that could be an IE setting?)

7. To adjust the changes, repeat steps 1-6 over and over and over again.

What I think I would prefer instead is a dual-pane or multi-window environment where I can make changes in content or layout and see the change in a second window that does *incremental* page parses on-the-fly. In other words, the parser is more intelligent about page dependencies, and only parses what it must for me to review the change on the immediate page I am working on. A full-site parse would only be done when I specifically selected to "Preview Entire Site" or, of course, choose to "Publish" my site.

I assume only content and layout changes could be parsed incrementally, and that there would be exceptions even to that which would require full parsing. It would probably not make any sense to do an incremental parse when making changes to structure of the site.

Now, I realize that I am using CD to do a complex site, and that this is all probably is not an issue for the occassional site maker, who, in their PJ's and bathrobe, are just making a few pages with perhaps a few folders. I am doing a content-rich online catalogue with a dozen sections and (so far) six layout templates. Maybe I am in the minority of users, I don't know.

Well, those are my early morning ruminations. Hope it offers some value....


Ben Meiry
Wednesday, January 23, 2002

Do you just want to preview what the current article will look like? If so, you don't need to regenerate the whole site.  In the article window, select File -> Save and Preview. It's much quicker.

Darren Collins
Wednesday, January 23, 2002

Yes, that is what I primarily wanted. And it was right under my nose. Boy those guys are quick!  ;-/

Ben Meiry
Thursday, January 24, 2002

Two more shortcuts:
(1) you never have to close the publishing status window.
(2) you can keep your web browser around and just hit REFRESH after republishing is done instead of selecting it in the publish dialog.

Joel Spolsky
Thursday, January 24, 2002

Thanks for the tips. Is there also some way of launching my default browser (IE) to preview a site automatically, rather than having to select the IE button each time after parsing. It would be great if it coud be an option to do so...

Ben Meiry
Thursday, January 24, 2002

If every millisecond counts, you can just press <Enter> in the publishing status window to launch the browser.

Bernard Vander Beken
Monday, January 28, 2002

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home