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Converting wizard.

from 20 review .... :

>Personally, my biggest gripe is that it's so hard to convert an EXISTING >website to Citydesk.  you basically have to cut and paste the whole site >a page and image at a time.  If my site were small enough to do that, I >would not need CityDesk.

Just an idea: how about a converting wizard?

The user will paste a URL. A robot will walk throug all web pages linked to this url (like Teleport  or Httrack). The pages will be analyzed, contents extracted and saved in the CityDesk format.

The result will be an almost equal site but in CityDesk.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

What's "20 review"?

John Topley (
Wednesday, March 10, 2004

I assume it is this:

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

There is a way to import web site pages into Citydesk (it's built into CD) but it basically just inhales the HTML and the images verbatim without converting them to "articles." Each web page becomes an HTML file, not an article. You're right in a sense though, if the user wants each web page to become an article he needs to cut and paste the web page data from a browser (for instance).

Much of the power of Citydesk is the article metaphor. An article (which is a piece of HTML with no defined file type) is formatted through a template into a type of file - could be HTM, PHP or SHTML, or other.

I think the basic problem with implementing a direct import to articles is that such a tool would have to determine what part of each incoming web page was the "content" (as opposed to the HTML file header and footer) and would have to assign an appropriate template to each article imported.

I don't think it's doable without a lot of restrictions on the function of importing. I think there would be a strong convenience factor of going direct to an article, but accept that you will need to hand edit all of the "standard for each page" stuff out.

Bored Bystander
Wednesday, March 10, 2004

There's an add-on tool called CopyBoy that imports pages as articles and can do bulk file > article conversion.

Doesn't have a wizard to do the whole job lot but makes life somewhat easier to import an entire site.

John C
Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Bored has nailed the basic problem:

The converter has to be "smart" enough to seperate the bits of the web page and plug them into the right parts of an article (title, etc.).

However, one way to do this would be by looking at the meta data (<title>....</title>, etc.)

It's not exactly a criticism of CD. I know it's not an easy problem to solve.

However, it's an obstacle preventing more sales. (I.e., if I sell a hammer that's too heavy for people to use, then I'll get more sales if I can make it lighter. I can't change gravity and it may be hard to make the hammer out of less material. But if I could... I'd get more sales).

The real Entrepreneur
Wednesday, March 10, 2004

"However, it's an obstacle preventing more sales."

Are you sure it is?  Are people really saying "I'd buy it, but it's too hard to convert existing pages"?

Saying "I have it and it's too hard to convert existing pages" is not the same thing.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

It's one of the reasons I haven't bought it...yet. Still evaluating.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

I think it'd be a horrible beast to build. How do you tell it what part of each document goes into which CD article field (headline, author, fileName, body, filedDate, filedTime, modifiedDate, modifiedTime, keywords, teaser, sidebar, about, extra1, extra2, link) now toss defined variables into the mix, multiple templates, add a little “bot found repitions should bot create a new variable?”, sprinkle in a little programmer’s preference (download and open three different CD templates, by three different authors and find three totally different approaches/methods to CD solutions) and you’re getting started.

How often will you use this feature?

Perpetual Newbie II
Thursday, March 11, 2004

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