CMS Review: CityDesk -- It's Great, Bugs 'N All



Maybe "review" wasn't the right phrase (too much work to write all it can do), "powertool recommendation" might be better as I'd rather answer a few general questions for the one or two here who can hear, ummm, the clank of machinery (wink,wink,nod,nod) in this one.


#2 - What it does best, IMO, is handle/manage (clientside) includes.

#3 - Writes static

#4- It's buggy, but it's still BY FAR the best app I've found for development, warts and all.

Just how powerful do I think CityDesk is? Well, I've stayed quiet about it for over a year --and we all know why we go quiet in this biz.


heh heh

Just how powerful do I think CityDesk is? Well, I've stayed quiet about it for over a year --and we all know why we go quiet in this biz.

Time to get those bugs fixed, eh? :-)

It seems Citydesk is CMS-as-desktop as ezPublish is CMS-as-framework. Both killer in the potential department...still(!?)


issit scriptable? (w/VBA or something else)

>Time to get those bugs

>Time to get those bugs fixed

That would be nice, but the general consensus among the userbase is that it's not going to receive any further development.


Though there are some straight-out-of-the-box templates and site layouts available, I expect most of those here wouldn't use them.


(this answer really is why I decided to out it). Yes, but it has its own, onboard scripting language, claus. That language is simplistic and many times you will want to throw your desktop in the trashcan because of the hellatious programmatic cartwheels you'll have to employ. That said, if you manage to come out of the process with an end product it will be onehelluva product.

Though I don't use it, it also allows "post-processing" by other applications prior to ftp.

BTW, I forgot to mention that there is a crippleware version available.


"Until now, only large corporations could afford content management systems, which ran on expensive servers. Small businesses, schools, and individuals were stuck manually coding every page and laboriously transferring them to a web server"
(from the Citidesk page)
How bout Mambo or WordPress? I simply don't get the appeal, what's so special about this compared to others, other than you've got to pay for it?

This just seems like actinic

This just seems like actinic for publishing? ie cumbersome and basically crap. (note: didn't look beyond the 'multimedia tour')

the fact its all client side static html revolts me too ;)


the fact its all client side static html revolts me too

?? - If I understand you, then, err, I don't understand you. You don't like static URL's? In the days of trust/age/authority/age/dinosaur-rank, you don't like fixed content?

Nope, not with you.

static URLS != static HTML I

static URLS != static HTML

I love my pretty URLs. I don't like the 'building' of static (or pseudo-static, given its got its own scripting language) HTML from markup templates, as the implication is for this. Icky.

I kind of like clientside

I kind of like clientside CMS systems. I use RapidWeaver on the Mac. It sounds much less sophisticated than CityDesk but then again it only costs $35 - which is the Mac website builder software world is dirt cheap. I like the static pages and I'm better off using templates made by real web designers since I certainly am not one.

I've tried some php server side CMS's and frankly they then to be more trouble than they are worth, for me, unless I was building a community site like TW and wanted/needed multiple editors and interactivity.

Is there a reason why development has stopped on CityDesk? It sounds like it is pretty good.

RC, I'm confused...


Why is "client side" a good thing? I love server side for the simple reason it makes my life a whole lot easier. One server side include and I can change a million pages. Once I discovered the database, I have to say I'll never go back. If I have to make a web site more than 5 pages, I use SSI or a database. It is just so much easier.

And I thought you liked things server side anyway. (You do for your Wiki...)

client-side, server-side

The cost to the client of implementing a database driven solution is huge (if you plan to make it search friendly and attractive).

For comment driven websites, it's worth it, but smaller clients are far better off with a quickly rsynced SSI driven website. Don't know why you'd would want to use City Desk to create an SSI driven website, though, unless you were still html shy at this point.

Just grab a template (or any page of any website off the net), break it down into SSI fragments and start pounding.

Plus CityDesk is Windows only. Thanks for the reminder about RapidWeaver, Brad. Been meaning to give it a whirl for a quicky site.

>One server side include and

>One server side include and I can change a million pages.

On one site using CD, I'm currently "assembling" around 3000 includes to compose somewhere in the neighborhood of X,000 pages, --and still growing (though I *hope* I'm through with the includes. I'm about 1/2-way done with the page transition.


If you're a lonewolf type and no one but you is going to touch the keyboard when it comes to site data then for certain sites (not all) the only thing you repeat is ftp time ...and CD does the sync to server automatically, so that's no big deal even for the above site.

Having the data clientside means that no one can crack the database and there's a better backup capability if all data flows from the desktop --and in CD's case, one source file.

Also, for heavy-traffic sites the heavy-lifting cpu work is done once on the desktop, not every time someone or somebot runs through the server.

Finally, if it goes up as static I could give a rat's derriere if mysql or even the cgi-bin goes belly-up, the site still runs ...a point which nick will appreciate.


pay no attention to the CD site other to get a general idea of what it can do. i also was fairly quick to dismiss it and only came back to review it after i worked with another clientside app that gave me some insight as to what they were trying to accomplish w/ CD.


umm, nevermind. CD is not for you.

>serverside & databases

i'm not here to argue whether this would replace mambo or drupal or simplex or whatever, i have 31 years experience in databases, so let's just say i know they're an option. this is just another tool in the drawer.

Oh, CD also happens to import small-to-midsize legacy sites extraordinarily well and for just about any type of file, since you define the extensions in your template table. So it would allow you to quickly employ some sort of CMS capabilities on and gain control of (in incremental steps of your own choosing) an old jumblesite.

It's been so long since I started migrating away from serverside that I forgot my original reason for interest; to eliminate any special hosting requirements or server tuning so that I'm able to change hosting services for large-ish content sites about as quickly as the dns propagates, i.e., extreme portability.

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