I decided to spend the time to change things over to get some real experience before recommending the product for some of my clients. I am, for the most part, impressed. I will likely end up using both CityDesk and Dreamweaver to manage my website, but that’s because the products have very different strengths. It’s not an indictment of either.
If you’re contemplating using CityDesk, I recommend you try out their free starter version first and see if you like it. Fog Creek does a good job documenting their product, but there are some drawbacks I hadn’t considered at first.
- The WYSIWYG editor shows a few of the symptoms of the syndrome Microsoft Word takes to an extreme; it tries to capture exactly what you put down instead of writing good HTML. After a few attempts with it, I now avoid the Normal View altogether and stick to handcoding.
- Actually building a site from scratch can be time-consuming. Because you must publish in CityDesk to view changes, altering a CSS can be a hassle. This feels more like a feature than a bug, as once the site is built the publish function works great.
- Occasionally, a page would fail validation because of a bug that causes old text to reappear at the end. This is a known bug, but I didn’t find the answer for a while.
- There is no remote file management a la Dreamweaver.
- Some of the functions do not have keyboard shortcuts.
- You can edit the date an article was filed, but not the time.
- There is no multi-platform support. I have been spending more time inside my Mandrake partition, and I would like to move off of Windows 98 entirely someday. A cross-platform implementation would really be nice. (Counterpoint: the publishing function makes it really easy to export your data in a non-proprietary format, so I’m not locked in to CityDesk. I appreciate that feeling tremendously.)
Overall, however, my impression of the software is certainly positive. I actually started working on my Enterprise RPG site, I cleaned up my personal site files and removed all the entries from my Slashdot journal. I have been slowly growing disgruntled with the user population of Slashdot; signal to noise ratio has been falling of late. It was especially prevalent in the journal articles, and this decline certainly contributed to my decision to pull it all in-house. But as much as I will miss the ability to submit articles over the web, I would really rather have control over the pages.
And who wouldn’t, really?
This is: brett's logjam → scrubbing bubbles..