multi user Freeway files

Hi all,

I share updating a website with a colleague. Normally whenever I make edits, I upload the Freeway file into a CVS repository. Then he grabs it, and uploads all changes. Unfortunately Freeway generally decides the entire website has changed, and uploads the entire lot. Making even trivial changes tiresome. Is there a way around this, or how do other people have multiple users of the same file? We are geographically quite separate, and so a shared network drive would not work.

Thanks
Ferg


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You might find something in the various threads on Content Management (CMS) - just search for them on this forum.

It’s interesting to note that you are not alone in seeking collaboration/remote updating facilities and that there is an increasing call for this, even in the relatively few web design briefs in which I (as mainly a copywriter) am directly involved. Perhaps it’s time that the powers in the Towers took a longer term look at this, with a view to adding the facility to, say, a future FW6 or providing a bolt on solution to current versions (like they once did with FAST packs for navigation and graphics)?

Well, one can always hope! Though in the meantime I’m off to purchase ExpressionEngine.

Colin


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Hi Colin,

thanks for that. It’s is a real pain at the moment, and we’d love there to be a reasonable solution.

Cheers
Ferg


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It might be interesting to try Dropbox with your scenario. http://www.getdropbox.com/

You publish the Freeway site folder into a shared folder using Dropbox.

You create a shared dropbox folder that automatically synchs with the
shared dropbox folder on the distant Mac. When any changes are made
upon publishing the files are automatically updated to the other Mac.
(At the very least it saves you emailing files)

It might stop the whole site being uploaded. (Test with a dummy
site first!!)

At the very least it saves you emailing files.

David

On 19 Nov 2008, at 13:38, ferg wrote:

Is there a way around this, or how do other people have multiple
users of the same file?

David Owen
Freeway Friendly Web hosting and Domains ::

http://www.ineedwebhosting.co.uk
http://www.ineedwebhosting.co.uk/blog
http://www.printlineadvertising.co.uk


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Hi David,

that’s a very good idea. We’ve got Dropbox accounts (it’s a cool service for sure!). I’ll try it out and report back.

We use a CVS repository rather than email. But that still involves checking out local copies, whereas if I understand Dropbox correctly it would not.

Cheers
Chris


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Freeway stores the entire site in a binary file, so any change –
nudge something 1 px in any direction – would change the signature
of that file from CVS or git or svn’s perspective and trigger a replace.

There’s no way to get inside of a binary file and track individual
changes the way you can on a big directory full of text files (like
you could with a normal site).

Freeway’s work product is a normal site which CAN be tracked this
way, but Freeway treats this work product as a throw-away – the
stream of bits sent to the printer over the network, to make a
parallel from the desktop-publishing world.

In addition, Freeway notes the modification time of all the files
that it “owns” (the files it created in the Site folder) and if there
is ever a difference between what it finds there and what it
remembers from its last publish, it will consider those files to be
damaged, and replace them. So if there are two identical Freeway
documents in the world, and one of them is modified and publishes a
set of changes, then the next one does the same, the second one will
overwrite all changes from the first document, replacing them with
only the changes that were made starting from the original point
where the two documents were duplicated from the same original. And
if you next publish (without any additional changes) from the first
document, you will revert back to the original set of changes, and
all of the second set of changes will be gone.

So here’s your options, as I see them:

  1. Split the site. Carve out areas of responsibility for you and your
    partner(s), and make individual Freeway documents for them. Set all
    of these documents to publish and upload into the same folder on your
    server, but don’t give any of them responsibility for content used in
    any of the other parts of the site. Advantage: nobody can step on
    anybody else’s work. Disadvantage: you and your partner(s) will
    effectively be working on different sites. Each of you will maintain
    a separate document, and you won’t be able to fix things in another’s
    area of influence. There are a number of articles and tutorials about
    splitting a site on the archives of this list and on the Softpress
    KnowledgeBase.

  2. Share a single binary file and site publish directory. Use a
    system like iDisk or Bingo or another shared drive service to keep
    your one true Freeway document safe. Make a workflow system like
    sending an e-mail “I’m working on the site right now…” or renaming
    a file in the shared folder “Bob has the site open” or some other
    semaphore. Since the site doesn’t move, from anyone’s perspective,
    you shouldn’t see any problems like over-publishing every page. The
    Freeway document would stay on the network drive, be opened from
    there and saved to there. Advantage: absolute coherence. No chance of
    messing up the site. Disadvantage: network speed bound. If you have a
    slow connection to the net, this will be painful. Needs a good system
    of communication to avoid a race condition.

  3. (Really sort of 2a) Put the entire Freeway document and Site
    folder on a disk image. Make a new disk image using Disk Utility.
    Move the document and all associated folders onto that image. An
    image can be any size, and it never takes up more space on disk than
    its contents + a little overhead. Store this image on your shared
    drive as above, and when you need to work on the site, “check it out”
    by downloading the disk image somefile.dmg to your desktop, double-
    click that image to mount it as a local disk, make any updates or
    changes as needed, publish the site, unmount the disk image, and then
    copy the now-modified disk image back to the shared server,
    overwriting (or versioning) the original that you started with.
    Advantage: local publishing will be much faster, since you will be
    working at local-disk speeds. Disadvantage: same as above, only one
    person at a time can work on the entire site. Needs good communication.

Other ideas may be out there, but that’s about all I can think of
from here.

Certainly, if you’re open to a completely orthogonal approach, you
could use a CMS to modify the content of your pages, and just use
Freeway to generate the template. This works really well for many
types of sites. If you have a highly-designed site with not much
repetition of style between pages, then it’s pretty much a pain, though.

Walter

On Nov 19, 2008, at 8:38 AM, ferg wrote:

Hi all,

I share updating a website with a colleague. Normally whenever I
make edits, I upload the Freeway file into a CVS repository. Then
he grabs it, and uploads all changes. Unfortunately Freeway
generally decides the entire website has changed, and uploads the
entire lot. Making even trivial changes tiresome. Is there a way
around this, or how do other people have multiple users of the same
file? We are geographically quite separate, and so a shared
network drive would not work.

Thanks
Ferg


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At 08:38 -0500 19/11/08, ferg wrote:

Hi all,

I share updating a website with a colleague. Normally whenever I
make edits, I upload the Freeway file into a CVS repository. Then
he grabs it, and uploads all changes. Unfortunately Freeway
generally decides the entire website has changed, and uploads the
entire lot. Making even trivial changes tiresome. Is there a way
around this, or how do other people have multiple users of the same
file? We are geographically quite separate, and so a shared network
drive would not work.

Could the problem be that although you’re sharing a FW document
you’re not sharing a Site folder?

Maybe if you saved a zip of the FW document and the Site folder
you’d have less upload.

David


David Ledger - Freelance Unix Sysadmin in the UK.
HP-UX specialist of hpUG technical user group (www.hpug.org.uk)
email@hidden
www.ivdcs.co.uk


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