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Site Sculptor Customization

Thread began 6/16/2010 12:03 pm by Jared Lui | Last modified 6/16/2010 4:31 pm by Justin Nemeth | 722 views | 3 replies |

Jared Lui

Site Sculptor Customization

Forgive another thread but I seem to have lots of downtime waiting for a response from WebAssist on my other two posts.

Here is my concern. And perhaps this is my fault for not understanding the system, but I have read, all of your documentation, many times and have had my employees do the same, many times and we all come to the same conclusion.

Your very limited documentation leaves way too much unanswered to be helpful at all. And when you have in your documentation wrong or outdated information as in the example below, it's a struggle for us.

Taken from the QA page - "Choose WebAssist > Preset Manager. In the Preset Manager, choose then Site Sculptor Site Types "

Taken from the Help file: - "The Add New Site Design interface can be launched from the following locations: WebAssist > Preset Manager"

(i know this seems trivial but if someone is trying to learn your software and the step is wrong, they get stuck. In this case, your QA is wrong)

Secondly, I feel that by using Site Sculpture, you are limited to 18 different web designs. Imagine all the web designers that purchase this extension all using the same 18 designs, albeit with different menus and color schemes.

I know that you advertise the you can "Simply specify a Dreamweaver template within the interface and Site Sculptor will generate all the pages of your site using your existing template."

Here is my problem with that statement (although the statement is technically correct, it is misleading). In order to use a DW template (even created by WebAssist) you first have to make it available in Preset Manager. Okay, I understand how that works now after fighting through the inconsistencies in the documents. What I think you fail to understand is that most of us do not want to use the 18 WebAssist designs and will solely create our own templates from concepts we create in Photoshop or Fireworks and would bring into Preset Manager and in turn Site Sculpture. But, your system so far pretty much locks us into using your designs. (at least until you can tell me how to successfully get DW templates to actually work in your extension)

Perhaps it would help if you had a default blank "Page Type" in the Site Sculptor Page Types list. Currently there is nothing there and no way to create a new one. You can import a page type I suppose but I cannot find any information regarding it. When you click the HELP button it takes you the the Site Designs help page which is no help at all. Here's the link: index.htm#ss_02.htm

Likewise with the Site Types. You can Remove what is already there. Export or Import but you cannot add a new one. I suppose that is what Import might do but I don't know that because the HELP button again leads you the Site Design help (see link above) which is no help at all.

So I am left to use your defaults and go from there. Which is fine. Not ideal, but at least they are starting points.

That leaves Site Designs. Now I have successfully created a template that I could get to show up in the Preset Manager Site Sculpture Site Designs list. However, I was unsuccessful on many attempts with several templates I tried and was only able to get it to work if the content.dwt was pretty much blank with the three editable fields. Seems to work fine if you have only 1 page though. But that's a limit I am not sure designers want.

I have yet to see that Site Sculpture will work with a DW templete. I have attempted now 17 times. There IS an issue with the menu and all of the editable regions showing up.

I am trying to be patient but until someone from WebAssist lets me know they have read my post(s) and are looking into it, all I can take from it is that they are not. I have seen many other threads get read and answered so know that you're there. C'mon guys.

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Justin Nemeth

Our goal is obviously to not be confusing when it comes to this stuff. I would recommend keeping a single thread for your issues open. Posting the same thing several times will just add to the support queue and will likely lead to even more confusion if multiple support people are all working on your same issues without realizing it.

One thing I can recommend right off the top is to just play around with extension and see what you can figure out that way. The help is definitely there to aid you, but in some cases just trying the product first will get you going.

You add a new site type in the main quick insert UI. When you select a site type, click the define button, change whatever you want and click OK. It will prompt you to save a custom site type.

With this product I would recommend using the main quick insert first and learn about that. Then worry about the preset manager. It will be easier for you to understand that way.

As for your template issues, it looks like you already have some support going there. We have done many tests with custom DW templates and have used those in Site Sculptor fine. As with any user defined file, its always possible there is a variable in there that could be causing an issue, but its hard to anticipate every single variance in a template someone might use.

The 18 site designs are starting points, but you can use DW templates or CSS Sculptor presets to create your own. You can also theme (change colors and images) any of the existing 18 designs and save custom themes. That gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of look and feel even for the stock site designs.

-justin

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Jared Lui

Hi Justin, Thanks for your response. I know you all have the best intentions and strive to put forth great software and support. We appreciate that. And this isn't directed at you personally but I hope that this message gets through to all levels of your company. Your documentation and support assumes that all your clients are well versed in your terminology and all aspects of all of your software.

I've been a web designer/developer/instructor for over 12 years now and have used several of your other extensions. This does not make me an expert on all of your extensions. In fact you can consider me a newbie when it comes to Site Sculpture and all of the tools that surround it.

You are correct that I can play around with it and figure it out. And no I don't think that you need to hand walk us through every step, but you definitely need to give us more than you do currently. Your advice of playing with the software although true, I will be able to figure it out that way, does not really solve my issues with it. I have been playing with it 14 hours a day for a week now and all that is happening is that I am becoming more aggravated over it.

You say not to have more than one thread. I agree. I normally do not. But since this is our only means of support and when your other posts are being unanswered, I assumed you are ignoring it. I do not know your inner workings or your support system to know that someone may be looking into an issue I wrote about a day or two ago when I see nothing or hear nothing. I only see that threads written after mine are being answered.

I'm really not trying to be an ass here. I have really liked working with you guys in the past but you seem to be lacking some quality control and support as you are expanding and all I have to go by is what I see/read on this board.

Which leads me to my last point. Again. I am not dumb, but I am totally new to this extension and all it's parent/child extensions. So I will stress again, and please take this as constructive criticism from someone who designs and instructs documentation and support for web sites and software: you have to remember that most of the people that will post to your forums are 100% newbies and do not know your internal terminology. They may not have spent days, weeks, months, years building or quality checking the software to know how it all runs together. Not saying you need to talk to us like babies. But case in point: in 3 short sentences (39 words), you tried to describe how to fix all of my issues, in which you use terminology that does not exist to us. Nowhere in your documentation does it discuss where to find the "quick insert ui" let alone the "main" one. You use this twice as if it is in fact the name of the application. I can't find this application and have to assume you mean the Site Sculpture dialog. I know this is petty, but you have to understand when someone needs help and is confused, it leads to more confusion and frustration when support and documentation does not match with what we are seeing.

Justin, I do thank you for your time and please don't take this as an attack on you personally. And I hope that your person in charge of documentation will see to it that they detail it more and at a less advanced level. It should help cut down on your support questions.

Cheers!

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Justin Nemeth

By 'quick insert' and 'main', I do indeed mean the main Site Sculptor dialog accessible under WebAssist > Build Site. Quick insert is meant to explain the new structure we have were there is a simplified interface you see at first, then you can click Define buttons to view the more complex interfaces if you need to customize it more.

Here a few docs that should help out with your other questions.
creating-custom-templates.php
siteassistpro_update_sculptor_mw_ht.pdf (SiteAssist Pro PDF, but still relevant)

Some of the documents for SiteAssist Pro might help out too. They won't correspond exactly to Site Sculptor, but the docs about create site designs and preparing your DW templates should give some good starting info. siteassist/

Thanks for your feedback, we always appreciate getting constructive opinions and suggestions on how to improve.

-justin

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