Saturday, May 7, 2005

Notes working with Rhythmyx

Rhythmyx takes the developer’s code, strips it, and then recompiles it. Think of it as having Front Page reedit your page after you’ve written it and not allowing current coding standards. You have to go back to 1999 technology, using tables and transparent gifs. Yukk. Furthermore Rhythmyx strips away much of the white space making comments close to useless.

Label your images, even where SEO is not an issue, in order to have a reference point when you searching for a piece of code. Usually it’s easier to copy and paste the code back into your text editor of choice; make the changes; and then copy and paste it back into the Rhythmyx.

Rhythmyx adds width and height to <img src=""> tags whether or not you put it into the source code. However, if you change the size of the image (without changing the name) Rhythmyx does not automatically change the width and height in the <img src=""> tags. You need to go back into the source code and do that yourself.

Rhythmyx does not let developers add stylesheets; nor can one add anything to the head; nor can one use includes of any kind, including javascript includes.

One cannot use classes or ids of any kind. One can use <DIV>s but everything must be inline and one cannot use absolute or relative positioning of ANY kind.

One can add padding and margins to <DIV>s but NOT to images.

The editor is really bad. To link a graphic one selects it and selects a link icon, then input (or search) for the link. However there is no indication given should the icon already have a link attributed to it. So, if you link again, a new link gets added to the existing one. For example:
<a href="xxx"><a href="yyy"><a href="zzz"><img src=""></a></a></a>

and sometimes a <a href=""></a> thrown in at the end for good measure.
I don’t want to judge Rhythmyx solely from one experience with it, especially since we weren’t working with any Rhythmyx reps but I don’t have any warm fuzzies for it. Everything, from big issues such as speed, to smaller issues such as the pop-up windows being too small and having to scroll down to be able to select the form buttons are irritants.

EDIT: 5/8/2005

Spoke to someone from Rhythmyx. It seems as if the overwhelming majority of their users do not bring in designers and developers to work on their subsite. Thus the stripping of whitespace has not been a concern, nor was the absence of absolute and relative positioning.