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Contribute allows users to chip in

Feb 04, 20042 mins
Enterprise Applications

* Contribute for end user site content management

A few weeks ago, I discussed Page Publisher, a tool that allows controlled editing of Web pages by non-technical users, and last issue I mentioned a product called Contribute from Macromedia (see links below).

Contribute is very similar to Page Publisher and if you are a Macromedia product user, it is definitely worth taking a look at it for end user site content management.

The model for publishing that Contribute implements is described as “browse, edit, publish.” Contribute allows users to browse, from within Contribute, to a page they want to modify and simply click on an “edit” button.

Contribute provides a WYSIWYG editing interface with page check-in/checkout (a.k.a. file locking) to coordinate multiple users as well as page versioning and rollback, offline editing, pre-publishing peer review, drag and drop from Word and Excel documents, and templating.

Contribute also provides script and server code protection (prevents modifications to embedded scripting), support for Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), Dreamweaver template recognition, XHTML support, and can enforce accessibility guidelines.

The way Contribute works is straightforward: Using either FTP or LAN access content is retrieved from the server, modified at the client, and when the edit is complete, the server content files are updated.

The Web administrator creates an encrypted Contribute “connection key” which defines how to connect to the site, controls access at folder and individual file levels, and defines the user’s privileges. If you use Macromedia’s Dreamweaver, Contribute can share the versioning system and Contribute keys can be created directly from Dreamweaver.

Unlike Page Publisher, Contribute doesn’t require any server-side components, doesn’t require any special embedded tags or other page modifications, and is a client-side tool that requires either Windows or Macintosh (this means no editing ability from Linux or any other unsupported platform).

The latest release of Contribute, Version 2, adds support for FlashPaper (see the previous issue of this newsletter for an overview of FlashPaper), support for integrating PayPal service into your Web site, improved security, and Macintosh OSX support.

And at $99, Contribute is a well-priced solution with special appeal to Macromedia users.


Mark Gibbs is an author, journalist, and man of mystery. His writing for Network World is widely considered to be vastly underpaid. For more than 30 years, Gibbs has consulted, lectured, and authored numerous articles and books about networking, information technology, and the social and political issues surrounding them. His complete bio can be found at

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