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Adobe Contribute, currently in its fifth version, is a software application for editing the content of a website. It is a desktop application, originally developed by Macromedia, allowing a wide variety of people within an organization to update web pages by reducing the amount of web design skills necessary for the process.
Contents 1 Who uses Contribute 2 Pros and cons 2.1 Pros 2.2 Cons 3 Early predecessors 4 Compatibility 5 Extensions 6 References
Who uses Contribute Contribute is primarily used by non-programmers as it employs an intuitive WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) development environment which allows those with little or no programming experience to keep websites and blogs edited and updated with content.
Pros and cons
Pros Contribute removes the need to have multiple programs to carry a simple task such as changing a spelling mistake, e.g. text editor, FTP, etc. Several users can update a given website simultaneously. Contribute will check whether the page a user is trying to amend is already being edited by others in order to prevent page version conflicts. There is also a page rollback feature that allows easy recovery from possible problems. Administrators can ensure the style, code, and integrity of a website is maintained while allowing users to update the site's content. Administrators can assign different editing permissions to users; for instance, some users might only be able to edit the text on a page, while others would have more options. Templates created with Macromedia Dreamweaver can be used in Contribute as well. Allows to keep website content fresh and blog entries current with a single application Contribute lets one manage multiple blog accounts and also allows offline blog entry creation.
Cons Contribute is a client-side tool. This means that you will only be able to edit a website on a desktop that has Contribute. Contribute requires that every user be licensed. This can be a costly process if there are a lot of users set to update a website. Contribute is a website editing tool, not a website development tool. A web developer is still required to build the inital website design (usually using Dreamweaver templates). Contribute edits one page at a time, making complex design elements such as navigation menus hard to manage if they aren't controlled through a single source, like a database, Server Side Includes, or XML file. Updating a website's content through Contribute can be a much slower process than using a more development-oriented tool, such as Macromedia Dreamweaver and an FTP program, since each page must be downloaded (and uploaded) individually. User cannot access source code, therefore any function code must be edited in a secondary program such as Dreamweaver. A new feature on the latest version (version 4.1) now allows Contribute users to add HTML code using the Insert HTML Snippet feature. However, this feature needs to be enabled by the Contribute Administrator.
Early predecessors The idea of a WYSIWYG web development platform is not new. Since the initial internet boom, software companies have been developing products aimed at enabling those not fluent in programming languages to create websites. Homesite and Geocities were both popular late-1990's alternatives, but these did little to allow creative flexibility and allow for collaborative content management.
Contribute is a more advanced version of these early pioneers, in that it incorporates critical elements of web development behind the scenes, such as style sheets and the FTP process.
Compatibility Contribute 4 is available for Mac and Microsoft Windows. It includes Macromedia FlashPaper 2.
Extensions Adobe Contribute Publishing Server adds support for centralized user authentication and logging of site changes.
Webstruxure's siteNav removes the need to update navigation menus on every page. Any edit made to one page is automatically applied to all pages. Requires a .NET webserver.