The meme’s gone all the way ’round the blogging/web development world, but Macromedia Contribute has finally been publicly announced. I saw a demo of this software while down at DevCon (actually, serendipitously. I’m wearing the </hassle> shirt that I got after seeing the demo right now), and have been pretty stoked for it. I have a copy of the technology preview and have been playing with it since. I actually used it for a purpose completely seperate for it’s intended purpose on the weekend. I used Contribute to wrap a couple of markers around the content of a website. I then had a script parse the .htm files, and extract everything between the markers and insert them into a db. A way for me to quickly and effortlessly convert a static website into The Pencilcase. All I then had to do was assign the relationships, and I was off to the races. Including the hour or so it took to write the script, I think I shaved about 1-2 hours of the time it would have taken me. Polishing the script with some more intelligence, and this will be excellent. Contribute helped in that it was a no-brainer to pop the markers into the files.
If you’re a small/indy web-developer, especially if you do a lot of static sites, Contribute will rock your world for any updates & edits. If you have clients with half a brain, you can offload all sorts of minor updates to them, without worrying about them fucking up the site (esp. when used in conjunction with Dreamweaver templates, which I happen to think are the cat’s meow when it comes to building static sites with the least amount of pain & woe (not that any site should be static. Every site should run off The Pencilcase ;)).
There’s a whole usability-tested blah-blah-blah on the Macromedia, but it is designed with the total neophyte in mind. It’ll also clean up your copied&pasted-in Word, and even Excel documents in valid XHTML, which rocks the party that rocks the party, I myself having just completed a CF UDF that’ll clean up Word into XHTML, which was no picnic.
So check it out. (I can’t believe I just posted an advertorial for Macromedia. I wonder if I can convince them to pay me?)