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Macromedia Contribute

Macromedia has just released a beta version of its desktop website management product, Macromedia Contribute.  It looks like this is competing directly with CityDesk.  How does a small software company such as Fog Creek compete with a big company such as Macromedia?

Monday, November 11, 2002

The correct url is:

Monday, November 11, 2002


Michael H. Pryor
Monday, November 11, 2002

By being better and keeping customers happy.

For example: large chunks of the contribute section of the site are incomplete.  I have to complete an intrusive, obnoxious questionaire to download the preview.

With CityDesk, I don't have dead sections in the site, and I can download the starter addition by, well, clicking.

Rodger Donaldson
Monday, November 11, 2002

Well of course it's going to present a significant threat to CityDesk. The thing now, is finding out if it's really a better piece of software. CityDesk is pretty damn good.

Carl Sagan
Monday, November 11, 2002

I went to Macromedia site and tried to see a Flash demo to see some screenshot ... I gave up after a portion of marketing fluff.

Evgeny Goldin
Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Off topic, but MMs support can be quite terrible. See this thread for an example:

yet another greg
Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Contribute seems to be targeted at web sites with large staffs.  In other words, large web sites.  But those web sites are probably already using a CMS, in which all the pages are generated programmatically.  If you edit a page using Contribute, how do those changes get reflected back to the CMS database?  AFAIK, they don't.

You can design a CMS around the premise that you will use Contribute, but you can't just bolt Contribute on to an existing CMS.  Perhaps Macromedia is just releasing the cart before the horse.  In a few months, perhaps we will see an entire new CMS from Macromedia, with Contribute in a starring role.

Scott Gamon
Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Also being discussed below. I reckon it doesn't come close to CityDesk...

John C
Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Hm, I downloaded the trial version, and did some things with it.

It's a nice product. But it still fails in one thing (CityDesk strongest feature, IMHO): the separation between "content" and "presentation". In Contribute, once you've created a web page, you are _stuck_ with it's appearance.

To me, it's only a trimmed down version of MM Dreamweaver (ie, it doesn't let you modify HTML code) with cooperation capabilities added.

I suggest taking the tour to form your own impression.

Leonardo Herrera
Tuesday, November 12, 2002

I saw a Macromedia give a demo of this. It's a maintenance tool. A very simple one. It doesn't do workflow. It doesn't do dynamic content. It doesn't let you control presentation a whole lot.

The basic idea is that a designer and coder get a site up and running, and then anyone can make changes. This is something you would bundle with a freelance site build so you don't get stuck doing maintenance work that's difficult to charge for. (could you make this word bold? etc)

There are lots of things this program doesn't do. It's an 80% solution, and it executes the tasks within its scope very well.

Robert Sayre
Tuesday, November 12, 2002

The name is ugly, but I think Macromedia will sells a lots of it. Previous poster has explain it clearly about its merits, and keep in mind this is the first version.

tycho celchu
Tuesday, November 12, 2002

I think it is designed as a product for Web developers to resell to their clients along with the site, to avoid having to build a custom CMS (for most sites, where it is overkill) and to avoid annoying changes.  I believe the branding and install is customizable as well.  I could resell CityDesk and customizing it to my client's needs, that would be great and I would definitely promote it among clients who don't need a full CMS.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

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