Dreamweaver and Contribute

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Dreamweaver works hand in hand with Macromedia Contribute. Contribute is a program that allows website editing directly on the server. It is designed as a simple-to-use program that allows non-HTML users to add and update content on existing websites . It is limited to editing text, tables, and images. It can edit and make new pages from Dreamweaver Templates. With Dreamweaver MX 2004, you can control Contribute users, making Templates for them and controlling their editing permissions.

Contribute 2.0, which was released just before Dreamweaver MX 2004, shares many new features with Dreamweaver, including support for SFTP. Actually, they both share the completely new FTP client and Network share code. Transferring files should be faster and more stable than before!

For the Dreamweaver admin, this is the same as having other Dreamweaver editors (because you don't really care how the other files are being edited, just that they are). It's still important that everyone works with the latest files.

Between Contribute 1.0 and Contribute 2.0, a change was made in how Dreamweaver MX 2004 refers to the Contribute Administration panel. Dreamweaver MX 2004 users need to have a copy of Contribute 2.0 installed to administer Contribute sites of either version.

To enable Contribute compatibility, go to the Contribute panel of the Site Definition. Check the Enable box, and fill in the rest of the information. The Site Root URL is the path to the website's home page (or subpage, depending on the site). After you have set up the Contribute compatibility, you can enter the Contribute Admin panel and set permissions for Contribute users.

Luckily, Contribute uses the same Check In/Check Out system that Dreamweaver uses. When Contribute users make a connection to the website, they enter a username and email address that Check In/Check Out uses to track the files. Contribute also uses Design Notes to track the name of the file editor and when the file was edited. One difference is that Contribute users cannot add notes to the Design Notes, nor can they turn them off. They are always used and contain the same level of information.

When a Dreamweaver user first makes a connection to a site that has been set up for Contribute, he is asked if he wants to enable Contribute compatibility for the site definition. This means turning on Design Notes and Check In/Check Out. If you click Yes, the Site Definition panel opens. Fill in the Check In/Check Out information. Remember that your username should be unique for each machine on which you work. This goes for Contribute names, too. If you are working with both Contribute and Dreamweaver, use names such as Jim-DW and Jim-CT.

Dreamweaver users see the Design Notes icon in the Site panel from a Contribute-edited file. They also see the check marks, email links, and lock icons that indicate when another user is editing a file. Contribute users are notified if another Contribute or Dreamweaver user is editing the file.

For Dreamweaver users, this means that if Contribute users are editing the website, Dreamweaver users should enable Check In/Check Out. Again, it is important to use the Check In/Check Out system consistently.

Not only does Contribute work with Dreamweaver, but Dreamweaver can work with Contribute. This means that with Dreamweaver MX 2004 (and Dreamweaver MX with the 6.1 updater ), you can serve as a Contribute administrator. This allows Dreamweaver to control and create Contribute user groups and create Connection Keys. A Contribute user group defines a set of users who have similar editing capabilities. For instance, with Dreamweaver you can control whether Contribute users can

  • Create or delete new pages

  • Use Dreamweaver Templates

  • Add tables and images

  • Create new content using CSS or HTML

Connection Keys are like automated site definitions for Contribute users. These files contain all the connection information needed to edit files with Contribute. Dreamweaver can create these Connection Keys through the Contribute admin. Because Contribute cannot create templates or CSS, using the two programs together is a perfect combination. All the administration features that are available in Contribute are available in Dreamweaver, through the exact same interface.

A full discussion of Contribute administration is beyond the scope of this chapter. More-detailed information can be found in the Dreamweaver Help Pages.

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Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004 Demystified
Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004 Demystified
ISBN: 0735713847
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2002
Pages: 188
Authors: Laura Gutman

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