Macromedia on Monday introduced a new version of its
Contribute Web page creation software for Mac OS X and Windows. The new software app isn’t due out until August, though Macromedia has made available a “preview release” you can download now.
Contribute 3 sports more than 300 updates. Major new features include the same engine as Dreamweaver MX 2004 with support for CSS rendering; also supported is rules-based administrative control. “Send for Review” is a new function that provides Contribute users operating in a collaborative environment to send documents to each other for review and posting. Based on external documents that are stored on the Web server separately from the Web pages themselves, this approval system works without requiring a complete content management system like Macromedia’s recently announced Web Publishing System software.
In-line imaging capabilities allow users to crop, resize and make minor edits of graphics on Web pages. Users can also control the location, size and compression of images used just in their pages or across the entire Web site as well. WebDAV support has been added to this release, as well, which improves integration between Contribute 3 and Apple’s own .Mac services — the previous version of Contribute wrote content to user’s iDisk first. The software has also been extensively retooled with performance enhancements.
Macromedia and Apple offered .Mac users a special promotion to get them to use and buy Contribute. Macromedia director of product management Erik Larson told MacCentral that the promotion yielded “better than expected” results. “Contribute is the fastest-growing product in Macromedia history,” remarked Larson.
System requirements for Contribute 3 call for a G3/300MHz or faster, Mac OS X v10.2.8 or later; 128MB RAM, 120MB hard disk space. Contribute 3 costs US$149 or $79 to upgrade from previous versions. Six-packs and educational pricing are also available.
A major component included with Contribute 3 is
FlashPaper 2. While a separate Windows-only product is being made available for retail, Contribute 3 users get FlashPaper 2 as part of their package, and that version of the software also runs on Mac OS X. FlashPaper 2 enables users to create Flash or PDF-based files out of any printable document, useful for embedding on Web pages or elsewhere. The software integrates support for text search and selection, hyperlinks and bookmarks.