Adobe Contribute Is No Longer My Friend

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I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Adobe. Some of their products are great’Photoshop is a verb these days for good reason’but, they have also released some of the most disappointing software I have ever used. Encore, their DVD authoring program, will crash anytime you try to do anything with even a moderate degree of complexity. Dreamweaver will give you cryptic JavaScript errors out of the blue, when you are not actively editing anything. Heck, everyone knows Acrobat is a bloated resource hog.

Back in the early 00’s, Macromedia Contribute was a great idea. Give web developers a cheap (Contribute 1 & 2 sold for around $60-$80 bucks) WYSIWYG web editor to give to their clients who may not be comfortable with the destructive power of Dreamweaver. Sure, it didn’t quite render CSS right, but nothing really did at the time. Contribute just worked and filled a niche.

Fast forward to 2010. Macromedia is no more. Adobe has been trying to integrate all of their products into interoperable “creative suites” of programs. In theory this seems good. I like being able to dump files from one application to another without any hassles. Unfortunately, this makes the world of Adobe a bit like Melrose Place, where you don’t know who’s sleeping with who and Acrobat has given half the cast an embarrasing, throbbing rash.

These days, my clients who are using Contribute to edit sites I created for them are plagued with cryptic errors and equally cryptic workarounds. For example, one of my sites will not allow users to center text of all things. Another site gives you errors when you try to type in a repeating region. Other users have connection issues all the time. On top of all this pain, Adobe now charges something like $190 bucks for a single license. Sorry, Contribute. But friends we can be no more.