Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Contribute CS3 - Blogging Problems

I'm particularly interested in the blogging features of Contribute CS3 and as mentioned in an earlier post I've been focussing my tests on these features. I had no trouble creating a connection to my Blogger account or making a new post. But it has proved to be impossible to actually edit an existing post. I can easily find and select the post. But actually trying to open it for editing gives me a wild sequence of alert dialogs. I firstly get a "failed to open document" alert followed by a "Save changes to untitled-1?". This cycle repeats and often leads to Contribute crashing.

Naturally I went searching for some documentation or work around for this problem on the product support site; with no luck. So I tried the Adobe Support Forums searching first and then when that failed posting. The post has been there for the last three days with no response. Which lead me to start looking around the forums. What I found were a group of lost souls unable to find some desperately needed help. I eventually did find a thread where an Adobe person offered some support after three weeks of frustrated posting (mostly about their frustration).

So what we find is a great feature that seems to have quite a few bugs that Adobe seems keen to ignore. I'd love to get this feature working as it would greatly simplify my life. So how about some help here Adobe. Even acknowledging the problem would be better than the current silence.

14 comments:

Ernie said...

I want to incorporate a blog into my website using Dreamweaver CS3 but can't find any tutorials to get me there. I've thought about using Contribute, but I read that's mostly for people who don't want to design---just add text.

Very confusing. I don't know an ounce of code.

Whatever info you can get would be great.

geekglue said...

Hi Ernie,

most blogs are managed using a blogging system (e.g WordPress). Part of the reason for this is that there are quite a few pieces of functionality that we expect from a blog (commenting, RSS feed, archive etc). There are so many good systems that provide this functionality that most of us accept that it makes sense to use these systems rather than to spend the many hours necessary to replicate this functionality. Your host may provide the option of installing a blog. For example, many hosting accounts have fantastic which using has an option to install WordPress.

Dreamweaver is a very useful tool for customising a blog once set up. But beyond that it's limited for the actual process of blogging. Contribute has added functions for connecting to your blog and creating/editing new posts. Unfortunately this functionality seems a bit unreliable at the moment.

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

I'm having problems with Contribute CS3 as well, which are kind of like yours but kind of not.

I run on Mac OS X 10.4.9 and my blog is hosted on Blogger.

In the beginning the only problem I was having was that images placed from my desktop machine were not being uploaded (I did my best to keep the sizes within spec as I understand them) but Contribute would refuse to publish. I figured I could work around it and didn't let it bother me much.

In the last two days, though, I've experienced frustration. Mine takes the form of trying to bring up a post for editing, only to have Contribute quite suddenly begin to tell me that I "have no connection" to the website...and this is after I've actually connected to the blog. The connection was made!

Before this I was having no trouble calling up individual posts for editing.

I'm rather disappointed to find the absolute dearth of troubleshooting information available.

geekglue said...

Samuel,

sorry to hear the problems you are having. Though a bit jealous that you were at least able to re-edit a post. I'm equally frustrated at the limited attention Adobe seem to be giving to these problems. Blogging in Contribute CS3 is bug ridden. I didn't specifically buy the software for this purpose. But it sure would make my life easier if it worked.

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Well, for what it's worth, I filed a bug report with Adobe and began posting about the progress of this on my own blog.

I've got a dialog going with an Indian bloke at Adobe/Macromedia's Indian operations and hopefully we'll get an idea of what's going on plentyquick. They're bending over backward to help.

geekglue said...

Samuel,

bug report is the way to go. Not just from a personal perspective but also in giving them a chance to fix the problem. But when the problem isn't mission critical it can be hard to get motivated enough to file the report. I'll be interested to see if you get some resolution.

P.S. enjoyed your post (http://zehnkatzen.blogspot.com/2007/08/bloggage-design-adobe-systems-and-maxim.html).

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Well, I did have some individual in India look at it and try to help last night.

However, the solution they found was something I had already tracked down, to wit: the forwarding of my feed to Feedburner seems to cause complete inability for opening extant entries for editing.

However....

A problem that persists is that changes made in editing are not retained. That is to say, if I open a post for editing, make an edit, and tell Contribute to publish, the change doesn't make it to the published version.

I did try to make it clear in my bug report that I was having that problem and identified it. maybe I didn't make it clear enough. Efforts go on.

WRT the posting you cited (thanks for the props, by the way), I'd come to this realization about that issue. It's interesting when one understands why things like trust are important and how they factor into expectations.

As far as Adobe goes, even though I'm still having problems with Contribute, I'm willing to cut Adobe slack because 1) Their other design apps, InDesign etc, are fantastic and 2) someone committed themselves to trying to solve my problem. They came through with assistance on a problem that wasn't mission-critical (I've got other ways to post and edit my blog) and I'm very impressed with this. They've maintained my trust.

geekglue said...

Can't agree more about trust. I don't want to spend money on software for the sake of one version. Learning to use the software is an investment that gains with each year the software is useful. But if you can't trust where the company is taking the software then it's not worth that investment. We can't expect Adobe to fix resolve every problem in the short term. But they have consistently demonstarted a willingness to resolve problems over time.

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

New information from my bug report contact at Adobe; they were able to reproduce the failure-to-save problem and think it may be some changes in Blogger that caused it.

They're running that down now. No ETA on the answer, of course.

geekglue said...

Identifying the problem is a big step towards fixing it. If there are a few fixes they may be able to bundle it into an updater. Which would be great news all round. Heres hoping for a fast solution.

Ramesh Ramakrishnan said...

Hi Geekglue / Samuel,

I too am stumped with the issue of posting images to my blogger blog using Contribute. Would you know if there was any resolution to this?

geekglue said...

Hi Ramesh,

I never made any further progress with using Contribute for blogging. Pity as this would be very handy. I know Samuel made some progress but still had some stumbling blocks. You might be able to get more detail from his blog.

Ramesh Ramakrishnan said...

Thanks Geekglue, I'll check with Samuel.

Anton said...

I do keep experiencing the same problem on contribute cs3. And I have not found an equivalent software that has the same functions. It is driving me crazy! Hope adobe will fix it soon.