Sure, but when you have clients who want a book, whaddya do? It's a good thing that Contribute "has one of the more complete and accessible documentation I've seen for end users", because third-party manuals are hard to find.
I also use Safari.O'Reilly, and find very little Contribute support there. Please don't get me wrong, I use help from the Adobe site all the time, but my clients don't want to pay for me to sit there with them while they do their editing and show them how to run things. If they wanted to do that, they'd pay me to do maintenance.
Gone are the days when we received 20-pound books with our software, and it's a good thing, too, but third-party manuals are still really good resources and (I think) help keep the software creators credible.
I think content management itself is evolving, and I'm all for it. Especially when it does not involve yet another framework (or application program)...like Joomla or Drupal require. Not all sites lend themselves to those solutions. (I know, I know, someone will take issue with that, but in my world, it's true.)
It's interesting to read your experience.
From my experiences, since using Contribute version 1, my clients have really taken to it with little hand-holding. They have literally found starting up the program, and referencing the sidebar context help when necessary, to be all they need to get underway. I usually carve out about an hour for "training", but really it's to touch the high points on the application and to answer any of their questions once they've played around in it. I'm sorry you've struggled with this as a solution, but perhaps there are other factors which differentiate us or our clients.
Oh, it has not been a struggle, but I typically am workiing with clients who have little or no experience with computer applications beyond mail and word processing. So at that level, it's hand-holding.
But there are all levels of experience out there, client-wise, and I learned long ago that measuring clients by my own avidity to learn programs and make things work is unkind at best.
So I try to realize that they don't have my background (or inclination!) and work with what they do have...
It's definitely engaging...
In addition to commercial sites, I have volunteered to create sites for missionaries and community organizations. It is very disturbing to learn that the "free" InContext Editing will change to a fee for service plan. These folks do not have the budget that a commercial enterprise would have.
I would hope that the negative feedback about this change will make Adobe rethink their plans. After all, GoLive Contribute was free, wasn't it? I am having enough problems adjusting to the way Dreamweaver works... it is nice, don't get me wrong... but I am still searching for the way to do things I used to do automatically in GoLive.
I would be happy to add a small Flash button to any site that has InContext Editing in exchange for free updates. That would be a win-win-win for all involved.
I have fallen out with InContect even more now.
The only client that I had left, after explaining that they would have to pay monthly if they wanted to keep using InContext, has now left me. I have put in place a password protected section on their site and Adobe, in all their wisdom, has decided to discontinue the possibility to change content within secure directories.
They have updated their software to the latest version and in the release notes it says:
"HTTP authentication is no longer supported by InContext Editing (Password protected websites folders and pages cannot be edited using InContext Editing)"
This can be found at http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/InContext_Editing.
I cannot see how they can justify removing this function. Are they trying to make it so simple that it becomes absolutely useless? O