I was able to mess around with a technology preview of Macromedia Contribute today with a coworker and, man, am I suitably impressed.

Basically, it gives non-technical clients and staff members the ability to edit content without any prior knowledge of HTML. This is a promise that a lot of WYSIWYG editors have made in the past, but this completely new program is the first seemingly sensible option—at least from the standpoint of this web developer. Yes, I cringe at the thought of my code being destroyed by the likes of FrontPage.

Contribute, on the other hand, seems very slick.

This reason for this is quite simple. Unlike some companies, Macromedia seems to understand the big picture. Furthermore, they are nothing but stellar at filling marketing needs (i.e. customer’s wants) and they’re continually getting better with technological innovations (i.e. reaching out to standards, recognizing various server environments, etc.). Their products are by and large outstandingly attractive, smart, and useful on multiple platforms.

And with Contribute—at least from what I gathered in the five minutes I was able to see it being used—they seem to be coming very close to the mantra of “Web Publishing for Everyone.”