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More on .Mac and Contribute

Found this somewhere which may help with the folder management issues people are having.

Contribute TechNote

Using Contribute with a .Mac account

The .Mac Account

Contribute 2.0 is finally available for Macintosh. We hope it was worth the wait!

One great feature in Contribute for the Macintosh is the identification and automatic set up of a Contribute connection to an existing .Mac site. When a .Mac account is detected, the user will be asked whether a connection should be made to the account. If accepted, the connection will be set up automatically.

Apple's .Mac service lets Mac users publish web pages, store files, get email and other online services through a dedicated account. Due to how the .Mac accounts work, there are some caveats to be followed when editing pages on a .Mac site.

Static web sites consist of separate files that don't change until someone, using Contribute or otherwise, edits the individual file and replaces it on the server. Changing one file does not usually change the other files.

.Mac pages work a little differently in that information on your pages, photo albums, links to pages and other properties are stored in a database on the server. The .Mac publishing system will regenerate all pages and links between pages when a new page is added. More specifically, it will rewrite ALL the pages on server anytime a change is made to a page or a new page is added.

For instance, if a new web photo album is created the entire site is rewritten to update all the pages with links. This means that the files don't really exist as distinct, separate files on the server.

If you use Contribute to edit a page, and later make a change with the .Mac tools, the Contribute changes will be overwritten. This is only a limitation for pages created by the .Mac tools; pages that are controlled by the .Mac server. Not all pages need to be controlled by the .Mac server.

To get around this limitation, create new pages directly in Contribute that will not be attached to the .Mac tools. These pages will not be overwritten when a change is made to the .Mac account. There are a couple ways to do this:
• Create a blank new page and publish it.
• Create a Copy of Current Page and publish it.

To create a Blank New Page, click the New Page button on the toolbar. The New Page dialog box will open, choose the type of new page.
• A new blank page will be just that, a clean slate from which to build the page.
• Sample Pages are pre-built pages that come in certain styles and color themes. Use these to get a head start on the site.
• Copy of Current Page is a quick way to copy the look and feel of something like a .Mac page.

It will make a copy of the current page. With the basic structure of the page already complete, just add custom content and publish.

Selecting Copy of Current Page is a great way to add to the .Mac site because it will look like the rest of the site, but the page will be detached from the .Mac publishing engine and will not be overwritten!

Be sure to give the file a different name from any existing files to ensure that it will not be overwritten. For instance, don't name a file called PhotoAlbum2.htm to PhotoAlbum3.html. This file name will be too similar to the auto-generated file names and may be overwritten.

An even better solution is to make a new subfolder and add all Contribute files there. See below for Subfolder information.

What if no web site has been established on the account?

Just because a .Mac account exists doesn't mean that a web site has been set up. If no site has been established, the URL will default to a generic .Mac page not in the accounts web site. There are a couple choices to establish a web site.
1. Go to the .Mac account and start the new site. Once a page has been established, the Copy of Current Page method becomes far more useful.
2. Create a new page in Contribute, name it something other than index.htm, and publish it to the site.

While this will be the first page of your web site, it will not be a true index page. The index page (or the homepage) is the first page that a user sees when going to the site. .Mac will create this automatically and will overwrite the existing file if the file name is named index.htm.

The page's URL will be:
http://your .macaddress.com/your_new_filename.htm


Contribute can't connect to subfolders within your .Mac site if they were created using .Mac's Homepage (webapp) tool. In other words, if you use the web interface to create a folder, Contribute can't access the files in that folder.

To get around this, open iDisk site folder and manually create a folder within the site. Contribute will then have access to files in the folder.