View Full Version : Check In/Out - Potential for unfinished files to go live?

09-19-2008, 11:16 PM
I've always been the sole person updating websites using Dreamweaver, so I've never used the check in/out feature. I now need to set up a site for collaborative work. I read up on this feature in "Dreamweaver: The Missing Manual" so I believe I understand how it works. However, I have a couple of questions about it and how it works with the Notes feature.

First, when you are the sole site developer, the local site has the most recent version of the files. When they are ready to go live, you simply upload them to the live (remote) site. In a collaborative environment, the remote site has the most recent versions and the developers check the files out to work on them. They should get (but not check out) some or all of the other site pages if they need them to make the checked out file work locally (e.g., CSS files). When the developer is finished with a file, he/she checks it in and the file is now live.

What happens, then, if a file is not ready to be live, but it needs input from the other developers. The book describes using the Notes feature to instruct other developers what needs to be done on the web page (e.g., "Frank, please add a picture between paragraphs 2 and 3" or "This page needs to be copy edited"). OK, but in order to get the changed file to Frank, the unfinished not-ready-for-prime-time file gets checked back in to the remote site and is live. Isn't this a big problem? I was actually just looking at a site that had a live page with "Add content here" on it.

It seems to me that in order to make this work without embarrassing files going live that you'd need to have three sites. There would be a staging site where the developers would check the files in and out to a site on their own PCs -- then check back in to the staging site where other developers could check the file out if needed. That site would be tested to make sure all was ready, then it would be uploaded to the live, remote site.

I'm not seeing a way to do this in Dreamweaver. Am I not understanding the problem correctly? I would appreciate any information from people with experience in this.

Second, if this actually is an unsolvable problem, is it better to instead use Subversion or some other form of content management system to update a local site (say, on a local network) and then just "put" the files on the remote site.

Thanks for your help.

09-20-2008, 01:18 AM
Yeah I would use a file control system like Subversion or CVS. DW's check-in-out cannot really compare.