Old Toad's Tutorials
No. iW09
Managing an iWeb Site From Two or More Macs with Dropbox
 
Old Toad's Tutorials
This method describes how an iWeb site can be managed from two (or more) computers anywhere in the world. By "synced" Each Mac will have the same Domain.sites2 file on its hard drive and any changes to one Mac's domain file will be automatically reflected in that of the other's if it is online at the time. Otherwise the file will be updated automatically when the second computer is next brought online.
See Warning Below

Required is the freeware application Dropbox. There is one limitation to this method and that is the free service is limited to 2 GB total in a users Dropbox. If the library is greater than 2 GB an upgrade of box size is required. The only upgrade currently available is a big jump to 50 GB for $99 per year. That, in my mind, is a too great a leap in size and price. Other plans are in the works as reported in their FAQ page. To use the free service some effort will be needed to limit the library to under *2 GB. You can read a review of Dropbox by MacWorld here.

The workflow to get up and running are:

1 - download, install and launch Dropbox.

2 - follow the instructions in the setup windows to complete the installation:


 3 - at this point you'll select where your Dropbox folder is located and be presented with this folder:

4 - next add the Domain.sites2 file to the Dropbox folder, Control-click on it and select Dropbox ➙ Share (if you prefer you can add a folder to the Dropbox folder, put the domain file in it and share the folder).

5 - you will be taken to the Dropbox web site where you'll login. In the sharing window enter the email address of the person you want to share the library with and click Share Folder.

6 - the recipient of the invitation will receive the following email. If they accept they will be taken to the Dropbox site where they will be instructed to install Dropbox if they are not already a user.

7 -any changes to the library that one users makes will be made to the other's library automatically. If two are working on the library at the same time Dropbox this is what Dropbox has to say about that:

WARNING: Do not allow two users to use their domain files at the same time. Tests have indicated that the domain package will become corrupted because many files within the package are being updated continuously as the site is being edited. Dropbox is not able keep the changes to the many files straight and maintain an uncorrupt domain file. It is designed for a single file like a text document, not UNIX style packages.

In addition some users have reported that additional albums added to an iWeb album page did not get synced on the other Mac. So run some tests carefully to make sure the two versions are being updated as expected. Be sure to let enough time lapse between one user finishing and the other starting so that the two copies of the domain file have time to be fully updated.
This feature is intended primarily for files like a text document. As always keep a current backup copy of the domain file on another volume for optimum security.

I want to thank Roddy McKay for alerting me to the potential of Dropbox and assisting in the testing of the pitfalls of concurrent use of the same UNIX package (in the test case an iPhoto library).
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© 2011 Old Toad
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