30 11 2012
Testing Out Offline Blog Editors
For much of my illustrious blogging career, I have been a faithful user of BlogDesk. Why? There really is no good reason. It looks like crap. It has no remote image hosting features. It inserts < div > tags all over the place, which Picassos our blogging platforms at FindLaw. In short, it sucks.
On the other hand, it’s free. It also allows you to put a description on links instead of a URL only, which Movable Type doesn’t seem to have as an option. (That’s reason #900 why WordPress is a superior option).
So why use an offline WYSIWYG editor at all? For my WordPress blogs, there really isn’t a good reason. Everything I write is in the browser and in the cloud. Sure, the image uploading is mildly unintuitive and requires a popup window, but that’s really a minor quibble after using some of the other crap out there (cough cough Zoundry, cough cough MT).
The reason for using an offline editor is solely because we use MT at work and it is pitiful. We have to draft the post in BlogDesk, spell check in Word, and then manually enter everything in MT. There has to be a more efficient way.
Enter the new alternatives:
Well, you failed. I wanted to like you. According to reviews, you are totally awesome. You also have that remote image hosting feature that allows me to embed images in a post and automatically host them on Photobucket or Flickr!, which would be so darn handy, since we can’t host images on our own servers at work.
Unfortunately, you failed on first install. I wrote a lovely post in Shakespearean English on NYC’s first ever murder/shooting/stabbing free day, and you ate it. Not only that, but whenever I try to do anything in the program, such as write a new post or view the HTML code, you pop up with thirty straight “attribute tag missing” error messages.
Is it Windows 7 64 bit that is causing conniptions? Possibly. I tried running you in Windows XP compatibility mode, but that didn’t fix the problem.
It also appears that development on your platform stopped in 2007 when you went open source.
I have mixed feelings about you so far. You have the amazing Microsoft spell check built in. However, I seem to be having issues using bold type and other stylistic choices. You also did this weird quotation thing to start. Yes, readers, I am writing this stream-of-consciousness in Live Writer now, as I need to test this for work to see if it will suffice.
So far, so good. Let’s try a picture.
I like you. I really do. Oddly enough, I can’t seem to turn off bold text, but I think that might be an issue with my blog’s format. The code is bold tag free, so this really could work as a BlogDesk replacement at my workplace. I might even start using this for my personal blogs, if the image upload feature works as nicely as it has so far.
The final question is how you handle bulleted lists. We often do a “Related Resources” section at the bottom of a post with three or four links to other helpful content. Let’s give it a shot here.
- Consult me for absolutely nothing (WillieP)
- I still don’t like Senator Leland Yee’s Bullet Button Ban (WillieP)
EDIT: Dear God, it all worked! This must be why the Windows Live Writer platform put all of the others out to pasture. I have found my new workplace replacement. YESSIR!
EDIT EDIT: So yeah, apparently Live Writer has a remote image hosting feature that uses FTP. Though that could come in handy for many people, note that most of the free image hosting services (like Flickr!, Photobucket, Picassa, et al) don’t allow FTP unless you pay for a pro account. No es bueno.