Category Archives: blog editors

Blogging Tools: Trying Semagic (Again)

Been talking about Semagic and recent versions of WordPress.com. Hadn’t used Semagic in quite a while and been recently more active on the Mac side of things. But it does seem to work. Typically, most blogging tools do work with WordPress.com blogs but I’ve had issues with those (like Flock) which fetch categories all the time because I use way too many categories on my main blog (I was using them like tags).
Can’t really remember what was missing from Semagic for me. But it does seem fine. And it’s an old version (1.5.8.7U). It might have had to do with the fact that it doesn’t seem to do “spell as you type” (which I pretty much require). But I see now that it does support “autocorrect” as long as the dictionaries are activated. So, maybe it was something else.
After first trying with 1.5.8.7U, I’m now posting using 1.7.0.9U. While the changelog seems to contain a number of things between the two versions, I’m not sure I notice anything very striking, yet.
What I do like about those standalone editors is that they allow for relatively easy management of archived entries. Windows Live Writer is actually pretty good at this. I think blogging tools could become even better at handling blog entries like database entries (given the fact that it’s exactly what they are).
One thing I notice with Semagic (not sure other standalone editors do the same thing) is that what’s put in the “category” field is added as both categories (“filed under”) and tags (“tagged as”). The way WordPress.com handles categories and tags is a bit different from the way other blogging platform work (a bit like Gmail “labels” aren’t exactly like folders), so that’s not very surprising.
One thing which does seem awkward is the way Semagic handles the editing of older entries. When I tried updating this entry, the previous version disappeared from my blog and the new version wasn’t posted. Maybe it was a user error, on my part. I went to the “Journal/History” menu item, chose this entry, pressed the “Edit” button, clicked on the “>” to get “edit in main window,” saved the draft I had, updated the post, pressed the “Post entry” button, chose “Resplace existing entry (edit)” or something similar and I ended up with the entry deleted from the actual blog. What’s more, the draft handling is a bit confusing as it seems to automatically reuse the last draft instead of listing recent drafts.

At any rate, Semagic does work with WordPress.com blogs.
My Server settings are the same as those shown in the middle portion of this Semagic help page (using the MetaWeblog API). More specifically, the server is my full blog URL (“enkerli.wordpress.com”) and the path is “/xmlrpc.php” (as confirmed by WordPress.com doc).
Hope this helps someone.


Flock est stable?

Bonne question. Si oui, ça peut être assez agréable. J’utilise Flock depuis un moment déjà et certains trucs m’embêtent. Comme le fait qu’il puisse me demander constamment de configurer mon blogue. Et je suis pas certain de trouver l’interface de bloguage si géniale que ça. Mais, bon, on peut pas tout avoir, paraît-il…

Blogged with Flock

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Joe the Ninja

He’s been called a rogue ninja. And I think he deserves a raise. Whatever he’s getting.

“Rogue ninjas”… I wonder if we can get that on our business cards.

Best compliment ever « whateverblog.

Well, these days, I’m doing “evaluation of quality” surveys over the phone so I often hear about people who apparently deserve praises and raises. Joe Cheng is probably one such person. Chances are that so do other people on the WLW team.

What’s WLW? Windows Live Writer, a blog editor developed as a Microsoft project. Mentioned it in previous entries about blog editors. It’s become the most popular standalone blog editor for WordPress.com:

Obviously some of you have already discovered the coolness that is Windows Live Writer because we found it was our most used blogging client,

Windows Live Writer FTW « WordPress.com

It’s in fact the app I’m using right now to post this entry. It has plenty of neat features including a nicer link management than I imagined.

So, a nice little app that can be useful. World-changing? Maybe not.

Now, why would I want Joe to get a raise? Simple: responsiveness. The keyword that I would associate with getting a clue.

This Joe Cheng character actually posted three (count them) comments on my blog about WLW. True, I had mentioned a bug I got and a report was sent somewhere. But, man, talk about dedication! Not only did he post three separate comments on my lowly blog but those comments were actually useful, straightforward, and at exactly the right tone

Added to this is the transparency of Joe’s own blog. Microsoft seems to have learned something from the Scoble era. Now, I’m clearly not a Microsoft fanboy and some of my comments about the company might have been a bit harsh, on occasion. In fact, I still think that some of Microsoft’s practises were, erm, beyond the pale. Not that Joe and the rest of the WLW team really change anything about this but, you know, I like to give credit where credit is due and I like quality work enough to reassess my opinion of a company based on some things that are done well.

So, for the record: WLW actually comes close to my dream blog editor in terms of accessing a browser history when adding links. If it could actually access my cross-browser history through Google Web History and social bookmarks (including links added to previous blog entries), I might really start singing the praises of that development team.

Until then, I may merely say that Joe deserves praises.

Hey, it’s something!

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Blogging Tools Redux

Was just looking for another blogging tool to help me blog from my XP machine (as opposed to my former iBook). Yes, again. Turns out Microsoft just started a beta test for their own blog client, “Windows Live Writer”

Writer Zone: Introducing Windows Live Writer

(It was listed on WordPress.org along other blogging tools.)

That tool is really meant for non-coders. Most, if not all, blog editors are meant to be somewhat WYSIWYG. Microsoft’s WLW follows that principle quite directly and emphasizes ease of editing, not advanced features. As such, it’s somewhat similar to Apple’s iWeb but, as CNET writers and readers keep pointing out, with a wider range of publishing options.

Of course, there’s a range of blogging tools out there. Several of them are free or quite inexpensive. Most of them do support several APIs. In fact, WordPress is supported by a good proportion of blogging tools. Didn’t realize it until today but the open-source LiveJournal editor Semagic does support WordPress if you change server settings (doh!). Other standalone blog editors (free of charge) like QumanaJBlogEditor, Blog Writer, and Post2Blog Express all seem rather decent. Browser-based solutions like Flock and Performancing work for some people but kind of defeat the purpose of a blogging. And Mozilla-based browsers don’t support “spell as you type” underlining, unlike Safari.

So far, ecto has been my favourite. It’s inexpensive, cross-platform, seems stable, easy to use. As a blog client, ecto not only lets you publish new blog posts but really helps maintaining multiple blogs. Fortunately, ecto does have multilingual “spell as you type” underlining. The main thing missing for me is on-the-fly WordPress categories. It seems that WordPress.com’s web-based editor is the only tool which allows for such a feature. But ecto is scriptable and accepts Technorati tags (which WordPress.com’s categories doubles). A del.icio.us-like tagging function would work well too. Another feature it could have is an integration with your browsers’ histories so you can easily enter links instead of copy/pasting them. Maybe in ecto 3!