Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

I, Blogger

December 26, 2009

Hey, am I back to blogging, after a whole year? I’m kind of curious about that myself. Probably this is just a holiday aberration, but we’ll see…

Windows Live Writer, cont.

April 29, 2008

Well, I’m impressed. Someone from the Live Writer team commented on my last post and told me how to use wordpress tags, my biggest complaint. Not only is the product free, you don’t even have to call to get technical support!

A more minor complaint turns out to have an interesting cause. I mentioned that Live Writer doesn’t format lists like WordPress itself. I was wrong—actually, it’s Firefox (which I mostly use) and IE that disagree (I assume, possibly wrongly, that LW uses IE’s rendering engine, or at least uses IE as a model). I found this bit of nastiness in WordPress’s CSS:

/* Begin Lists

	Special stylized non-IE bullets
	Do not work in Internet Explorer, which merely default to normal bullets. */

html>body .entry ul {
	margin-left: 0px;
	padding: 0 0 0 30px;
	list-style: none;
	padding-left: 10px;
	text-indent: -10px;
	}

html>body .entry li {
	margin: 7px 0 8px 10px;
	}

.entry ul li:before, #sidebar ul ul li:before {
	content: "0BB 020";
	}

So I’ll pin this one on WordPress, or whoever designed the “Kubrick” “I’m–too–lazy–to–change–it” theme, for knowingly doing something browser-dependent.

So, I’m feeling much warmer and fuzzier towards LW now. Definitely check it out.

Windows Live Writer

April 28, 2008

[UPDATE: See the comments, and this.  I am man enough to admit I was wrong about chunks of this.]

I’ve been using the Evil Empire’s Windows Live Writer for the last few blog posts, including this one. I haven’t made up my mind about it, but here are some impressions:

I do like the “form factor” of the Writer application as opposed to the in-browser WordPress interface, which I always find annoying. I find pretty much all web-based UI’s for inputting large swaths of text annoying, actually. WordPress’s, like many others, is naturally too short and too wide. I tend not to bother making it thinner, as that requires resizing the browser. I do make it taller, but that requires scrolling to get by all the stuff at the top of the page and allow space for the text.

A potential downside to WLV is that it stores drafts on the local machine, not online among WordPress’s drafts. That doesn’t matter for short posts, but for people like me who use multiple computers and write longer posts in multiple sittings, it could be a problem.

WLV is WYSIWYG, more or less, which for blogging is nice, but not really crucial. I imagine I will like it more the next time I add a picture, something that’s a pain to get right with WordPress’s native interface. WLV does not seem to understand WordPress’s “sourcecode” construct, which will be annoying for anything involving code. It also doesn’t get all the little details right—it doesn’t convert the keyboard pseudo-quotation marks to real quotes or multiple hyphens to em and en dashes, for example, and it doesn’t format lists correctly. For most purposes, though, I do find it an improvement over WP’s “visual editor,” which can be an over-aggressive pain at times.

Another minor complaint—the spellchecker highlights words even more obnoxiously than most Microsoft products, not only with squiggly underlines but with bolding. What on earth is that about?

The worst problem with WLV is that it doesn’t understand WordPress tags. Its tag interface is something else, requiring “tag sources,” that novice amateur incompetent blogger me doesn’t really understand. To get tags in I have to publish and then edit immediately. [UPDATE: it does understand them—see the comments.]

For now I’ll keep using it—the form factor thing is worth the problems. If anyone wants to correct my misapprehensions about said problems, please do.

UPDATE: Ha, I see one misapprehension already—there are options for “post as draft” and “open from weblog,” which get around the online/offline problem. My apologies for slandering you, Windows Live Writer!