Wednesday, April 16, 2008

This is a test, this is only a test

I'm trying something new in blog editing this morning - so if you see weird stuff try not be be unduly alarmed (weirder than usual from me, that is).

I downloaded Microsoft's new Windows Live Writer as part of my Live Messenger upgrade. Live Writer is supposed to work with most popular blog sites, including Blogspot. It gives you a much better interface than Blogspot's generic editing page, and a wide array of tools for graphic insertion, editing, and HTML coding.

Specifically, Live Writer supposedly includes the following:

1. WYSIWYG - and so far that looks to be the case. I'm currently switching back and forth between "normal view" and "web layout" and "web pre-view." It's pretty cool.

2. Streamlined graphic upload, haven't tried that yet. Let's see how it works.


Hmmm, seems to load into Writer just fine, we'll see if my editing holds once it uploads to Blogspot (that's Sheyma Island, Alaska by the way, my erstwhile home away from home, 1500 miles from Anchorage at the very tip of the Aleutians).

3. Tables, let's see how that works:

Table Test Table Test
Table Test Table Test
Table Test Table Test

It's easy to make a table in Writer, we'll see what it looks like after the publish.

4. Maps! Ooooh! Shiny. Let's see if it works.

Map image

Eh, it's Microsoft Virtual Earth, but I was able to pull up Shemya. Coolness.

5. Tags. This was a minor bitch in the first reviews - no tag insertion capability. Microsoft fixed it and the latest version includes an easy method for tagging your posts to common providers like Technorati.

6. Video. I'll try this one later.

7. Plugs-ins. You can add all kinds of third party plug-ins. I looked at a few of them and may add a couple later.

8. A clean interface with lot's of extra tools.

9. Off-line drafts and composition.

10. Much better control over hyperlink behavior.

11. It's free.

Like with any Microsoft product I'm treading carefully, looking for land mines, but so far, it's pretty cool. So far.

It installed easily, and the configuration process that links it to your webpage is a snap.

And now for the ultimate test - publish.

Post Publish Update: It Works.

One thing, pictures are uploaded to Picasaweb first, then loaded to blogger. How that works for other blogging sites I have no idea. You have to agree to the terms and conditions on the picasa site - it's painless, though I would have preferred to use Flickr, since I already have a Flickr Plus account.

Anyway, Live Writer seems to be pretty cool.


  1. It doesn't support Mac so I won't be trying it out.

    Glad you like it.

  2. I'll let you tread the landmine for a few weeks, then maybe I'll give it a go.

    Let us know if you like it long-term...

  3. Nathan, there's supposed to be a Mac version coming.

    Janiece, spoken like a true Senior Chief - "You go first, Sir, we'll be right behind you."


  4. When does the Linux version come out?


    But seriously--I'm a little iffy on Microsoft and internet apps just because there's something about the way they handle XHTML. I'm not nearly knowledgeable enough to know how they screw it up, I just know that the XML template I use right now renders gorgeously on Firefox and PicselBrowser (a mobile browser) and like crap on IE (for those who have noticed, I'll probably try a new template in May, but if it's another XHTML--and all the nice ones seem to be--I can't promise there won't be more issues).

    (Naturally, if someone has a solution that's easy to understand and isn't "just use Windows/IE!" I'm all ears.)

  5. Huh, beats me, Eric. I'll fool around with it.

    Basically the only thing I use IE for is to access the MS site. If I get something that doesn't render right in FF, I load it in a FF IE tab (using the IE Tab Add-on). Since IE Tab can be set to load and remember specific pages, I only have to do it once, fire and forget so to speak - so I usually don't notice Browser specific sites.

    And that, boys and girls, is one of the many reason I love Firefox.


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