Check the results. This makes me very glad, as did the hours on the IRC, trying code, patching code, peering at logfiles, laughing at each other... making it work. This is how the Net gets better. Like I said last time, Windows Live Writer is da bomb, other people who are in the blogging-client biz better watch out.

I can’t tell you how pleased I am that software as diverse as the .NET-based WLW, Alex Milowski’s Atomic Firefox plug in, and the Snell/IBM heavy-java Apache Abdera client all managed clean trouble-free interop with mod_atom. Really, I have a happy glow in my belly. Here’s a screenshot of NetNewsWire reading the feed from mod_atom showing a post, with picture even, planted by WLW. There are other posts there from Atomic, wildly different clients, same server, nestling side by side, no custom code required. Get it?

mod_atom generated feed

Plus, the Ape got a major workout. If the work it’s done up through today is all the use it ever gets, it’ll still have been worth it.

Plus, Google hired Joe Gregorio, the world’s leading APP implementor/evangelist. My hope is that he’ll get them to ship OSS code for their funky proprietary (albeit RFC2617-compliant) authent protocol; then maybe they’ll be able to back up the claim that GData is really APP.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: paul (Aug 07 2007, at 23:08)

How is Windows Live Writer better than ecto (which is at least cross-platform)?

My hunch would be that blog-creation software is a short-lived phenomenon anyway. With prices from free to sub-$20, there's not much money to be made. Most folks seem to get along with the edit windows in WordPress and Blogger (with decidedly mixed results, of course). Do I wish more people used offline editors (I'm looking at you, tbogg and Neil Gaiman)? Yes, but I'm not expecting that wish to be granted either.


From: Joe Cheng [MSFT] (Aug 08 2007, at 06:58)

> How is Windows Live Writer better than ecto (which is at least cross-platform)? <

Just wanted to point out Ecto isn't cross-platform; they have two distinct (and very different) products, being worked on by different developers, that just happen to both be called Ecto. Qumana, on the other hand, actually is cross-platform.

To answer your question, WLW has several key advantages. My favorite is "true" wysiwyg; you edit using the styles of your blog. Try it one and it's hard to go back, especially for complex posts.

Our image handling is much more seamless than other blog clients. Insert an image, pull on the drag handles to resize, we will automatically resample. We can automatically add a click-through image if you want. When you publish the post, then we upload the image. If you make some changes to the image and publish again, we'll re-upload the image. (Sounds simple, right? Nobody else is doing this!)

We have a BlogThis API, a plugin API, and a customization API, all documented here:

You can add categories from the editor, for blogs that support it. We do realtime spellchecking (en-us only at the moment). We have "Blog This" buttons from IE and Firefox, and we'll clean up the presentational mess that is most in-the-wild HTML.

And someday in the hopefully not-too-distant future, we'll release a version that has Atom support :)

That is my personal list of favorites, anyway...


From: Colin Charles (Aug 08 2007, at 07:12)

How does Windows Live Writer compare to ScribeFire (in-browser, for Firefox, and obviously cross-platform, and free)?

I'd like to give it (Windows Live Writer) a twirl, but I fear it's not going to run on Linux... so its back to ScribeFire for me


From: Philip M Howard (Aug 08 2007, at 10:17)

I don't get it...

Online apps are supposed to be where it's going, but a downloaded/installed app is now better for blogging than an online editor built into the server itself?

...what am I missing?



From: Joe Cheng [MSFT] (Aug 08 2007, at 11:35)

All of the advantages above apply to WLW over ScribeFire, as far as I am aware. Oh, except that they have some notion of realtime spellchecking too, if you use Firefox 2.0.

Main advantages of ScribeFire, as I understand them: cross-platform, and the fact that it docks into the Firefox window (which may be a plus or minus depending on how you like to blog).


From: paul (Aug 08 2007, at 21:42)

<em>Just wanted to point out Ecto isn't cross-platform; they have two distinct (and very different) products, being worked on by different developers, that just happen to both be called Ecto.</em>

Kinda like Office, eh? Point is, I can get a client for both OSes that share more than a name, like a reasonable amount UI elements and workflow goodness. Last I looked they were not interchangeble but were interoperable. Bigger companies than those two individuals have struggled with that.

the other commenters get it: editing "in the cloud" makes more sense than on the desktop. I'm finding that the browser-based editors are damn near good enough (I don't need to edit with the style/look and feel: I'm writing text.)

As long as the client groks the xmlrpc stuff and can understand categories, blogs, etc. that's all you need. The rest is gravy.


From: Aristotle Pagaltzis (Aug 09 2007, at 00:22)

paul: editing in the cloud may make more sense to you and that’s fine. I quite like it myself – particularly in conjunction with View Source With, which lets me use a real editor when I feel the need for one.

To other people, WYSIWYG and snazzy features fits their mental model better. Many users live their lives in Office and would never touch any sort of markup with a 10′ pole, not even the simplest wiki-like markup.

And then there are people like me and Tim who write their weblog by writing raw markup in an editor that loads files from the local file system, and whose published HTML pages are created by some sort of build process. I like this far better than going over HTTP, where it is feasible, because it affords possibilities that doing everything in a browser cannot.

How can you say that any one of these ways is the dogmatically best and right and proper one? Why would you want to?


From: Joe Cheng [MSFT] (Aug 09 2007, at 12:10)

paul, only reason I point out the fact that there are two versions of Ecto is because I have heard praise heaped on the Mac version, but not so much on the Windows version. (By the way, I had forgotten that Ecto costs $18; WLW is free.)

It could very well be that web forms are good enough for you--more power to you. Or maybe your posts are only plain text because you're not using a powerful enough editor, and you've just gotten used to it. Like my most recent blog post:

Without WLW I wouldn't have pasted the screenshots, and had I only ever used an online editor, I might not have even thought about it. But once you're used to the ease with which you can do stuff like that (literally Alt+PrintScrn, Ctrl+V) it's hard to go back to using the web form--we hear that again and again from our users.


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