There is a lot of buzz around Windows Live Writer. I Might as well throw my two cents into the fray. Keep in mind that I do understand this is a beta.
- It uses the paragraph tag <p> around your paragraphs rather than <br /> tags.
- Keyboard shortcuts for switching views.
- Integrates your blog’s style when previewing. This is an impressive feature. When I preview the post I am working on, it displays the post as if it was posted on my site. I have seen a temporary blog post with the message This is a temporary post that was not deleted. Please delete this manually. (c3eaf4ab-0941-4881-9d17-d4f62bde069e) in a few blogs related to obtaining a blog’s style. My guess is that Windows Live Writer posts to the blog, then deletes the post. It takes a diff to figure out what changed. That’s just my guess.
- When adding a link, it has a field for the rel tag. Nice!
- It handles my unusual FTP setup using an FTP virtual directory. Not every tool deals with that correctly.
- Inserting images allows you to apply a few simple effects. Very neat!
- Support for Really Simple Discovery (RSD). I just added RSD to Subtext.
The Needs Improvement
Since this is a beta, I didn’t feel right calling it “The Bad”.
- Doesn’t let you specify the title attribute of a tag.
- Inserts all over the place as you edit text.
- What key do I hit to Find Next?
- No Find and Replace? Really?
- Be nice to have HTML highlighting in the HTML View.
- If I markup a word with the
<code> tag, then cut and paste that word elsewhere in the Normal view, it marks up the pasted word with the font tag rather than using the underlying tag.
- Using typographic characters for singe quotes and double quotes ala MS Word.
- Integration with CSS styles from the blog. Be nice to have a pulldown for various CSS classes.
- Configurable shortcuts. I use the <acronym /> and <code /> tag all the time and have shortcuts for these configured in w.bloggar.
All in all, I really like it so far. It has a nice look and feel to it and if they iron out a lot of these kinks, this may be the one to beat.
Unfortunately, this may cause some delays in Subtext 1.9 unless I can fight off the vicious urge to write some Microformat plugins. Why must these people introduce such interesting toys into my life! Where will I find the time? ;)
Speaking of which, Tim Heuer already has written a couple of plugins.
[Download Windows Live Writer]