Windows Live Writer First Impression

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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.

The Good

  • 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.
  • Plugins!

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.

The Wish

  • 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]

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9 responses

  1. Avatar for Adam
    Adam August 14th, 2006

    Okay perhaps I missed it, but I totally didn't see an edit feature in there. Did I miss it?

  2. Avatar for Haacked
    Haacked August 14th, 2006

    It's in the right sidebar. It shows some recent posts and you can click on one to edit it.

  3. Avatar for Adam
    Adam August 14th, 2006

    Yep, then apparently I did miss it.

  4. Avatar for jayson knight
    jayson knight August 14th, 2006

    Yeah, this is a fantastic posting's great to see MS so interested in community based stuff like this. Poor blogjet (Dmitry), he's either gonna A) get a new gig or B) start giving it away as well.

  5. Avatar for vern
    vern August 15th, 2006

    Couldn't throw me a bone, could ya? Had to be Scott and Dave who got the links, not little ol' me?
    Boy! And they're not even on the subText team!
    BTW: Have you seen Tim Heuer's plugins? Flickr and Technorati (and more) Tagger?
    Pretty cool stuff!

  6. Avatar for Haacked
    Haacked August 15th, 2006

    Doh! Sorry Vern.

  7. Avatar for Omar Shahine
    Omar Shahine August 15th, 2006

    you need to add newMediaObject support so you can kick FTP to the curb, makes the setup zero config with RSD + newMediaObject.

  8. Avatar for Haacked
    Haacked August 15th, 2006

    Tell me about it Omar, as if I wasn't busy enough! ;)

  9. Avatar for you've been HAACKED
    you've been HAACKED June 3rd, 2007

    Windows Live Writer Manifest For Subtext