mm023: Trying out WLW

MUDGE’s Musings

Since early last month, when I began to get real with this project, I have been using a tool called Qumana to create and support Left-Handed Complement. I found it to be useful in a few ways, but awkward in many.

While surfing this past weekend, I found mention of Windows Live Writer, with some extremely positive endorsements, not least from Digital Inspiration (see the blogroll for the link).

Enough good things have already been said about Windows Live Writer. If you still haven’t heard about it, Live Writer is an extremely powerful WYSIWYG blog editor from Microsoft that is miles ahead of competition (from w.blogger, ecto or blogjet) both in terms of features and user interface. It also have a very reasonable price – $0.00

As Amit Agarwal says, the price is right and it promises WYSIWYG, sadly lacking in my (previous?) tool of choice.

So we’re giving it a try tonight; so far so good. See the Qumana thing really seemed to be about the advertising they’d like you to sign up for. Really, do the two or three of you really need to see more “context sensitive” advertising? I’ve not thought so. Doesn’t seem part of WLW’s setup, so far, which is a positive.

And the WYSIWYG seems a tall improvement. Writing in Qumana has been a chore, since it seems a very basic (think Notepad) editor, and formatting seems to go away when posted. We’ll see what happens here shortly, but WLW already looks more like L-HC looks (nothing extraordinary, based on a stock WordPress template, but I like it).

What I had taken to do for Qumana is actually write in a simple editor, Wordpad actually, so that copying the text out didn’t grab out too much overhead — using Word or in my case OpenOffice.org Writer took much baggage, and formatted very little anyway. So, I’d write in Wordpad, open up a new post in Qumana, copy over “MUDGE”s Musings” and then copy the text from Wordpad into Qumana, adding tags and links. Kind of a bother.

WLW so far seems much simpler: I am writing, and I can see what it’s gong to look like. I just saved a draft of the above, and WLW shows me in its control panel that it has done so, another plus. And it just added the blockquote from Digital Inspiration, and it was seamless. This is the kind of thing I used to have to do directly in WordPress (post-posting as it were); this is much easier. Very good stuff so far.

So, a blog about the nuts and bolts of blogging. How self-referential and navel-gazing can I get? Just watch!

It’s it for now. Thanks,

–Mudge

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