Today I am Going to Fly

Some men are born posthumously. ~Nietzsche

Windows Live Writer

Posted by penuruloki on August 14, 2006

For someone who spends so much time on his blog simply kvetching about blogs and blog software, I was somewhat obliged to give Windows Live Writer a spin to test it out. The basic concept is to provide a true WYSIWYG publishing tool for bloggers.
The first tentative observation is that it actually does work. Unlike some other free applets coming out lately, us x64 using bastard children actually get to play with the golden children. It also detected our custom WordPress install without issue. So here I am, taking it for a spin.

It also works with LiveJournal (though apparently not Xanga), so I can test out another interesting opportunity, the ability to post the same entry easily to several different blogs. I know friends who do this because they’re locked into the social networking scheme of each site, choosing that over blogroll links, trackbacks and RSS/Atom feed readers that cross site boundaries. I prefer cross-site linking to proprietary entanglements, but other see things differently.

It seems to offer a decent feature set, and things work fairly well so far. The app does do a few odd things though.

1. The program insists on leaving black sidebars on my editing box, presumably because my Siliconrow blog has sidebars along both side. So why not just show the rest of the site? It shows up in “Web Preview,” but you can’t edit there. The forced distinction between views for editing and viewing doesn’t make much sense to me.

2. The program jumps to layout view whenever you switch blogs. Why? I’m as likely (or more) to be previewing across blog sites as to be making changes when I switch blogs. I’m certainly not making a whole new post when switching, as the content doesn’t change, only the style.

3. The preview layout is a bit glitchy. I’ve noticed glitches with the text at the top of both sidebars, particularly with scrolling. Might be an IE problem, but damn that’s bad.

I’ll write more if I decide to keep using it. I have to get ready for work now.

[EDIT] Just to add another oddity:

4. Publishing the same post to two different web sites counts as two posts, with both showing up in the app sidebar.

I’ll stick with it and post a more complete mini-review when I’ve had a chance to play with more of the features.


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