Windows Live Writer

The next phase in the experiment is to play around with some editors. At the moment, I’m testing ‘Windows Live Writer’.

Installation was fairly easy from Microsoft’s site with a few caveats. The installer automatically tries to install a bunch of Microsoft bloatware that I didn’t want (Mail, etc). It also wants to set my default search provider to Bing (YUCK!) and set my default homepage to MSN (even bigger YUCK!). Any application software that dares attempt to touch my search or homepage settings automatically deserves placement in the ‘hall of shame’. So, –1 points for trying to muck with settings that it shouldn’t muck with.

Okay, so now we got the installer installing Windows Live and only Windows Live. That’s good news. It automatically prompts me for blog settings and I enter the info for my site. It detects that XMLRPC is disabled on the site, so we have a quick interlude to login and enable it. It now tries to download the theme for my site and fails with an undecipherable error message (something like “Windows live failed to download the theme from your website”). Okay, that’s useful. Well, previewing the theme is not very important. My brain is good enough to render the page in living color even if Windows Live Writer is not.

The next thing is does is pop up a page to enter a new post. That’s where I am right now, typing into the post. There’s a dropdown for setting categories, easy enough. There’s a text box for settings tags. Up at the top is a <Publish> button. I’m going to click that and see what happens.

The publish button popped up a quick dialog that showed the post being uploaded and then claimed it would show me the new post of my site. Well…. it tried but my site’s home page is set to a static page instead of the blog page. Can’t really fault the software for this unexpected yet minor inconvenience. Click my blog link, and there it is…. This page is exactly where it’s supposed to be, looking like it should. Now lets hit <Publish> again and see if it updates it.

Yep, update works as expected.

How about I put in a hyperlink. It’s time for a table with a couple of images:

manx4_640[1] manx5_640[1]

Interestingly enough, when I typed in some URLs for the above pictures, it seems to have downloaded them and thinks it’s going to re-upload them. Well, I can see where that would be useful when creating posts, but I think it would also be quite handy to be able to enter a link to an existing image.

Problems (just a laundry list of things that I can’t seem to get to work properly) –

  • I can’t figure out how to set the page template when creating a new page. My site uses a variety of custom templates for different classes of pages.
  • Copying a formatted page out of my web browser and pasting it into Windows Live Writer didn’t preserve the html tables. Tables are preserved when using the wordpress built-in editor, so copying the page into wordpress and then editing it later with Windows Live Writer is an option.

Generally I find the editor pleasant and easy to use. It’s certainly better than using the built-in wordpress editor.

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