Exploring Editors

I’m investigating external Weblog editors. I’m surprised there are no simple plugins for BBEdit or jEdit to handle this, and there doesn’t appear to any real open source software.

I played with MacJournal but it couldn’t seem to connect to this site.

ecto looked pretty, but it just didn’t flow (For instance it couldn’t figure out where the xmlrpc.php file was even though it new I was talking to WordPress) and if it was possible to edit an existing entry I couldn’t figure out how. Plus it could only upload pictures over FTP, no secure FTP support which I require.

MarsEdit is the first one that actually got far enough to let me edit this very entry with itself. There are some glitches though. The default font size is too small, but presumably I can change that. Saving a draft only seems to save it locally, not on the server. That’s a big minus. It doesn’t seem to have found the categories on the web server. And oh yes, when I did send it to the weblog, it published the entry. I didn’t mean to do that! MarsEdit doesn’t seem to understand the difference between saving a draft on the server and publishing the entry. The ability to work on drafts a little bit at a time is a big part of what I like about WordPress. There generally seems to be a disconnect between the server and the client. Changes made on the server don’t automatically show up on the server and vice versa. It may well be possible for one to unintentionally override changes made on the other.

And apparently I can only edit what’s on the front page. That often only contains the first paragraph or two of a post, not the full article. That’s an absolute deal breaker. Update: that wasn’t true. I jst needed to click the extended button instead of the Body button. On the other hand it does seem to lose comments in the post, or at least hide them from me.

Some of this may be a function of the paucity of the APIs these products use to talk to the server. The Atom Publishing Protocol should eventually change that, but it doesn’t seem likely to be ready this year. Each request can include a pub:draft element. if this element has the vlaue “yes”, then the entry is a draft and should be stored on the server but not made publicly visible.

There’s a lot of opportunity in this space. I would suggest that anyone trying focus on simplicity rather than lots features. All I really want is a way to write a simple post with as little effort and as much screen space as possible. Is anything else out there? Is anyone working on a BBEdit or jEdit plugin for publishing to a weblog API? But for the moment I think I’m just going to keep typing into the web form in WordPress.

One Response to “Exploring Editors”

  1. Alastair Says:

    As you say, the limitation of server-side drafts is an API limitation, not a MarsEdit one (or AFAIK a WordPress one).

    You *can* edit the entire post in MarsEdit. Everything after the “more” tag in WordPress is edited on the “extended” panel of each post in MarsEdit.

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