Windows Live Writer

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A screen shot of live writer in action. On Rob's recommendation, I've installed Windows Live Writer today.  Up until now I've written most of my blog posts in BlogJet - however so far I'm liking Windows Live Writer and may well stick to it.  The thing that I like the most is all the features I use from BlogJet are here (Moveable Type support, image upload, spell checking etc) - but Windows Live Writer also picks up the stylesheets from your blog template and applies them while you are editing - very nice.

The final (and possibly the deal-clincher for me) is the plug-in model and Live Writer SDK.  I love BlogJet, but there were a few things that I wanted it to do that it didn't.  By providing an SDK it means I'll hopefully be able to get Live Writer to do these things.  By providing a plug-in capability they also increase the chance that I won't have to bother :-)

While, there has been plenty of comment on this already, JJ Allaire is on the Live Writer team.  Back in the day, I was a huge fan of Homesite - mainly because it supported the way I created web pages.  You can certainly see the influence in Windows Live Writer - the look and feel is quite similar to Onfolio.

There are a couple of things that would make me like Live Writer more. 

  1. Fix the bug that seems to want to try and keep connections alive all the time.  I keep getting an error saying the connection has been dropped.
  2. Better HTML code editing support.  I know I'm old school - but I like to dip into my HTML occasionally to do something particular.  Though Live Writer has a "HTML Code" view - it is little more that embedded notepad.  It would be nice to have code highlighting and even nicer to have side-by-side editing (ala Dreamweaver).  Even if full side-by-side is not possible just code highlighting and putting you cursor into the correct place when you go into code view would be great.
  3. Auto track-back detection.  Be nice if it would figure out what posts I have linked to and automagically do a trackback.  Most of the time I can't be bothered when I have to figure out the trackback URL manually and paste it in.
  4. Squiggly red underline spell check.  (ala Word - spell check as I type)
  5. In the Image import - allow *.png along with *.gif and *.jpg. 
  6. Allow me to easily control where the images were imported to and what they are called.

But all in all, for an initial beta it is very impressive - especially considering it is free.

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