Was just looking for another blogging tool to help me blog from my XP machine (as opposed to my former iBook). Yes, again. Turns out Microsoft just started a beta test for their own blog client, “Windows Live Writer”
Writer Zone: Introducing Windows Live Writer
(It was listed on WordPress.org along other blogging tools.)
That tool is really meant for non-coders. Most, if not all, blog editors are meant to be somewhat WYSIWYG. Microsoft’s WLW follows that principle quite directly and emphasizes ease of editing, not advanced features. As such, it’s somewhat similar to Apple’s iWeb but, as CNET writers and readers keep pointing out, with a wider range of publishing options.
Of course, there’s a range of blogging tools out there. Several of them are free or quite inexpensive. Most of them do support several APIs. In fact, WordPress is supported by a good proportion of blogging tools. Didn’t realize it until today but the open-source LiveJournal editor Semagic does support WordPress if you change server settings (doh!). Other standalone blog editors (free of charge) like Qumana, JBlogEditor, Blog Writer, and Post2Blog Express all seem rather decent. Browser-based solutions like Flock and Performancing work for some people but kind of defeat the purpose of a blogging. And Mozilla-based browsers don’t support “spell as you type” underlining, unlike Safari.
So far, ecto has been my favourite. It’s inexpensive, cross-platform, seems stable, easy to use. As a blog client, ecto not only lets you publish new blog posts but really helps maintaining multiple blogs. Fortunately, ecto does have multilingual “spell as you type” underlining. The main thing missing for me is on-the-fly WordPress categories. It seems that WordPress.com’s web-based editor is the only tool which allows for such a feature. But ecto is scriptable and accepts Technorati tags (which WordPress.com’s categories doubles). A del.icio.us-like tagging function would work well too. Another feature it could have is an integration with your browsers’ histories so you can easily enter links instead of copy/pasting them. Maybe in ecto 3!