Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Using Live Writer

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Watching Scott Hanselman’s presentation on how to make your blog not suck he talked about a tool for writing blogs called live writer that also has a plug-in for doing syntax highlighting, so I thought I would give it a try.

So far so good, installation was simple and on your first startup it asked what your blogging engine is ( this case) your user name and password and it set up the interface to auto post to your blog.

The editor includes all the basic edit and formatting tools (bold, Italic, underline, etc.) and dose auto spell checking.  Some of the other features are the ability to insert pictures, videos, tables, hyperlinks, maps, etc. all of which appear to work fairly well with the exception of the map, when I enter a location it just hangs, I guess you can’t have everything. 

One of the major selling points is having a plug-in that gives you an integrated syntax highlighter

   1: public class RequestFactory : IRequestFactory
   2: {
   3:     public static readonly IRequestFactory Instance = new RequestFactory();
   5:     private RequestFactory()
   6:     {
   8:     }
  10:     public IAuthenticationRequests GetAuthenticationRequests()
  11:     {
  12:         IAuthenticationRequests myRequests = new AuthenticationRequests();
  13:         return myRequests;
  14:     }
  15: }

vs. the old method where I would copy my code into a web form that would parse the syntax and give me my code formatted with html styles, plus I think it formats it a lot better, with one minor bug, if you use the default xhtml for your content the syntax highlighting is messed up, once you set it to html it works great.

The preview mode for looking at your post as it would appear in blog before you post your entry is fairly accurate with some minor problems with spacing.

Finally the ability to browse and update old posts with ease makes it much easier to manage your old posts, update content, fix formatting issues, etc.

With some small exceptions Live writer is a solid tool, that makes it a lot easier to blog, I give it an 8 out of 10.

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