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it's official! for the past few weeks i've been able to use a new tool just released, called windows live writer.  at it's core, writer is a blogging client (i'm sure there will be other uses for it in the future, but for now, this is what i use it for).  after seeing the announcement of the tool, i was skeptic.  YABC is what i thought (yet another blogging client, for those not familiar with the YA* acronyms).


but i bleed windows blue, so i installed it.  i should point out at this point that i amwas a blogjet user and gladly paid for it as it iswas a great tool for me having all the features i needed.  i loved it.  really.

my initial reaction to writer was 'sweet' -- until i started digging into features.  the writing experience was great and familiar, and the style preview in real time is great.  but i quickly noticed some lacking features.  i pinged the team and pointed them out.  after going back and forth, i was happy to see they started to trickle in to the daily teams.  it was great to see the agility of this writer team and willingness to take feedback.

i then noticed a few glaring missing things: integration with tagging, integration with flickr, etc. -- the things i loved about blogjet.  have no fear, writer has a plugin model and is extensible.  sweet.  after reviewing the sdk i came up with a flickr plugin that allows you to look at your flickr images (or others) and insert a reference to it.  yeah, it's simple, but that's what i loved about blogjet's simplicity as well.  the great thing is that the writer extensibility layer is .net -- nice! 

i wrote a quick and dirty tagging plugin as well that allows you to template some items.  i suspect this will be replaced by a much better one, but for now it does the job for me.  here's a screen shot of the tagging plugin:


and i also wrote a flickr image plugin that looks like this:


i would encourage you to download writer now and start using it -- take it for a spin...i think you'll like it -- and the extensible model.  give the team feedback.  let me know if you have any questions.  write plugins.  I hope to have my plugins available on codeplex as soon as the project gets approved.  please subscribe to this blog to know when that happens.

what are you waiting for? 

tags: , , , , , , ,

10/3/2006 5:18 PM | # re: enter windows live writer

Have you tried WriteToMyBlog (http://writetomyblog.com), it’s a free web based Blog client.

10/27/2006 9:06 PM | # Panos
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8/13/2006 11:55 AM | # re: enter windows live writer
So, you aren't going to release your plugins until after this product is released?

8/13/2006 12:25 PM | # Re: enter windows live writer
Darn it! I had some work I wanted to get done, and now I have a new toy to play with to sidetrack me. Doh!
8/13/2006 1:24 PM | # re: enter windows live writer
Please publish a link for those plugins you wrote.
8/13/2006 5:41 PM | # re: enter windows live writer
regarding the plugins -- they are done, the source code is available, i just want to put it on a collaborative space (a few known issues with one of them). my chosen place is codeplex. once my project gets approved (i couldn't request one until writer was released or i'd let the cat out of the bag ;-)), i'll get them up there, promise.
8/13/2006 9:55 PM | # re: enter windows live writer
The Windows Live Writer folks did a nice job. Also check out RocketPost, www.anconia.com/rocketpost. It's more advanced than Writer, and there's a free version. (I designed it.)
8/14/2006 1:31 AM | # re: enter windows live writer

manish, you forgot to mention that the free version is only for Blogger.
8/14/2006 7:43 AM | # re: enter windows live writer
Tim, have you considered integrating uploading to Flickr in your plugin? Here's the use case.

I found a pic I want to upload to my blog while writing a post. Rather than going to Flickr to upload it, I just click on Tim Heuer's wonderful Insert Flickr Image plugin in WLW. I can then select an existing flickr image or upload a new one.
8/14/2006 10:41 AM | # re: enter windows live writer
Can't wait to try out your plugin!

Currently I love to use the flickr favlet to upload images from other websites to my flickr account. Then I use those on my blog. Mostly used for logos etc. It is basically a 3 step process:
1)find and upload image.
2)find image in flickr, and copy url
3)insert picture via img url and add align= text.

Combine these and you the plugin would be wonderful. An idea is to create an image template for each website, so the image is auto formated/sized.
8/14/2006 11:11 AM | # re: enter windows live writer
i have considered using the upload feature in the plugin. it becomes tricker at that point with the flickr authorize api, etc. that i wanted to make sure the usability was right on. additionally, writer has image upload capability and i'd rather tap into that api -- so that you can insert an image and it would auto-upload to flickr and then use that image reference.
8/14/2006 6:18 PM | # re: enter windows live writer
Hi Tim,

I downloaded Live Writer expecting big things. But seeing that it doesn't come in-built with one feature that I use the most - tagging - I kind of thought this was a case of Microsoft doing something too little too late. (It did come with an exotic Map support. But then I remembered the 80-20 rule! ) But I just tried your Tag4Writer plugin and I think it rocks! One of the things I like was the custom feature. I use del.icio.us for my tags with a custom tag to store just by blog categories. And the custom feature in Tag4Writer allows me to use my custom tags seamlessly. With this, Live Writer looks a more complete product and I think I'm going to use it more often. One thing I like about Live Writer is its simplicity. It doesn't get in the way of composing your post by providing too many buttons or options. And that is something I like. Sorry about the long comment.
8/14/2006 11:13 PM | # re: enter windows live writer
Great, take it out of box quickly!
8/15/2006 5:08 AM | # re: enter windows live writer
Hmm, I tried to get the plugin to work, but no pictures come up. Is this because I have fewer than 4 photos?
8/15/2006 6:01 AM | # re: enter windows live writer
I have a couple of thousand photos in my flickr stream, and although I can get the plug in installed, and get it to give me a list of my tags, no photos get populated into the window.
8/15/2006 6:10 AM | # re: enter windows live writer
Hi. I've installed your Tag4Writer plugin, but I can't get it to work. It's in the Plugins directory in Live Writer, but I can't see it anywhere when I actually have Live Writer open. Tools > Preferences > Plugins - which is where I presumed I'd see it, is empty.
8/15/2006 7:31 AM | # re: enter windows live writer
OK - I understand now...the name in the dialog box must be your flickr user name (as it says ;-)). I actually put in my 'friendly name' - mattr, rather than the ID I sign in with. Then it worked perfectly - great plugin Tim. Nice work indeed!
8/15/2006 9:01 AM | # re: enter windows live writer

Tim, these are great. One question re the tagging plug-in: is there any way to custom code so that the plus sign is not present in the visible text? (I appreciate this is a wider issue than the plug-in, but the web has failed me on this one — and you may know!)

Many thanks.
8/15/2006 9:05 AM | # re: enter windows live writer
David Smith: the original version had no plus symbols in it, but i decided to be an html purist and display the tags exactly as they are being tagged in other engines...that way it is a true visible representation of the tag. i looked around at some other implementations and it was about 50/50 how people displayed the tags, so i picked the plus.

right now the formatting is in the code...you can log a feature suggestion to track that change if you want on the codeplex.com site.
8/15/2006 9:38 AM | # re: enter windows live writer
Thanks, Tim. Will do. (I prefer visible tags without the plus sign — it renders tags more human and less machine-like. Nice to have that … illusion!)
8/15/2006 10:11 AM | # re: enter windows live writer
Hey Tim, really awesome tagging plugin.

I got one problem with it, though, and that's that I can't easily go back and edit existing tags. This is probably because you decided to not do a SmartContent plugin (which would let me edit existing tags from the sidebar).

Do you think you could make the upgrade to support editing existing tags using a SmartSource plugin for the beta Writer beta? =D
8/15/2006 10:20 AM | # re: enter windows live writer
Arron: argh, you caught me :-). yes, that is the reason and i've been contemplating converting it to a smart content source. to be honest, one of the things i don't like about the smart content source is the html it generates (it adds a div tag wrapping the content).

i've started playing around with it and we'll see where it goes --

can you log a feature request on the codeplex site to track?
8/15/2006 11:34 AM | # re: enter windows live writer
I must be missing something with these plugins...I've installed them, they're there in the Plugins folder in WLW, but when I open the program, I can't see them at all in any of the menu options. I'm sure this is something really obvious, but still...?
8/15/2006 12:53 PM | # re: enter windows live writer
DaveL: please contact me offline (email in the about page) so i can help you troubleshoot...
8/16/2006 6:50 AM | # re: enter windows live writer
hi there,
i also don't see the pictures and get an error message (Unexpected error occurred) when i click in the image area.
i am suer i used the right id.
8/16/2006 7:38 AM | # re: enter windows live writer
Is there away to make the tags only show on the single post, and not the index?
8/18/2006 11:52 AM | # re: enter windows live writer
i installed the flikr plugin but i can't insert phots on my blog there's no way this program sucks it's unbelievable that i can't insert a pics of 4 kb on a post...microsoft everyday u remain always the same!
8/19/2006 4:49 PM | # re: enter windows live writer
Jason: how about simply giving the 'you suck' reply, you articulate your problem a bit more -- are you even seeing the flickr plugin or are you not seeing anything at all? what error information are you seeing if any. please contact me offline (see contact page), but posting comments about 'can't insert' and 'program sucks' isn't helpful if you don't give complete information.

btw -- flickr4writer isn't a microsoft program, it is a community project i started...so if in fact there is a bug, it isn't microsoft's fault.
8/19/2006 6:57 PM | # re: enter windows live writer
I'm having good luck with the Flickr4Writer plugin. One problem to report: the hyperlink to the flickr photo page does not include my user name, e.g. I expect it to generate an href of http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomharpel/128995362/. Instead, the plugin inserted http://www.flickr.com/photos//128995362/.

My Flickr username is "Tom Harpel" (without quotes), but my photos URL is /tomharpel. Contact me if you want more details at tharpel at microsoft dot com. Thanks and great work.
8/20/2006 7:43 AM | # re: enter windows live writer
Leroy: that would be up to your blog engine. really the tag4writer plugin is simply a formatting helper right now...it just emits a tag list -- it doesn't register any tags with the blog engine in particular.

contact me offline with questions and i can further answer
8/22/2006 7:56 AM | # re: enter windows live writer
how about making a YouTube plugin? :)
8/22/2006 8:18 AM | # re: enter windows live writer
norbert: one already exists: http://tat.chillijam.co.uk/2006/08/17/youtube-video-embed-livewriter-plugin/
8/23/2006 12:42 AM | # re: enter windows live writer
Just wondering if these plugins work with any wordpress tag plugin or just one particular one?
8/23/2006 5:49 AM | # re: enter windows live writer
simon: the tag plugin is a simple one that formats output making it easier to just type a list of desired tags. it produces html, that's it -- it does not integrate with other server technologies.
9/1/2006 10:32 AM | # re: enter windows live writer
hey, has anyone created a website in Dreamweaver for Contribute that is XHTML strict 1.0? Seems to me that with a correct setup, Contribute is "the ultimate" tool in this category.

9/1/2008 7:18 AM | # re: enter windows live writer
thank youuu
11/24/2008 1:24 AM | # re: enter windows live writer
Very good job. Add your blog to bookmarks.
4/13/2010 8:45 PM | #  Windows Live Writer ????????????????????????????????? ­ ?????????
Windows Live Writer ????????????????????????????????? ­ ?????????
11/1/2012 11:03 AM | # re: enter windows live writer
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