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Most of people writing about new Microsoft free blogging tool Windows Live Writer have probably never used blogging tools like before, at least not daily and exclusively. I reached in my pocket and registered most excellent BlogJet and I liked it ever since. I just don't go to my blogs on-line admin section at all, so this makes me more competent to comment than others. If I'm convinced to switch from shareware tool to free one, it must be good.

So, let's see what features I'm used to in BlogJet:

  • formatting - nothing to say here, it works, no thrills. 9/10
  • history - old posts from your blog can be reached through File / Open Post ... and then clicking icon representing your blog. Nice addition is also recent post. 10/10
  • spelling - works as expected. There is no "blogging" word in the dictionary. Funny. It is a blogging tool after all! It would be nice if we could see some squiggly red lines like in other editors. 8/10

NoBlogging 

  • inserting pictures - inserting from files only recognises .png's and .gif's. What about .png? I could select *.* from the dialog and insert png, but it was oddly scaled. Gif's work, but by default they are scaled. This is good for images but not for screenshots. 5/10
  • shortcuts - there are lots of them, but not all of them are great. Generally (in MS Word for example) CTRL + E is align to center and CTRL + L align to left. Ctrl  + E does nothing in Windows Live Writer and CTRL + L opens an Insert Picture dialog. F7 is not spell check. This is annoying. 3/10
  • uploading pictures - I had to use BlogJet in order to insert the screenshot above. WLW just would upload it via FTP. This is probably specific to me, since .Text doesn't have an API capable of uploading pictures and since my FTP server has some active/passive mode issues. But it is a show stopper. It's just so sweet when you can just insert a picture in a post and not have to worry about uploading it and figuring out real URL. So in my case this is 0/10
  • auto replace - this is a nice BlogJet feature. I can for example define keyword "siblogs" which is expanded in www.siblogs.com every time I type it. Couldn't find that in WLW. WLW expands regular URL's (even without http://) and that helps. Again Word has a auto replace feature. 3/10
  • smilies - there is no support for smilies like there is in BlogJet. I generally do not endorse the use, so this doesn't really count. No score. ;)

It looks to me WLW and BlogJet are basically on par here, but in my situation BlogJet comes out on top because of FTPing capabilities. Nice thing about Writer is that it's not only for Live Spaces as one would expect from Microsoft. SDK is also nice feature. Plugins are starting to pop up everywhere!

I'm sticking with BlogJet for now. I hope Microsofties can catch up.

But I'm really looking forward is some competition in blogging tool niche. So, BlogJet, when's 2.0 due?

[Update] this post was written in WLW but posted in BlogJet. When posting to .Text engine I got an error.

Server Error 0 Occurred

request contains invalid dateTime value [request : parameter 3 : struct mapped to type Post : member dateCreated mapped to type DateTime : dateTime]

Posted on Thursday, August 17, 2006 10:18 PM | Filed under: Software |

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# re: The competent Windows Live Writer review 8/18/2006 10:26 AM Ervin
Did you try dasBlog ? http://www.dasblog.net/. BTW You mentioned Hanselman Minutes in your blogs several times and guess what blog engine does he use (http://www.hanselman.com/blog/)

# re: The competent Windows Live Writer review 8/18/2006 12:48 PM David
I did try dabBlog but settled fot .Text in 2004. It's not very easy to change blogging platform and if you do, you loose links and so on.

If I would decide to change platform I would go for WordPress.

Scott doesn't only use dasBlog, he is one of main developers of it.

# re: The competent Windows Live Writer review 8/25/2006 10:19 PM SuperJason
Writer DOES do the file upload just like Blogjet.

Look under the Weblog menu, edit your weblog, click next. It's the second screen.

# re: The competent Windows Live Writer review 8/25/2006 11:29 PM David
Of course it does. Read the post again. It just doesn't work for my setup.

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