This post was authored in FireFox and so far, with good reason. After not so lengthy a pursuit, we have yet to find a blogging client (free or commercial) with the features and usability that inspire us to click the browser to the curb and start authoring from a desktop app.
As it turns out, we might have better luck if OSX is what we called home, but being Win32 geeks, we do tend to drag that perspective around with us.Desktop blogging tools use remote authoring APIs -- such as MT's publishing API, the ATOM publishing API, the Blogger publishing API, and other XML-RPC interfaces -- to create/edit/publish content to one or more weblogs.
The idea is that a rich user interface such as a Windows Forms client or OSX GUI stand alone will be more productive, easier to use, and make more info accessible at content authoring time.
This reasoning is certainly plausible. What's disheartening is that so far, it does not seem to have played out that well.
People are bound to disagree with us for various reasons. Hoping to circumvent a few of these, we've included our evaluation criteria below.
- Runs on Windows
- Access to all of MT's article fields
- WYSIWYG HTML/XHTML Editor
- Spell checker
- Access to article categories
- Ability to set publish date
- Access/editing of previous articles
- Image/file upload support
- Support for multiple Blogs
- Usable, intuitive interface
Here's what we've found to date. Admittedly, its not 100% comprehensive, so we'll accept fault there, and will hope to do a follow-on piece once a solid option is available.
ecto is a commercial desktop blogging client for MacOSX and Windows. ecto is the successor of the popular Kung-Log, which earned a 4.5 mice rating in the MacWorld July 2003.
Its release cycle tells the story: v2.0 is out for OSX and v1.0.8 is out for Windows. This may explain our less than perfect rating of ecto. If the OSX version has a decent WYSIWYG editor, then this tool is definitely leading the field.
- Runs on Windows [Yes!]
- Access to all of MT's article fields [Yes - with Advanced View]
- WYSIWYG HTML/XHTML Editor [No - Just a text editor]
- Spell checker [Yes!]
- Access to article categories [Yes - with multi-select!]
- Ability to set publish date [Yes - in post properties]
- Access/editing of previous articles [Yes!]
- Image/file upload support [Yes - robust upload and image thumbnail tools!]
- Support for multiple Blogs [Yes - strong profile support]
- Usable, intuitive interface [Yes - Well done, up to date]