Monday, December 15, 2008

Windows Live Writer news: 2009 and Blog This for Firefox 3.0

The really big news on one of my favorite apps from any vendor is that Joe Cheng has released a version of the "Blog This" add-on for Firefox 3. So we don't have to follow Joe's prior workarounds. Unfortunately it's in "sandbox mode" and won't be generally available until it collects a number of positive reviews.

So take a moment, register as a Firefox add-on tester, and contribute your five star review with a big thank you to Joe. My guess is he had to make time from his Microsoft duties to get this out.

In comparison, the announcement of a new version of WLW is a minor detail: Windows Live Writer 2009: Release Candidate. I mean, it's not like WLW 2.x was missing very much. The only WLW version news that would excite me would be a Mac version, which falls into the hell freezing category.

There's nothing in the features list I care about. Really, what I'd most like is a way to search against the titles of the post history list, and have other ways to manage the list of past posts. [See updates. Turns out the preview has some nice fixes to minor bugs and some great new features – like searching the list of retrieved past posts.]

WLW 2009 is bundled with "Windows Live Essentials", but I think you can choose which to install.

I'll wait for the release version. It's hard to improve on something as fine as WLW 2.x. Except, of course, by releasing the Firefox Blog This add-on.

Update: Joe commented that Firefox "Blog This" is a certified Microsoft product, not solely his project. Joe also tells us that the new version of WLW has the title search feature I wanted, implemented as filter.

Guess I'll have to test earlier than expected!

Thanks for the correction Joe, and thanks for your work and that of the WLW team.

Update 12/23/08: Blog This! is still stuck in the sandbox, so it needs more reviews. Works great, of course. WLW 2009 preview looks very good, so I’m glad I didn’t wait. I love the “filtering” feature – but I think it’s better than title filtering. I think it’s searching entire posts. They’ve also fixed the minor but annoying bug where the display of some labels/categories/tags for Blogger was truncated. The problem’s been long understood, but it wasn’t serious enough to justify a patch outside of this update. You have to uncheck a few things, but the new Windows Live installer will eventually agree to simply update WLW 1 and the IE toolbar.


Joe Cheng said...

Hi John, thanks for the shout-out. Just to make it clear--the Firefox extension is fully official Microsoft software. We've just chosen to get the word out so far on our personal blogs to limit the exposure until we get out of the Sandbox.

"what I'd most like is a way to search against the titles of the post history list"
Just in case it isn't clear--"type-down filtering in the Open dialog" was intended for this purpose, and (we think) works pretty well.

Looking forward to your feedback, whenever you get around to upgrading!

Joe Cheng said...

Oh, and I'd love to do a Mac version as well, but you're right--it would be a cold day down there. :)

JGF said...

Thanks for the note Joe! I sure do appreciate your work!

Guess I'll have to try the new version early after all, type-down filtering is just what I wanted.

Really though, WLW is about perfect. Since you guys aren't going to be funded for a Mac port, please be sure to let us know which Microsoft product you'll work on next so we know where the good stuff will be.