I never had any intention of using a blog editor, but last night I found myself sitting here looking at the Firefox extension ScribeFire. I used it to post my last two entries.
I’m not entirely sure why I downloaded it… I think I was scared by stern warnings from WordPress Help not to copy and paste text from wordprocessing software (actually I type my posts into my Eudora email application and copy them from there, and have had no obvious problems doing them that way). It also resulted from following a bunch of links by people saying “get yourself a blog editor! You’ll never look back!”
I wasted ages searching for the WordPress API URL. There seemed to be hundreds of people hunting round for it in increasing desperation, and just as many smug people who had it and weren’t talking about how they got it. It was so frustrating when people asked “what is the API URL?” and somebody else said “don’t ask here, go away!” or “why don’t you have a look at (some place we’d already checked)“… and sometimes the person who had asked would get back and say “oh, it’s OK, I’ve got it!” and not say WHAT they had got or where from. At one point I read something that made me think I had been misled, and people posting to WordPress.com blogs couldn’t use third party blog editors. I nearly gave up.
I only found the relevant page in WordPress.com FAQ by searching for XML-RPC. The title of the help article is XML-RPC and Desktop Apps – no mention of ‘blog editors’, ‘ScribeFire’ or ‘API URL’. Half an hour before, I hadn’t heard of XML-RPC, and ‘end point’ didn’t mean anything to me at all. It turned out that the stern warning (about not using Word) linked to it as ‘desktop clients’, but if you happen to miss this, which I did, searching for ‘API URL’ turns up nothing of consequence.
I’m not sure yet if ScribeFire is worth my while. It’s pleasanter to use than hamming around in Eudora, and it seems I can do things in different fonts and font sizes without having to insert the code myself. It’s possible to save the blog posts as ‘notes’, but I’m not sure how many I could keep… and I don’t really want to keep them there. I want to store them in a nice solid wordprocessing application, nicely laid out.
- categories are added but not tags, so I have to go to my site anyway to add them
- there is no ‘link break’ button, so if I change my mind about a link, I have to delete the code myself
- I can’t use special characters such as the en-rule
- I can’t specify timestamps in the past or future, although I can post entries as drafts
- the ‘notes’ in Scribefire do not save the date and time the post was published, and that has to be searched out and added separately to any other copies I’m keeping
- I found an ‘enable pings’ checkbox (unchecked) which unnerved me, thinking maybe my last two live posts didn’t ping the directories (though who cares about those posts?)
Because I want to keep the blog posts in AppleWorks or Eudora, I tend to copy them there anyway. Using ScribeFire is no quicker or less bulky than my original method. On the other hand, I can put the links, bullets and other formatting straight in, and copy my post across as a draft. I can also add and position my images, and (unless something goes wrong) they will be copied to WordPress when I hit ‘publish’. I will still have to add their descriptions separately.
Time will tell.