Windows Live Writer (my first post)

This is my first post on my MSDN blog using the new Windows Live Writer released today by J.J. Allaire and his team (download the .msi here).

I took me around 2 minutes (including the download and setup) to get it talking to the MSDN blog (using the Metaweb API). Wow.

The code is clean (can view source and can see there are no funny / weird schemas being forced in) - at least that I have seen.

Links to check out:

  • J.J. Allaire introducing Windows Live Writer on the new team blog
  • Liveside has an interview with J.J. Allaire talking about the history of the tool and some of its features
  • Developers can extend the capabilities of Writer to publish additional content types using Windows Live Writer SDK (.msi)
  • Nathan @ Inside Microsoft walks the the setup process for getting Live Writer working on his blog - lots of screenshots including this one (I'm using to test the 'Intert Picture' feature):

 Congrats to the team!!

Comments (7)
  1. Danny says:

    This is great to see. What would be even better now would be for MS to lead in this space rather than following. As it stands the tool only supports the limited (and agony to debug) RPC style. What would be really cool would be for this to support the Atom publishing protocol. The immediate gain would be that it’s more web-friendly, interop is better (e.g. existing web caches understand). But there’s more to it than that.

    The arguments against supporting the APP would be that 1. it’ll take a bit of effort; 2. hardly any existing blogging tools support it; 3. political.

    1. shouldn’t be a big issue – presumably you have the document in a serialisable form, and the Metaweblog API is just a load of junk on top of HTTP. I woud guess basic support would take a single developer that knew the codebase no more than a day or two.

    2. Is potentially a huge plus for MS. The APP supports loads of stuff out of the box that would be much harder to do with XML-RPC – e.g. browsing/editing past posts, comment threading could be achieved through James Snell’s extension, a smarter trackback could be implemented within the MS space. As the APP approaches standardisation (Tim Bray reckons it’s unlikely to change significantly now), this stuff really is low-hanging fruit. Whoever does a serious implementation first will gain a lead in the blogging space with the leap in functionality (and agility – APP is much less clunky than the XML-RPC APIs).

    3. Could be an issue. As far as I can see, MS’s focus on RSS 2.0 is only explicable through either technical ignorance (unlikely, but possible – much this stuff is new) or reluctance to adopt standards that are perceived as being ‘owned’ by their competitors. But frankly if I was an co. like MS I’d feel a lot safer working from the IETF material than quasi-proprietry specs.

  2. MSDNArchive says:

    Danny, thanks for the comments. I will pass these on to the team.

  3. Danny, we are planning to support APP in our next release. Anyone who wants to work with Blogger is going to have to since they are shutting off their Blogger API endpoint later this year.

    It may take one day to implement but it takes a lot longer to verify it works with all the cranky blog platform implementations out there (although less so for APP if hardly anyone is implementing it yet!).

  4. Danny says:

    Thanks Alex.

    Joe – great news!

    Er…but – "it takes a lot longer to verify it works with all the cranky blog platform implementations out there" – that’s the whole point in having a decent spec, so you only have a single validation point.

  5. Anonymous says:

    And as usual, it only takes a few seconds before Danny Ayers pops up and posts yet another trivial variation of his third-rate advocacy stuff. The guy’s a complete loser; the Atom community would be a lot better (and a lot more successful) without him.

    I suggest doing what everyone else already does: ignore everything he says, and listen to your users instead.

  6. MSDNArchive says:

    Anonymous: that was brave.

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