Testing latest version of MarsEdit (continued)

Summary of MarsEdit capabilities for WordPress.com blogs:

  • It does work offline.
  • Imaged can be inserted and uploaded with blog post.  Text can sort of flow around left or right aligned images.
  • Blog categories are available offline; existing categories are downloaded from WordPress.com.  Tags can also be added offline.
  • Existing blog posts can also be downloaded from WordPress.com and stored offline.  The default setting is to download the 30 most recent posts.  
  • Offline posts are stored in various folders under ~/Library/Application Support/MarsEdit/ as XML.
  • If you use WordPress.com “Publicize” features to automatically post to Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or other sites a new post published from the MarsEdit client will automatically get what ever settings are configured as default in the WordPress.com dashboard.If you want to modify the publicize choices, you’ll have to upload the new post as “Server Options | Post Status: Draft” and then make the final changes at the WordPress.com dashboard.  This would also apply if you use similar features on a self hosted blog.
  • If you wan to modify the date of blog post, that option is tucked under MENU | POST | Edit Date.
  • The app really doesn’t make any attempt at providing an offline version of the posting features available in the WordPress.com dashboard.   
I find myself wanting to like this application.  Probably since there just isn’t much available for offline blog editing.  But once again, I just can’t see $40 worth of value in what little is here.  
 
For short and simple posts, it really doesn’t offer anything over the web client accept being able to queue up a post while offline.  But short and simple posts can easily be done with the WordPress app for iPhone or iPad.  As for offline writing… there’s no shortage of note taking apps available.  
 
Since WordPress can let you email a post, writing an email draft while offline for a quick send whenever a connection is available may actually be a simpler travel solution than lugging this app around on a laptop.

For longer posts with more than basic plain text, it doesn’t remove the urge to write in a more capable application and copy/paste later.  

 MarsEdit could be a nice offline blogging utility… if they’d:

  • clean up the menu and interface to make important features more accessible and quit wasting so much screen space.  Providing the option of placing some basic formatting buttons on the menu bar would be nice.
  • make some effort to better match the feature of WordPress and Blogger.  Since those two dominate the blogosphere, it shouldn’t require a disproportionate amount of effort to learn their most common features.
  • expanding the “Server Options” group with more of the WordPress or Blogger options would be nice.
  • provide a more thorough offline listing of a blog site’s contents.  i.e.., list the last few hundred (if not all) posts and lists the contents of the online media library.  This would make it easier to reference (link) existing content when writing follow ups.
  • lower the price to something more reasonable for a utility app with limited usefulness, or find some amazing features to justify the price.
 
 
 

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misc notes:

 

 

During the creation of the previous MarsEdit testing post… the editor preference was set to “HTML text“.  In this second test, I’ve changed the preference to “Rich text“.  I’m just using the built in editor, but the preference panel does indicate you can choose other editors.

Modifying portions of text to bold and italicized displays the desired result in the editor window and the preview window.  The menu bar for formatting is pretty limited and placing all of the choice in a drop down list under a menu button labeled “Format”.   Navigating that button’s menu(s) would get pretty tedious very quickly; fortunately, keyboard shortcuts work.

rich text mode

try a numbered list:

  1. one
  2. two
  3. three

try a bulleted list:

  • one
  • two
  • three

drat… every line return ends up looking like a double space… but numbered and bulleted lists appear correctly.

Test inserting an image in this mode (Rich text editor).  Select same text image as before and attempt to right aline the image.

Result:  that seemed to work much better.  The image is displayed in within the editor window and appears to be holding the selected alignment.  It appears this option should work for placing a photo into a post and wrapping text around it.

New paragraph. Just inserting some extra filler text (formatted with italics) here to get around the image.  SprocketgoboJust inserting some extra filler text (formatted with italics) here to get around the image.  Just inserting some extra filler text (formatted with italics) here to get around the image. Just inserting some extra filler text (formatted with italics) here to get around the image.  Just inserting some extra filler text (formatted with italics) here to get around the image.  Just inserting some extra filler text (formatted with italics) here to get around the image. Just inserting some extra filler text (formatted with italics) here to get around the image.  Just inserting some extra filler text (formatted with italics) here to get around the image.  Just inserting some extra filler text (formatted with italics) here to get around the image. Just inserting some extra filler text (formatted with italics) here to get around the image.  Just inserting some extra filler text (formatted with italics) here to get around the image.  Just inserting some extra filler text (formatted with italics) here to get around the image.

Ok, that’s enough for now.  The dog wants to go out.  This is a good place to test saving a draft, close down the app, and then come back to it to resume editing later.

 

 

 

 

 

Next… try centering an image and see what happens with text around the image.  New paragraph. Just inserting some extra filler text (formatted with italics) here to get around the image.  Just inserting some extra filler text (formatted with italics) here to get around the image.  Just inserting some extra filler text (formatted with italics) here to get around the image. Just inserting some extra filler text (formatted with italics) here to get around the image.  Just inserting some extra filler text (formatted with italics) here to get around the image.  Just inserting some extra filler text (formatted with italics) here to get around the image.  Just inserting some extra filler text (formatted with italics) here to get around the image.  Just inserting some extra filler text (formatted with italics) here to get around the image.  Just inserting some extra filler text (formatted with italics) here to get around the image. 

SprocketgoboJust inserting some extra filler text (formatted with italics) here to get around the image.  Just inserting some extra filler text (formatted with italics) here to get around the image.  Just inserting some extra filler text (formatted with italics) here to get around the image. 


Result: Apparently text can fit along side a right or left aligned image, but won’t “wrap” around a centered image. Didn’t really expect that to work; but it worth giving a try anyway.

 

Test: Insert an image which was previously uploaded to my WordPress.com Media Library.  As best I can tell, this only works with files or images which the MarsEdit client uploaded (and therefore remembers).  So far I can’t find a way to have the client app get a list of the media that is already on the server.

JunkBoat 540x367

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: Using the same image multiple times appears to queue it for multiple uploads.  I made several different insertions / positions for the muppet dog image, have two remaining in this post, and can see that it’s queue to be uploaded three times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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