Monday, September 05, 2005

Zoundry Blog Writer has been updated

Zoundry Blog WriterFollowing up on my earlier post, Zoundry Blog Writer has issued an updated version (0.9.123). Installation over the older installation went very smoothly for me.

The folks at Zoundry have clearly been listening to suggestions from their users, as they have introduced a number of changes and improvements.

They have done a lot to make it easier to add tags. I had to fish around in the software to figure out how to make tags the way I have been doing it. Blogger does not make categories available but before this update to Zoundry Blog Writer I found a suggestion to use del.icio.us tags to create categories. Any reader can see the current tags I have for this blog at http://del.icio.us/parkbench, and can then search within the tagged blog entries using the del.icio.us index of blog entries. To create the kind of tags I want to use I just have to highlight the text to be tagged, right-click and choose "Link to ..." on the context menu, then select "Custom tag space" from the next menu. In the window that pops up, I need to replace the text "http://url/to/tagspace" with the url for the del.icio.us tag. This is a lot easier than the two-stage editing process I have been using, where I compose in Zoundry's Blog Writer, post the entry to my blog, then go back in with Blogger's editor to clean up my code.

Zoundry has a feature in this new version for posting in draft mode to Blogger. When the user starts to post a blog entry, there is a pop-up window with many options, and one of the options is to post in draft mode. This will be a useful feature that makes up for the ongoing limitation in the software that it is not possible to edit html code from within the software. Older versions of the software allowed a user to view the html, but it has never been possible to edit the code from the window in which html code was shown.

Other options on posting include sending weblog pings and trackback pings, all of which will simplify the process of posting.

There are now edit fields for TITLE and CLASS attributes in images and links. This is a great improvement. One of the highly contentious issues in W3C compliance has to do with correct use of the ALT attribute for images. Technically, the ALT text is supposed to be displayed when the image is not displayed. TITLE is the attribute that is intended to be used for pop-up tooltips. Microsoft's Internet Explorer (with which many users are very familiar) uses the ALT attribute for both purposes. FireFox shows a tooltip for an image with a TITLE attribute, but needs a special plug-in if the user wants the ALT text to be displayed over an image that downloaded correctly.

You can download Zoundry Blog Writer here. It is still free - an improved product for the same great price. The product is still in beta, but is steadily improving.

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1 comment:

Priyantha said...

Steve, Thanks for posting an update and a mini review on Blog Writer.

We have taken your approach on using Delicious tagspace to create a taxanomy for Blogger users. I have posted a 'tip' on this topic at the Zoundry Forums to share with our users.

(A link to the forum tip can be found at http://blog.zoundry.com/2005/09/custom-tags-my-delicious-blogger.html