Cool old colleague promotes hot new tool!!!!!
Duncan Mackenzie, a fellow I had the extreme pleasure to work with for a short time at EDS Canada (formerly EDS Systemhouse), is a noted author of several books around Microsoft technologies (among other subjects), frequent contributor to MSDN Magazine, and has most recently on his (apparent) main blogging site taken to promoting a tool recently released by Microsoft that could revolutionize the blogosphere – Windows Live Writer (WLW).
There’s not much on the net about this just yet – Duncan works for Microsoft and does, among other things, the column called ‘Coding4Fun’ featured on Microsoft’s main Webster within its MSDN properties. This might explain why its unveiling hasn’t appeared in any of the numerous online tech journals. But as a rich-client, WLW offers a lot more than a web page’s textarea or even fancy AJAX-driven controls:
- a word-processor-like environment with an auto-save feature; how many times have I lost text because the web browser crashed because some page threw a pop-up in another tab that blew it up?
- Integration with MSN Spaces (and in the near future other blogs) which extend features thorough controls (e.g. category via a dropdown in the main window),
- a blog preview mode that presents the new article within the MSN Spaces (and presumably any other blogsite’s) frames & presentation wrappers to show you exactly what the article will look like once published,
- full FrontPage-like editing; with toolbars, allowing one to build tables and more advanced text editing features not generally available via using the online editors, and
- Themes & layout controls, giving the blogger options unavailable (so far as I know) to the regular user editing via the browser.
To boot, the WLW team has already released a plug-ins SDK, seemingly learned the lessons brought to all by Google of late that developer support can truly yield big dividends building market penetration on the net!
All-in-all, this is quite a package and since my MSN Messenger bot project has kinda got itself sidelined by "real" work lately (strictly the result of landing in hospital for 1½ months this summer – which only allowed work to pile high on my desk), I’m looking for something lighter-weight and maybe throwing up a plug-in here with whatever spare time – ha – I’ll have in the weeks ahead will be something I can deliver on….
Yeah, right. 🙂 Hey – no smiley feature??? Looks like this thing needs work guys!!!!