This post is coming to you from Deepest Sender, an inline integrated blogging client for FireFox.
Now, I love my WLW. Always have, always will. Would have no other. But the product name says it all: Windows Live Writer. I want to remove myself from the happy Kool-Aid drinking Microsoft cult that is sweeping the world (right under the rug, may I add). While I admire big Bill and his Billions, I don’t want to contribute anymore to
his fund until he contributes to mine. So there.
At any rate, in my desperation to move to a Linux-based system, and in preparation for one day going to a Mac box instead of a PC, I want to find a replacement utility for WLW. There are lots of other wonderful programs I’m going to miss too, but right now the only one I can’t find a good substitute for seems to be WLW.
Enter Deepest Sender. I read a lot of blogs where folks are swearing by ScribeFire (mostly those without Windows-based OS’s), but when I tried ScribeFire I didn’t like it. Not one bit. You can get another opinion on it, if you don’t like mine, here. Like ScribeFire, Deepest Sender is an extension for FireFox that runs in the browser window. It was originally designed for use with LiveJournal (which is a particularly fussy and strange blog service, apparently), but now works with several. All I did was select the one I wanted from the drop-down list (in this case, WordPress; I’ll see about adding Blogger later). I entered the URL of my blog, hit next, fed my username and password and was on.
I haven’t posted this yet, so I don’t know how it handles the text and/or templates. Hopefully it won’t be too screwed up. Oh well, if it is you’ll never see the review until I post in through WLW telling you not to use Deepest Sender. Heh.
There are few options. It does let you select multiple categories from your own list of them. That’s nice, but once you’ve made your selections they’re invisible. I didn’t see a place to insert Technorati tags, either, and that was sort of a bummer. It means going back into every post and having to add them, then manually pinging the service.
It also doesn’t look to support the MORE tag allowed in WP now. I can add it through the “Source” tab on the sidebar, though; but unless you’re familiar with HTML tagging, you may not want to bother with all that. I happen to like doing a bit of it, but not all the time. The code editor in WP’s native window is probably more useful/powerful, since it has buttons for some of the more common tags.
The tabbed sidebar interface is useful, though. You can preview the post (just a blank text showing, though; no real advantage over the editing tab), and as mentioned, edit the source code if you need to. A good touch to add.
Also, there doesn’t seem to be an option for browsing to your images should you try to include one. You have to know the full path to type it in, or you can browse to it through My Computer or Windows Explorer and copy and paste the full address (and I would venture to say it must be the fully qualified path) to insert it. And you also have to specify the image size, so you’ll need to know that. And if you want to reduce or enlarge it, you’ll have to recalculate the dimensions manually; there’s no feature to allow you to retain the proportions.
I’m trying to insert an image here; we’ll see if I was able to do it or not, I guess.
Update: EPIC FAIL on images with Deepest Sender. But it DID ping Technorati; I’m not sure if that was just WP or if the categories did it.
Also, with the images, you have to decide on the vertical alignment and horizontal float. I have no idea how that works, but again, I’m trying it.
So, it’s not perfect, but short of just hanging onto WLW, nothing seems to be. For once, Microsoft has it right (write?) and everyone else needs to get in on it. Make one for Linux, guys; it’s an incredible tool.
At any rate, Deepest Sender seems to be a nice alternative to ScribeFire, but I doubt it will ever become my primary blogging utility. The best advantage it has is that it’s a sidebar utility, so you can post and see the post in your main browser window. You can probably copy and paste from the main window into the sidebar editing area, also, but I didn’t have a chance to test everything.
If you’ve used Deepest Sender and like it, sound off and let me know why. If you used it and don’t like it, holla back with why not there too. I’d love to get some other perspectives on this in case I’m just a dork and don’t do software tests very well.