I would really like a better way to edit blogs. Get in, bang out some text, publish, get out. Fast, simple, no surprises.

Summary: complete and utter failure.  Nothing was simple and clean to use, and very few worked reliably.  It appears hopeless.

 

Blog Editors

Desired Features

Required

  • Continuous spelling checker. I want misspelled words to be underlined in red, with suggestions available when I right-click on them.
  • xhtml / plain text editor with live preview. I need to see how the post looks before hitting "publish".
  • Draft posts. I should be able to save a post as a draft on the server, then resume it later using a different editor.
  • Offline mode. I should be able to write posts without a network connection.
  • Easy in, easy out. I want to launch the program, write, and post. Don't get in my way.
  • Must feel fast. This makes web-based and Java-based solutions unrealistic but not impossible I suppose.
  • No spyware. No nag screens.

Would be Nice

  • WYSIWYG editor that works in tandem with the xhtml editor. It can serve as the live preview.
  • Both category and keyword (tag) support.
  • Support multiple blogs / multiple users.
  • Simple interface. There's no need for massive toolbars and tons of text entry widgets.
  • Free sure would be nice. So would cross-platform.
  • Image and file upload would definitely be nice.
  • Should be able to easily edit posts on the server and publish the edits.

Irrelevant

  • Trackbacks. Only spammers use em.

What Luis wants: http://tieguy.org/blog/2006/03/26/well-blah/

The Overall Winner

BlogDesk! But not by much -- it wouldn't be hard for another program to take the lead.

Linux Editors

New Verdict: Performancing can't edit its own posts without messing up the formatting. It also munges the draft and published-on flags. With some bug fixing, Performancing would be the best but, right now, Linux doesn't have a single blog posting program that I find to be acceptable.
Old Verdict: Performancing. Not a single one of these Linux-specific programs is usable for me, each one for different reasons. All the features have been implemented, just not all in the same program.

Drivel

http://www.dropline.net/drivel/

Version: 2.0.2, 9 July 2005

- Starting to look abandoned.
+ Excellent in-line spelling checker
- No WYSIWYG editor, no live preview
- All edit tools are in a menu rather than a toolbar. Weird.
- It's a pain to edit old posts. Menus are a pain to navigate, hierarchical ones triply so.
- Decent offline support
+ Has categories
- Doesn't support keywords

BloGTK

http://blogtk.sourceforge.net/

Version: 1.1, 11 Jan 2005

- Appears dead.
- No spelling checker
+ Has categories
+ Has keywords
- Overly complex
+ Allows xhtml editing. No wysiwyg but does have preview.
- Editing existing posts is overcomplex
+ Supports multiple blogs
- Missing tt, ul, li. Doesn't matter too much since you're typing by hand anyway.
- Since you're typing xhtml, it should have a pre-post validator.

Gnome-Blog

http://www.gnome.org/~seth/gnome-blog/

Version: 0.8, 12 Jan 2005

- Appears dead.
- "WYSIWYG" editor that's only wysiwyg if you want bold or italic.
- No way to drop to xhtml.
- No spelling check
- No drafts. No offline mode.
- No categories. No keywords.
- No multiple blog support (well, you could add it to the toolbar multiple times but that's a waste of screen real estate)
+ Quick in, quick out.
+ Free, fast, simple.

Monkey Journal

http://www.gnome.org/~clarkbw/monkey-journal/

Vesion: 0.6, 3 Aug 2004

- Appears dead.
+ Looks like it could have been excellent. Has a lot of features I'm looking for but I didn't bother setting it up because the last release is over 2 years old.

LogJam

http://logjam.danga.com

Version: 4.5.1, 19 Jan 2006

+ Looks very much alive.
- Only works with LiveJournal so I can't use it.

KBlogger

Version: 0.6.2, 21 May 2006

- Almost no features. No wysiwyg, no preview.
- No categories. No keywords.
+ Fast in & out.
+ Project still looks alive.

Windows Editors

Best appears to be Zoundry.

SharpMT

http://www.randyrants.com/sharpmt/

Version: 3.2.1, 9 July 2006

- Only supports a single blog
+ Save as Draft
- Buggy. I get null reference exceptions when I try to switch to Advanced mode.
+ Spelling checker
+ Upload Images
- Can't edit posts on the server.
+ Support for server-side text filters. That's awesome.
+ Appears totally free as in beer.
- No source code.

Is there any chance SharpMT will work under Mono? That way it could run on Mac and Linux too.

bTonga

http://www.nomoa.com/index.php/news/c34/

Version: 0.7.0.1 April 2006

+ FREE, Open Source
+ WYSIWYG editor
+ Multi-blog support
+ Upload Images (FTP or Metaweblogapi)
- requires .NET 2.0
- No Spell Check

w.bloggar

http://www.wbloggar.com/

Version: 4.00.193, 21 Mar 2006

+ Multiple accounts
+ xhtml editing and preview but no wysiwyg.
+ Categories (but no keywords?)

Zoundry

http://zoundry.com/

Version: 1.0.29, 29 June 2006

- Poor spelling checker, but at least it does have one.
+ WYSIWYG editor, xhtml editor.
+ Tag Words
+ Good posting history.
+ Multi-blog support
- Complex interface.
- Not speedy
- Expect to make money through affiliate programs.

Semagic

http://semagic.sourceforge.net/

Version: 1.5.8.7, 25 June 2006

- Appears coupled tightly to LiveJournal. I don't use LJ so I won't review it here.

BlogDesk

http://www.blogdesk.org/

Version: 2.5, 11 May 2006

+ Free (as in speech), no nagware.
+ Spelling Checker
+ Interface is very clean

Qumana

http://www.qumana.com/

Seems to be some sort of associate program?

WBEditor

$$$ http://www.wbeditor.com

Ecto

$$$ http://ecto.kung-foo.tv/

BlogJet

$$$$ http://www.blogjet.com/

RocketPost

$$$$$

- Very shady marketing: http://www.randyrants.com/2006/03/rocketpost.html

Macintosh Editors

I don't have a Mac. I hope someone with a Mac can fill in here. Here are some candidates:

Cross-Platform Editors

Performancing

Version: 1.2, 21 Apr 2006

This adds a small icon to the bottom of the Firefox window. Click the icon and edit the blog. Its editor is quite good.

+ Multi-blog support
+ wysiwyg editor, xhtml editor. - The wysiwyg editor generates very poor xhtml. Lotta linebreaks, unreadable.
- No tt, strikethrough, underline, etc.
- No spelling checker.
+ Supports drafts. I think.
- Not really. It will randomly publish articles. It also changes the published date when saving an edit. Finally, it can screw up its own formatting. Editing posts is very unreliable.
- Notes are strange. They're hard to save, hard to push to blog. Easy to make a mistake and publish an old note to your blog, blowing away new changes. Be careful.
- No image upload
- Expect to make money through affiliate programs.

JBlogEditor

http://www.javio.com/JBlogEditor/

Version: 0.6

- No spelling checker
- Doesn't support MT or MetaBlog. Very limited configuration.
- Crashy. At least, it crashed on me twice (bomb out with null ptr exception).
- It's a 10 MB download and it takes forever to start up. Not fast & light.
+ Interface seems reasonably simple.

Flock

http://www.flock.com

I'm not interested in very tightly integrated, very heavyweight programs so I didn't bother to review Flock. I want a tight little blog poster, not a full social networking solution.

MozBlog

http://mozblog.mozdev.org/

- Dead project.

Zempt

http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=75795

- Dead project.

Other

Keith McCall has a good set of reviews here: http://www.keithmccall.com/keith/?cat=19

Actually that's really weird. It gives me "Forbidden: You don't have permission to access /keith/ on this server" on Linux FireFox, but it works fine on Windows FireFox. How could this be? Is he checking the user agent???

You can find more desktop clients on http://www.typosphere.org/trac/wiki/DesktopClients