Offline Blog Post Editing

Writing Blog ArticlesExponent provides an excellent environment for writing and sharing articles or 'blogs'.  A site where the 'back-end' is on the front-end and a variety of what-you-see-is-what-you-get WYSIWYG editors take away some of the creative hassles with writing.  Another nice convenience for writing articles which is found on other blog applications (like WP), is editing the articles offline by using an application to manage and edit multiple blog articles.  Though there was preliminary support for this feature in the v0.99beta1 release (before v2.x), it has not been available to the v2.x code line...until now.  

Why would you want to use a desktop application to edit articles instead of simply using the browser?

  • Submitting the same or similar articles to multiple blogs or sites
  • Simultaneously working on many draft articles (beginning a new article while have several unfinished articles)
  • Not having immediate, unrestricted access to a reliable high-speed internet connection, but you have your PC

The new offline blog editing feature will be available in the next release (currently at v2.3.4patch1).  It will be turned OFF by default, but can be turned on using 'Site Configuration' under the 'Security' tab.  It has been tested with several offline blog applications (mostly Windows based) such as Windows Live Writer, Zoundry Raven, Blog2Post, Windows 2007+, and ScrybeFire running in the Chrome browser.  Most of these interface with the blog site by adding an account.  This account creation process attempts to determine the type of blog, but all require the following information.

  • user logon name (with create/edit permission to a blog module)
  • user password
  • url to the blog web page - www.mysite.org/my-blog
  • url to the blog xmlrpc interface (blog post url) - www.mysite.org/xmlrpc.php
  • type of blog - Metaweblog API (NOT WordPress, nor Blogger, etc...)
  • image/picture uploading handled by - the blog provider

During the process, the offline application attempt to determine the type of blog, but will likely need some assistance in completing the process.  You should be shown the list of all the blog modules on the site.  Most applications will require a separate account be created for each blog module on the site, where others may only display the first blog module listed from the site.

Many of these applications provide support for publishing the article or posting it as a draft, tags (adding new tags or selecting from existing tags), categories (adding new categories or selecting from existing ones), setting the article publish date, inserting graphics, boilerplate templates, downloading the site 'theme' for better offline previews, and turning off user comments.  Some of these features require they be turned on within that blog module.  You may even be able to pull down recent or all blog posts from that blog to edit or archive.

All-in-all, another tool in the Exponent CMS arsenal to assist you in maintaining and managing your web site.

Windows Live Writer

About the author

Dave Leffler
Exponent CMS Developer

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