[Update: Once published the maps were askew, so fixed that]
Now that I have had a chance to use Live Write for a bit, I thought I’d post my feedback so far.
What do I like?
Overall, I like it – its so far been the best tool I have used of its kind. I tried using Word 2007, but for me that never worked and it gets stuck in a loop – and keeps asking me for a credentials, which even after entering the correct one does not go work. I do not get any error or exception (though I have not had time to attach the debugger and see – maybe this weekend).
I like the GUI and overall if you are use to Microsoft software then this one is well layed out and just feel natural. I also like the fact that there is an SDK which lets you create plugins for this (e.g. the Currently Listening plugin which adds the song details at the end of this post). Also the image ftp upload works without any issues.
You can get a list of the plugins available from here. At the moment I have used DeeDee’s Code Writer and the Listening plugin mentioned above. Some of you might also like the flickr one if you use that.
I also like the whole drop shadow thing it does when adding images. And while the map is definitely cool, its still not very functional. E.g. I live in Clapham Common, south London shown in the map below (you can see both the Road and Aerial views). I think as an initial beta, all this is very nice. But there certainly can be a lot of improvements. The whole push pin (see the big ugly thing in red), is well just ugly. Also, the search outside of US is not perfect. E.g. I cannot search using post codes in the UK.
What don’t I like?
There are a few thins that are quite annoying. Overall nothing is a showstopper, but it is just the small bugging things – and frankly the difference which makes this overall difficult. Here are the things I am hoping that are fixed in the next drop:
- MDI application – currently this is a SDI, and if you have more than one posts open then it very quickly gets very crowded and irritating. I wish there were tabs that I could use to switch between posts.
- When a post is published successfully why is that post still open in the Window. There should be a dialog box or that post gets closed, or it automatically closes that post and shows you an empty window. But wait, this is not a MDI app, so cannot do that.
- Support for png sucks; jpg is fine.
- The whole Open post dialog does not work for me. I don’t like the fact there is only one view for the posts and not any option to view a details or list, etc.
- I wish it had a similar spell check like Word. It does spell check, but not the same with the squiggles as Word.
- No support for smilies. But all is not lost, as CS 2.1 can change certain text e.g. [ 🙁 ] (without the spaces), gets converted into .
- Maybe this can be another plugin that someone can write – where you can predefine text which can be replaced.
- And while we are at it, someone can write a plugin for Google Maps, now that would be cool.
- To see the issues that others are having check out the forum. Though I don’t know if anyone from the Live Writer team is following up on this as I don’t see them active on this.
I cannot comment on the SDK, as I have not had the time to play with it and from the looks of it I won’t get around to it in the near future.
Also, its worth noting that to use Live Writer you would need .NET 2.0 runtime x86 (you can get the x64 version or the IA64 version depending on your platform). While this might not be a problem for those on a high speed internet connection. For those on a dialup this might be an issue because of the hefty download size.
I’m rocking out to Paathshala-Be A Rebel by Blaaze, Aslam, Naresh Iyer from the album Rang De Basanti