Ok, I’ve been using WLW for over a year now and really enjoy the tool. However, there are a few nit-picking things that I have to be fixed in the darn thing along with some ideas that would benefit the product.
In the last two beta releases, they have improved the product substantially (download beta 3 here) with many visual and feature enhancements. My current favorite update was the ability to (finally!) schedule posting to my hosted WordPress blogs.
- Complete Blog Integration – I happen to be a WordPress (hosted on my domain – not wordpress.com) user and expect that all the features will work with it. Others use TypePad, Blogger, and others. Integrate the product work the same with all these blogging platforms as well as it does with Live Spaces.
- CSS Classes – I wish that the editor would parse the CSS from a selected blog and allow the user to use the CSS Classes to be applied to text/items in the post creation area. For example, I have a uniquely formatted class called “tags” for each of my blogs, and it formats my “Technorati Tags” with a right-justified arrangement with a border and background combo for each blog. Same type of class formatting for my abbreviations.
- Tag Info – Wish that the tags for the post itself (again the Technorati tags) could be fed to the blog as entries to the “tags” field in the database. This way, the tagging information can be appended to the post by the blogging software with my formatting, and without putting too much space and visual clutter into each post.
- Custom Tagging Tool – The ability to insert tags and have them pre-formatted with the proper URL each time is great. Here’s what would make it better. Allow me to completely write the HTML code for the tool – you’re close now, just get rid of any WLW specific HTML.
- True XHTML – This is one of the big ones. GET RID OF ANY CUSTOM “WINDOWS LIVE WRITER” HTML OR “WINDOWS LIVE” SPECIFIC HTML. The output of this editor MUST be pure XHTML to be truly cross platform usable. Luckily I’ve figured out how to work around this every time there is a new update to the editor, but others may not be able to do these workarounds. Simply, if a blog that the bloggers is publishing to is not Windows Live Spaces, then the custom HTML used by WLW should be disabled and the blog theme and CSS should be followed by WLW.
Well, that’s a handful of suggestions that need to be worked into the final release of Windows Live Writer. Didn’t plan on it being exactly five, but that’s how it works sometimes. Come on WLW team, let’s get this stuff right, you’re so close to matching my expectations, it’s not too hard to finish it properly.
Anyone else have some suggestions to the Windows Live Writer team?
UPDATE: Thanks to Kent Newsome’s Evening Reading post, I noticed another blogger mentioning WLW. Claus over at Grand Slam Dreams has written a quick review of WLW beta3. Also, for those of you looking for more information on the XHTML support in WLW beta3, check out Joe Cheng at whateverblog where he elaborates on WLW’s XHTML support