As the title to this suggests, this blog post is about a new gadget that I have written for the Windows Vista Sidebar that makes use of Windows Live Writer. So what does this gadget allow you to do? Well first off, I’ll show you a screenshot of it and then go through that explaining what each part is:
Ok, so it’s all pretty self explanatory really, you click on New and it opens Live Writer with a new blog entry screen (it will use whichever blog was last used if you use multiple blogs), this isn’t actually something I can control unfortunately, so you can’t straight off choose which blog to use. Next we have Open, so you click on that and it opens the open blog post window, you select your blog entry, and Writer will open that blog entry. And finally, Options. This will open the options and defaults to the plugins section. I can change this if people want, depending on feedback that I get.
Ok, so that’s the obvious parts of the gadget done with, what else is there? Well, you can now drag and drop into the gadget itself. Let me give you an example: Say you have a picture on your computer that you would like to blog about, well now you just drag that picture file onto the gadget, and it will open up a new blog entry in Live Writer and preloads the picture into your blog entry. And it’s not just pictures, you can also drag a website’s URL from Internet Explorer (or Firefox) and it will create the blog entry with that information in it too; you can also drag an image URL, too, and it will put the image in (rather than the link as the normal URL part does).
So that’s the Live Writer Gadget, and for the first time, I’m not offering it as a straight download from my web domain like I normally do, it is only available from the Windows Live Gallery, so go give it a try and download it today . I’m open to all feedback on this, as well as any offers for helping with the GUI so if you need to get hold of me for feedback etc, then just email me at wlm[at]scottisafool.co.uk.
Ok, next I have another slight update to the Video plugin for Live Writer and is going to be the first of a series of extra options that I’m going to be rolling out for it. As you know, I recently changed the video plugin to include a drop down option so that you can choose how you want to embed the video into your blog entry, well, that option has now found itself in the sidebar of Live Writer, too.
So once you have made your selection and have the video in your blog entry, if you want to change it, you can do so now without deleting it and doing it again.
Now here’s the really cool thing, if you use my gadget and my video plugin, you can have seamless interaction. Say you’re on YouTube and you have a video you want to blog about, you can drag the link for it into the Sidebar gadget which will load Live Writer up, my video plugin will then kick in and pick up that video url and automatically insert the video into the blog entry, rather than just a link. The only issue with this feature is that the default setting for pasting a link in is to put the full embed code in, and when this is done via a Blog This application (whether the sidebar gadget, or Blog This for IE/Firefox) then the sidebar in Live Writer becomes useless and changing the option for the video doesn’t actually do anything. I don’t believe this is a fault with the plugin but I’m working with the Live Writer team to verify where the problem lies.
Anyway, the new version of the plugin (v126.96.36.199) can be downloaded at the usual place here.