Archive for June, 2007

No More Updates… For Now

This post is basically for my video plugin. I have made a decision that I will not be making any more minor updates to it for a while. This includes new features and services. Why, I hear you ask? Well, I’m going to start working on the next version of it. Simple huh. Although I won’t be releasing any new versions until the next major one is available, do please keep emailing me sites that you want adding (I already have two that will be in the next version), any features you find that could be useful; although though won’t get an immediate release (should I decide to add them in), they will find themselves in the next release. However, if there are bugs that get found that are pretty bad, then there might be an interim release with bug fixes.

So what sort of things do I have planned for the next version? Well, the main change is going to be in the UI. No, I’m not redesigning it (or at least I have no plans to), the changes will be in the language the UI appears in. For the next release I will be giving the plugin an international feel to it and include the ability to have different languages that the plugin will be available in. Next question I hear you asking, is what languages will it be available in? Honestly, I have no idea right now, so I’m open to suggestions.

If you would like to suggest a language (and no, Klingon does not count ), please email me at wlm[at]scottisafool.co.uk with it, but please remember, I speak English only, so if I cannot find a translator for the language in question, then it will not be included. I’m going to try and get the main languages done, I just need to get some translators together  Please use the same email address for any other comments or suggestions for the plugin. Alternatively, leave a comment someone on this blog and I’ll pick it up from there.

SL

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New Video Service Support Plus Special Guests

The ever increasing number of video services that my plugin supports has just grown again, adding another two to its list: BrightCove and DivShare, these have both been added as requests. Only videos will work from DivShare, so don’t try with MP3 links, it won’t work. It’s at this point with the plugin that I have decided to an extra bit of assistance to the plugin in the form of a quick helper window. It shows you what video services are supported and gives an example of each link type:

This can be got to by clicking the Examples link in the main window:

The other new feature in this version is specific to YouTube videos. Recently they added a related videos bar that appears in embedded videos. There is now an option if you put this in your blog entry to turn it off:

This option is only visible when a YouTube URL is used, otherwise it’s hidden. This option is not one that can be set in the options, and by default is turned on, so if you don’t want it there, you have to turn it off.

This build also comes with a couple of minor bug fixes, and a correction to how Yahoo! videos are dealt with, due to them changing the way they have their URLs. Don’t forget, this now uses the new installation method that my installers use, so if you have a previous version of the plugin, go to C:\Program Files\Windows Live Writer\Plugins and delete the InsertVideo.dll, then run the installer.

As always, you can download the Video Plugin from the Live Gallery.

SL

 
Whilst writing this I was listening to GarbageQueer

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Google Bersetzer Steckbar

Hopefully, the title of this post is correct (it’s German, allegedly, for Google Translator Plugin), which should give an indication of what this latest plugin is about. Thanks to shahpuyush’s post, I discovered an unofficial API for Google’s translator service, so I figured, hey, why not make a plugin for it. So I did:

Usage is easy, put your text in the top box, select your translation, and click translate. You’ll see the translated text in the bottom box, if you’re happy with the translation, click insert and it will put that translated text into your blog entry.

I have decided to make this little plugin OpenSource, and so is available on CodePlex, along with a download for the installer. The installer will be put on Live Gallery, I’m just waiting for it to be approved.

SL

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New Installers? What’s the Story?

As I mentioned in my post for Insert Video Jnr I am now using a different installer method for my plugins. This new deployment method has come about as a new option for Live Writer with beta 2’s release, the full documentation of which can be viewed on MSDN. The method I have adopted is the second one, but what does this actually mean to those who aren’t deploying plugins themselves?

Well, for a start, it means that the plugins from me will no longer be installed into the %ProgramFiles%\Windows Live Writer\Plugins folder as they have done before, they get installed by default to %ProgramFiles\ScottIsAFool\<PluginName>\. Ok so far. Now the trouble is, what happens if you have already installed my Video Plugin, for example? Well, as it stands, using the new installer alone will mean that when you open Writer up, you will end up with two instances of the plugin. I have put some instructions in the installer as prerequisites to installing any of the new plugins. I shall repeat them here:

"Please make sure you remove any previous versions of this plugin. You may need to go to  Add/Remove Programs (XP) or Programs and Features (Vista) in your Control Panel. If you don’t  have anything in there for this plugin, then please go to C:\Program Files\Windows Live  Writer\Plugins (or your equivalent in your language) and delete the plugin dll from there."

Now, some of the older plugins that have recently been updated, like the I’m Feeling Lucky plugin might not have been installed using an installer as there was a time where I gave the plugins simply in a zip file. Well, to counter for this, I have created just a simple little utility that lists the plugins of mine that you currently have installed in your Plugins folder, and lets you select which ones you want to remove (if you’re installing a newer version). The utility itself looks like this:

So just select the plugins you want to remove and press Remove. After they have been deleted, if you choose not to close the program, you can press the refresh button and make sure that they have gone. Once all this has been done, then you can install the newer plugin.

The Cleaner can be downloaded from here.

SL

 
Whilst writing this I was listening to The HivesHate To Say I Told You So

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Latest Member of the Family

It was recently brought to my attention that if you blog using WordPress’s hosted service (www.wordpress.com), then you were unable to use my video plugin due to the fact that they strip out the embed code, so you have to use their own method of doing it, and worse still, they only support 3 video services: YouTube, Google Video and DailyMotion. I had a long think about it, trying to work out if it was worth changing my current plugin to support this, and decided that it wasn’t. Due to you being able to put the embed code in, there are a lot of features that you simply can’t choose from my plugin. So I have decided to make another plugin, just for hosted WordPress blogs.

So I bring the latest member of the family: Insert Video Jnr

Usage is easy, you get the video link for the site and put it in, almost like its big brother, except for DailyMotion. You will need to do as describe in the WordPress FAQ for inserting a DailyMotion, up until they say to take the code out, for my plugin, all you need is the web address that looks like the following: http://www.dailymotion.com/swf/5zYRy1JLhuGlP3BGw. Just stick that link in and click insert.

Once it’s inserted into the blog entry it will look like one of these:

[YouTube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=LbVNZ-cghz0]
YouTube – The Mysterious Cities of Gold – full opening theme

[GoogleVideo=http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=-3141509741273364942]
The Mysterious Cities of Gold – 01 – Esteban, Child Of The Sun – Google Video

It’s when it gets published that the video will be shown. Later on, depending on how popular the plugin becomes, I do have something in mind to give the blogger a better idea of what their post will look like with the video in.

This plugin also marks the first plugin to use my new installer process. Before, the installer would place the plugin in C:\Program Files\Windows Live Writer\Plugins. This is no longer the case. All my plugin installers will be changing to the new folder structure, which will be C:\Program Files\ScottIsAFool\<PluginName>\<PluginName>.dll. But don’t worry, this will still automatically get loaded with Writer without the file being dropped into the Plugins folder. I’ll do another post when all the plugins have been moved over to the new installer with further instructions as you will need to uninstall or remove any previous versions.

Anyway, download Insert Video Jnr from Windows Live Gallery.

SL

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Windows Live Writer’s New APIs, Deployment Methods And A Hidden Extra

With last week’s release of beta 2 of Windows Live Writer, the Writer Team released a new set of API documentation, but not for plugin development (sadly), rather for Blog Service Providers to enable features within Writer itself. This means that if a blog service enables a feature that Writer can use, say the excerpt feature, then they can create a new wlwmanifest.xml that goes in the root of the blog directory, Writer will then detect this file and enable the features as described in that manifest file.

To try this out, I used my test blog to change some of the settings, just simple things like the text to display to open the blog from within Writer. The results looked like this:

As you can see, I have just replaced Blog with Ferret. Of course, there are a whole host of settings that can be enabled and changed, all of which are documented on MSDN. The XML file that I used for this is as follows:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?> 
<manifest xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/wlw/manifest/weblog">
<options>
    <clientType>Metaweblog</clientType>
    <supportsNewCategories>Yes</supportsNewCategories>
    <supportsTrackbacks>No</supportsTrackbacks>
    <supportsEmbeds>Yes</supportsEmbeds>
</options>
<weblog>
    <serviceName>Ferret Blogger</serviceName>   
    <homepageLinkText>View your Ferret</homepageLinkText>
    <adminLinkText>Edit your space</adminLinkText> 
</weblog>
</manifest>

There is a great, real usage of this that Scott Hanselman has made for a newer daily build of dasBlog, where he shows some of the changes you can make, like including your own buttons.

One of the other new changes in Writer is the deployment methods for plugins. There are now two additional methods other than hard coding the installer to put it in %ProgramFiles%\Windows Live Writer\Plugins. The new installer creates a registry entry for the InstalDir which the installer can get the install directory from, and then work it from there. Or you can put your plugin in a directory of your choice, and install a registry key to tell Writer where the plugin is located. This latter method is actually the one my own plugins will now be using, the new installers for those will be rolling out soon.

Now, the hidden extra that I mention, is actually something that is in the plugin APIs, and has actually been there the whole time; the difference being, up until now, it didn’t do anything. If we go back to my original tutorial, we had this for the CreateContent method that we override:

public override DialogResult CreateContent(IWin32Window dialogOwner, ref string newContent)
        {

Well in this method we get passed a string reference called newContent, which, with the release of beta 2 of Writer, now actually does something. If you highlight any text within the editor and click on a plugin, then the plugin will receive the full HTML code for the highlighted text, which you can then use in your plugin. This can be seen in use in my I’m Feeling Lucky plugin.

Note: I should mention that the newContent trick is only for simple plugins, not for SmartSource ones.

SL

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Get A Real Spellchecker For Writer

Update: The download location is no longer available. I have modified this blog entry to reflect that.

Are you a non-American? Want real spell checking for Windows Live Writer? I know I do! I was browsing the net today when I found this little gem from Graham Chastney’s blog. The instructions are easy, download a clx dictionary file (in this case, British), you only need the clx file, and put it into C:\Program Files\Windows Live\Writer\Dictionaries. Rename the original file (the American one) from ssceam2.clx to ssceam2_old.clx and rename your new dictionary file to ssceam2.clx. Then start Writer and you will have the British dictionary loaded. 

I have put the dictionaries in my SkyDrive area for download and I have included the following languages (remember, you only need to download the clx files, although I have included the tlx files as well):

American English
British English
Canadian English
Dutch
Danish
French
Finnish
Italian
German (pre-reform)
German (reform)
Norwegian
Portuguese
Portuguese
Spanish
Swedish

http://cid-fabdddc5cad93494.skydrive.live.com/browse.aspx/Dictionaries. These dictionaries have come from TextPad.

I should note that this is unsupported, so if you balls up your Writer installation by doing this, I take no responsibility, and neither will the Writer team if you contacted them.

SL

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