Out of frustration with the msdn blog server's sluggish response on the administration side of the house, I decided to take a quick look at the recently launched Windows Live Writer (beta) blog composition tool.
I normally avoid installing stuff on the local machine, particularly for blogging, because I move between different machines quite a bit. Nothing is quite as frustrating as realizing that the bit that you need right now is not with you on the couch but way off in the spare bedroom/office or the desktop machine back at the office/office. I'm a big fan of "the web is the computer" mostly because I can get to my stuff from any PC that's conveniently at hand. All I need is a good net connection, and I've got plenty of that here at home now. (Even a poor net connection is doable - I check trivia and itineraries and email on my cell phone. Eventually, that is. I wish IMDB had a text-only web interface)
But when the web app isn't cutting it, it's time to look for alternatives, even if they are locally resident.
Windows Live Writer is pretty cool. Nice simple interface that puts you right into the mode of headline + article content. Creating a new post pops up a new app window - the old SDI (single document interface) app model is back in spades.
One quirk: Since the Windows Live Writer window title on the taskbar is the blog name and article title, it can be a little difficult to locate the Windows Live Writer window in a pile of browser and other apps. This is particularly true when you have your blog open in IE, since the window title will be almost identical to the Windows Live Writer window editing a post for that same blog.
I also found it interesting that Windows Live Writer is the brainchild of J.J.Allaire. JJ and brother Jeremy founded Allaire Corporation way back when, creating such things as Cold Fusion (a web server engine) and acquiring and popularizing Nick Bradbury's HomeSite - an IDE for web page creation. Homesite popped up on my radar back then because it was written in Delphi.
Hopefully Windows Live Writer will take some of the pain (and misspellings) out of my blogging so I can jot notes out here more often. It seems to be working - two blog posts in one day already!