ecto is now our blogging tool. It’s not perfect but it does the job

Since the original purpose of this blog was to investigate the world of blogging, I figure that there should be a post to announce that we have just purchased ecto. That’s the announcement. There are more thoughts, so I will ramble on in the next pane (click the Continue reading link for more on this subject.)

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Blogging, using the WordPress web interface is possible. So, no additional software is really necessary just to write and publish a blog entry. For the dedicated blogger, I guess there is really no excuse for not publishing regularly as long as there is an Internet-ready terminal nearby. But web interfaces are slow and bit awkward. Since a post requires thought, writing and editing, formatting, linking pictures, and some consideration to tags and categories, it is useful to have a program that facilitates the whole process.

The first program we used was MarsEdit. This was capable, and easy. Essentially the concept was that writing a blog entry should be like sending the blog an email. You can see what I was doing with MarsEdit by looking at my August entries.

My discovery of ecto at the end of November actually taught me some new aspects of blogging. It included some of the features of a blog that will help promote readership. (BTW, and as an aside, take a look at the link at the beginning of this paragraph. I could not do that with MarsEdit, and if I can do that with ecto, at this point, I don’t know how. That link was done in PageSpinner. As links go, it is more interesting than your average link. Look. Hold your cursor over the link. If you are using a modern browser, a popup box will tell you that the link is to “The article called: Blog Features Learned Using Ecto”. Next, if you choose to click that link, the article will appear in a new web window.)

One of the great features of programs like ecto and MarsEdit is that you can ask them to Refresh and the program will go to the blog site and synchronize itself with the blog. This means that the program maintains a mirror of the whole blog. This is great as a backup. It is also useful because sometimes, after I’ve published an article, I will find something about it that I’d like to change or tweak. It is easy to pop into the web editing interface and make the change. Later, using Refresh, this ensures that my local records duplicate the online blog.

On December 9 I found that ecto would hang when I clicked Refresh. The author of the program maintains a phpBB forum (I run a couple of those myself) so I posted my problem here. If you click the here link you will see that several other people experienced the same problem, and the author of ecto responded quickly and personally. I appreciate that.

I was finding that by using ecto I was exploring new features of blogdom and posting has become so easy that it is almost fun.

When I find shareware that I use and like, I am delighted to reward the author with my business.

That said, I’d like ecto better if I didn’t have to go to PageSpinner to crank out fairly normal HTML.

Also, there is a problem that I don’t really understand yet. Often I modify the HTML so that the text of my article will appear beside the thumbprints of photos. Some of that HTML seems to vanish if I then try to edit the article. There is a process in either ecto or WordPress that strips some of the internal magic that I add to the HTML.

Ecto may actually do more than I know, but I am finding that the documentation is not always helpful.


2 Responses to “ecto is now our blogging tool. It’s not perfect but it does the job”

  1. 1 Robert December 21, 2006 at 8:34 am

    That comment about having to make better links in PageSpinner is not correct. It seems that ecto can do it all. Here is how.

    – write the text that the reader will see as the link.
    – select the text.
    – choose menu EDIT > CREATE LINK > URL ASSISTANT and a dialog box appears with a window for the URL, the selected text, the title that will popup if the browser hovers over the link, and the target command that will cause the link to appear in the same window, or a new window and so forth.

    – that dialog box can be accessed with (apple cmd)U

  1. 1 MarsEdit has been Acquired by Red Sweater « Salish Sea Trackback on February 22, 2007 at 3:11 pm

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