I have been sitting here for almost 8 hours, I wanted to write a lot. I have many thoughts, I am itching to write, but damn, I can't open my GMail account and use it to compose my thoughts for posting or for later.
I browsed all directories, pages and search results for "desktop blogging application", "blog writer software", "offline blogging tools", etc.. and yes, I found a lot. Here are most of my observations why one software just wouldn't match my criteria:
- Most offline standalone tools are not free. Its either they are shareware or would only offer you a trial version–ergo, it will eventually expire. Man, I hate to make myself crave for something I can't buy, therefore, I'd automatically look away.
- Most free offline standalone tools would only allow you to use the features only after registration of your (famous) account details onto the software itself. It will only recognize blog accounts from Wordpress, Blogger, Blogspot, MovableType, Typepad, .TEXT, etc. I think I could go on enumerating, whereas, all I wanted was to type away my thoughts and store them in a blog-like format.
- Most online tools are for those who own their own domains and have full control to the servers they are using. These are often called Weblog Tools. This may include bBlog, b2evolution, and a lot more. Next!!!
- I browse through another keyword, and I find some word processing online. Sure it can do some part of the much needed to do task, but its still not the one I wanted/needed. Though, I loved this http://writer.bighugelabs.com/, it can only store plain documents in text.
The closest thing I've come to what I wanted as a desktop offline blogging tool (not necessarily a publishing tool) were RocketPost, CoffeeCupBlogger, ThingaMaBlog, BlogJet, and the features of WriteToMyBlog. Here is how I compare them:
- RocketPost, CoffeeCupBlogger, ThingaMaBlog, and BlogJet all have beautiful interfaces. The toolbars and buttons look just like you're inside your usual MS Word Processor.
- RocketPost, CoffeeCupBlogger, ThingaMaBlog, and BlogJet allow saving of posts locally and offer previews of your posts
- CoffeeCupBlogger can export your post into Flash format which is customizable up to a certain extent. This is cool!
- RocketPost, CoffeeCupBlogger, and BlogJet are shareware, and were only available as trial softwares upon download.
- ThingaMaBlog is free, but it assumes you have your own server for posting articles.
- Trying out some hackish behavior to skip the setting of your "real" blog, I was able to sneak peek into RocketPost's features. It was great and it was almost similar to my ideal blogging software, except that its kinda buggy. It kept crashing whenever I try to save a trial post.
- BlogJet, on the other hand, just won't let you in without the recognized blog APIs/standards. Ergo, I haven't tried its features yet. I bet the other bloggers who are into Wordpress, Blogger, etc might love this one.
- WriteToMyBlog is by far the best feature-loaded blogging tool I have found, but with one major drawback. Thing is, it cannot save anything. It is merely a gateway for your posts. And another thing, it is still accessible only when you're online. Sigh..
Here is what I have in mind. I want a desktop blogging application that is:
- It can act like a processing application similar to MS Word's capabilities but will not limit it to plain text. It can switch previews into TEXT/HTML.
- It will allow inclusion of photos from external sources (Multiply, ImageShack, Flickr, Ringo, etc)
- It will auto save my post as I type, so that I will not lose any of it in cases of power failures or browser failure.
- It will allow synchronization of published posts with local copy. (Although I have discussed this in my backup post wherein I have suggested an alternative to manual synchronization or backup).
- It can allow me to save my posts locally for later or for storage.
- It can allow me to have it compiled and exported into one HTML/PDF format or embeddable SWF format
Thing is, Google's email compose box is a good blogging tool but since I had this feeling of inability to use my GMail account, I felt a strong desire to grab a tool that I can install for this purpose. This is how I ended up searching for blogging tools. To name some alternatives, you can also try to use Google Docs and Spreadsheets for this purpose. My honey also suggested using MS FrontPage (although I really wouldn't go near that). MS FrontPage eats a lot of bytes fro simple HTML stuffs. Its not advisable to use that since Internet space is too precious to waste. (Peace to those MS FrontPage lovers)
Well, I guess that was too much to ask. I guess, I better make my own. (Unless I can wait for Google Writer) Since I'll be technically off from fulltime work, I'll to squeeze this into my list of projects. Let's see how it'll fare with the others.