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MarsEdit

This post sent from Mars!

MarsEdit doesn’t seem to autoconfigure for WordPress. It should be able to load the page, look for the Generator, and figure out that it’s a WordPress blog. Then it should fill in the XML-RPC URL, which is at a standard location, and put something into the ‘Blog ID’, about which I know nothing except that MarsEdit won’t refresh until something is there.

That said, once I did a bit of googling I found how to insert the XML-RPC URL (I wouldn’t have had a clue otherwise), and MarsEdit informed me that I needed a Blog ID before I could refresh. Not amazing, but nice enough.

Refreshing the blog got my recent entries as well as all of my categories (aka tags), so that was nice and automagic.

My next task was getting the preview looking good, and that was simple enough because I’m familiar with the HTML for this site, having written the PHP/XHTML/CSS that drives it. But for a novice digging into the tags would be daunting. It might be possible to auto-create the preview template after the first post, by retrieving the HTML that the blog posts, searching for the stuff you know about (title, weblog name, etc) and then replacing. It gets more complicated when you’re dealing with the entry itself, as the blog engine might have modified that in some way (if you use Textile or Markdown especially).

So, all in all, I’m impressed and I’ll take it for the 30 day spin I’ve got it for, and see how things go. I hope they go well.

One last note: I decided to add a new ‘Software Review’ category for this post, and others that I’m sure will follow. MarsEdit has no obvious capability to add categories, but that might be WordPress’ problem and not MarsEdit. So I went into the Web Interface for WordPress and added it, and then refreshed the blog in MarsEdit. My still-open post window didn’t update. I saved to Drafts, closed, and opened it again, and there my new category was. So MarsEdit could be a little smarter about populating the categories in the options drawer.