Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Why is it there are 299,792,458 media players for Linux . . .

. . . and no decent blogging clients?

For the past while, I've been using ScribeFire to post to my various blogs. It's got all the features I want, but it's a bit of a resource hog, which is a concern when your computer is seven years old. Back in my Windows days, I used to use Windows Live Writer, one of those rare good Microsoft applications. However, I didn't succeed in installing it under Wine, and I have yet to find anything even vaguely comparable (apart from the aforementioned ScribeFire).

I'd like to say I've come to the conclusion that no decent Linux blogging client exists after months of testing and deliberation. But the truth is, it came after minutes of browsing the repositories, followed by fail and complaining. Here's what I've tried:

  • gnome-blog supports only one blog at a time without reconfiguring it, and while it supports Blogger as well as WordPress and Movable Type blogs hosted on one's own site, it lacks support for It also has a very limited feature set: bold, italic, Add Link, and Post Entry). By the time you read this, I'll have gone into Blogger's editor to add some extra formatting (like this bulleted list). However, it seems OK for quick and dirty posting of short notes or links, so I think I'll keep it around. (Update: Oh, and it mangles HTML too, now that I've seen the source code of this post.)
  • Drivel is a GNOME client that supports (amongst others) Blogger, LiveJournal, and Movable Type blogs. But I wouldn't know, because as soon as I attempted to log in to one, Drivel died.
  • BloGTK, on the other hand, didn't do that much. At least Drivel tried, but BloGTK never even started. After a little experimentation, it turns out that BloGTK depends on a package called python-html2, which is not supported in Lucid. Grr. Some googling brought me back to the author's Web site, where I was able to install BloGTK 2.0 from his PPA (Ubuntu's repos only offer version 1.1). So far I've tried to set up an account for my main blog, but BloGTK wants to grey out and freeze up when I try to retrieve posts from it. While that's a little better than 1.1 did, I still don't know whether to be optimistic or annoyed.

In the meantime, ScribeFire still works, albeit slowly. But I've come to the conclusion that Linux developers must not blog, otherwise someone would have tried to make life easier for himself.

Here is my wish list:

  • support for Blogger, WordPress, are essential; Drupal, b2evolution, and Nucleus would be nice as well
  • support for multiple blogs
  • blog post tagging/categories
  • cross-posting to multiple blogs

Any suggestions?