Windows Live Writer and Manila blogs

There’s a little virtual ink today about Windows Live Writer, a blog writing tool that launched on Friday and apparently uses the MetaWeblogAPI to publish to MSN Spaces or other blog authoring platforms. Interestingly, former ColdFusion guy JJ Allaire appears to be involved with this project, which to me suggests there’s more than meets the eye here: no way JJ would get involved with something that is only a blog publishing tool.

As always with these tools, I can’t test the auto-configuration feature because the version of Manila on my blog server doesn’t implement the getUsersBlogs method of the MetaWeblogAPI. Digging deeper it looks like the blog information is stored in the registry under HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareWindows Live WriterWeblogs. So I created a profile for another site that used the MetaWeblogAPI and tried editing the values to point to my Manila site instead. I’ll know in a second if that worked. —Oh well. Attempts to post are failing with a message Can’t split the URL because it is not of the form ‘‘—I assume that this is referring to the RPC URL on Manila servers, which has no . extension or trailing slash but just appends /RPC2 to the top level domain.

Out of box functionality: no way to do HTML entity conversion is apparent (which is why this post doesn’t have curly quotes).

I think this tool would probably look and work better with a more modern blogging platform; the automatic WYSIWYG preview is pretty cool for blogging platforms that support it, for instance. But Flock still works better.