11 February 2016

Back in the land of the blogging

The arrival of Windows 10 was a mostly painless experience. Most software and hardware worked without problems. Entertainingly, perhaps, it was Microsoft’s own blogging tool that brought a temporary end to noodlings here.

In theory, you can write posts for this place in Microsoft Word. Unfortunately, there is a long standing conflict that means that while Word can connect to any number of blogging services it throws up its hands when you try to connect to Google’s Blogger service. It reports Cannot register blog account in Microsoft Word 2013 when you try to negotiate a connection to Blogger, even though Word offers this as one of its supported services.

In previous versions of Windows this was no big deal. You just installed one of a small bunch of utilities that went under the label Windows Essentials. This gave you the option to install “Movie Maker, Photo Gallery, OneDrive, Family Safety, Mail, Writer”.

The important one for bloggers was Windows Live Writer. It is a slim-line word processor that looked and worked a bit like Word and integrated nicely with Blogger. Sadly, it doesn’t install in Windows 10 and Microsoft has abandoned the whole Essentials idea.

The good news is that there are people out there, some of them within Microsoft even, who don’t like the decision to cast Live Writer into the wilderness. Thanks to their bosses, they have take the software and turned it into an open source fork.

Known as Open Live Writer, the new package first arrived at the end of 2015. The programmers quickly did what their colleagues at Microsoft had failed to do with Word over some years, they got it to talk nicely to Blogger.

OK, so we are back in business, with no need to mess around with cranky web interfaces that can crash when you are in mid flow.

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