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Live Writer Source Code & Tab Problems

    Question

  • (yes this is a long post, so what, I'm stating my case and being very thorough about this which should make people happy)

    Here it goes.

    Even though really Live Writer is the best tool out there for blog posting, I am very frustrated with Live Writer and the shortcomings from the Live Writer team in terms of standards (HTML) and just plain usability issues in the different tabs. 

    First off who can I complain to, is there hopefully for good usability practices a feedback form where customers can comment to the team on usability issues?

    Here are the pains with the latest live writer:

    1) I added an html table and a couple of styles in the source code editor/tab.  I previewed, it looked fine, it properly picked up styles (at least in the live writer preview) I had added at the top of the page inline.  I went back to the Edit tab and then back again to the preview and then to the source control tab and 2 things happened:

    a) Now the preview looks different, my styles that were working don't
    b) Now my source control table is all jacked up in terms of the tabs and spacing I had put in to make the html readable.  It's all messed up.

    2) So I close live writer, open it back up and open up that post again.  Now the source code tab is even worse...it stripped all the spacing I had period.  The HTML is one jumbled mess..meaning all in one damn paragraph!  How is one supposed to edit HTML when this stuff is stripped like this in Live Writer!

    3) I posted the article.  I noticed that any styles I had specified were also gone.  Example, I had this in the source code tab before posting:

    Well, it's not in the source of the page when rendered live.  It's gone.


    Also, I was never able to quite get the styles working that I had defined at the top of my source.  The first time I added that table and styles it looked great in preview.  Now for some reason, the same exact code, nothing has changed but live writer refuses to format it the right way in preview like it lost the ability to read styles!

    this is just a nightmare.  The editor is horrible in terms of custom coding stuff and preview tab not being consistent and keeping the formattting you put in there such as tabs, spacing, etc.! It also adds junk like <blocktext> <p></p>  what the ____ is that?  that's such trash!

    seriously, I would hope that the Live Writer team has a feedback mechanism and takes feedback from their customers seriously instead of driving what looks to me like a developer driven tool at this point.  These are obvious major usability shortfalls here and if they care about the success of Live Writer in terms of being able to really customize a post and edit basic HTML in it, this is very behind.  Because someone can EASILY create a WPF tool to do this and wipe out this tool in the future..hey maybe it's a good thing for me to work on?  What I'm saying here is there are a lot of major problems with this tool that the team needs to address instead of trying to go the route of adding so many features to it.  Get it working well first, meaning have it be very flexible, consistent, and reliable in those 3 tabs when you create a post and get that working flawlessly.  That has yet to be done.  Even Phil Haack is frustrated with the tool at times http://haacked.com/archive/2007/07/29/cleanup-the-____-that-windows-live-writer-injects-with-this.aspx

    I use Subtext and it sure would be nice if my issues above were seriously addressed or even able to be sent to the Live Writer team.  So if anyone knows how to contact them with feedback, please let me know.

    Right now I'm using Subtext for a major e-commerce site's blog.  So this is serious to me and my users who use Live Writer as the tool tool to post to our blog.  If I can't myself as a developer go into the source control tab and not have the problems I'm having and also with the preview (even though it's using our skin..the preview hops around and morphs every damn time you switch the tab reguardless) then what's the point of using live Writer?

    If my concerns can't be addressed and I know I"m not the only one having these issues, why doesn't MS open source Live Writer!  now there's an excellent idea so we can fix this ____.  If MS can't take usability and feedback and web standards into their products such as Live Writer, the best next thing is to fire the team doing live writer and just open source it! (I know I am being an ____, just frustrated here about usability and standards..I'm not the only one, just one out of 100s of thousands who are sick of this from MS).  h ell, I'll contribute and fix these shortcomings once and for all!

    C# Web Developer
    Friday, November 13, 2009 3:16 PM

All replies

  • I agree fully and it's driving me crazy. Why does such a good program have so many errors. I know I can go to other processors but Writer has some very good things going for it so I would prefer to stay here. Anyway, you have my full support. You tell it the way it is and I stand behind you. Seaworthy
    Wednesday, November 18, 2009 1:00 AM