Client Test (MarsEdit)

Next up on my list of apps to test with WordPress is MarsEdit. This app and Ecto are usually mentioned as the apps to use for offline blog writing.

MarsEdit deals with offline posts as I’d expect. It keeps them in its own database somewhere, out of my way, not cluttering up my filesystem. This is a good thing.

MarsEdit also handles multiple blogs quite well. Adding a new blog is as trivial as giving it a URL and signing in to the blog. (Ecto is that easy, too, by the way.) I can manage posts from multiple blogs right here in one app in one unified window. Very nice.

MarsEdit fails me on my basic desires, though. First up, it’s not a rich text editor. It’s an HTML editor (in plain text) that happens to take double newlines as marking new paragraphs. It gives me a mostly live preview of what my text will look like when made rich (i.e., when the markup is converted to style), but I want a rich text editor. I don’t want an HTML editor. The HTML editor is somewhat novel, however: I can select text and apply the appropriate markup for bold by hitting Command-B, as expected. (And Command-I for italic, etc.) Instead of making the text bold, though, in the editing window, it just inserts the appropriate HTML code. The editor does have the expected popup menu, however, that includes all the expected things in a Mac text editor popup menu for plain text.

The other failure is in a word counter. There doesn’t appear to be one at all.

Fiddlesticks! I can’t post any lists with this app. Oh, sure, I know HTML and could generate the necessary HTML to create a nice ordered list or an unordered list, yes, yes, yes. But that’s not that point. I don’t want to edit HTML. I want my rich text editor with built-in lists that keep that HTML code away from my sensitive eyes. There might be one of those custom markup languages (like Markdown or what have you) that this app recognizes, but again, there we are dealing with markup directly—and this time it’s one I don’t know.

I’m also very hesitant to try inserting images into a post here, thanks to the need to fiddle with markup directly. That’ll come later.

MarsEdit seems to work perfectly well with WordPress (and it seemed to work perfectly well with Blogger, too). Unfortunately, it’s not for me, since it doesn’t do either of the two basic things I really want in an offline editor.

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