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Friday, January 02, 2004  

Tech talk: API clients fail blogger in time of need

I've been having a problem with the API client I usually use the last couple days. Caffeinated Bliss' Chronicle Lite v.1.2 is refusing to connect to the server, giving me the dreaded "no route to host" response when I try to make contact, either automatically or by signing in. Chronicle works fine about 90 percent of the time based on my six months experience with it, but when it goes down, it really goes down. (If you know Blogger well, you are probably thinking it is the real culprit. Not this this time, I'm fairly certain.) Uninstalling and reinstalling Chronicle has made no difference.

So, I decided to use my second favorite API client instead -- Kung-Log. But, alas, it is one of the applications erased before my PowerBook G4 went to the repair shop last week. After several failed attempts to download versions 1.5.7 and 1.5.8, using both Safari and Explorer, I discovered why I was coming up empty at both Version Tracker and Mac Update. Kung-Log is no longer itself. The developer has decided to re-release a new version as ecto.

what is ecto?

ecto is a feature-rich desktop blogging client for Mac OS X (we also have a Windows version in the works), supporting a wide range of weblog systems, such as TypePad, MovableType, Nucleus, Blogger , and more. ecto is the successor of the wildly popular Kung-Log, which has been in use by thousands of Mac users and which earned a 4.5 mice in the MacWorld July 2003 issue, a 4.7 rating by users of VersionTracker.com, and a 5.0 rating by users of MacUpdate.com.

I'm sure it is a fine product. But, unfortunately ecto is currently only available to beta testers. So, for the time being, you and I are out of luck.

I will check to see if there are any old MacWorld or Mac Addict discs around here I can grab Kung-Log from.

My next experiment was with iBlog from Lifli, which is free to .Mac users.

iBlog is an elegant desktop weblogging application that makes authoring and publishing your personal weblogs (a.k.a blogs) a breeze. Unlike other weblogging systems, You don’t have to be an expert database administrator or a perl programmer to setup and use iBlog. You can preview and publish weblogs to your iDisk with a single click of a button.

With iBlog you can create different blogs for your personal interests, hobbies, work activities, projects, tasks and anything you like to write about. You can create multiple categories under each blog to further organize your entries.

The entry I copied and pasted from Text Edit into it and coded turned out well. It looked fine when I previewed it in iBlog. But, when I transferred it to Blogger, all my HTML, except for paragraphing, disappeared. (Don't ask me why it was not touched. Maybe paragraphing is privileged.) I know there is a way to FTP publish material from .Mac, where iBlog blogs are housed, to Blogger, but do not have time to figure out the process presently.

I will test a few other Blogger-compatible API clients. But, for now, I will likely fall back on an unused BlogStudio account. I'll prepare my entries there and then transfer them to Blogger, keeping the coding in the process.

It is not my intention to bash Chronicle Lite. It is an uncomplicated API client that works on all platforms and prevents using Blogger from being as unpleasant as it can be without intervention. As I said, Chronicle performs well most of the time. However, Chronicle, along with Kung-Log and iBlog, has failed me for now.

1:05 PM