Will technology ever catch up?

Blogging: Looking for an Editor…

Posted by cascadehush on January 15, 2007

I’ve been getting increasingly frustrated by the editor built into ecto. It’s not that it is a bad editor in it’s own right. It’s just that I find I am always juggling between ecto, Safari and Firefox and I find it hard to make posts like this one, where I am quoting comments from multiple sites. I’ve spent the afternoon scouring download sites looking for a solution.

It looks like the Performancing plugin for Firefox is the go. It sits in a hidable pane a the bottom of Firefox. It adds an option to the right-click menu for adding quote text to your post (as you see a lot of below). You can also drag and drop links from a page and the link text is preserved. This doesn’t happen when dragging links from FireFox to the ecto editor (you only get the URL, not the link with it’s formating preserved). Dragging links does work from Safari to ecto, hence the need for 2 web browsers.

After installing the Performancing, I couldn’t see how to access it, so I went to performancing.com. At least I tried to, the website was down.

I did find these posts, which were enough to get me started.

Performancing extension for Firefox :: tiffany b. brown // v 4.1

While reading and writing about Flock, I kept seeing mentions of a extension for Firefox that would handle blog publishing better than Flock does: the Performancing extension.

muSick in the Head: Firefox 2.0 & Performancing Extension

It runs as a Firefox extenstion and makes it really easy to post and comment about a page in an easy-to-use WYSIWYG editor that essentially pops open as a drawer from the bottom of your Firefox window.

Skimming down the search results, I discovered that the Plugin has a new name.

Performancing Blogging Plugin Now ScribeFire

It’s alive and well and has been rebranded as ScribeFire. The site has a landing page up and will be launching shortly. In the meantime, the old plugin can stll be downloaded on the Mozilla site.

It turns out that performancing was to be bought-out by PayPerPost a company that, as far as I can tell, bribes bloggers into becoming corporate shills. At the front of their site, they talk about getting paid for your opinion, but as you drill down it becomes clear what your opinion needs to be in order to get paid.

Apparently a week later the deal was off.

PayPerPost: Performancing Deal is Off

After much discussion and heartache we have decided to walk away from the Performancing deal. We listened to our Posties and other Metrics users, dug into the Metrics platform and regretfully found that it wasn’t what we were looking for right now.

Techcrunch: Amateur Hour At PayPerPost

It’s not often that a company announces the acquisition of another company and then subsequently walks away from the deal, but PayPerPost isn’t a typical kind of company

So it’s all a bit up in the air. Both scribefire.com and performancing.com appear to be offline. Scribefire.com only contained a link to the current version of the plugin (which is still called Performancing).
I also tried Flock. Blogging in Flock is very much like blogging with the Firefox plugin Deepest Sender. Except that Deepest Sender is better in almost every respect. The major flaw in Flock’s editor, which seems to be common to a lot of free blogging tools, is the lack of ability to post as a draft. Without this feature, any would-be blogging tool is dead to me.

Problems with Performancing
I had 2 problems with Performancing. The first is the font used in the editor. It must be about a 16 or 18 point font and is a serious space-hog given that one wants to make the Performancing panel as small as possible. Perhaps the guys at performancing.com are all 40-somethings and starting to get a little hyperopic. Or maybe it’s all the late night blogging sessions.

The second problem is that when copying and pasting text it wants to keep the font formatting. I never want to do this. When I cut and paste text, I want the text. Every time. I wish there was some kind of operating system patch that would disable rich-text on the clipboard so that any cut-paste text operation always throw-away the formatting.

Rant aside, this feature in Performancing would not be so bad if it actually worked properly, and didn’t fill your post with a lot of junk html. Fortunately there is a ‘paste no formatting’ option on the right click menu. clumsy for sure, but it saved the plugin from the Trash Bin.

So all I need is an option to change the font in the editor, and a way to make ‘paste no formatting’ the default paste option, and this will be a killer app, both for FireFox and blogging in general.

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