Ecto 3 – Windows Live Writer Killer (for me)

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Disregard my last post about Back in the Saddle with Live Writer — I’ve found Nirvana in Ecto v3 for the Mac. No longer will I have that icky feeling firing up a Windows VM to run a blog editor. Now I can concentrate on just producing content and not worry about interoperability or resource consumption. I think I’m going to cry.

Here’s the story –

I’m setting up my wife and her business partner with their own site. Neither of them want to be involved on the technical side, but they need to be able to produce the actual content without my help. I looked at a number of CMS and blog engines and decided that with the right template, I could set them up with a WordPress site without too much difficulty. This gave me the ability to choose a very good blog editor so that they can just concentrate on content.

At the same time, I had to recreate a Windows VM (this time Windows 7 – article coming soon) and install Windows Live Writer on it for my own use. I thought that since I loved Live writer so much, they maybe able to use that as well. I thought that I could get Fusion installed, then Windows, then Live Writer and turn on Unity mode. OMG! All that to run a blog editor! Then I remember that I hadn’t looked any Mac compatible blog editors in awhile so why not spend some time looking into that again?

And I’m glad I did. The regular players are still there, Qumana, MarsEdit, etc. However, the last time I had reviewed Ecto it was v3 beta. Since then the product has been finally released as v3 and it appears that the company was either bought out or the developer joined a larger group, or the company name changed (illuminoX now) … whatever. This product ROCKS!

In my previous article I had written that the product a number of downsides for me and that I couldn’t use it. It looks like the full release version had fixed all those issues – well, all but one.

First – Sorta a bug in the beta. The beta did not publish my article when I posted it. Well, obviously it does now. In addition, it seems to have better tag and category support than the beta version.

Second – imaging handling did allow for floating images. It does now. In addition it has a few more very key items like the ability to specify a css tag, a border, customize padding and spacing. Screen shot below:

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It’s still not as powerful as Live Writer’s (drop shadow capability for instance) but it’s workable with a CSS class tag.

Thirdly – I mentioned that I like to see the format of my website with my blog entry. Well, I can live without this feature. No biggie since I know have more confidence in how all these blog engines and CMS engines work.

Fourth – WordPress “split post” or “<! more>” tag support. The beta didn’t seem to recognize this. I had initially thought that this version didn’t either till I went to illuminoX’s support forum and found this thread. It explained the whole concept surrounding how Intro and Extended sections work, etc.

Again – I’m very impressed with the software and it is THE LIVE WRITER KILLER for me. I’m going to be using this during it’s 21-day trial period and if I still feel that way at that time, I’m going to be buying myself, my wife, and my wife’s business partner a copy. It’s relatively cheap

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