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the evenings out here - Thoughts, rants and musings about absolutely everything except photography. Or cats.

mo:Blog (updated)

in Palm , Monday, October 24, 2005

up until now I have used hblogger for writing and uploading from my Palm. MO:BLOG, from Tektonica, is an interesting alternative, first because it seems to support MovableType better than hblogger, and second because the interface is cleaner. It also seems to work over GPRS, unlike hblogger. So let's see how well it works... UPDATE: well, it works quite well. There are some flaws: retrieving blog ids from MovableType's XMLRPC API doesn't work correctly, or possibly they're not displayed correctly: the titles are associated with the wrong IDs. Retrieving categories does work, however. You can set titles, unlike in hblogger, which is a major plus. However, the interface is a little weird at first. There is one huge usability blunder, which is that you can easily lose a newly entered blog entry by clicking on the "back" (to list) icon before you click on "save". This should not happen, without a warning, in any application on any platform, but especially not on a PalmOS device. Also, whilst categories are useful, the way they are used is very clumsy. You cannot associate a category with an entry, but rather you have to (or can) select a category for a blog. You could, I suppose, define as many blogs as you have categories, and select the appropriate one when you write an entry, but this is very clumsy and seems totally out of step with an otherwise well thought out application. Image and attachment uploading is easy to configure, and a very nice file browser is included which makes selecting attachments easy (with hblogger you're flying blind). However, the dual process of selecting a file to upload and adding the link to the entry is a bit clumsy. Although mo:blog seems to be actively developed, getting in touch with support is far from simple. The only route seems to be via a Yahoo forum (which I loathe), for which you have to be registered to browse, and you have to request approval to register. I requested approval around 12 hours ago, so far no reply. This is not very confidence building. At least you can register yourself for hblogger's Yahoo forum, although the apparent total lack of development by Normsoft makes it pretty pointless. But in summary, you can reliably use mo:blog to post to MovableType from a Palm device without needing to do any clearing up afterwards, and therefore I recommend it. NB - side note ... the title of this post has been changed from MO:BLOG to MOBLOG, because the ":" made the MovableType MTFeeds plugin barf... Took me ages to track down. UPDATE AGAIN - I've replaced the MTFeeds stuff with some beautifully hand crafted Perl, which now allows me to reinstate the post title in its full glory :-)