November 8, 2009

Trying MarsEdit

MarsEditIcon128.jpgEven though I have grown accustomed to writing my posts in Blogger's web interface, I continue to like the idea of an offline editor. Since I am on the Mac platform, I started with Ecto because I had encountered so many rave reviews. I liked it for the most part except that the manner in which it screwed up line spacing in Blogger was unacceptable. I am now trying Ecto's primary competitor, MarsEdit. In fact, I am writing this post using a 30-day trial of MarsEdit.

The interface is not as pleasing as that of Ecto, but what matters most is functionality. Will MarsEdit work with Blogger like Ecto could not?

There does not appear to be a way to construct post templates containing certain lines of HTML that I want in all posts (e.g., code to enable peek-a-boo posts, an RSS subscription link, etc.). However, MarsEdit's macros provide a fairly effective workaround. I can select a keystroke of my choice to have such code added. Not too shabby! Surprisingly, Ecto couldn't do this either.

Compared with Ecto, MarsEdit's Flickr integration is fairly primitive. I have little interest in using it to browse my own meager collection of photos. I want it to be able to search for public domain images in Flickr just like Zemanta does. In general, Ecto's image handling seemed vastly superior. In MarsEdit, it appears that any image manipulation must be done via HTML. Even Blogger's web interface seems more powerful here.

These are merely my first impressions after spending less than an hour with the software. If it can handle spacing appropriately, it might be worth a more in-depth look. However, I must say that I'm not seeing much indication so far that it is going to enhance my blogging by making anything I want to do any easier.

I should also note that I had no luck initially getting MarsEdit to connect to my blog to allow publishing. However, their tech support was extremely helpful and responsive. This is more than I can say for Ecto's support, which never bothered to respond to my questions at all.

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