If this message seems unusually well spelled and punctuated, it is because I am writing it using Microsoft Word. I am then posting this blog via VBScript-based Macro named WordBlogger, which sends this entry to my server via XML-RPC and the Blogger API by means of a COM Client component entitled PocketXML-RPC.
I’m working on a project where I’ve set up a blog for an individual using MovableType. Problem is, this individual does not speak fluent geek and is more used to Word than w:Bloggar, blogBuddy or the form-based interface that is provided by MovableType.
I had recalled Vincent Flanders posting to Radio.Userland via SOAP. Going through some old e-mail, I checked a link he sent me during an e-mail discussion on said topic. Though MovableType implements SOAP::Lite, they only support XML-RPC. I thought I was out of luck until I e-mail Simon Fell, the gentleman who created PocketSOAP. It turns out has also created he aforementioned PocketXML-RPC and VBScript Macro.
First you need to install the COM object. Then install the script. It’s all covered in an article on Mr. Fell’s site entitled “Word Blogger.” Of course, I did have to monkey about with some of the settings. Here are some of my changes:
Const RADIO_URL = http://[yourdomain]/mt/mt-xmlrpc.cgi
Const PROXY_PORT = 80
Const BLOG_ID = “1″
The first entry is pretty obvious, it is the XML-RPC app provided by MovableType. The second entry is also pretty obvious for those who know how HTTP works. It was this last little stinker I had trouble figuring out, until I modified a MovableType template to include <$MTBlogID$> and regenerated an article that produced a big 1 atop my test screen. I surmised that since there is only one blog on my site, the number is “1″. If I used MoveableType’s multi-blog feature, then the second blog would have an id of “2″ and so on.
Then I had to make modifications to the VBScript itself. These had to do with Unicode encodings. Specifically dealing with single and double quotes, like “this” and it’s.
Of course, I did manage to wipe out an article in the planning stage. I usually have about 10 or 15 in the queue. I thought that the “Update Blog” would load the blog into my Word document. Nope, it takes whatever is on my screen and sends it to an existing article. That and the script needs more work if it is going to become user friendly. It doesn’t do Titles, it times-out rather rudely and doesn’t really let you know when its done. This is not a knock on Simon Fell’s work, it is VERY good, especially his COM object. Rather, I think the script he offers is more for proof of concept than production.
Of course, I’m not sure its worth the time considering the MovableType related changes going on with w:Bloggar. We shall see…
Then again, this might be the trick for my non-geekazoid friend. Especially as it gives him the ability to save the work via Word. Similarly, I would think that a professional writer might want to consider beefing up Simon’s macro as Word would then become a tool used to blog towards a book.
As for me, I think I’m going to wait for my Dreamweaver MX or perhaps some other plug-in-able tool that’ll let me use PocketXML-RPC to post pages that are well spelled and formatted.