First Release of BlogWriter for Smart Devices

I have just uploaded the first release of my BlogWriter for Smart Devices which allows you to post new messages to blog servers that uses the MetaBlog API. My aim was to provide a LiveWriter like application for devices like my HTC PDA.

In the zip file you will find these instructions and a .CAB file. The installation process is as follows:

  • Make sure you Smart Device has .NET Compact Framework 3.5 installed
  • Copy the the CAB file to your smart device 
  • On the smart device double click on the CAB – you will get a message about unknown publisher, say OK. The EXE and the CAB are digitally signed but Black Marble is not a known publisher (we don’t have Mobile2Market certificate which is the only type that the installer can check publishers against).
  • Answer the questions as to where you want to install the application.
  • Once the program has been installed there should be a icon on program menu for Blog Writer, click it to run
  • You see a splash screen, this should disappear after a short while and leave an empty page (this is because the blog server has not been configured yet)

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  • On the tools menu select Options
  • Enter the URL of the community server’s MetaBlog page (or any other type of blog server that support MetaBlog). In the case of CS it will be something like http://www.mydomain.co.uk/blogs/metablog.ashx
  • Enter the blog name. In CS it is what is after the /blogs/ in the URL, so mine is rfennell
  • Enter your login and password.
  • Finally you can set if the application should auto-connect to the server on start-up. I would suggest not to auto refresh until you are happy it is working, there is a manual refresh option on the tools menu.
  • Once all is setup and saved use tools/refresh option and you should see a list of your last 20 posts.

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  • To view a post click on it or click new post button to create a new one

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  • On the details page you get a browser preview, and a text editor. As I have not found a good html editor for .NET Compact framework I just use a textbox and replace a newline with a <p> when you save.
  • You also get a categories list which is pulled from the server. You can assign a post to any category you want.
  • When you are happy use the publish option on the post actions menu.
  • Note: you also have an option to delete a post if you want.

So what is missing?

  • A better HTML editor is the critical thing, I might have to write one!
  • No context menus or help.
  • The ability to add new categories.
  • Image support – maybe linked to the PDA camera to you can blog a photo in one step.