Windows Live Writer vs. ScribeFire
You can call me an eternal pessimist, a hypocrite, a nerd or whatever you like, but the truth is that I always keep looking for “Microsoft” alternatives for open-source software. (Which is actually the exact opposite of how normal people would go about it). Call it over-curiosity or plain pig-headedness.
After starting to blog on ScribeFire, I started looking for some cooler Blog Editors, and my search made me come across a list of top 10 free desktop blog editors for Windows. Interestingly enough, the article has rated Windows Live Writer as the number 1 desktop blog editor for Windows, while ScribeFire was relegated to a 2nd place. So I decided to give it a try. In fact, I’m writing this post on WLW.
On first impression, WLW seems to be a much more rich and complete blog editor. When you look at editing options, there are a hell lot of formatting and insertion options, including video, map, table, picture etc. Then there’s this exciting “Web Preview” mode, wherein the editor picks up the fonts and themes from the blog and applies them to your editing window. So it becomes a cool WYSIWYG editor, so there’s no need to check a post as to “how it looks” on the blog. This is a major advantage over ScribeFire, as it ruins the uniformity of the blog, especially in the case of line spacings and alignment. There’s also this thing about the “familiar, office-style interface” of the editor.
Another major area where WLW scores over ScribeFire is while blogging in Indic languages, simply because of a buggy FireFox, as I have outlined in an earlier post.
Now coming to the downside. WLW doesn’t pick up posts which are already there on the blog, and which haven’t been made using WLW. Not that it’s a major drawback. Even ScribeFire shows only the last 10 posts. But it may be a problem if you make a post/draft using something other than WLW and want to edit or update it using WLW.
Secondly, while ScribeFire is a FireFox plugin, WLW is a separate piece of software. It certainly uses more system resources and makes you feel burdened with the need to run an extra software. So it may be out of favour with bloggers who believe in slash-burn blogging. And, it is noticeably slower than ScribeFire in performing actions like publishing and retrieving posts.
To sum up, I think WLW is perfect for people who love an aesthetically pleasing blog and like to devote time to things like alignment, justification, spacings etc. While ScribeFire is the thing for bloggers who like to write short-n-sweet posts, without much care about formatting.