Windows Live Writer Beta 3 Released
It’s been a little over three months since Windows Live Writer Beta 2 was released. Beta 2 was more of a “big bang” release–a lot of people were mistakenly calling it “Windows Live Writer 2.0 Beta” and I can understand why. Beta 3 is more about working out the bugs and making existing features work better, although there are still a few big features worth talking about.
Go download it now!
- Bug fixes: It may seem odd to call bug fixing a highlight, but Beta 2 had a number of serious bugs that were not present in Beta 1. There were the installer problems that we posted on our blog, glitches with WordPress, problems with inserting images in some languages of Windows, etc. Most of these have been fixed in Beta 3.
- Insert Video: Other blog editors have offered an insert video feature for some time, but I think ours is the best. You can paste either a URL or an embed and we will detect if it’s a video from one of our supported providers (currently Brightcove, Google Video, Grouper, MySpace, ODEO, Revver, Soapbox, Splashcast, and YouTube). Various blog services will drop or strip embed tags, so your video will simply not show up–we try hard to degrade nicely in these cases. If you’re on LiveJournal or WordPress.com and have not had much luck getting videos embedded using other blogging clients, you might give Beta 3 a try.
- XHTML support: I know some of you have been waiting for this for a long time. I’ve dedicated a whole separate post to the gory details. The upshot is that our markup should be far more palatable to those who prefer their empty tags with a trailing slash. Bonus: Eradication of spurious non-breaking spaces and no more non-validating attributes like contenteditable and atomicselection.
- Image upload for Blogger.com: Technically we’re uploading to Picasa, but the net effect is that Blogger users finally get seamless image upload.
- Better image quality: Image border effects (drop shadow, photo paper) have always caused noticeable blurriness and some amount of aspect ratio distortion. I’m very happy to report that these bugs should be eradicated with Beta 3!
- No 64-bit support: Huge bummer for those running x64 (including myself)–none of the Windows Live apps in this release will install on your OS. I’m sure the LiveSide guys will figure out a workaround in 3… 2… 1…
- Image upload for Blogger.com caveat: At the time we implemented image uploading to Picasa, they only supported JPEG-format images, not PNG or GIF. We’ll still let you insert a PNG or GIF into your post, but before uploading to Picasa, we convert it to JPEG. This can cause several problems including visual artifacts, loss of transparency, and increased file size. Now that Picasa has added support for PNG and GIF, we can stop doing that–but it happened too late to fix for this release.
- Still English-only spell checking: We do intend to ship dictionaries for other languages, but were unable to make it happen for this release. Sorry.
- No Atom Publishing Protocol support: I’m still working on this for a future release.
Filed under: Windows Live Writer | 16 Comments