Windows Live Writer and Orchard

by Augustin Šulc

As Petr already blogged, our new website and blog are powered by Orchard. We took it as an opportunity to evaluate it and make sure it will be possible to build some sites on top of it. So far, I am quite satisfied with Orchard.

Although I am not a great fan of Microsoft Windows Live Essentails, Live Writer seemed like a potentially useful tool so I decided to give it a try.

Live Writer setup for Orchard blog was seamless and it even downloaded our site theme properly. We encountered first issue when a colleague of us that does not have rights to publish blog posts (he can only upload drafts) used Live Writer. He hit the publish button and the post went public. I have already filed this bug to the Orchard Codeplex site.

Other problems that Live Writer has with Orchard is that it cannot set and manage categories and cannot set a date when the post should be published. You can follow these bugs herehere and here.

However, the most problematic part in using Live Writer was publishing posts with source code snippets. Since I didn’t want to mess with our site’s source codes, I wanted to format the codes with some kind of inline styles, without additional reference to external JS or CSS files. I’ve tried two plug-ins that should do the job: Insert Code and Source Code Formatter. Both of them seemed well in Live Writer but after opening and saving a post in Orchard’s web interface, the formatting got broken: Insert code lost all colors and was not able to add vertical scrollbar if needed. The latter one’s code got even worse – an empty line was inserted after every line of code. What’s more, Source Code Formatter tries to make an anchor out of some SQL procedures but the link returns 404. Finally, I gave up and we utilized Code Prettify and google-code-prettify. Since then, everything works well.

The last problem I came across was attaching a file to a blog post. Live Writer can add images directly to the post via copy-pasting and it works well. Unfortunately, it is not able to attach other types of files. Insert file(s) plugin that I’ve tried does not work at all. I’ve also tried to use Media panel in Orchard’s admin site, but it is also intended for images, Moreover, if you use it to upload a zip file, it gets extracted, which is not what I want. I’ll probably have to upload attachments somewhere else and link them from posts.

UPDATE: This Insert File plugin works well. So there is no problem with uploading attachments any more.

Tags: Live Writer, Orchard

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