A Look Into Linux Blogging Software
This is largely in response to Alex Bogak’s blog post Linux Blogging Sucks I read not too long ago. I had never used Linux blogging software before but I thought I would give it a try. How bad could it be?
Blogger lists three Linux blogging apps and they are all in portage: Gnome Blog, BloGTK, and Drivel. In short Alex is right. Most of these programs are pretty limited and a couple of them haven’t been developed in quite some time, but I do use one now and and it’s not too bad. Here’s a look at them:
Gnome Blog aka Blog Entry Poster
Gnome Blog is designed to work as an applet in the Gnome panel. Clicking on the applet will bring up a small WYSIWYG editor. Unfortunately Gnome Blog is one of the blogging apps that hasn’t been developed in a bit and in Gnome 2.20 couldn’t be added to the panel. Fortunately there is a menu entry for it that can be run in a separate window.
The nice bit about Gnome Blog is that it gives the preview of the post and doesn’t show the markup. This is a nice feature but for me, not really necessary. Unfortunately since I use a bold font for my system font, I wasn’t able to tell the difference between bold and regular fonts, but it was nice to be able to drag and drop my pictures onto it.
- (+) WYSIWYG editor
- (+) Support for numerous blogging types
- (-) Did some odd formatting when transferring some writings from the notepad.
- (-) No Blogger2 support
- ?? – No ability to undo.
Drivel is also not developed anymore but is the best coded app of the three. At first, I was set back by it’s very basic-ness but then began to like it.
Drivel has support for Blogger, Blogger 2, WordPress, Movable Type and a couple others. It also has the ability to pull up previous post to update them and can alert technorati of your posts.
- (+) Simple, easy to learn, has most abilities most users need.
- (+) Multiple Blog support.
- (+) Super nice feature: Recent Entries. Very nice if I have to go back and update an entry.
- (-) Only posts can be edited, no support for pages.
- (-) Only single tagging available.
- ?? No shortcut to link a url?
BloGTK has all the features of drivel. BloGTK hasn’t been developed though in quite some time and may not work for most blogs. After I wrote my post BloGTK refused to upload my blog nor give me any information as to why it couldn’t.
- (-) Archaic spelling support.
- (-) No tag recognition support – I had to create my own.
- (-) Oddly, BloGTK disconnected after about 30 or so minutes writing the entry.
- (-) Preview Post is a very poor preview.
Blog with Vimpress
Vimpress is a vim plugin that can be used to upload your entry to a blog server. I covered Vimpress in another post.
Adding Posts to Commercial WordPress
If you have a blog on the commercial wordpress site you can still access it with these applications. Just specify the php file in for your wordpress upload:
What did I choose and why? Drivel. The thing I like about Drivel is it is perfect lightweight solution. It has most the options I need and I like how lightweight it is. I had until this time always used WordPress’s web editor which is painfully slow on my iBook. Drivel has turned out to be a really good alternative to it. If I could choose one thing I would like in Drivel is the ability to link to old posts. None of the other Blogging apps have this either but this is something which I discovered I use quite a bit.
Vimpress is also a good tool, if you can remember all the html definitions you need.
Lately I’ve gotten a faster computer and have been using Arachnophilia (a java html editor) to write my posts then just pasting them into WordPress’s editor. I cover Linux HTML editors in another post.