Zoundry Raven – update (updated 9-26-2012)

So, I’m still using Zoundry Raven and I thought I’d give a breakdown of why.

First, I want an editor that’s portable. I work on a number of computers. This limits me severely as the only portable blog editors I’ve been able to find are Zoundry Raven, w.bloggar (currently down because of the GoDaddy thing), and ScribeFire Next (a Firefox plugin – and there is a portable version of Firefox.) I may try the others at some point.

What I like about Zoundry Raven:

  • Portable
  • It downloads all of your old posts so you can reference them
  • It’s easy to use and fairly intuitive
  • Fairly good layout
  • Free
  • Not relevant to me, but you can have multiple accounts for multiple blogs
  • Supports a ton of blogging platforms
  • Drag and drop support for images and other media

What I dislike:

  • No tech support – it has a forum, but nothing is answered. It’s been released as open source now, which is groovy and all, but doesn’t help those with problems
  • If you update an entry on your blog it doesn’t update the archive in the app See below for how to sync.
  • Some weird behavior – you can’t copy text from archived posts (but you can copy and paste within a post)
  • It can’t caption pictures (but there’s a work-around which I’ll explain in a bit)
  • Somewhat laggy, but I’m sure that’s computer dependent
  • The tagging system could be a lot better – you can find posts by tags, but there’s no way I can find of adding previously used tags aside from typing them in
  • No way I could find to reuse pics from previous posts Yes, there is. See below.
  • Doesn’t allow for scheduling posts (have to publish and then go to the dashboard to change the date) See below.
  • Somewhat buggy – for me downloading a template so I can preview things doesn’t work at all, switches screens when I don’t want it to, sometimes alignment doesn’t change when I tell it to…

I was afraid that since it kind of syncs with the blog, that it wouldn’t be useable with no internet. I haven’t tried this yet, but I think that was a baseless concern. It seems to only sync the first time (so not really a sync at all…) See below.

ETA: I’m getting more and more annoyed. It keeps screwing up my formatting, which is frikking annoying. It’s trying to be more clever than it is.

Edited 9-19-2012: w.bloggar is not WYSIWYG, so I won’t be trying it. I looked at ScribeFire briefly and didn’t like it. There is a portable launcher for Windows Live Writer, which everyone seems to love, so I may try that later.

To add previously used images: in the sidebar, go to images and find the image you want. Right-click and select copy image location. When you start to insert the image, paste that into the open dialog. The image will show up.

To schedule a post (or publish it as a draft): There’s a drop-down labelled Configure… in the header. Go to the ‘General’ tab. You can select ‘publish as draft’ or ‘override publish time.’ Tested and it works.

To resync the blog: Select the account in the sidebar. An account summary will show, with the option to refresh / sync the account. ETA 9-26-12: Yeah, it doesn’t update the old posts after all. It just downloads any that you made directly to the blog. Lame. What you can do is delete the local copy and redownload (right click, select delete, uncheck the blog and check ‘delete local copy’. There’s a Download button up top.

(end of edit)

 

So, to the workaround with the captioning. I’m using WordPress, so these instructions may not work for other platforms, but it’ll give you an idea. This worked about 75% of the time, and I think I know what the problem was.

If you look at one of your downloaded posts that has captioned photos you’ll notice code around the picture that Zoundry Raven doesn’t interpret. It should look something like this

[ caption align=”aligncenter” width=”100″ caption=”Caption goes here” ] test-image.jpg[ /caption ]

The important thing to note is that there are NO spaces or returns between the code and the image (or between the brackets and the caption tag – that’s just here because I don’t want WordPress to interpret the code and for some reason Raven won’t leave the HTML entity codes alone (but it changes quotes and ampersands without asking…). With longer captions sometimes it’s hard not to have spaces – I think that’s what broke it on the two I had to fix in WordPress. You get the width by right-clicking and going to image > edit image (or CTRL-M). (I’m not sure if the width or alignment are strictly necessary).

If I did it right, the image should appear with a caption below.

test-image.jpg
Captioned

Hopefully, this helps out somebody.

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