Yes, it’s another entry about a blogging tool.
If you’ve been blogging with MovableType for any length of time you’ve probably heard about the various off-line blogging tools that are available to make writing entries a bit easier by providing some of the editing goodies not found in the web interface built into MT. You’ve probably noticed that on the Windows platform many of the various clients available have their fans, but none of them are considered THE tool to use whereas on the Macintosh platform there’s quite a bit of buzz over a tool called Kung-Log. Everyone who’s used it seems to love Kung-Log, but if you’re a Windows user such as myself then you’re shit out of luck.
Joi and me are very happy to announce the release of a beta of a Windows port of ecto, thanks to a unique collaboration with Alex Hung. It is our hope that with this collaboration the ease of use and features of ecto will now be available to the Windows users.
The beta trial will last one month, during which we hope to find bugs and improve on the product with the help of user feedback. Any information about this beta will be on the ecto for Windows webpage as Alex will be the main responsible person for this Windows version.
We both hope you will like this Windows version as much, if not more, as the Mac version!
The announcement is a little misleading, however, as it turns out that this is not literally a port of the Mac version. Rather it’s just an official renaming of a different tool I hadn’t heard of before that had already been in development called TypeWriter. Not that this is a bad thing necessarily, but something that should be mentioned so folks don’t try the program out expecting it to be just like ecto on the Mac. Though it may soon be as close as you can get as this partnership between the two developers means that the development of the Windows version will now attempt to provide all the cool stuff developed in the future for the Mac version. Presumably they’ll be sharing code where possible between the two programs.
So is ecto for Windows the end-all-be-all of third party blogging tools? I have no idea as I just tried installing it here at work and it won’t launch. I get an obscure “application failed to initialize properly” error and it quits so I’ll have to wait until I get home and see if I can run it there.
I wasn’t able to find a list of features, but I suspect it’ll have most of the stuff we’ve come to expect from other clients of this type. A couple of features it does have already which the tool I’m currently using, MT Client 1.5, doesn’t have are a preview function and the ever popular Media Insertion that allows you to insert what you’re currently listening to in iTunes, WinAmp and/or Windows Media Player 9 in your entries. There’s a few screenshots of it on the dev blog and I’d expect to see it eventually support the list of features found on the official ecto site.
If nothing else, it’s good to see more alternatives popping up as a little competition is always healthy and with this many choices it shouldn’t be too hard to find a client you’ll like.