Look at that! It works better when you have everything it needs installed on the computer you’re using it on.
ecto seems like a decent enough client and the interface has a nicely solid feel to it. Access to all your blogs and the last ten or so posts is in a small window on the left over another window listing of all the categories on your blog so you can just check off which ones you want to put your entry into. Big editing area for the Entry Body with the Extended Entry and Summary fields hidden on a tab. Buttons for boldface, italics and links along with one to insert the song currently playing in your favorite MP3 package are present above the editing window. I’m disappointed that there aren’t more editing options available as buttons, though the ability to make use of additional code snippets such as underline and blockquote can be accessed via drop down menu.
In short it has everything you’d have on MovableType’s web interface in a much easier layout and with the option to save entries locally before publishing them, but it’s missing some of the stuff that I like in MT Client such as inline spell checking, more editing buttons and the ability to easily insert special characters. You can probably add some of that in using the HTML templates option to add them onto the drop down menu I mentioned earlier, but I’d rather have the ability to define custom buttons. One thing it does have that looks like it could be very useful is an advanced file upload function for sending graphics up to use in your entries. Pick your graphic and you can then set any of the standard IMG tag properties including alignment, border, margins, etc. then you can generate a thumbnail in the same dialogue and then it’ll generate the HTML to put in your entry so you can copy and paste it over. I’ve not tried that yet, but it looks like it could be very nice indeed. The version I downloaded earlier had a focus bug related to automatic draft saves that’s been fixed in the latest release that came out this evening.
Not too shabby a start, but I don’t think it’ll bump MT Client just yet simply because I’ve come to love the inline spell checker that tool has. Still, ecto holds much promise and may be just what you’re looking for if you don’t mind having to install Microsoft’s .NET framework to use it. Give it a look see.
Update 4/16/04: I’ve noticed a couple of bugs with ecto. 1) It seems to be shifting the time of my postings ahead by about 4 hours for no discernible reason and 2) for some reason if I pick only one category it’s not set as the entry’s primary category, but as a secondary one. Not a horrible problem, but annoying just the same. Still some work to be done on this one it seems.