Using the ScribeFire Blogging Client

ScribeFire Intro

A Firefox plugin. About the best cross-platform blogging tool available, from what I've read. (But not as good as Windows Live Writer (aka WLW), according to some, and it doesn't have as many editing features as the html editing client you can enable for Roller in your preferences. But it lets you blog while you're browsing, it makes a good front end for the initial draft, and it has several other useful features noted below.)

Egregiously lacking in documentation. Everything below comes from some web pages the blogging alias scrounged up.

Download:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1730

Doc'n: http://www.downloadsquad.com/2007/04/24/scribefire-a-firefox-add-on-and-a-bloggers-friend-or-foe/
(This is the only place I found usage info.)

Features:

  • Does a reasonable job of converting plain text (pasted in) to HTML.
  • Works with Blogger, Wordpress, Drupal, TypePad, LiveJournal, and Windows Live Spaces, and more.
  • Adds a little orange notebook in the status bar.
    Clicking it opens a split panel blog editor app, (with rich/source editing tabs) and shows an account wizard launch button. [I was going nuts trying to find out how to launch it, until I read this.]
  •  From the account wizard launch button, you add the url's of your blogs with their passwords. The blogs are listed in a side window, where you can select the one to post to.
  • You can make quick notes to refer to later. (You type in the window and click Save as Note, it then appears as an entry in the Notes tab.)
  • Under Publishing options, you can enter Technorati tags in a comma separated list and use them to bookmark the post at Del.Icio.Us
  • You can access information from Technorati about webpages you visit.

Gotcha's:

  •  Bug? The "View this Blog" link at the bottom goes to
     www.coolstuff.com, instead of blogs.sun.com/coolstuff.
  • "Powered by ScribeFire" is added automatically to your posts.
    To turn it off: Settings -> Publishing features.
    (While there, you can "Enable draft as default", as well.)

  • At least one blogger found that removing an entry from the history also removed it from the blog site--after which no copies remained, anywhere. [Not sure how accurate that report is. Haven't seen a history yet, myself.]
  • From the page above:
    Do not switch from the Blogs tab to the Notes tab without first saving your post as a draft under the Publishing Options button. If you do, all your text will be lost... A convenient   SAVE button would be a nice feature. [Tabs are at the upper right. That behavior is just wrong. It should never overwrite material that hasn't been saved or published.]
  • Another post noted that saves are local, but you can't specify filename or location. They recommended saving as draft on the blog site. (Publishing Options -> Post as Draft).
    [But that's only good one time. See the next item.]

  • When you post as draft a second time, you create a new blog entry. You don't replace the old one. So you have to manually delete the early editions.

  • The real moral of the above is that "Save as Note" is mislabeled. It should really be "Save as Draft". The Notes tab is a list of drafts, in effect. The entries are indexed by title. When you save something with the same title, the program warns you--even if you're re-saving the same thing a second time. (That's non-optimal, but way better than having no warning at all.)

ScribeFire Setup

Extracted from
http://swik.net/OpenSolaris/Planet+Solaris/Dave+Miner:+Wasting+time+with+blogs.sun.com+and+ScribeFire/bcx8c

1. Enable the client APIs on the blog engine:
  • login to blogs.sun.com
  • Preferences tab
  • Enable Blogger and MetaWeblog APIs for your weblog
2. Start up ScribeFire
  • Start FireFox
  • Click the little orange book at the end of the status bar
  • Launch Account Wizard
3. Configure ScribeFire
  • blog url: http://blogs.sun.com/<yourBlogName>
  • press Manually Configure
  • select Custom Blog
  • select MetaWeblog API
  • Server API URL: http://blogs.sun.com/roller-services/xmlrpc
  • provide username and password
(Interesting. The blog type is MetaWeblog, but the API url is the Roller API. You can't get that combination by making the standard choices.)

Comments:

Hi Eric, thank you for all of this information, it is very handy.
Do you, perchance, have any information on the server api url for google's blogger?
I have a blogger blog, and wonder if it's less trouble just to use Window's live writer instead...I cannot seem to find any information I can understand about what to put in this text blox for the blogger server API url.
Any ideas?
Your direction is appreciated.

darksun studio

Posted by darksun on January 15, 2008 at 09:37 AM PST #

Maybe this post can help you darksun: http://groups.google.com/group/blogger-help-howdoi/browse_thread/thread/152bb812583aef68/0e71fd01d298071e?hl=en&lnk=gst&q=api+url#0e71fd01d298071e

Posted by Frederic Lecoq on January 28, 2008 at 07:47 PM PST #

I have used Scribefire to copy some content from a web site. At this point I consider myself just testing the application out. It seems to require a lot of cleanup to get a decent looking page in blogspot.

Where can I get good information on the laws regarding copying content. What is considered fair use? One paragraph, two paragraphs, a page? If I always attribute where the information came from and give the URL is that fair use?

If not, it seems Scribefire could do us a service by providing a convenient way to contact the web owner and request permission. By using the Scribefire option to publish as a draft, all the work needed to make the copy live could be accomplished while waiting for permission to use the information.

Posted by Richard Collins on April 13, 2008 at 08:41 AM PDT #

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