I’ve had the idea in mind for a while to write a windows live writer plugin and finally just started to materialize. I wanted to write a the plugin basically to save me time when writing blog posts.
Here is my usual workflow for writing blogs: I take a few pictures and I want to blog about some of the pictures I have, so I start Windows Live Writer and write the title some text and then using the folders explorer I find my pictures and drap-and-drop into live writer, which is pretty cool because I have set defaults about how live writer will format my picture such as picture size and watermark; I specially like the watermark feature a lot.
Up to this point there are a few things that windows live writer lacks in terms of editing pictures and or its features:
The embedded picture size is unknown and I am not able to adjust the picture quality to make the size smaller. This means that I have to publish the post first so i can view it in the browser and see how big the pictures files are, this is not so good because I might want the pictures files smaller in size by reducing the quality of the picture, sometimes the uploaded pictures are bigger than they really need to be for a normal internet user to notice any difference but that difference will definitely slow down downloading the pictures when people are browsing my blog. If you have a limited space for picture, you might want to lower this resolution to save space in the server as well as saving time to download the picture in the browser.
The embedded picture needs to be manipulated in more detail without interrupting my workflow. I used to do this all the time I start writing a post then I would want to drag and drop some pictures into live writer but before I get to do that I have to click on start and search for Paint.Net or any other Image editor like Photoshop or Gimp so I can set the desire saturation just right (adjust the color saturation of the picture to make it move vivid color) since some pictures would require more saturation than others, the Windows live Writer feature of “Color popup” usually does not apply very well to all pictures. This problem would be solved by allowing you to chose your favorite image editor and edit the embedded image the save it and come back to live writer and see your changes, without the need to open files, save files, find files, rename files ..etc
The screenshot of the Windows Live Writer plugin is attached here, this is my first attempt and so far its been pretty good, I still need to refactor some code and polish some functional details. I think this is going to be a very useful plugin for people on the go who don’t want to waste too much time chasing folders, image files and editors, and want a more natural and streamlined experience, with out their workflow getting interrupted and pieces of the application more connected with each other.
On a side note: I am writing this plugin and trying to follow a few “design patterns” to help me create a code base that will be easier to change, I’ve incorporated concepts like Model View Controller (MVC) and Strategy pattern.