Test from ScribeFire

Testing the ScribeFire blog tool, a plugin for Firefox. You can post to blog directly from Firefox, and you can upload pictures using the WordPress image upload script.

The HTML produced by the rich text editor is familiar to Firefox and Mozilla users, full of line break tags. At present, there appears to be no way to add an ‘excerpt’ to the post from the editor window – the Bodmas Bridgit layout works better with custom excerpts. If you do not add an excerpt, WordPress takes the first 120 words of the post as the excerpt and that is a little long for the Bridgit layout. I have found a WordPress plug-in that alters the excerpt behaviour, see below.

For a blog running the default layout, I can imagine ScribeFire being useful. Bear in mind that the plug-in is purely a posting tool – you can’t edit posts or manage other aspects of the blog unlike (say) Ecto for the Mac OS X platform. There is no local storage of past posts.

When configuring ScribeFire for use with a WordPress blog on your own server, you need to

  • Start the Account Wizard
  • Select Custom Blog from the drop down list
  • Select WordPress from the list of blogging servers
  • Correct the Web address of the posting script to that used on your server
  • Fill in your user name and password

Then I would suggest you post a test post with a small image – so you can get the image upload settings added to the account…

  • Click the image upload button in the editor
  • Check the Image Upload check box (from URL is the default)
  • Browse for your image file
  • Click the Upload via API button

Your image is uploaded, and the Web address of the image is displayed. Clicking the Insert Image button drops the image tag into the rich text editor.

The Semilogic Fancy Excerpts WordPress plug-in works with WordPress v1.5 and allows you to specify a character limit for excerpts within the php code (I’ve set the one for bridgit to 50 characters). The plug in will then chop the first one or two complete sentences closest to that limit and display those wherever the ‘excerpt’ tag appears in your template. A ‘feature’ of the plug-in is that the excerpt behaviour is not changed on trackbacks or on RSS feeds. Some will see that as a bug.

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