I use an offline editor to write nearly all my blog posts. This means I'm not dependent on a network connection nor the vagaries of the internet between my PC and the hosting service (TypePad for this blog), or even my own server where I have my WordPress blog.
Plus, I always have the original content on my local PC - peace-of-mind insurance if you can't connect to your blog host for some reason (or, nightmare scenario, a problem on the remote server means you lose your stuff and you didn't do a backup yourself).
But offline editors aren't perfect. In my experience during the past 18 months or so, one of the problems with those for Windows PCs is that they tend to be somewhat flaky. Crashes, peculiar behaviours, even puzzling interface glitches at times.
I use ecto for Windows as well as BlogJet, both of which you pay for (they do have free trial periods) and both of which are not bad in their different ways. Yet if you take a look at the numerous technical and usability issues continually raised in the support forums for both products, it's hardly surprising if you have less than full confidence in either of them.
Still, my editor-of-choice remains ecto for Windows, currently on version 1.8.8 and with a new version 2 in the works for release soon. BlogJet released a new version last month, currently 188.8.131.52. (I reviewed both of these tools in September 2004. A lot has changed with both apps since then, and I plan a new review sometime after the new version of ecto for Windows is released.)
One other editor for Windows which I've never really used to any extent is the free Qumana, currently on version 184.108.40.206. I tried it mid last year at Tris Hussey's urging but fell back to ecto, which I'm most comfortable with (ie, I know its quirks)
Now, though, there's a new cross-platform (Mac/PC) version of Qumana in preparation, planned for launch early next month. I'm trying out the by-invitation beta of it, the latest build of which I've just installed. My first acid test - writing this post with that beta.
What do I think? Well, I'll likely be posting the odd commentary as I play with it in the coming weeks, mostly focusing on usability.
On first use, it looks promising.
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