Brought to You By Google Writely
I tried Google’s Writely for the first time with the previous post. I’m pretty impressed, so far. It has all the WYSIWYG features I expect after using the WordPress.com blog editor, but doesn’t have nearly the same lag (or the same knack WordPress.com has for crashing if I play iTunes in the background).
It’s a fully featured web-based replacement for desktop word processors (IE: Microsoft Word), and it wins my support if only because it doesn’t insert crap formatting the way Word does. To top it off, it supports directly posting to most blog platforms (including WordPress.com).
It has the essential “raw HTML” toggle that became popular with Dreamweaver. Unlike WP, the box is big enough that the text is editable.
I really like knowing that my documents are backed up off-site, meaning that I can access them from any computer. (As fate would have it, my laptop battery died while I was typing that last sentence). I’ve already experienced data loss with WordPress.com, so having posts backed up in Writely provides a good addition to my backup strategy.
It even supports tags/categories, although in a limited fashion. The auto-post to WordPress didn’t create new categories for me. But I can live with that. I haven’t tried automatic image upload, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t work either.
Update: image upload doesn’t work from Writely.
The preview option lets you copy CSS formatting from your blog so that you can preview your post as it will look like live. It would be nice if they had a feature for copying it automatically.
I’m about to try the collaborate feature with editing a friend’s post on Beats Entropy before it goes public. If that works as smoothly as I expect it to, then Writely will take over as my primary word processor and blog editing software.
Update: Being able to collaborate easily is very cool, but Writely has major issues if you try to publish directly from Writely to your blog. Do not try to use it to replace your primary blog editting tool.
Update2: After further use, I don’t think Writely’s ready for prime-time. It also turns out that the wordpress.com Rich Text Editor has a “paste from Microsoft Word” hidden option that fixes the horrible formatting of Word.