Windows Live Writer & Images, Part 2

Thought I’d add a little more information here to help people get going with Images (and Ink!) In Live Writer(WLW). See part one of this article for the basics.

In part 1 I mentioned that DriveHQ is a free FTP service that works with WLW, and provides 1Gig of space.  Note:  I am not endorsing DriveHQ, it worked for me, and it is free for basic FTP – thats it.

So to get going with DriveHQ, create an account, login then:

  • Create a folder to hold your blog images, do this by clicking on the My Storage Tab , and then New Folder

 

 

 

  • For the purposes of this example, I am calling it Blog1 (but you can use any name you like)

 

 

 

 

  • Now you need to make this folder public by publishing it.  Just hover on the folder and the menu bar will pop up, select the option with the folder and globe.  On the next screen, just review the options, defaults are fine, and click I agree & submit at the bottom.  The next screen will show you the public URL which will be in the format: http://www.drivehq.com/file/df.aspx/publish/YourUserNameHere/Blog1 , make a note of this you will need it later.

 

 

 

 

  • You are all set on the DriveHQ Side, now open WLW and create or edit you Weblog account (from the Weblog menu option)
  • When you get to the Image Publishing screen, select the FTP option

  • Now edit the settings as you see below.  Use your vaules for Drive HQ Username,Password, and URL (from the step above eg:http://www.drivehq.com/file/df.aspx/publish/YourUserNameHere/Blog1)
  • Click next to finish up the wizard, and you should be all set!

Tablet PCs, Ink Blogs, and Education

I had a nice note yesterday from an Ink Blog user who is using it as an education tool.  She teaches a graphic communication class, and has been creating blog entries, in ink, showing various page layoutsfor her students to review online.

When I wrote the plug in, I would have never imagined it being used for education, but after seeing Romy’s use it just makes perfect sense!  What a great way for educators to quickly and easily post information for students to review – a picture is worth (at least) 1000 words!

Testing Ink Blog Plugin From Vista RC1

I had a blog comment today wondering if the Ink Blog Plugin runs under Vista.  Oddly enough, I had not yet tried it from a Tablet, so i thought I’d give it a whirl.  Yup, looks like it will work.

Please note, you’ll likely need to follow the instructions here after installing the plugin to get things going.  Make sure to restart Live Writer after applying the update.

Ink Generated with Ink Blog Plugin - http://www.edholloway.com

New Windows Live Gallery for Writer Plugins

 Charles Teague from the MS Live Writer Team just emailed me to let me know the Live Gallery is now, well, live, for Writer Plugins.  This is a Microsoft sponsored site that allows developers to upload their Writer Plugins into a central repository, where users can search them by tags, rating, category, etc..  There is also a verification process involved, where Microsoft ensures that the plugin is safe and stable.

Another great site to find Writer plugins is WLW Plugins.

Ink Blog Plugin goes Gold!

Version 1.0 of the Ink Blog Plugin for Windows Live Writer is now available!  You may download it free here

The self installer will overwrite any previous beta versions, just make sure WLW is not running when you install (or you may be required to reboot).

Most of the changes from Beta 2 to v1.0 were minor bug fixes, tweaks, and the October 1, 2006 expiration was removed.  (NOTE: If you are using Beta 2, please upgrade ASAP, since it will quit working soon).

There were two features I really wanted to get in, but couldn’t (A Call for Help):

  • Ability to show / hide recognized text on the blog pages
  • Ability to hyperlink inside the ink

I was able to get both of these working inside my test blog, but as soon as I tested on other blog service/software everything broke.  It seems that many blog packages strip out certain HTML, JS and CSS tags inside the post, presumably for security, which makes sense.  So finding the right combination that will work on the major blogs, without being stripped out, seems to be difficult.

I’m sure there is a HTML/CSS guru out there who could whip this up quickly, but unfortunately this is not an area of expertise for me (though it’s been a lot of fun learning!) and I did just not have the time to get it in V1.  If you are an expert, and would like to help here, please get in touch.  Since this is a free product, the only pay will be the joy of knowing thousands of people are using (or at least downloading) something you helped create.  You do not need to be a .NET or plugin programmer to help here, you would just need to supply the sample HTML etc.. in a text document, and I can integrate it into the code.

That’s all for now folks, please keep the great feedback and suggestions coming!

Ink Blog Plugin – Update for problem systems

I’ve had a few problem reports from folks using Ink Blog Beta 2, where they get an exception message that starts like this:

System.IO.FileNotFoundException: Could not load file or assembly
‘Microsoft.mshtml, Version=7.0.3300.0, Culture=neutral,
PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a’ or one of its dependencies. The system
cannot find the file specified.
File name: ‘Microsoft.mshtml, Version=7.0.3300.0

 

If you are getting this message, or any similar message that has “Microsot.mshtml” in it, then it probably means your system is missing this Windows file.  Normally this file is installed as part of IE 5.5 and up, so most folks have it.  I have read several reasons why this file may be missing, including IE7 Beta installs, but it seems pretty rare.

If you are missing the file, and you want to run Ink Blog Plugin you have 2 options:

1) Download / Repair your IE Install

2) Or (much easier) just download the missing file from here, unzip it, and copy it to your plugin directory ( C:\Program Files\Windows Live Writer\Plugins )

 

Hope this helps a few of you.

-Ed

Ink Blog Plugin Beta 2 now Available!

UPDATE – Please note the newest version (v1.0) is now available here

I’ve just released an updated version of the Ink Blog Plugin, Beta 2 for Microsoft Live Writer & Tablet PCs.

There are quite a bit of new features here including:

  • More ink colors, including custom colors
  • Handwriting Recognition of Ink, which is posted in blog under the ink area
  • Various pens and line weights
  • Highlighters
  • Lasso tool / Move / Cut / Copy / Paste
  • Multi-level Undo / Redo
  • Text inside the ink region
  • Ability to re-edit ink before you publish
  • Vertically Expanding ink area – unlimited ‘paper’
  • Edit mode backgrounds for cleaner inking (Several line widths & Grid)
  • Recognition of shapes
  • And More….. :-)

Requirements:

  • Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
  • Windows Live Writer
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0
  • Microsoft Ink Update for Tablet PCs on .NET framework 2.0 / CLR

To Install the latest version on your Tablet:

  1. Download Here
  2. Close any open MS Windows of Live Writer
  3. Run Installer by double clicking on the downloaded file
  4. You will now have a “Insert Ink Blog” option in the Live Writer task pane, and on the ‘Insert’ menu
  5. Ink Away, and enjoy!

Important NOTES:

  •   If you get a warning message during the install, it is probably because you do not have the Microsoft Ink update installed (see above).  Continuing through the install is fine, but you will need to download and install the update for full & proper functionality.  (This is a good update to put on your Tablet PC either way to ensure optimum ink compatibility in other applications)
  • This beta build will expire on October 1, 2006 (Don’t worry, I should have another out long before then! :-) )

As always, please leave your feedback, issues, and requests as a comment here, or contact me directly.

 [UPDATE] If you are getting an error when you try to use the plugin that mentions the file Microsoft.mshtml please see the post here for a fix.

Ink Generated with Ink Blog Plugin - http://www.edholloway.com

Ink Blog – Feature Requests?

If there are any features you were hoping for in the ink blog plugin – now is a good time to let me know.  I’ve got most of the big items on my list done, and will be starting on some others soon.

Please comment here and let me know what you would like to see.

Writing or Riding – OR When is the next update of Ink Blog going to be ready Ed!?!

Well first, let me thank everyone for all the positive feedback I’ve received on the Ink Blog plugin – I’m really glad to hear everyone is enjoying it.

Now that I’ve teased you with what is in the works for the next drop, many of you have been asking when it will be ready.

That’s a tough one, first there is the whole day job thing , we have a new product line coming out in October and things have been a little hectic.  Not only is it a new product, but it is in a different space than where we currently play ( Enterprise Tablet PC software).  New websites, marketing material, yada yada yada, oh yea, docs, and the code! :-)  I’m not releasing any specific on the new software quite yet, but it will be for the Tablet PC, and at a lower price point /target than our current offerings.  More soon.

Next is a superbike motorcycle race I have been looking forward to.  I’m not a big race fan, but the venue is close to home, and sounds like a great excuse to ride the Ducati on a fun day trip.

So I guess the the ultimate answer depends on Saturday’s weather.  If it’s nice out, I’m off to the races, if not, I’ll be writing code for the plugin.

Either way, I’ll have something out soon!   Thanks again for the great feedback!