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Reviewing Qumana Blog Manager – So far, so good…

Qumana is the latest in a bunch of desktop blogging applications I’m testing, all in an effort to see if there’s one out there in Internet land that’ll be my magic bullet, working flawlessly with all the features I need.

  • Qumana 3.2.3, updated 1 May 2009

Installation was a breeze. The first hiccup happened when trying to set up a blog. My WordPress settings were not automatically recognized even though WordPress was on the list of acceptable blogs. Manually fill it out, then.

my writing elephant hatThere was a field called "Endpoint" that had to be populated, but with what? I guessed and added http://myblog.com/xmlrpc.php and was happily correct. I guessed that because I’ve installed enough of these blog applications and that xmlrpc thing almost always comes up. But would an inexperienced user figure it out? I’m thinking better documentation is in order, personally.

Considerations

  • No forums. That means no users helping users, no transparency of outstanding bugs or issues. No way for users to express interest in features they want.
  • Contact form – that seems to be the only way to report bugs or get help of any kind.
  • FAQs, Knowledge Base – on the site.
  • No indication if Qumana is still in development or if it’s a dead project.

Bugs

  • Can’t manage to get beyond 100 to 200 blog entries downloaded/synced from the blog server.
  • Inline images doesn’t work with thumbnails from my own site, which I know is up and running properly.
  • If I click on an image, to make it a link for example, Qumana sometimes adds in height="16px" and "width="16px". Have to check in HTML view since that’s the only way to know.
  • If there’s something wrong in the HTML, the blog entry cannot be opened, which means it also cannot be fixed through Qumana. It also means that there’s no way to tell what’s wrong and if it’s something as simple as a missing closing tag. It also means that the entire blog post is gone unless you’ve published it.

Feature Enhancements Needed

  • I would love to have smaller icons, which is not presently an option.
  • I’d love to be able to customize the toolbar, including turning off the advertising icon entirely since I don’t plan on using the Qumana advertising system.
  • Formatting for Heading1 and so on. Really, it’s so needed. But, after manually added them in Source View, the heading text is appropriately larger and bolder.
  • Show post slug or permanent URL. Duplicate posts happen, unfortunately, through a Twitter application, and I delete those duplicates. Because refresh does nothing to delete posts from the Qumana side that I’ve already deleted from the server side, I either need to remember to delete the duplicates before refreshing, or I need to delete through Qumana. Deleting through Qumana means I don’t know which post was posted first, so I’ll still need to go to the server to correct the post slug (post-slug vs. post-slug-2).
  • Support for native tagging. There is no way for me to add my WordPress tags, so if I want them to show up on my blog post, I’ve got to go to my WordPress blog on the server and manually change/add them there.
  • Images – flow is supported, but align for left and right is not. Plus Qumana adds extra HTML that I don’t want there, like margins and padding – my CSS handles everything I need.
  • Captions as an image thingie is not recognized and disappears from the HTML.
  • Ability to turn off pinging Qumana and Technorati servers. Really, I should be able to make my own decision as to which servers, if any, I ping.
  • The frames for the various windows don’t stay how I put them. I have to continually resize the bit where Date Created, Categories, Allow Comments, Allow Trackbacks is to make it big enough to actually use.

The Good

  • Source view, or what I’d call HTML view, wraps properly. Hallelujah!
  • The interface, while not blazingly pretty, is reasonably pretty enough and reasonably intelligent and intuitive as well.
  • Basic formatting is present and, thus far, seems to work well.
  • Blockquote is treated separately from indents and outdents. Also Hallelujah!
  • Posts can be saved. Another Hallelujah!

The Summary

So far, Qumana is not painful to use. It doesn’t have me screaming or tearing my hair out. It’s missing some key-for-me features, but it’s more workable and usable than most of the other blog editors I’ve used thus far.

So far, sadly, this is my top choice if nothing better shows up. Which means manually adding WordPress tags and correcting image and formatting HTML code if I end up using this.

It’s days like this that I wish I knew how to program.

Meanwhile, it has enough features with still no crashes after a month and a half of writing, saving, and publishing blog posts through Qumana that I’ll be using this as my primary blog editor until/unless I find something better. 🙂

Meanwhile, these are the desktop blogging platforms that remain on my list to try out:

  1. Windows Live Writer
  2. w.bloggar
  3. BlogMate plugin for TextMate
  4. Thingamablog
  5. Stuffr
  6. Elicit 1.1.7 by Bingo Bango Software (domain appears nonexistent, software not updated since 2006). Not sure if I’ll give this a try – likely too old to work well with Windows 7.
  7. Bytescout Post2Blog 3.0.1, 28 June 2007 (date added to downloads.com)
  8. Chrysanth WebStory – 90-day trial
  9. LIPIDr Blog Client – freeware, last version: 2007
  10. QTM
  11. Semagic
  12. WB Editor

The ones I’ve reviewed:

  1. BlogJet 2.0.0.10, released 13 September 2007
  2. Zoundry Raven Beta 1.0.375, built on 08/05/08
  3. Anconia RocketPost 2 Pro 2.5.441
  4. BlogDesk Version 2.8, build 400 from 22 February 2009
  5. Qumana Blog Editor 3.2.3, updated 1 May 2009

Mac-OS-only desktop clients I can’t use since I’m on Windows:

  1. Bleezer – mac only
  2. Blogo – Mac only
  3. MarsEdit – Mac only
  4. Ecto – Mac only
  5. MacJournal
  6. QTM

Ones that are otherwise out for me:

  1. Zoundry Blog Writer – it became Zoundry Raven, reviewed above
  2. Scribefire – Firefox plugin, not desktop blogging platform
  3. AIRPress. AIRPress no longer exists. Its domain is owned by squatters.
  4. Flock – web browser with built-in blogging, not desktop blogging platform.

If you know of other desktop blogging clients for Windows, please let me know. I’ll add ’em to the list and take ’em for a test drive. 🙂

Additionally, if you’re looking for more blog clients for other platforms, including mobile platforms, check this out.

Tags: , , desktop blogging platform, blog manager, , Qumana

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