Thursday, December 17, 2015

A story with a happy ending

Open Live Writer

By now you should appreciate that I spend a lot of time blogging, not only here but in many other places on the web. When I first started out my blog was running on proprietary software I hosted on my own server. From there I moved to a public SharePoint blog that I also maintained on my own infrastructure. Eventually, I ended up on Blogger for various reasons and the offline tool that I used to craft posts was Windows Live Writer which Microsoft made available for free.

Over the years Microsoft has moved away from maintaining and updating Windows Live Writer which I can totally understand, especially being a free product. Problem was the Internet continued to evolve and was slowly but surely creeping towards being more secure. This meant that Blogger (a Google property) also became more secure in the way it handled authentication.

Doing so back in June 2015 this new autehntication broke the ability for Windows Live Write to post successfully to Blogger. The summary of my experiences are here:

Back with Blogger

As I expressed in that post, I was concerned about the way forward with Windows Live Writer because the writing was on the wall for it no longer being maintained. Kudos to both Microsoft and Google for working together on solving this and for Google to extending the older autentication for another 6 months.

Fast forward to a few days ago and BAMB, unable to post again (the 6 month lifeline was over). The support forums again lit up with people crying, screaming, begging for the problem to be rectified.

Scott Hanselman from Microsoft announced on December 9 that Windows Live Writer was being forked to an open source product called Open Live Writer. You read about it here:

http://www.hanselman.com/blog/AnnouncingOpenLiveWriterAnOpenSourceForkOfWindowsLiveWriter.aspx

Only problem was the new Open Live Writer still didn’t support the ability to post to Blogger. However, the encouraging news was that some smart people were working on solving the problem.

Martin Woodward from Microsoft who is an author and contributor on the project left a comment on my post:

Windows Live Writer not working with Blogger again

to let me know the issue was being worked on as a priority. Cool, just needed to be patient.

image

I then received a reply to a tweet from Scott Hanselman that there was now a version of Open Live Write that supported posting to Blogger.

image

So I popped back over to:

http://openlivewriter.org/

downloaded the latest version and installed it.

One of things I was worried about was the fact that I have two factor authentication enabled on my Google account. Would Open Live Writer handle this? Yes it did! In a better way than before when I had to use one time applications passwords with Windows Live Writer.

So after publishing a test post to confirm all was in order I am now back on the blogging train and normal service will continue.

Firstly, thank you to EVERYONE who worked to resolve this issue. You have no idea I suspect of how many souls you have pleased. It demonstrates the greatness of people when they work together (remembering that both Windows Live Writer and Open Live Writer are free products).

I look forward to continued improvements with Open Live Writer going forward (some stuff still needs doing but that is minor) and again thank everyone who made this piossible. You are legends!