Future Posting With MarsEdit

April 9th, 2007

From time to time people ask for a feature in MarsEdit that would allow scheduling of posts for future publication. While I can appreciate the desire for such functionality, the drawbacks to implementing it on the client-side are numerous. To schedule a future post, MarsEdit or a custom tool from MarsEdit needs to run in the future, at a precise time specified by the user.

Launchd and other system scheduling services make this task less formidable, but it’s still not exactly something I can whip up overnight. Fortunately, some publishing systems treat posts with future dates as unpublished, and automatically change their state to published when the specified date arrives. WordPress in particular definitely supports this. To see if your blog supports it, next time you’re publishing a post try setting the date to just a few minutes in the future. From the Post menu, select “Edit Date,” and enter a future time:

I am writing about this because I suspect many people don’t know about this really cool feature. I didn’t know about it myself until very recently. I was motivated to research it when Guy Kawasaki asked about the possibility. He confirmed that the trick works with his (excellent) TypePad-based blog, too. [Update: I believe the TypePad functionality may have only appeared to work. I have since learned that TypePad doesn't seem to support this the way we had hoped.]

For any WordPress users who are curious, the functionality in that system is based on a nifty general-purpose “cron-like” service built-in to WordPress 2.1 and later. This allows the system and plugins to schedule future actions for a variety of purposes, including future posting. Glenn Slaven has a nice article about the WordPress scheduling technology.

Aside from WordPress and TypePad, I have confirmed this also works in Google Blogger. I’m not sure which other systems suport future-posting in this way.

Please let us know in the comments if you discover the feature works as expected on your blogging system of choice.

14 Responses to “Future Posting With MarsEdit”

  1. Steve Harris Says:

    I implemented scheduled publishing in my Feeder app after years of requests, (there isn’t a server alternative for standalone feeds), and it did need a lot of thought – waking the Mac from sleep, not blocking the app with a progress sheet all of a sudden and dealing with failures, to name just a few issues.

    What struck me after releasing it was the almost total absence of feedback about the feature. I suspect that the reality is scheduling your Mac to publish something, possibly unattended, isn’t quite so attractive – even though I confirmed with people that is what they wanted.

    With MarsEdit, I think you are doing the right thing in leaving it to the blogging software. After all, if it’s a feature people want, then it would be better to have it no matter what client software is being used.

  2. Miles Metcalfe Says:

    The feature works with David Czarnecki’s excellent Blojsom. In theory it should work with Apple Weblog server too, then, but I’ve not tested that.

  3. jon deal Says:

    Expression Engine (from pmachine) supports future posting. I do it all the time as a matter of fact. MarsEdit leaves the date stamp of the future post intact and as long as the post is “open,” once the publish dates rolls around, the post is live.

  4. Iain Says:

    LiveJournal also lets you ‘post-date’ blog entries. I suspect it should be relatively simple to implement, since the LJ API is published and documented.

  5. Jeff Harrell Says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. I’ve been using MarsEdit since it was in early beta, and I never even knew about this feature. Guess it’ll learn me to go exploring the menus more often.

  6. ssp Says:

    Movable Type has an option for future posting. But I never used it. According to the manual whether or not that feature works depends on the way your MT installation is set up.

  7. MacStansbury Says:

    The old Blogger would pin the future posts, so if you did that, it would stick at the top of your posts. Most of the modern PHP–based blogging softs have that capability.

    Movable Type needs a cron job to post things in the future. Changing to a future date will just get the same kind of pinned post during the next rebuild.

  8. Matt Schinckel Says:

    A caveat to the WordPress future posting. Whilst future posting will work for the front page, it may not prevent prying eyes from seeing your post. It used to be, on Blogsome, a derivative of WordPress MultiUser, that you could see newer than now posts by viewing a category, day, month, or even year archive.

    So, to see all of someone’s future posts, just do:

    http://captainobvious.blogsome.com/2007/

    However, in the current version of Blogsome, future dated posts just appear in the main page, too.

    http://schinckel.net for a real example.

  9. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Matt: I think those issues might be side-effects of the older version of WordPress in place on Blogsome. (I notice the generator string is “WordPress 1.5.1-alpha”).

    Scheduled posting might not have been an actively supported feature at that time. Nowadays, a future-posted entry even shows up in the admin interface under “scheduled posts” in the main sidebar.

  10. Mark Says:

    Nucleus supports it, although I think I’m the only person on the planet still using it.

  11. Matt Schinckel Says:

    Ignore my post above. It does work under Blogsome, I’m just too stupid to remember to check it properly… posts do appear as scheduled.

    I’m sure there was a bug at some stage regarding archives, but I might be mistaken.

  12. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Great to hear that it’s working on Blogsome after all. And thanks for letting me know about Nucleus, Mark.

  13. Derek Says:

    Thanks for the information. I recently found your blog again (I was reading it for awhile when you were having that whole debacle with the Macbook Pro), and I am enjoying your entries.

    I’m also looking forward to trying out MarsEdit in the future because as of now I have just been writing my posts in a simple text file using Emacs. And copying and pasting from local machine to web interface did seem lame to me, indeed.

  14. Gehareelagped Says:

    Что такое практическая магия? Нельзя отрицать, что между двумя связанными явлениями существует взаимосвязь. И если воздействовать на один предмет, то это непременно отразится на другом предмете. Именно это влияние одного явления на другое и лежит в основе практической магии. Человеку подвластно многое, а практическая магия дает возможность человеку воплотить желаемое в действительное.

    Практическая магия была известна людям еще с первобытной эры, когда шаманы в племени вызывали дождь, гадали на исход сражения и произносили заклинания на хорошую охоту.

    Что сейчас может дать человеку практическая магия? Здоровье, успех, личное счастье, избавление от несчастья и беды. Естественно, что для этого надо обладать магической силой, хотя многие вещи доступны и обычным людям, так как человек сам по себе уже наделен способностями и в критических ситуациях, его скрытые возможности активизируются.

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