Questions from a newbie
  • Still in trial period, but so far I do like MarsEdit. A couple of questions (self hosted WP blogs using rich text editing).

    - Is there a way to do a startpost/endpost? EG, I often have numerous notes about a post that I keep in the beginning of my document and then put graveyard text that I may still use at the end. This is particularly critical for posts that get routine updates over time.

    - Similarly, is there a way to do inline notes that aren't published?

    - Is there a way to sort Local Drafts by last modified date instead of created date?

    - Post management. If I open a published post, make some mods, then save it unpublished, it saves to Local Drafts. So far, so good. If I forget that I've made these mods and again open the published post, there does not appear to be anything that warns me and asks if I want to open the published post or the more recently modified version in Local Drafts. ??

    - I have occasionally ended up with multiple versions of the same post in Local Drafts and in one case they have the exact same timestamp.

    - Is there a way to create multiple draft folders (eg, one for each blog)? Or, can I have multiple instances of MarsEdit, one for each blog?

    Sorry if these are basic and have been covered elsewhere. My feeble searches and antiquated tech ability haven't provided answers to these.
  • Hi there - thanks for giving MarsEdit a try - I'm going to answer your questions one by one. Just let me know if I miss the gist of any of them.

    - Startpost/Endpost/Inline Notes. You mean you'd like to be able to delineate that parts of the post that should not actually be sent to the blog when you publish? I am afraid I don't have any support for something like this. Your suggestion gives me some ideas for ideas to possibly support in the future, though. Something like a "sticky note" that attaches to the post but doesn't actually publish sounds like a neat idea.

    - Post management. Hmm, actually MarsEdit does make an effort to coalesce drafts of the same post, but in testing this just now I noticed a pretty severe problem: it appears that if you open a post, edit, and save it in MarsEdit, it will just overwrite the local draft that you had last saved for that post. That's pretty bad and something I'd like to see fixed. I also note well that it doesn't bring in the existing draft's content, it just starts over with the original content.

    - Multiple versions of drafts. I'm not sure how this is happening yet: in my tests it always saves over the previous copy of the published post, which as I said is bad, but I'm not getting duplicates. You might want to select View -> Columns -> Post ID, to get a better sense for whether the drafts and the original are indeed associated with the same blog and the same Post ID. Basically if MarsEdit thinks it already has a draft for the Blog/Post ID combo, it should be opening the existing draft for editing, but it isn't. Fixing that will alleviate a lot of this, I think. I'm making a priority to look into that more.

    - Multiple draft folders. Unfortunately this is not possible. It's something I'd like to support in a future update but probably not in the very near term. Unfortunately it's also not possible to have multiple instances of MarsEdit. However, you can publish posts as "Server Drafts" if your blog supports them. They will show up among your published drafts but will not actually be visible to the public on your blog.

    Thanks for the questions - they are not really basic, and they give me a good idea of how it feels to use MarsEdit from a fresh perspective. It will help me make improvements to the app down the road.


  • Thanks Daniel.

    - In Newspapers we used ### to indicate the beginning and ending of a story (some software also considered anything within [ ] to be comments which a lot of people liked since the beginning and end of comments was more clear and it also made it easier to include optional text in [ ]. Would there be a way to support something like the html comment tag in rich text editing? I think this would allow for both pre/post notes and inline notes. <! > would function the same as the brackets did?

    - Ideally maybe it should ask when you open a post if you'd rather open what is saved in drafts if it is more recent? If you do not, then what to do with the now disparate copies? If you open a post, choose not to open the more recent draft, then attempt to save it, ask if you want to overwrite the existing draft, save the currently being edited draft/post with a new name (and without a post ID), or cancel (without loosing the currently being edited draft/post).

    I can imagine a scenario where you'd write a post, later open the post and make changes that you save to a draft for future posting, but then at some point need to make a minor change to the live post, without posting or loosing the draft. EG, you hit save by mistake so you cancel
  • The idea to use HTML comments seems like a reasonable idea, though I'm guessing that you wouldn't want the comments to be included in the final output that is published to the blog (even as HTML comments invisible to the reader). I'll think about this some more.

    I think for the drafts situation it's fairly reasonable to assume that users will always want to reopen an existing draft of the post if they have one. It strikes me as relatively uncommon to want to maintain multiple differing drafts of the same post ... or at least, this is a level of draft management that I'm not prepared to manage well yet in MarsEdit. But you make a good point about the possibility of wanting to make a "quick fix" without saving a draft. More food for thought...

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