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RocketPost Basic
Posted Saturday, October 22, 2005 10/22/2005 04:55:00 PM


I'm trying out RocketPost blogging software. The interface is nice and solid. The editor allows switching between design mode and HTML mode which is a must. RocketPost even has the extremely useful feature of being able to download all posts off blogger. This is very nice for backup purposes and such. The interface allows me to edit the publication time and date; something that I’ve seen missing from other blogging software.

With all this application goodness I was floored at the utterly horrific spell check. One of the main reasons I ever want to use a blogging tool is to provided integrated spell check. I’ve tried BlogJet and W.Bloggar and others not worth mentioning. All of them have problems with their spell check in my opinion. Unfortunately RocketPost is the worst. First of all it breaks the standard convention for spell check. Normally when you run a spell check in most applications you will be presented with a dialog box that allows you to ignore or replace the misspelled words one at a time. Often many of the words are not misspelled but just missing from the dictionary. For these you need to either hit ignore or add to dictionary. Because I am often presented with many of these in a row it is easy to just click-click-click through several at a time. In RocketPost you are not presented with a dialog box but rather a drop down menu that drops form somewhere in the vicinity of the potentially misspelled word. So in order to ignore several words you need to click ignore, move mouse to new drop down, click ignore, move mouse... and so on. It eliminates the ability of motor memory as the buttons are constantly moving. Also, sometimes the word you are checking is covered by the drop-down that fails to repeat the word. You stuck guessing... “What word did I type that looks like gurge?”. Also you need to be aware that if your misspelled word contains any punctuation (for example wo'nt) it is ignored and therefore assumed correct. Why anyone would choose to break the well established paradigm for spell check is beyond me.

In addition there is my pet peeve. I am coastally writing the word “teh” rather then “the”. MS Word is smart enough to automatically make all my “teh”s into “the”s. In BlogJet and W.Bloggar I has to perform a scroll to replace “teh” with “the” during the spell check. Even worse in RocketPost “teh” isn't even one of the options. It also provides not capability for replacing the word with your own word not in it’s dictionary. That means every time the spell check comes across a “teh” I need to stop the spell check, change it manually, and start again. That is very unproductive. In then end I still haven’t found any blog posting software better then good old MS word or bloggers built in WYSIWYG editor.

I have also noticed that there appears to be no feature to publish your blog. In blogger you can post an article but it will not be updated until you publish your blog. This means after you post your article you need to log into blogger and manually publish. Then what is the point of blogging software.

[Edit: Wow! They charge $149 for the full version.]

7 Comments:

  • Thanks for checking out RocketPost.

    The spell check is specifically designed to be in-place so you can see the misspelled word in its full context rather than covering the doc with a big, ugly dialog box that blocks your view.

    You don't have to "stop" spellcheck as it's totally modeless. Just type the correct word right in place and click the Next button on the spelling toolbar.

    Both in-context and modeless are general trends in modern UI design, and although you'll feel the hit because it's unfamiliar at first, see how you like it in a couple of weeks.

    Motor memory is a great point. You can press the numbers 1-5 to accept any of the top suggestions.

    In my testing, the top suggestion for "teh" is in fact "the". Please let me know in which sentence this fails.

    The dropdown menu covering the word is a bug, not by design. We'll fix this soon, and the app autoupdates weekly, so you'll get the fix.

    We'll release a cheaper version soon for casual bloggers.

    By Blogger Manish, at 10/22/2005 06:10:00 PM  

  • Re: posting drafts, click Draft on the Status dropdown menu and then click Post.

    When you're done, change Draft to Publish and then click Post.

    By Blogger Manish, at 10/22/2005 06:15:00 PM  

  • Manish,

    Good luck with the tool. In-context spell check is good to a certain extent. For example right clicking on a misspelled word to get a list of replacements is very nice. However, when you running thorough a long post you don't want to constantly move your mouse to track the jumping spell check window. I don't think this is something that we get used to. Modelless is fine but I would suggest you scroll the cursor to teh mispelled word rather then having the drop down move. If you have Firefox check out the SpellBound plugin (http://spellbound.sourceforge.net/) I think it has a great spell check and it is modelless (sort of).

    If you look at the image I've included in my post you will see that not only is "The" not on the list but the original "The" is covered.

    Hope this helps your development and I will keep an eye out for the the cheaper version.

    By Blogger harshblogger, at 10/22/2005 08:51:00 PM  

  • Manish,

    When I publish a post (not a draft) it is added to blogger as a published post. However, you still need to republish teh blog to get it to appear on the website.

    By Blogger harshblogger, at 10/22/2005 08:53:00 PM  

  • $149?!?! Who do they imagine will pay so much for so little?!! :-O

    By Blogger Omni, at 10/22/2005 11:33:00 PM  

  • Teh/The is fixed, Help/Check for Updates to get the bug fix.

    We haven't been able reproduce the publish problem here. In our testing the Blogger blog updates immediately whether you post as draft before publishing, or you publish straightaway. Is there a guest login we can use to see the problem on your blog?

    The no-scroll is a great idea, looking into it, thanks. I tend to use the keyboard shortcuts myself (1-5 to accept a suggestion), though admittedly that's more advanced.

    Omni: it's the most advanced in the market. It's the first full-blown, fat client productivity app for blogs (not a simple thin client)-- this is a new category. It's designed for heavy bloggers and business users. See: http://www.anconia.com/rocketpost/comparison.asp

    The Blogger version is free.

    By Blogger Manish, at 10/23/2005 02:32:00 AM  

  • We just released a $37 version of RocketPost.

    http://www.anconia.com/rocketpost/pricing.asp

    By Blogger Manish, at 10/27/2005 01:30:00 PM  

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