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Ah, good times.  I've been battling this site on a few fronts lately - and one finally succumbed to my incessant beatings. One of my long-term goals was to be able to post to this site outside of the Administrator function.  That way I would no longer have to worry about being timed out or have to deal with that annoying WYSIWYG. So, I set out to use Joomla's XML-RPC functionality, which would let me use a third-party desktop (or iPhone) client to write posts.  Of course, nothing was that simple.

I talked about it in a previous post about my frustrations with it - basically that all the angle brackets necessary for HTML, like , were being stripped out making linking or even simple paragraph tags impossible. After many discussions with the plugins author (who speaks Japanese by the way) and many bouts of troubleshooting - I ran into a thought that it may be the same bug that was causing a problem with XML parsing on the Swampdogs site (which is designed and administered by me and hosted on the same server).  Well, it was.

For those of you who may stumble onto this post via Google, a really annoying bug in libxml2 was the cause.  You can attempt to roll back to an earlier version of libxml2 without the bug - but the recommended fix is to rebuild php with libexpat and let that handle parsing.  Just be aware that the forum requires registration and login to see it, but registration is free. 

So, a few weeks later the problem is fixed.  Now I can post to my blog from any client that supports the Movable Type API for XML-RPC.  I am currently using ScribeFire, which is a Firefox plugin (if you're not using Firefox after the latest massive Internet Explorer security hole, you're just nuts. It has apparently been fixed as Windows Update just downloaded a patch for IE7 - but it was busted for awhile and apparently up to 10,000 sites contained code to exploit it and steal your passwords. Good times.)

ScribeFire's good, in that I can browse around and leave this open at the bottom, allowing me to visit many sites and provide way more links per post with ease.  There are a few problems, though. 

First, it doesn't use paragraph tags - rather it just requires me to hit return twice - which is sloppy HTML.  I love the paragraph tag (note: I tried to insert bracket-p-bracket here using HTML entities, but Joomla apparently can't handle that).  Second, when it sends the post to my site, it remains unplublished - but that may just be a bad setting of mine, I have to look into it.  Third, it seems to exist outside of Firefox's wonderful spell checker.  Fourth, there does not appear to be a way to insert photos that have not been already uploaded.

I tried Windows Live Writer (which apparently released a new version yesterday), and was fairly impressed - but I still prefer the in-browser method.  In addition, while Live Writer supports uploading photos via FTP, it does not support Secure FTP, which sucks.  I have non-encrypted methods of communication with my server disabled because it's stupid to pass your login and password in plain text.  I find it mind-boggling that we are still sending so much internet traffic unencrypted these days?  Why not encrypt it?  It's not like encryption will keep eavesdroppers at bay forever, but it will discourage the casual snooper.

So, anyway - this post was written entirely with ScribeFire and so will all of my posts in the future (or at least some other XML-RPC client - like the Wordpress client for the iPhone). It should, in theory, increase my output.  Throw in the fact that I have set up my podcasting studio including Mic boom on my desk with my RE20 in it's shock absorber - and I am beginning to feel like a person with a real website.  Next step - a real template and finishing the PhpBB - Joomla Comments which people are bugging me to complete.  It's good not to be depressed anymore.

 P.S.  -- It appears that ScribeFire's HTML capabilities may be much worse than I originally thought, it included no returns or paragraphs at all  - but it does now publish posts, just not to the front page.  Back for more testing.  Arggh.