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September 21, 2009

Using Windows Live Writer to publish to Warwick Blogs

I’ve been playing around with the Atom Publishing Protocol the last couple of days, and as part of this I’ve been able to make a few improvements to the Atom implementation that we have on Warwick Blogs. As a result, it’s now possible to use Windows Live Writer to publish blog entries, which is pretty neat-o as it has draft saving and some better formatting options than can be reliably provided in a browser. Some people may prefer to use it to publish blog entries, although there are a few caveats (in particular, uploading files isn’t supported in our Atom implementation yet so you won’t be able to add pictures inline into blog entries, which is a bit of a shame).

To set it up, you need to add a new account in Windows Live Writer.

Choose “Other blog service”.

Enter the URL of your blog and your ITS username and password. For the security conscious: information sent to the Atom API is sent over HTTPS using HTTP Basic Auth.

As the blog type, select Atom Publishing Protocol, and as the service document enter (the https is important here)

Windows Live Writer will then attempt to verify your settings, and make a test post to try and download the theme for your blog. This is a bit hit and miss, I’ve had it working on some blogs but not on others.

Et voilá! Now you’re all set up. Note that this doesn’t support Warwick Blogs-specific behaviour such as permissions (all entries will default to being viewable and commentable by anyone).

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I’m a Web Developer in e-lab, part of IT Services at the University of Warwick.

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