Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Creating Block Quotes in Zoundry Raven takes only a couple of steps:
To remove the block quote, place the caret/cursor on the quoted paragraph and press the "remove indent" button (i.e button with left arrow).
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
The next beta release of Zoundry Raven will support the ability to install as a portable application (e.g. onto a flash or other portable drive). This is a feature that was requested by many users, and I'm happy to say that we have finally finished the initial support for it. In fact, I am composing this post using Raven2Go installed on a Memorex TravelDrive. It's a bit slow when compared to running off a hard drive (obviously) but it works pretty darn well!
The changes to Raven to support Raven2Go are, for the most part, hidden from users. There are a couple of things that I should mention, however. First, there is a new page in the Raven Installer. This custom installer page simply has a checkbox that can be checked if the user wants to install Raven as a portable application. If the checkbox is checked, then no application information will be saved to the registry. In addition, when Raven is run after being installed in this way, it will run in "Portable" mode.
The other relevant change for users when Raven is in "Portable" mode is where profiles are stored by default (and where the profiles.xml registry file is located). When in portable mode, Raven looks for a "profiles" directory in the install location. For instance, if you install Raven2Go to E:\TravelApps\Raven, then the profiles.xml file and the default location for newly created profiles will be E:\TravelApps\Raven\profiles.
Everything else that's different between Raven2Go and Raven is under the covers, so users shouldn't have to worry about it. For the most part, it simply means that where we used to refer to files in your profile using absolute paths, we will now use relative paths. This should allow you to take your portable drive to different machines (where the drive letter might be different) and everything should still work.
One thing to note for existing users - I would recommend doing a clean uninstall/install of Raven2Go if you have previously been using Raven on a portable device. The uninstall step will remove all of the stuff from the registry that Raven put in there (not much, but you clearly don't want it in there). Then the re-install will be clean (little/no registry entries).
Sunday, March 16, 2008
The Zoundry Raven application is based on a typical three pane view, with the bottom right view showing the summary of the current selection. For example, if the current selection is a blog post, then the post summary is displayed in the lower right pane. This pane exposes an extension point allowing one to contribute a view to it. ZM has created 4 extension point contributions to this, resulting in four difference 'views' of the post data.
The default is the standard Post Preview view.
On the top right of the Blog Post Summary, you will find a small 16x16 "window" icon. When you right click on this icon button, the context menu displays all of the available contributions (or views in this case).
The available views are - Post Preview, General Properties, Links (links found in the post), and Media (images referenced in the post).
This view shows general properties about the post, such as the post title, date-time, and internal entry-id. If this post is published to multiple blogs, then the list of blogs is also shown in this summary view.
This view displays all the links referenced within the post. You can right click on each link for other options.
This view lists all of the image src URLs referenced in your post. Right click on the image URLs for options.
Similar to adding your custom links, you can add your own weblog pings sites by contributing to extension point "zoundry.blogapp.pubsystems.weblogping.site" (since there is no UI at this time).
This zip contains just one plug-in folder (for the plug-in XML file) with the plug-in containing one contribution (ping site) to the extension point "zoundry.blogapp.pubsystems.weblogping.site". The zplugin.xml can be found in the plug-in folder
<zoundry-extension point="zoundry.blogapp.pubsystems.weblogping.site"> <!-- id for Bitacoras --> <id>zoundry.blogapp.pubsystems.publishers.weblogping.site.bitacoras</id> <extension-data> <weblog-ping-site> <name>Bitacoras.com</name> <url>http://ping.bitacoras.com</url> </weblog-ping-site> </extension-data> </zoundry-extension>
One of the key features of the Raven blog editor is its extensibility via plug-ins. Some of the plug-in extension points are based on XML file configuration (i.e. no programing required) while others require programing. Some examples of the first category are blog sites/servers that appear on the New Account wizard, FTP based sites that appear on the New Media storage wizard, weblog ping sites and "quick links" that appear in the Link To right click context menu.
The current beta release does not provide a UI for the user to add his or her own list of quick link sites that appear in the context menu or even the tag sites that appear in the post publish settings dialog. How ever, if you are technically proficient in XML, here is way to "manually" add links and tag sites.
The plug-in zip contains two folders, one for the plug-in xml and the other being the plug-in resources (icons). In this example, the plug-in id is
You can edit the sample zplugin.xml file to add your own links and tag sites. You can find more examples in the zoundry.raven.blogapp.simplelinkprovider plug-in (this is the default link provider plug-in that Raven ships with).
Monday, March 10, 2008
One of the features of Raven is to allow you to manage multiple Profiles (in addition to multiple blogs within a Profile). A Raven Profile maintains all posts, tasks, indexes, account information etc. (basically all runtime information) in a single folder. Normally, most people would end up using a single profile. This default profile is normally stored in your Windows Application Data directory (e.g.
Example of cases where you may want to use multiple profiles are:
At Zoundry, we also maintain multiples profiles - one of them being for the this Development Blog (and the Zoundry Blog) and the rest (a lot) being various "test" profiles. For example, some profiles contain 1 blog with a few posts, while others may have multiple blogs across various platforms with 1000s of posts. Another case is where some users have zipped their profile and emailed it to use for tracking down bugs.
This is the dialog you normally see on start up. It allows you to select the profile you want to open as well as create and delete Profiles.
Currently, this dialog is shown only during start up. You cannot switch profiles once you have launched the application. If you need to switch profiles, you need to exit the application and restart it. (This issue will be addressed in a later release).
Notice that this dialog has a "Don't show this dialog again" check box. Well, if you do check it, the dialog will not be shown and Raven will always launch with the last used Profile. Currently there is no way (with the current UI) for you to get to this dialog again (this will be resolved as well). If you must see this dialog, then the only option is to exit the application and modify a XML configuration file:
Changing the Profile From The Command Line:
If you are launching Raven from a command line or a Windows shortcut file, you can provide the path to the profile using the "--profile" option. The syntax is:
We use this technique in our development environment (Eclipse) to allow us launch different test Profiles from Eclipse's Run menu.
Launching a Profile From The Desktop:
Using the --profile command line option it is possible for one to launch a Profile from a desktop shortcut. For example, I launch the Zoundry Development Blog profile directly from my desktop - bypassing the Profile Manager Dialog with its many profiles (in my case).
Now, when you double click on the desktop shortcut, Raven will launch, bypassing the Profile Manager and using the Profile defined in the command line option.
Powered by Zoundry Raven
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Our second public beta build release (version 0.9.223) is now available for download. This build has most of the defects that were submitted during the last beta period fixed as well as the following enhancements and features:
Zoundry Raven version 0.9.233 or later now supports command line options to allow external programs to launch the editor - specifically to support BlogThis functionality. The syntax is
where -title is the post title and -text is the plain (not xhtml) text. Other options/flags include:
GreatNews (GN) is another cool news reader from CurioStudio. GreatNews has a BlogThis functionality to support external client applications such as Zoundry Raven.
To set up GreatNews to work with Zoundry Raven:
where path_to_raven_install is the install directory for Raven. For example,
RSS Owl News Reader:
Instructions for RSS Owl:
Use the following for NewsGator's FeedDemon:
For example, the command line should be similar to:
TDB - Launching Raven directly from your web browser (FireFox and IE).
From time-to-time, you may need to upload non images with your posts. For example, a PDF attachment, or more frequently a MP3 podcast file.
With Zoundry Raven (ver 0.9.223+), this is easy as a drag and drop. The only requirement to accomplish this is that you must have a media storage setup that is capable of accepting large non-image files. The best option is to use a FTP based media storage as it can handle large files and it is efficient in uploading files (compared to xml-rpc).
The second option is to choose your blog's xml-rpc (e.g. WordPress). How ever, these do have limitations on file size. If you try to upload very large files (e.g. 8MB, depending on your server configuration), the server may not allow file uploads. These PHP based servers can be configured to support larger files. Please read this forum post for more details (thanks to David Leigh).
Media stores that are of Image type hosting sites will not work as these sites allow only images to be uploaded. Example of these include PicasaWeb, LiveJournal FotoBilder and ImageShack.
OK, now for the instructions. To upload and link files, there are two options:
During the publishing process, local files will be uploaded to the media store. Media files will automatically be marked as enclosures (rel=enclosure).
Thursday, March 6, 2008
The WYSIWYG editor (basically the MS IE control) font name and size, by default are based on your Internet Explorer settings. Depending on the your desktop screen size and dpi, this may be small for some.
The next beta release candidate will have a user preference to all you to set your own font name and size. Once the setting has been applied, you will see the changes next time you open a document/post.
While on the topic of screen sizes, dpis etc, did you know that you can change most of the toolbar button sizes as well. To do this, simply right click on the toolbar (e.g. editor toobar where the Save buttons is) and choose the "tool size" as well as the "show text" option. Learn more about this from the Zoundry Raven: Custom ToolBar post.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
The Zoundry Raven editor has a built-in dialog to allow you send feedback, bug reports etc. To access the Send Feedback dialog, choose Send Feedback option from the Help menu.
Raven provides a simple text control for you to enter a comma separated list of tags (or labels). These are entered in the "Tagwords" field, found below the Title in the edtior.
In the previous release (0.9.199), these tagwords were linked (bound) to Technorati.com tagspace when post is published and updated (even if tagging was natively supported by your blog platform such as Blogger or WordPress 2.2+).
A feature of the new beta release (0.9.223) is that we have finally removed the "hard coded" references to Technorati tagspace that was in the alpha release. With this release, you can select one or tag sites (or none at all, if you are on WordPress).
The new version has an additional tab ("Tag Sites", similar to Weblog Pings) in the blog post configure UI.
By default, the available tag sites are unchecked. If you want to add your tags to Technorati (or any other tag supported tag site), then the Technorati (or other) tag should be checked. Now, the nice thing about this option if you are using Blogger, WordPress 2.2+ or LiveJournal, then you do not have to select any tags sites since these three platforms supports tagging natively (unless you also want to add tags to sites outside your blog such as Technorati). For Blogger, we treat tags and categories as labels. So, most of you might end up using the Tagwords section to enter Blogger labels rather than using the (some what inconvenient) Category check boxes.
Default tag site selection can also be made at application level (via Preferences) as well on a per Account and Blog basis (via Account Manager).
Finally, if you want to link to a tag space within your post content, simply select the text you want to link, right click and choose Link -> LinkTo -> Tag -> Technorati (or other supported site).