Thursday, January 20, 2005


I don't like using my web browser as an editor. That's not what it was designed to do. For most of my work, I switch back and forth between vi and Emacs for most of my editing tasks, though in the past I used other editors (e.g. Brief) more regularly. And, of course, I'm often happy to revert to pen and pad. So it isn't that I'm biased against using a different technology for writing -- it's just that my web browser isn't an editor.

I usually compose the pieces I post here on my laptop, using Emacs. To post, I copy and paste into the web form. I've tried using the e-mail interface, but it's spotty, and sometimes either drops posts completely or delays them by as much as a few days. There's also an Emacs mode to post to Blogger using the Blogger 1.0 XML-RPC interface (RPC is short for Remote Procedure Call; it's a way of requesting that a remote server do something on your behalf, such as creating a new post). Leaving aside my opinion of XML-RPC in general, the Blogger interface is going nowhere: Blogger is going forward with a different API called Atom which supports many more features (including things like titles), while much of the rest of the world is going with RSS. Either way, I have better things to do with my time right now than to hack together an Emacs LISP module so that I can have a newer-and-spiffier way to post directly from my editor.

I could, of course, use the web browser built into Emacs. Yes, I use an editor with a web browser built into it; I enjoy using the Emacs web browser almost as much as I enjoy using my web browser as an editor.