Aaron\'s Live Writer Blog

August 12, 2011

How to record a setup log

Filed under: Develop, Plug-in, Wave 4 — Aaron Bregel @ 7:11 PM

This really is not Live Writer specific but is here is how to record a setup log that any setup author can use to debug a problem with setup.  This could be used with Windows Live suite setup or even for a Live Writer plug-in.

To enable Windows Installer logging yourself, open the registry with Regedit.exe and create the following path and keys:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer
Reg_SZ: Logging
Value: voicewarmupx

If you do not see the Installer key then with the Windows key selected then select the Edit menu, New, Key and name the key Installer.
Next with the Installer selected, select the Edit menu, New, String Value
Rename the key added to Logging and then  right click on the key and select Modify.  Enter voicewarmupx for the data value.

After you have done this run setup .msi file for the program you are trying to get the log for.

When setup finishes you should have a MSI*.LOG file in your TEMP folder.

After you have captured the log file please delete the key you have added to your registry. If you keep it there it will create a new log every time you install or uninstall software and slow down your machine in the process.

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May 21, 2011

New plug-ins

Filed under: Develop, Live Writer, Live Writer 2011, Plug-in, Wave 3, Wave 4 — Tags: , , , , , — Aaron Bregel @ 10:33 PM

Maybe the needed plug-ins for Windows Live Writer have all been written as there has been a big slow down in what has been submitted to be posted to http://plugins.live.com over the last few months.  Since the beginning of 2011 there have three plug-ins added plus an update to an existing plug-in.  Since there is not RSS on the site you have to go looking for them but if you do you can find some great plug-ins.  Here are the ones added/updated in 2011:

  • Twitter Update – this plug-in is a little more extensible than the plug-in published from Microsoft and allows for tweeting to three accounts on post of the blog entry.
  • Amazon Book Linker – Do you blog about books? Add your Amazon associate id and if people click through from your blog to buy you will get your commission.
  • Source Code Formatter – this is an update to a plug-in that has been available for awhile that allows you to added formatted source code to your blog entry.
  • GeSHi Server Blocks – This is another source code highlighter that works with many server side plug-ins for GeSHi.

 

I hope to see many more plug-ins submitted for Windows Live Writer to the plug-in site.  There are many things you can do when you are blogging.

December 30, 2010

Great post on how to develop a plug-in for Windows Live Writer

Filed under: Develop, Live Writer, Plug-in, Wave 3, Wave 4 — Tags: , , , , — Aaron Bregel @ 7:46 PM

I do not write enough about how to develop a plug-in for Windows Live Writer and I should try and work on that in 2011.  Microsoftie Dan Waters took time out from blogging about the Cloud to write up a post about writing a Twitter plug-in that supports bit.ly including how to set things up on Visual Studio.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/dawate/archive/2010/12/30/how-to-create-a-windows-live-writer-twitter-plugin-that-supports-bit-ly.aspx

Twitter Notify which can be found on http://plugin.live.com supports many URL shorteners but not out of the box.  You can read about how to modify it and the app to do so in a post I did earlier in the year.

Dan’s plug-in can also be found on http://plugin.live.com.

December 1, 2010

Submission process for Plug-ins has been made easier

Filed under: Live Writer, Plug-in, Wave 3, Wave 4 — Tags: , , , , , , — Aaron Bregel @ 12:33 AM

This summer plug-in developers for Windows Live Writer were contacted that changes were coming to how you would submit plug-ins for hosting in the gallery.  Based off of feedback, the process has been refined and it should be easier now to submit plug-ins.  The process has also been consolidated so that if you are authoring a plug-in for Live Writer, Photo Gallery, or Movie Maker it all works the same way.

Plug-in submission process:
  1. Author emails wleplugins@microsoft.com (Windows Live Essentials Plug-ins) including the following information:
    • Author name
    • Author contact email address
    • Plug-in name
    • Plug-in description
    • Plug-in primary language (ex: English; if your plug-in supports multiple languages, please choose one)
    • Writer plug-in category (if your plug-in works with Windows Live Writer, pick exactly one):
      • Buttons
      • Formatting / clipboard
      • Miscellaneous
      • Other content insertion
      • Photos and videos
      • Post publishing
    • Photo Gallery plug-in category (if your plug-in works with Windows Live Photo Gallery, pick exactly one):
      • Publishing
    • Movie Maker plug-in category (if your plug-in works with Windows Live Movie Maker, pick exactly one):
      • Publishing
    • Plug-in tags (up to five sets of one or two words that best describe the plug-in)
    • Plug-in installer MSI file. This can be zipped and attached to your email (the MSI must be within a zip file) or you can provide a link to the file online (you could upload it to Windows Live SkyDrive for example).
  2. Windows Live team adds new/updated plug-in information and MSI installer to this website.
  3. Windows Live team notifies plug-in author that plug-in has been listed/updated.

 

Here are links to the SDKs for Live Writer, Photo Gallery, and Movie Maker:

August 31, 2010

I can’t Log in to Twitter with Twitter Notify

Filed under: Live Writer, Plug-in, Wave 3, Wave 4 — Tags: , , , — Aaron Bregel @ 7:28 PM

Today Twitter changed the way that you sign into Twitter.  Over the last few months you might not have even know that your favorite Twitter application had been updated with this change.  You were prompted to take a new version and you just updated.  In the case of the Windows Live Writer plug-in Twitter Notify there was no way to notify that you needed to update.  What you would see is that you tried to log in with your user name and password and you would just see a dialog that your user name or password was incorrect as you went to post your blog post. 

Have no fear there is a new version of Twitter Notify in the Live Writer plug-in gallery that works with the changes that Twitter has made.  You just need to install it from the gallery.  Here is a link.

Thanks to Will and Ron for their hard work to turn around the fix on this.  Also thanks to Joe Cheng for the reminder that it needed to be updated.

August 10, 2010

Ever submitted a Writer plug-in to the Windows Live Gallery?

Filed under: Live Writer, Plug-in, Wave 3, Wave 4 — Tags: , , , — Aaron Bregel @ 10:29 PM

If you have ever submitted a plug-in for Windows Live Writer to the Windows Live Gallery today we sent you the following email to the email address you used to submit the plug-in.  Since we have years of submissions there is a chance that you have changed your email address and did not get notified.  We really appreciate the Live Writer plug-in developers and hope that we see as many if not more plug-ins via the new submission process.

Dear Windows Live Writer plug-in authors,
On behalf of the Windows Live Writer team and all of our customers, thank you for the valuable contributions your plug-ins have made to the Writer experience.
We’re writing to let you know that Writer’s plug-in hosting and submission processes are changing.  Note: Existing plug-ins currently hosted on Windows Live Gallery will need to be resubmitted using the new process outlined below.  In the future, should you wish to provide additional plug-ins for Writer, we request that you also submit your plug-ins using this process.
We hope that you find the new plug-in submission process and hosting solution simple and lightweight. New plug-in submission process:

  1. Author uploads plug-in MSI installer to Windows Live SkyDrive using his/her Windows Live ID (email address).
  2. Author emails wleplugins@microsoft.com (Windows Live Essentials Plug-ins) including the following information:
    • Author name
    • Author Windows Live ID (that will host the plug-in MSI)
    • Author contact email address
    • Plug-in name
    • Plug-in description
    • Plug-in category (pick only one):
      • Formatting/clipboard
      • Post publishing
      • Pictures
      • Buttons
      • Other content
      • Miscellaneous
    • URL to plug-in MSI on SkyDrive
  3. Writer team verifies that the plug-in works as described.
  4. Writer team updates public list of Writer plug-ins that will include information on the plug-in and a link to the installer that is hosted on the author’s SkyDrive.
  5. Writer team notifies plug-in author that plug-in has been listed.

We value your efforts and want to ensure that your plug-ins will continue to be accessible for the many people interested in them.  In order to do this, we need you to resubmit any existing plug-ins on Windows Live Gallery using this new process by September 10, 2010. You will be able to add more plug-ins after this date, but we need you to move existing plug-ins by then.

Please email us with any questions or concerns about the new plug-in submission process at wleplugins@microsoft.com. Other support requests should be directed to the Windows Live Solution Center.

Thanks,
The Windows Live Writer Team

 

Developers! Developers! Developers!

July 1, 2010

Using bit.ly with The Twitter Notify plug-in for Live Writer

Filed under: bit.ly, Live Writer, Plug-in, Wave 3, Wave 4 — Tags: , , , , — Aaron Bregel @ 10:27 PM

One of my favorite plug-ins for Windows Live Writer is Twitter Notify which will give you the option to create a tweet on Twitter as part of publishing your blog post.  By default it uses TinyURL as the URL shortener.  The “problem” with TinyURL is that it uses 20 characters whereas newer shorteners use 17 or less characters and with the 140 character limit of Twitter every character counts.

Joe Cheng wrote a blog post, Using alternative URL shorteners with Twitter Notify plugin, and in the main article he explains how to configure the plug-in to use shorteners like is.gd, snipr.com, snurl.com, and cli.gs but I found in the comments of that post that Max Paulousky has explained how to configure it for bit.ly.  What follows are the instructions on how to setup the Twitter Notify plug-in for bit.ly.

First make sure you have the latest version of Twitter Notify.  You can download and install it from the gallery.  http://gallery.live.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=6b2b5ffe-936a-4cb3-869c-c01de29de176&bt=9

Second you need to know your username and API Key from bit.ly.  By default you do not need account on bit.ly to go to their site and shorten a URL but since an account is free and you can use that account in places like this plug-in or Twitter clients like Tweet Deck it is helpful to have one.  Once you have an account if you click on your username where it says “Hi username” you are taken to the page where your API key is show.  It will be something like “R_0123326902a674646d1eef0c6d86bb68”. Make a note of that API key.

Third you need to add a regkey to your registry.  Scott Lovegrove, a Live Writer MVP, has written a tool to modify the regkey for bit.ly or other URL shorteners.  I encourage you to grab the tool from his post (http://dev.scottisafool.co.uk/2010/07/02/twitter-notify-because-no-one-should-be-hacking-the-registry/) and you can just fill in your username and API Key. 

If you want to go the scarier route of editing the registry yourself and not use Scott’s tool you need to run regedit.ext on your computer.  Regedit must be run as an administrator and you may see a prompt to elevate your user privilege when you start regedit.
Navigate down to Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live\Writer\Preferences\PostEditor\ContentSources\CECF2903-51B3-4173-A932-76E4EE4C01CF If you do not see this key then make sure you have installed Twitter Notify.

In regedit select Edit, New, String Value and enter UrlShortener for the key Name.

For the data Value you need to enter a string that contains your bit.ly username and API key. 
http://api.bit.ly/v3/shorten?login=username&apiKey=APIKey&uri={1}&format=txt

For example, if your username with bit.ly is “lwriter” and your API Key is R_0123326902a674646d1eef0c6d86bb68 you would enter
http://api.bit.ly/v3/shorten?login=lwirter&apiKey=R_0123326902a674646d1eef0c6d86bb68&uri={1}&format=txt

At this point you can exit regedit and boot Live Writer.  The Twitter Notify plug-in will user bit.ly instead of TinyURL in your tweet.  I should note that in the plug-in itself the example text will still show tinyURL but you should see that it shows bit.ly in the text that you accept when you go to make the tweet itself.

image

Update: Changed the post to talk about Scott’s tool to modify the registry.

June 15, 2010

Live Writer plug-ins I cannot live without when blogging on WordPress

Filed under: Live Writer, Plug-in, Wave 3, Wave 4 — Tags: , , , — Aaron Bregel @ 9:02 PM

At WordCamp Seattle in 2009 the Writer team gave a demonstration that included a set of plug-ins for Windows Live Writer that I really consider a set of power tools when blogging with WordPress.  I will not repeat the post which can be found here. I will take the photos from that post however.  Smile

One thing that should be noted is that we did not put it into a setup installer so what you need to do is save the plug-in from http://cid-2f7eb29b42641d59.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Public/Windows%20Live%20Writer%20plug-ins/WordpressPlugin.dll locally on your hard drive and then move it to your Program Files\Windows Live\Writer\Plugins\ folder. The next time you run Writer you will see the plug-ins in your sidebar if you are using Wave 3 or in the Plug-ins section on the Insert tab in Wave 4. You should see “Change Blog Title” and “Comment Management”.

It is just so nice to be able to manage comments without having to go into the WordPress dashboard.  I use this one almost every day.

 

 

Manage comments for your WordPress blog from Live Writer

pic2

Change the title and tag line of your WordPress blog from Live Writer

pic1

Add Custom Fields to your WordPress blog from Live Writer

pic4

 

Like most of my posts as of late this one was authored in the Wave 4 Beta build of Live Writer.

June 14, 2010

Install path for registering your Windows Live Writer Plug-ins

Filed under: Live Writer, Plug-in, Wave 3, Wave 4 — Tags: , , , — Aaron Bregel @ 12:56 PM

We love our plug-in developers.  Every week there is something cool or new that shows up in the Gallery.  What is more amazing is that is is done with documentation that is not so great.  I wish I could say that we are moving at a faster pace at updating the Live Writer SDK but this has not been the case.  One thing that was pointed out this week was that our SDK is wrong for where it is suggested you register your plug-in when you writer your installer.

 

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa738841(v=MSDN.10).aspx for where to you install your plug-in reads:

Writer Plugins can be installed and registered using one of two methods:

  1. Copying the Plugin Assembly to the Plugins sub-directory of the Writer installation directory. Installers can detect the Writer installation directory by reading the “InstalDir” value from the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Live\Writer\
  2. By writing the name and full path of the Plugin to the “PluginAssemblies” Registry key located at either:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Windows Live\Writer\PluginAssemblies
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Windows Live\Writer\PluginAssemblies
    For example, a plugin at the path “C:\Program Files\My Product\MyProduct.WriterPlugin.dll” could be registered by adding the following key/value pair to the PluginAssemblies key:
    Key = MyProduct.WriterPluginValue = C:\Program Files\My Product\MyProduct.WriterPlugin.dll

What it should read is:

Writer Plugins can be installed and registered using one of two methods:

  1. Copying the Plugin Assembly to the Plugins sub-directory of the Writer installation directory. Installers can detect the Writer installation directory by reading the “InstalDir” value from the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Live\Writer\
  2. By writing the name and full path of the Plugin to the “PluginAssemblies” Registry key located at either:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Live\Writer\PluginAssemblies
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Live\Writer\PluginAssemblies
    For example, a plugin at the path “C:\Program Files\My Product\MyProduct.WriterPlugin.dll” could be registered by adding the following key/value pair to the PluginAssemblies key:
    Key = MyProduct.WriterPluginValue = C:\Program Files\My Product\MyProduct.WriterPlugin.dll

 

When you submit your plug-in to the Gallery we will catch this mistake but you can save yourself a re-submit but making sure you write the key to the correct location in the registry.

I will try and remember to update this post when a new version of the SDK is published with this correction.

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