BlogAssist icon BlogAssist
Easy HTML markup for blogs and more

Suggestions: configurable menu, operations files

Two suggestions for the next version.

(i) Let the user choose the font and size for the menu. It doesn't have to be as fancy as ClawMenu, but a smaller font, and something other than Lucida Grande, would make the menu easier to use. Actually a tearoff palette would be nice in some applications.

(ii) Tag sets: make it possible to save different sets of operations. The main attraction for me in using BlogAssist is that I have several sites, and several HTML/CSS vocabularies, to deal with. I don't want them all in one huge list; rather it would be much better to have one list per site or per context (Typepad, Livejournal, Drupal, etc.). For writing XML to be fed into InDesign, say, this is crucial.

There is no program now that has both "operations" (that allow boilerplate to be wrapped around a user-supplied string or strings) and multiple sets of operations. Typeit4Me has multiple sets but no operations (in Blogassist's sense); Marsedit and Tag have operations but not multiple sets; Smultron has "collections" but those are limited to Smultron itself.

David Sinclair's picture

Re: Suggestions: configurable menu, operations files

Thanks for the suggestions.

A custom font/size option could be a possibility. It would require more work (to create a custom menu) which could make it slower to display, but should be feasible. I'll make a note of that idea.

Tag sets is something I do want to add in a future version; I can definitely see how that would be useful, especially as the list of default operations has grown over time.

By the way, in case you haven't discovered it, BlogAssist does have a floating palette of sorts: the floating BlogAssist window:


Thanks for your quick reply!

The service menu item is nice. Com-Sh-, collides with a default in BBEdit, but otherwise it feels natural. The BA window is also nice. I wanted to drag the preview to the place where the marked-up text was going to go, but what gets dragged is value2, not the results. You can drag the result from the Result window, of course (I realized later), but I think the Preview box should behave like the Result window.

A cosmetic issue: if you drag text to the Value 1 or Value 2 boxes, the cursor blinks at the end of the grey-boxed text in the text-entry area. Visually that tells the user that the new text will be appended to what’s there. Instead the new text replaces what’s there, which is what it should do. Getting rid of the blinking cursor in the greyed-out box would keep the user from being misled.

Another point in favor of multiple operations files: the multitude of alternative markup languages (wiki, Textile, SmartyPants, Markdown…).

David Sinclair's picture

Re: Thanks for your quick reply!

I agree that dragging from the Preview would be intuitive, though that is a web view, so implementing that would be tricky. I'll make a note of the idea, though.

The cosmetic issue is something that could be improved, I agree.