The lazy (B|T|L) Maker

No, despite the name, this is not a new burger recipe !

I am a lazy blogger. I am a very lazy blogger. Probably the laziest blogger north of the Alps. I won’t even tell you when my other blog (http://thelovefarm.wordpress.com) was last updated.

I am not ashamed of my laziness it but I thought it would be a lot easier if their were a declarative way of  writing blog posts with illustrations, wits and relevant content. That’s not going to happen !

Originally I wanted to write a post about speaking at SQL Saturday 280 in Vienna and how great it was to be together with the people from the SQL Family. Doing that I would have to mention all those people by name and give links to the reader to their Twitter, LinkedIn, Blog or even Facebook page. You know, something like :

Person Name (B|T|L)

where B is a link to the person’s Blog, T to Twitter, and L to LinkedIn.

So let’s go back to the laziness…

When I write blog posts I usually use Windows Live Writer 2012. Although there are a lot of other tools available Windows Live Writer 2012 has all the features I have needed so far (maybe I’m not very demanding)

  • It’s free
  • It’s extensible
  • It can publish to WordPress and SharePoint and other blog engines.
  • The process of copy pasting pictures is simple

As Scott Hanselman puts it in his blog post Download Windows Live Writer 2012 : “Windows Live Writer is the best windows blog authoring application I have found so far”.

And I won’t argue. He even explains how to find the real version from the real Microsoft website.

For this wonderful blog editor there are also a plethora of plug-ins available, I use one myself for formatting and syntax highlighting code on the blog.

But wouldn’t it be great if they were a plugin to insert (B|T|L) on the blog post and even if it could help you to search for the person on Twitter, LinkedIn ?

– Yes it would !

So I decided in my laziness to write a plugin

The (B|T|L)  maker

Making a plugin for Windows Live Writer 2012 is quite straightforward and well described.

Mainly doing plumbing and overwriting a couple of methods. For all the gory details I found this great blog post by

Scott Lovegrove (T)

(cool name!) on DevX .

The post explains it perfectly although Scott mixes different examples and it makes it a bit tougher to follow the logical build up of the classes and methods needed by the plugin.

The first page of the post gives a very good instruction in how to debug your plugin and it is very straightforward. I encourage you to read it.

The main window of the plugin looks like that :

image

I will make some few changes before releasing it as being able to choose between the different social channels and maybe choosing the formatting “(” or “[” something like that.

Anyway the idea is the text in the TextBoxes is converted to Hyperlinks.

Since you can have several instance of The (B|T|L) Maker on a post you need a mean of editing it. This is achieved with the Content Editor.

image

Giving exactly the same possibilities but only for editing.

Installation

How to download this incredible plug-in ?

From Codeplex (https://blt.codeplex.com/)

From the source code:

Build the project and it will automatically copy the file to the Windows Live Writer 2012 plug-ins folder (C:Program Files (x86)Windows LiveWriterPlugins).

From the installer:

Run the installer !

Manually:

Copy the file LiveWriterBTFL.dll to C:Program Files (x86)Windows LiveWriterPlugins

Feedback is welcome to my twitter @regbac

Happy blogging !

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