Blogger Data API + TinyMCE + Dropbox

I've talked about how much I hate the Blogger visual post editor in some of my previous posts and won't mention the reasons why again here. Google seriously needs to put some effort into giving us a better tool, it fails miserably in comparison with WordPress and other modern Content Management Systems.

It may be possible however to create a far superior custom administrative backend for hosted Blogger accounts by taking advantage of the Blogger Data API, TinyMCE and Dropbox.

The Blogger API exposes methods for authenticating with a Blogger account and adding, updating posts, etc. Not only that, but the Blogger API is also exposed via a JavaScript library allowing for a fully client-side administrative interface.

TinyMCE is an open-source LGPL licensed visual HTML editor that puts the Google Blogger WYSIWYG editor to shame. I believe current WordPress versions use a variant of this (but I could be mistaken).

It should thus be possible to code up a simple HTML page with the necessary JavaScript Blogger API libraries and TinyMCE libraries to integrate with your Google hosted Blogger backend account.

The only missing piece is where do you store the static HTML page and the TinyMCE resources? Dropbox of course! Since the solution is only using HTML and JavaScript, no backend web server is required, but merely a public internet content repository. Dropbox gives you 2GB for free and lets you store whatever you want. Perfect!

All that's left afterwards is to customize whatever template you're using with links to your custom HTML page hosted on Dropbox, i.e. re-pointing the Edit Post links, etc.

I'd really like to give this a go if I had the time...unless someone else has already beaten me to it?

UPDATE: I finally got a chance to give this a go. Did some digging through Google Data API 2.0 and went through some tutorials. Managed to get a prototype TinyMCE + Dropbox backend interface going, and it works great! TinyMCE does all the things that Blogger fails at, and GData posts the information via Javascript beautifully! All that's needed is a bit of time to put everything together and make it nice and pretty. Hopefully I'll be releasing a fully self-contained version of this sometime soon. I'll update this post when I do.

Comments

  1. This sounds like a great idea! Have you completed it?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Unfortunately not. Haven't spent any time on it since the last update. I'll re-add this to my todo list, but there's a lot of other projects I'm working on atm and it may not get any love for a while.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Richard
    This sounds like just what I am looking for. If you have any progress on it I would love to know. See my rant here. http://ikeahacker.blogspot.com/2010/04/i-need-your-help-to-make-ikeahacker.html

    ReplyDelete
  4. Did you consider just hosting the static HTML page as a Blogger page (not a post) ?
    That way you only need authenticate in via your Google account to edit/post.

    ReplyDelete

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