some guy (self) wrote,
some guy

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Newbie Impressions of Semagic LJ Client

Trying out the new Semagic LJ client (thanks to robont for the link).

I have to say, all these controls in front of me are a little intimidating. They're easy to hide though.

Features I've always wanted and finally have:
  • HTML preview
    It doesn't take your journal's custom colors into account, but neither does anyone's friends pages. The preview's robust, too. It's handled every wierd tag I could think to throw at it, including lj-cut. I would like to see it download and use my journal's mood icons, but that's an extremely minor complaint, and comes across as ungrateful in light of all I couldn't do before. I won't be bugging the author about it.

  • Save Draft
    Much as with the HTML preview, I used to do this by posting things privately until they were ready for public consumption. This way is faster and more reliable, as it doesn't depend on LiveJournal's server working to save your progress. It can also be configured to auto-save at regular intervals, which would have been mighty nice back when my system crashed all the time.

  • Advanced Controls
    Actually, it looks like these were mostly (if not all) available in the standard client, but for some reason I never found them there.
The interface and much of it's functionality is based around the standard windows client, so there's really no learning curve going from one to the other. And you don't lose any functions.

(I don't think there's a Mac version, but there's bound to be something equivilant)

Oh, and I just noticed the toolbars are dockable. Most of this message was written in a more-or-less minimal layout, matching what I had on the standard windows client. I wasn't comfortable with Semagic's default layout at all. Anyway, 30 seconds of dragging things around, and everything feels right. (post options at the top, subject line and journal selection on one line below that, then the main text area, and finally the preview and post buttons. I found the clock distracting, so I got rid of it)

And now that everything's set up the way I want it, all those controls are great. Not at all intimidating. I can't recommend this thing highly enough.
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