Blogging with Blogger from your desktop with BloGTK - gHacks Tech News

Blogging with Blogger from your desktop with BloGTK

Recently I worked on some articles about blogging from various means (from within Firefox and on the desktop). One of those applications I left out of that study was BloGTK. The reason I left it out was because it wasn't able to use the entire feature set of the new Blogger API and it is limited in the types of blogging accounts it supports. Those features will arrive in the 2.0 update (when that is to hit I have no idea), but they don't preclude the application from getting some much needed respect.

So, what is BloGTK? BloGTK is an application that allows you to easily blog from the comfort of your own desktop. "But wait!", you say, "I can blog already from my desktop, with the help of my browser." Yes you can. But with BloGTK you can blog off line, save drafts, have multiple accounts, and more.  So, let's take a look at how you can start using BloGTK as your desktop blogging system.

Installing BloGTK

Before we get into connecting to your blog we have to install the application first. This is very simple. You can install BloGTK from the command line with a command such as:

sudo apt-get install blogtk

or

yum install blogtk

Or you can open up your Add/Remove Software utility, search for "blogtk" (no quotes), select the resulting entry, and click Apply to install.

Once BloGTK is installed you will find the menu entry in the Internet submenu of your Applications or Main menu.

Making the connection

As I mentioned earlier, BloGTK doesn't offer as many connection types as some of the other tools. But it does connect to:

  • Blogger
  • MoveableType
  • MetaWeblog API

Now from the last listing you would think that BloGTK could connect to Drupal, WordPress, and many more types of accounts. As of the current release (1.1) BloGTK doesn't handle the MetaWeblog API well. So for the purposes of this article I will show you how to connect to a Blogger account with this software.

Figure 1
Figure 1

The first thing you need to do is go to the Edit menu and select the Accounts and Settings entry. When this new window opens (see Figure 1).

Notice the Server URL. For Blogger this is the exact URL you need to use to connect. Other than that you will enter the username and password for your Blogger account and make sure Blogger is selected from the list of Blogging Systems.

Once you have this done click Save and then click OK.

You should notice, at the bottom of the main BloGTK window (see Figure 2) the instructions telling you to use File/Connect to connect (or re-connect) to your server.

Figure 2
Figure 2

You do not have to connect to the server right away. You can create your blog entry first and then connect to the server and post your entry. Or you can create an entry and save the entry for later posting.

To save an entry you go about creating and, when you are ready to save, click the File menu and select "Save Post As...", give the draft a name, and save the draft. You can then open the saved post for editing later.

If you want to post immediately you only have to create your post, connect to your account, and click the "Post Entry" button.

In order to connect to your account you go to the File menu and click "Connect".

Gotchas

Outside of the seriously lacking account types you can use, there is a gotcha you will find when using Blogger. The Blogger system is using a newer API and the current iteration of BloGTK can not make use of all of its features. For instance, you can not add a title to your blogs with this release. You also can not use the Extended Entry or Excerpt features as well. Outside of that, BloGTK works just fine.

Final thoughts

When the 2.0 release of BloGTK hits the repositories this application's usefulness will be extended quite a bit. All of the Blogger features will work and, hopefully, more APIs will be added so more accounts can be used. Until then BloGTK can be thought of as a quick and easy way to add basic entries to your Blogger account. If you don't want to wait that long, consider helping the creator with the updates. I look forward to being able to use BloGTK more often in the future.

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Comments

  1. Phaoloo said on June 29, 2009 at 2:28 am
    Reply

    I’m still in Windows and to blog with Blogger, I find Windows Live Writer is great. It automatically upload images to Picasa, and you can manipulate your images easily with the built-in functions.

    However, I should give BloGTK a shot when on Linux and it releases the 2.0 version. Thanks.

  2. Jack Wallen said on June 29, 2009 at 4:24 am
    Reply

    i will cover another Linux blogging tool later…one that is actually superior to BloGTK – at least in it’s current 1.1 incarnation. hopefully 2.0 will find it solving a lot of problems.

  3. Xyzzy said on April 23, 2010 at 10:57 am
    Reply

    Thanks for posting this… If you ever get a chance, it’d probably be helpful for future readers if you include the links to your previous article on blog clients & ‘future’ one on whatever’s superior to BloGTK — I know that I’m having some trouble finding them. (I don’t know what the status is elsewhere, but on the Ubuntu repositories BloGTK is still stuck at 1.1!)

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