BlogMate is a free, graphical plug-in (+ a bundle too) for the popular TextMate editor that enables creating and editing blog posts for MetaWeblog-enabled blogs, Twitter, and Jaiku accounts from a floating palette within TextMate.

Edit Blog Settings form screenshot.

BlogMate is currently at version 0.5.3, and is beta-quality software.You MUST backup your blog's database before trying BlogMate.

Download BlogMate version 0.5.3 (133kb)

BlogMate Change Log.

Twitter Support

BlogMate version 0.5 supports posting to your Twitter account. To enable this, setup your Twitter account in BlogMate just like any other blogging account (see instructions below). Then you can post to Twitter by using the 'Send Post' button in the BlogMate palette while your Twitter account is selected. Alternatively, you can post to Twitter using the new BlogMate Bundle.

Since Twitter is so lightweight, it's often desirable to just select some text in the frontmost TM window, and type a keyboard command to post the selection to your Twitter account (rather than showing the entire BlogMate palette, selecting your Twitter account, etc). The BlogMate Bundle contains a command to do just this: Send Document / Selection to Twitter (ctl-opt-cmd-t). The BlogMate Bundle also contains a convenient Character Count of Document / Selection (ctl-opt-cmd-c) command (Twitter limit is 160). Since these are normal TextMate Commands, you can change the keyboard shortcuts in the TextMate's Bundle Editor.

Note that the BlogMate Bundle depends on the BlogMate Plug-In. You must install both and setup your Twitter account in the BlogMate palette to use the bundle's Twitter commands.

Jaiku Support

Jaiku support in version 0.5.1 is nearly identical to Twitter support. Setup your Jaiku account in the BlogMate Plug-In palette just like any other blog type... and then you'll probably want to post to Jaiku using the Send Document / Selection to Jaiku command in the BlogMate Bundle.

Note that posting to Jaiku from BlogMate requires an extra value in the blog settings: Personal Key. Every Jaiku user is assigned a key.. and yours can be seen here after you log in to Jaiku in your web browser.

Blogging Support

BlogMate currently supports the MetaWeblog API for remote communication with your blogging software. Several blogging software packages claim support for the MetaWeblog API. I've personally tested BlogMate with WordPress and Movable Type (note that Movable Type Categories are not supported with BlogMate). I've had some reports that other packages have worked with BlogMate. Please let me know what works for you.

BlogMate is meant to be a simple way to create and edit posts on your blog. BlogMate also allows you to delete posts and edit timestamps, published/draft status etc. BlogMate also supports reading from and writing to blogs that are behind HTTP Basic and Digest authentication.

If you are looking for something more full-featured or with better support, I highly recommend Red Sweater Software's excellent MarsEdit application. MarsEdit is mature, polished, full-featured, and well-supported. And, as I recently learnt, MarsEdit even has a cool Edit in External Editor feature which allows integration with TextMate. So you should go check it out.

There's also the official TextMate Blogging Bundle which you might find interesting.

If you are still here, you use a MetaWeblog-enabled blog, and are looking for a free, graphical, tightly-integrated way to post to your blog from TextMate, BlogMate just might be for you. Read the instructions below, backup your database, download a copy, give it a try, and send me a nice letter with some constructive feedback. Enjoy.

Installation

  1. Download BlogMate.
  2. Double click the disk image.
  3. Double click the BlogMate.tmbundle file inside the disk image. TextMate will load the bundle and display its commands in the Bundle Editor window.
  4. Double click the BlogMate.tmplugin file inside the disk image. TextMate is so cool that it will install the plug-in for you, and relaunch.

There, it's installed.

Usage

To use BlogMate, first activate TextMate... under the Window menu select Show BlogMate Palette. You will notice a new floating palette titled BlogMate appear.

First you must enter information about your blog so that BlogMate knows how to talk to it. Click the + button next to the Add/Remove Blog label. You will see a sheet appear with a form containing the following fields:

Edit Blog Settings form screenshot.

Blog Name -- this is just the name you like to call your blog. This field is only there for you, so get crazy and type in anything you like.

Blog Home URL -- this is the URL of the homepage of your blog -- you know... where everyone who doesn't know about news aggregators goes to read your blog.

Blog RPC URL -- this is the URL BlogMate uses to talk to your blog. You're going to need to check your blogging software's documentation for this value. For WordPress, it is often something like http://mandysfirstblogomglol.com/xmlrpc.php.

Blog Username & Password -- these are the values you usually enter when you are editing or creating posts on your blog. BlogMate needs to know these because it's going create and edit content on your blog. (You did backup, didn't you?)

Blog Type -- you can select WordPress, Movable Type, Twitter, Jaiku or MetaWeblog API Blog here. The Twitter and Jaiku types show some slightly different settings appropriate to Twitter and Jaiku accounts only.

Blog ID -- this hateful parameter is something Dave Winer made up one day to make all our lives miserable. Yes, you need to enter your Blog ID or BlogMate will not work. No, I do not know your Blog ID. All I can say is that for WordPress, it's usually 1. Yes, 1. That is the entirety of my knowledge about the enigmatic Blog ID parameter, so save a few electrons, and don't ask me. I'd like to forget I ever heard of a Blog ID.

Post Language -- If you edit your blog directly in HTML, you might like TextMate to know this so that when you open a post for editing, it can automatically switch to HTML editing mode. If so, enter HTML here. For Markdown, plain text, or some other sadistic file type, enter the TextMate language name you prefer.

Display n posts -- the number of recent posts you'd like to see in the BlogMate palette.

Once you click Save (don't you like how there's no Cancel option? Last chance to switch to MarsEdit.), BlogMate will go fetch the recent posts from your blog and display them in a list with their post dates. Notice that all the Categories from your blog appear in a list below with checkboxes. As you select a post in the top list, you will see the appropriate Categories become checked.

To edit a post double click its title in the list. You will see a TextMate document open with the contents of that post. At this point you can also change the Categories for the post. Note that you must double click and open a post before attempting to change its Categories. You can't just change a post's Categories and attempt to send those changes alone.

After you've edited your document, click the Send Post button. An annoying sheet will appear where you can edit your post's title and set it to be published or private. Click Send and you're done.

Note that after you've opened a post in a TextMate document for editing, BlogMate will attempt to remember which window belongs to which post. If you save the document to your local filesystem, close it and re-open it later, BlogMate will not realize which post you are trying to edit. To begin editing again, you must double click the post in the list to reopen it in a new TextMate window.

To create a new post on your blog, simply open a new TextMate document and begin typing. When you are done, click the Send Post button, enter the desired title and publish status in the annoying sheet, and click Send. After a moment of updating, you will see your new post appear in the BlogMate list.

BlogMate is very occasionally developed by Todd Ditchendorf. If you want to contact me, you're going to have to visit my blog and click around a bit.