Observations on Drummer => Micro.blog
As I’ve said before, it’s a very nice implementation by Manton. Drummer scripting is patterned after Frontier, and Manton was part of the Frontier developer community so it’s not surprising that he did such a nice job.
However – here are a few rough spots I hit.
I forgot to set the urlPublic head-level attribute on my microblog.opml file, and there was no error message saying that I did anything wrong, in fact the dialog claimed that my blog had been published when it hadn’t. I modified the script he provided to that check.
There shouldn’t be a dialog on success, that isn’t how we do publishing in Drummer. It should just do a speaker.beep () call. Save the dialogs for errors. I don’t need to pause to read that it updated, I do lots of updates while I’m writing. A beep sound is enough notice that it worked.
I did not understand that the Micro.blog timeline was only a feed reader. I assumed that if my blog were hosted by Micro.blog that it would shortcut that for me, maybe provide a checkbox where I could turn it off, but by default it would be on. As someone who designs these kinds of things, that’s how I would’ve done it.
I would love to see a link in the left margin entitled Ask Manton – so I could quickly ask him a question. I know it’s rude to ask for this, but I really had this strong feeling. Maybe some of my products should have an Ask Dave button. Hah. Probably not. :-)
Once I figured that I have to add the feed link to the page of links it links to my account, I was surprised to see that I have to reload the feed manually to get it to update immediately. rssCloud support would be nice here, but also would be quick and easy to link the ping that I’m already sending to force a read of the feed. Since the same piece of software is generating the feed and reading the feed. But there’s the shortcut thing again. I come from the 80s where in software everything was about cutting out steps, making things easier for the user. This is not so much a part of the 2020’s culture it seems.
Another thing – I wish it understood outline indentation, and some of the attributes we put on outlines in Drummer, like flBulletedSubs, for this list, which is clearly a list in the outline, but not at all in the rendering on Micro.blog.
On the whole though – I love the interface, and the fact that I can write for Micro.blog where I do all my writing – in Drummer. This is a huge deal. It’s how I express the goal of this layer of software we’re building now, in Writers Deserve Better.
We’ll know it’s working if most people feel their best place to write is their blog, where the editing tools work just as they like them to, and there are no boundaries to where those ideas can be published.