A few days ago Ashley wrote up a post about Flock’s upcoming “Cormorant” release (with a ton of screenshots) which will offer a lot of great thing that people love in Firefox 2, including the inline spell checker. Some of Flock’s other great features will also have some new things to offer, but from the looks of it their blog editor will continue to be neglected.
The good news is that there are two extensions available that only work with the Cormorant build of Flock. Even though that version is still in the experimental stage I have found it to be quite stable…and the blogging extensions make the blog editor a lot more useful.
The first extension that I wanted to mention is called LowerBlog (pictured above) and offers a feature that many people find useful in the Performancing extension (which is also available for Flock). It will let you put the blogger editor in the bottom half of the screen so that you can easily view a website while you’re writing about it. This prevents you from having to switch back and forth between the two windows which is definitely a problem for low-resolution monitors.
As far as offering new features that extension didn’t do much, but that’s where Blog Plus (pictured below) comes into play. This extension offers a slew of new things that any blogger is sure to enjoy:
- HTML preview tab so that you can see what embedded objects, like YouTube videos, will look like when posted.
- Extra buttons: Undo, Redo, WordPress Smilies, Image Emoticons, and Blockquote.
- The Preset Markup menu will let you create, store, edit, and apply preset HTML code to highlighted text, including CSS styles or HTML element attributes (ID, class, and title).
- Link Plus allows you to alter many attributes of a link, not just it’s “href”. Optionally, when you click on or highlight an already formed link, the sidebar opens with the relevant information populated in the textboxes.
- Image Plus allows you to alter many attributes of an image, not just it’s src. Optionally, when you click on or highlight an image, the sidebar opens with the relevant information populated in the textboxes.
- Tag Plus allows you to create, store, edit and insert tags the way you want them, not as supplied by default by flock. The tags, which also include Ultimate Tag Warrior insertion, will be inserted into the bottom of your blog post before publishing, allowing a better appraisal of your final post.
- Quikmaps allows you to insert a dynamic Google map into your blog post, whereby you can change many of its attributes such as center location, map type, controls, zoom etc. If you want to add markers or already have a Quikmap, then go to Quikmaps and set up your map and use the quikmap id.
- Dictionary allows you to check definitions of words (English only). Also includes thesaurus, acronyms, idioms, financial, legal, medical and computing dictionaries.
- hCalendar allows you to create microformats hCalendar events. This is included as it is a little easier than going the Preset Markup route for the complicated hCalendar markup.
Many of the things that are in Blog Plus represent what the built-in Flock blog editor should be able to do out-of-the-box. I’m sure they will eventually get around to extending the capabilities of the editor, but right now Flock’s primary focus has surely got to be on getting their first release out.
So those are the two extensions that will hopefully make your blogging experience a little better in Flock. I’ve been using the Flock Cormarant release for several days now and I’ve had no crashes, but there does appear to be some minor memory leaks. Overall, I would say that it is a huge improvement over the previous Flock releases and I can’t wait for them to make this one publicly available…especially since there are these two great extensions available.
News Source: Flock