Sprout: The Online WYSIWYG Editor for Flash

Sprout is a browser-based, WYSIWYG editor for Flash with an interface reminiscent of Photoshop or Dreamweaver. Designers can use it to create, publish and track Flash widgets, websites and mashups, thereby obviating the need for them to work with programmers who would cost time and money, and who might not execute designs satisfactorily.

original | digg story

Unfortunately the service is still in closed beta, so I was not able to use it firsthand. However, the potential for it (as I derive from the video) is high. If my clients would be able to mash something up in such editor to show me how they want their flash animation to be done – just this would save us a lot of cost and time.

Can’t wait to try it myself.


Blogging Editors – My Wish List

At various moments I tried to use different blogging tools. Most of the time I blog using WordPress admin interface. However, sometimes I feel like I need a special piece of software, that would help me work the words.

This post was written with the help of yet another (after Windows Live Writer, Writely and many others) blogging editor – BlogDesk. It successfully imported categories from existing blog (had troubles with encodings on my Russian blog though). It tests login and upload procedures on set up of the blog. It is, however, missing some features I’d like to see implemented. So what this boils down to is the Blogging Editors Wish List:

  • Starting WordPress 2.3 tags are built-in feature. I want to see my list of tags in the editor.
  • Unicode support.
  • Custom fields support (I just created a hack for my blog and it works through custom fields)
  • Posts Map. Now this is something coming from software projects or similar. I want to be able to form a map or a tree of posts. For example – I have a main post (About Widget One), then I have several posts that link to the main (How I Used Widget One, How I Didn’t Use Widget One, Why Did I Spend Money On Widget One and so on). Then I create couple of more posts that extent some of the previous posts. I want to see this as a tree or a map. This way I immediately realize if there is a possibility to expand some more on existing topics, maybe even discover some things long forgotten that could be resurfaced for various reasons.
  • Ability to download all posts into the editor. With simple posts structure of a blog (especially with self-hosted, like WordPress) it must be a breeze. Having an offline backup is a huge thing, having an offline backup in your favorite blogging editor – humongous! This feature along will attract thousands of users.
  • Word counter/analyzer. Something similar to WordStats plugin for WordPress. It counts words, sentences and calculates readability for your post based on Gunning-Fog, Flesch-Kincaid and Flesch indicies.
  • It looks nice (perhaps even skinnable), loads FAST and doesn’t clog your resources if it sits in the background.

Sometimes I feel a real urge to write something like this myself. The only problem that I have is that I want this editor to be very inexpensive.