Saturday, September 22, 2007

Flock revisited... nearing my happy place.

As a follow-on to the comments for my previous post, I was not having any luck finding a blogging tool for Linux that would allow me to upload photos to my blog (curs-ed Blogger API!). So I decided to give Flock another shot. I knew they had updated their release a few months back and thought I'd check it out again. I first checked it out quickly on my XP box at work. The early beta version of Flock that I had tried when it first came out seemed to be crippled when I tried to use it from work (proxy, naughty proxy). But this time out I was very pleasantly surprised to see the blogging and Flickr aspects working smoothly. Now, the question was, how was the Linux version....

Naturally I'm extremely impatient when it comes to things like this, so having Feisty installed here at work on Virtualbox is a very nice thing. I booted up the VM, downloaded the Flock setup package for Linux and got down to work... Following their dead simple instructions for Linux installation in the FAQ, it was up and running in about 2 minutes. Very very smooth. Very slick. Granted, this is my first official post using it, but it does seem to run every bit as well on Feisty in a VM as it does on native XP-pro.

The compromise it seems is that to get photos into my post (no Flock can't directly upload files to Blogger either), I'll have to use Flickr. The bonus is that Flickr is so nicely integrated into the Flock browser that it becomes very very painless for me to do that. Normally I'd have to be switching back and forth between Flickr and Blogger to coordinate things. With Flock it appears to be very simple. The photos appear in a bar along the top of my browser, I right click the one I want and up it pops in a very slick and simple blog post editor.

The blog post editor itself allows me to do tagging (very important - since gmail-ing posts in doesn't allow tagging), edit the source, preview the post and of course insert links, lists, and does indentation. All very basic, but all very slick. I can easily right click the images that I've inserted from Flickr and change the image title, alt-text and alignment. Also wonderful is that I can just drag and resize the images. I can also save drafts of posts. Not sure yet where those are kept (online or locally).

Keep in mind that I'm saying all this before actually hitting the publish button. It could all go very very wrong....

But for those on Linux (or Windows or Mac) posting to other platforms like Wordpress or whatever, you might find the latest Flock browser to be very useful indeed. It might be a little too feature-rich for when you just want to do some quick and dirty web browsing, but I have to say, it's significantly improved from when I first tried it out.

Expect more spouting off about Flock on Linux if things go well.

Blogged with Flock


Jake T said...

so how is it now that you've used it for a little while? I installed it about 6 months ago on my Ubuntu box and it was a laggy memory hog. But that was something like version .75 or some nonsense, and I see that 1.0 is out now.

I'm an Opera freak, but at home (where the Ubuntu is), I'm looking for something a bit more...creative-oriented.

RichardQuerin said...

I've been using Flock as my main browser on both my XP box at work and my Feisty box at home for a little over a month now. On XP it actually seems to use about 5MB less memory than Firefox. On my Feisty box it seems to use about 10MB more than Firefox. Flock is running at about 70MB on my machine (about 65MB on XP btw).
I find that it is significantly more stable than Firefox was on my linux box. I don't think it's crashed on me or closed unexpectedly on me, both of which FF used to do.

It *doesn't* run a couple of my favourite FF extensions, but I love the blogging tool, and the integration with Flickr, Photobucket and other services. I don't believe it's theme-able either and I'd like to simplify it a bit graphically if I could. I haven't checked out version 1 yet.

How is Opera? I've always liked Opera and have used it on and off since version 6 on my XP box. But I've never honestly given it a real go on my linux box. How do you find it? Is there any integration of blogging and media posting services? I've always found Opera to be quite speedy too. I may give that a go actually.

Jake T said...

Opera's great, just b/c you don't have to install any extensions to make it REALLY customizable.

It's a little slow on Linux, though (it's good and fast on XP at work, and I hear the beta of 9.5 is a lot faster on Linux).

As far as blogging media integration, I don't really know--I've never really pursued it. Blogthis has always been enough for me.

Which is why Flock is interesting--I can't really imagine why I'd need something else. Maybe they can show me. I'll give it a go.

Does mouse gestures work on Flock? That'll be the deal breaker for me...