Flock-Killer: The Performancing FireFox Plugin

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I’m writing this post with the new Performancing Plugin for FireFox.

Now, unless I’m being a complete numpty (always possible), there were no clear instructions for how to access this plugin. We (the blogging public) were left to our own devices to find out how to even access the Performancing plugin. After scouring the FireFox interface (I expected some kind of toolbar, to be honest), I found a new right-click option for Performancing with a sub-menu which allowed me to “Blog this page”. And yes, I did check the Performancing website for a getting started guide. I couldn’t find one.

Getting Started

When you eventually gain access to the plugin features, the interface is quite straightforward. The first thing you need to do is add a blog. This again is very straightforward and I added this WP.com blog, as it’s one of my less-critical blogs. Select the blogging platform you use, enter your username and password and that’s about it.

Performancing gives you access to your blog categories and previous post history (this is a new-ish blog, so I’m not sure how far the history goes back). On the down side, there doesn’t seem to be a way to add new categories to your blog from the plugin. That’s not a major problem, though.

I’ve not tried this with multiple blogs yet, but if I warm to Performancing, I might just add a few more….

Blogging With The Performancing Plugin

Was pissed off from the outset with Performancing. The input seemed to be working well, until I formatted some text in bold and italic. Instead of using strong and em, the plugin inserted inline CSS via span tags. Disaster!

I discovered an option in the settings to disable the use of inline CSS, so I did this and tried again. Instead of

strong

and

em

, it gives us <b> and <i>! Can someone remind me what century it is? Why, in the name of XHTML, would someone use those antiquated tags?Final gripe (before I post this) is the lack of features in the toolbar. Now, Performancing isn’t alone in this – even WordPress is currently missing what I consider vital elements. We don’t have options to insert various levels of

hx

. Coming from a bunch of guys who are promoting the idea of professional blogging, I’m surprised they can release a product that ignores the value of semantic XHTML, particularly in terms of Search Engine Optimisation! Where is the support for heading tags, strong and emphatic text? Also, enabling and advertising keyboard shortcuts for common commands would have been a big thing for me.

After The Rain…

All gripes aside, Performancing is not a bad wee plugin. It gives you what you need to blog straight from your browser, which is a definite bonus compared with flicking between tabs/windows! Oops, noticed that the plugin grabs the focus of tabs, so that CTRL+Tab cycles through the various post views. When you click into a web page it returns to normal though.

I’m not sure what the long-term future for browser-based blog editors is, though. I downloaded and tried Flock for a while, but a bookmark away was my WordPress dashboard and all the stats plugins and stuff that will never make it into a stand-alone program. And missing the ability to maintain the blog means you’ll always end up back at your dashboard.

I s’pose I’m maybe not totally sold on the idea in the first place. Which means that Performancing, like many other blogging products, has a long way to go before it tempts me away from my WordPress admin screens…..

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