A nice chap called Nigel Kersten has written a nifty little widget for Apple OSX Tiger’s Dashboard called RapidMetaBlog. It’s nicely designed, in terms of look and functionality. Panes slide out from the compact widget, allowing plenty of space to write your post (I’m writing this in it), and another pane slides out from the post to show a preview.
RapidMetaBlog supports categories, essential functionality if you like to keep a tight structure on your blog. When writing your post, you have to use HTML, but for simple jottings, it’s very handy indeed. All you need is paragraph tags (remember to close them!), and perhaps an href here and there. You can’t insert images at this time (unless they’re already online, and you know the URI), but then this is supposed to be a widget, not a full-featured weblog editor like Ecto or MarsEdit.
I’ll post some screenshots later.
Here are some screenshots:
The widget, as seen when you first open your Dashboard
Clicking the plus sign slides open this pane, where you type your posting in XHTML. Clicking the ‘circle’ icon slides open a preview pane on the right.
Dashboard widgets should be minimalist, or at least make really good use of space. I’ve seen quite a few widgets that want to behave like fully functioning programs, and they end up taking over your Dashboard by default, hogging resources, and generally looking ugly. RapidMetaBlog is great, since it ingeniously gets around the space problem (you need space for your post, and ideally if it’s going to be seen by the world, you need to see what it’s going to look like before you publish it) with its expandable panes.
If you’re a blogger, and you run OSX 10.4 Tiger, get this widget!