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The last two months I’ve been working with Bill Zeller to create Zempt, an offline publishing tool for Movable Type. We’d both used w.bloggar and Blog Buddy in the past, but neither of those products allowed us to add excerpts, extended entries, or keywords to our entries. To write a blog entry with anything more than a title and entry body, an author needs to open their browser and use the Movable Type web interface.

download zemptThat extra step makes w.bloggar useless for people who maintain more complex metadata on their blog entries. Every one of my posts has keywords, a hand-written excerpt, and one or more categories. I needed an offline publishing tool that allowed me to manage every aspect of my blog entries. Kung-log looked like a good choice for the Mac, but what about Windows users?

It turned out that Bill Zeller had also noticed this void. So he and I set out to create the ultimate offline publishing tool for Movable Type, and Zempt was born.

Zempt allows you to write your blog entries in a Windows program and then publish them to the server. You can publish entries with extended entry bodies, excerpts, multiple categories, and even set comment statuses and text filters. The upcoming release will have spell checking, post editing, and more.

So what makes Zempt different from other offline editors out there? Zempt gives you access to all of Movable Type’s entry fields. Zempt is 100% open source software. It won’t cost you a dime. And Zempt will soon be available for Mac and Linux as well.

If you haven’t used an offline blog editor before, you might be asking yourself why you would use Zempt instead of MT’s built-in Web interface. Here’s a few reasons.

  • Have you ever had your browser crash in the middle of writing a post, taking your words with it?
  • Have you ever wanted to write a post while you were on an airplane, or disconnected from the Internet?
  • Do you want to check spelling on your posts?
  • Is your browser something other than IE6 for Windows and you’d like to have buttons for bold and inserting links?
  • Do you want an easy way to add formatting to your posts?

Then you need Zempt.

Right now Zempt is in its early stages. We released it 6 weeks ago to the MT developer community so that we could get some early feedback on it. Now we’re releasing it to the world. Be aware that not everything works right now, and some things might feel a little rough around the edges. At this point, you can only write new posts, not edit existing ones. But that will change with the next release.

But don’t let those limitations scare you away. Zempt works. Every post on this weblog since early March was made using Zempt, so it obviously works.

Take a look at the Zempt features list to see what Zempt does now and the roadmap to see what Zempt will do later. Then download Zempt and take it for a spin.

Mean Dean
May 5, 2003 10:05 PM

Correction -- when I logout, I cn create another account on another blog -- cool!

Adam Kalsey
May 6, 2003 1:57 PM

Editing previous posts is something that is coming in the next release.

Trackback from Daily Bytes
May 7, 2003 9:28 AM


Excerpt: Zempt is yet another offline publishing tool, specially aimed at Movable Type. Too bad it doesn't support proxies yet....

Adam Kalsey
May 7, 2003 9:55 AM

Proxy support is planned for the 0.4 release.

Trackback from Amanita.net
May 7, 2003 11:12 AM


Excerpt: In short, there are a couple of problems, but it's going to be good.

May 7, 2003 11:22 AM

Been playing with this and I noticed one thing that annoys me. I created an account for bug tracking and it didn't go. I never received my password in e-mail. Looks pretty sweet though. I am in a conundrum between Zempt and SharpMT.. I guess future releases will determine my favorite. How bot a PocketPC port so we can have a client for our PDAs?? :)

Andre Restivo
May 12, 2003 7:10 AM

Any idea on dates for the next releases? Especially 0.4 (Proxy Support)

Adam Kalsey
May 12, 2003 10:19 PM

The 0.3 release should be out within a week. Other than that, we don't have any set timeline. That's the curse of open-source side projects. They get done when the developers have the time. Bill Zeller now has a bunch of time on his hands, so we should have a number of releases over the next few weeks.

Trackback from manalang.com
June 5, 2003 9:53 PM

Installed MTPlugins, modified stylesheets and html...

Excerpt: TrackBacks are comments. They are comments left on someone elses site rather than your own, but they are comments nonetheless. Movable Type makes a distinction between entry comments and TrackBacks that seems artificial, and it made more sense to me t...

Trackback from Sketchbook: m[iA]cro
June 9, 2003 9:14 PM

Zempt Test

Excerpt: This entry is posted using Adam Kalsey and Bill Zeller's Zempt 0.2 on a Windows 2000 machine. I think typing your post inside a browser textarea is really not a...

Tom Anderson
June 10, 2003 6:49 PM

I'm new at blogging and still struggling to figure out some things--like, on the Zempt sign-in screen, what is the entry that asks "Enter XML-RPC Endpoint URL"? I have no idea what to put in there.

Trackback from Lorraine Land
June 29, 2003 8:07 PM

Download these

Excerpt: I've just made two new excellent discoveries: Zempt, a Movable Type blogging tool with which I am posting this entry...

July 3, 2003 1:02 PM

The Good: I love the ability to post the entry with the date/time stamp set to either the time you created it, the current time, or anything else you want. The Bad: PLEASE work on the editor. An add-link shortcut is a must, but what would be very nice is user defined tags with user defined shortcut keys.

Adam Kalsey
July 3, 2003 5:23 PM

Zempt has user support forums up now at http://forums.zempt.com/ so I'm closing this discussion. Please post any comments or questions there.

Trackback from BnKB
January 31, 2005 2:23 PM


Excerpt: Zempt is a great Multi-Platform posting for Movable Type, even thought it is only ported to windows users. Zempt is in 0.4 and it is pretty cool. It is definitely a ravel to w.bloggar only in one department thought,...

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