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Editorial 1.1 and Me


The release of Editorial 1.1 has re-started me on the path of tinkering and tuning, and so far my impression is something along the lines of man oh man. Now, you’re going “oh great, another navel-gazing tools post,” and, no, you’re not wrong. This is another navel-gazing tools post. I do recall my college creative writing professor noting that poems about writing poems often make the worst poems; fortunately that observation probably doesn’t apply to blog posts about blog tools. We will see.

The short version is that I’m excited about this tool and this is a really powerful update. To elaborate:

  • Sub-workflows replace the previous ability to save and re-use workflows as “presets,” and improve on this idea greatly. A workflow can call another workflow as part of its own process, which means that re-using the things I’ve already built is easy, and I can improve those component workflows without having to trace their changes into the other places where they’re used.
  • The UI workflow builder is cool and I’m sure I will only use a tiny bit of its power. However,
  • Together, sub-workflows and UI builder are fantastic: I can use my existing workflows and piece them together into a parent workflow complete with buttons! In about ten minutes of work I have a popup sheet with buttons for my PGH publishing options and tools, that I can invoke from the keyboard directly. This is really, really slick. I admit I did not quite grok this when I read Oli’s preview posts about it, but the simple explanation really is true: one could use this to make full-on python-powered applications, complete with GUI, that run inside Editorial. I’m really excited to see what people come up with.

Also great, Ole’s backup/restore workflow, which has made it bang-easy to keep my workflows in sync across devices: and now with the iPhone version, I can begin work on any device and seamlessly pick up on another; this had been an obstacle between my two iPads, where I only had really tuned up workflows on one or the other. Now I’m equally capable on either iPad or my phone, no friction. It’s almost spooky, how cool it is to see the workflow panel get populated with all the workflows restored from a backup. Previously, the way to do this would be via syncing each workflow manually via the workflow repository. The brilliance of a seamlessness, easy sync just cannot be overstated. I think the ease with which one can keep iOS platforms in sync is going to be a very big deal with this release. Related, Ole Moritz has also put together a snippet backup workflow that looks likely to ease some of the frustration with the new method for using TextExpander in iOS 7.

My small kit of tools that I use to publish this entire site consists primarily of: write, upload1, render static HTML with my home built tiny engine (server side), deploy preview and deploy “production.” I have had these operations automated within Editorial for quite a while now, and every facet of doing that just got even better. Moreover, the app’s improvements give me more reason to incorporate it into even more of my non-blog style writing. In short, a great app is made even better; if you’re already a user you’re going to like it, and if you haven’t tried it but like writing and tools, I think this will be right up your alley.

  1. Really, upload here refers to syncing from Dropbox over to my web host server, where the server side static HTML rendering gets done. [return]