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InfoQ Homepage News Update on Plug-in Development for Windows Live Writer

Update on Plug-in Development for Windows Live Writer

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In August, changes to the gallery for Windows Live Writer were announced. This caused some concern that Live Writer was going away. We talked to John Thornton, the Lead Program Manager for Windows Live Writer, to get the real story.

According to John, the changes to the gallery have nothing to do with Windows Writer itself. Rather, it has to do with the future of By having developers move their applications out of the gallery and onto Windows Live SkyDrive, they are preparing to a new gallery that is only going to contain Writer plug-ins and is maintained solely by the Live Writer team.

John Thornton continues,

As far as the death of Writer it's silly speculation that has been going on for a long time. We have a great team working on the product and we are confident that this latest version of Writer is the best version yet. Part of the story that never gets told is that the Writer team now also makes the editing surface for Windows Live Mail. Mail users now benefit from the rich Writer editor including features like all the photo effects and photo album tools. Contrary to popular belief we haven't been sitting around planning Writers demise and doing nothing for 18 months. In fact we have diligently been improving our editing canvas with fixes that are now benefiting both Mail and Writer. At the same time we have upgraded Writer's UX with ribbon, fixed many important customer found bugs and added features like new album templates, emoticons, improved copy/paste support and better theme detection. Is there more we want to do? Of course and that is where we have always relied on our plugin model and the community to help out.

Information on creating plugins for Windows Live Writer is available on MSDN. Though it shares components with Live Writer, Live Mail doesn’t offer a plug-in model.

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Community comments

  • Thanks...

    by Greg Duncan,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    Thanks for following up with them and getting this information...

    And while I never thought they were "...sitting around planning Writers demise and doing nothing for 18 months" the problem is that we really had no clue WHAT they were doing. The team was so dark we had/have really no idea what was being done, what the direction was, the future, etc, etc.

    Your post is one of the better "inside baseball" posts from them I think I've seen recently and has removed some of my concerns about WLW. But it's kind of a shame you had to hunt them down and ask them this for us to get this information...

    I'm not being snarky. I love WLW. I just wish we heard more from the team behind it. They ARE doing great work, I just wish they would be more transparent with us. The team as so much to teach us with their work, implementations, lessons learned, etc, I just wish they would reach out and share that.

    Some of the news that's been released related to WLE 2011 is a start, as is this information from them. I hope they continue and just keep us more in the loop...

    Break out of the box my WLW Development Team Friends! Your community really does love your product. Give us a chance and we'll share that with you too...

  • Re: Thanks...

    by Jonathan Allen,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    I cannot make any promises, but I'll see if I can get an interview with the team.

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