You’re wondering what that means, I know. Let me explain that it is auto-correction: I typed a string of letters, more shaking my had across the iPad keyboard than even tapping, and Editorial changed it to fluffy fluff ough.
I’m testing Editorial. It’s the fairly new iPad app that has had the most rave reviews and I couldn’t quite see why. Most ravers go on a lot about how great it is when you’re writing in Markdown, but I never do. Markdown is a simplified HTML for coding websites, it’s a way of doing what you need to do without remembering coding strings. I like the idea, but I already know HTML and it’s actually rare that I do anything more than simple, unadorned text online.
So many good reviews and so many enthused comments, though. I tried looking into it and for once there are no handy YouTube videos showing you walkthroughs or whatever. I found some very bad YouTube videos. But nothing bad and helpful.
And given that it was only £2.99 and given that I was just given an iTunes gift card, I bought it. First impressions are that I like that auto-correct but it’s an odd thing: Editorial did a sterling job with that nonsense text but it won’t automatically change itunes into iTunes as iOS normally does.
I done display font. I do very, very much like that the iPad onscreen keyboard has a small extra row with symbols, though I hope I can change them to ones I use more often than every type of bracket under the son. (It’s the parentheses I blame.) Oh! When I tapped that opening bracket, Editorial also put in a closing one after my cursor. That’s very coding-handy but I think it’ll be useful in normal writing sometimes too. It’s a nice touch.
But the real reason I am writing this to you is that I want to see if I can write it to you. Right now, The Blank Screen blog is a test that I’m running on WordPress. Can I write something here in Editorial and send it directly to WordPress?
Apparently I can through a workflow. This is the other great feature that gets mentioned and which I do at least conceptually understand. Editorial lets you automate a lot of work. I’m a fan of automating things that can be automated and which are right chores if you don’t. But I’m not clear how it works here and I know nothing whatsoever about the system or language Python that it uses.
So I’m finding out. If I can’t use it or if I learn that it isn’t useful for me then I have wasted some time but I’ll know more and that’s never a waste. If it is useful and if I can use it, then I’ll save a lot of time over the long run. I am definitely and always in favour of spending a little time now to save a lot later. If only I was as financially astute.
One thing. I thought the most useful of the little extra row of symbols would be the apostrophe but where the rest of this text is plain, the apostrophe is not. Maybe I have to write in this Markdown. I don’t know.
But let’s get this to the test WordPress blog and see what happens. I’ve installed an Editorial workflow written by the creator of Editorial and which posts text to WordPress. I haven’t done anything else: haven’t given it the address. I took a look at the code and can’t immediately see where it asks me for one or where I can set one up, so I’m going to save this document and then run the workflow.
Run the workflow and step back.
Failed. I failed in that it asked if I were writing a normal or a linked post and I don’t know. And it failed with a line 15 runtime error. Checking line 15…
Can’t tell for sure what line 15 is: it’s either a kind of block 15, the fifteenth step in the sequence, or it’s a line 15 of code and I can’t see how to examine that closely.
What I can surely do is email this text and that is one what to get it into the blog, so I’ll do that.
I want to say to you that if you’re picking up a critical tone or a questioning of Editorial, you’re smart but it’s not quite that. I have exactly zero criticism of Editorial so far. (And I have a fair few things to praise in it.) What I’m examining here is not this software, it is specifically whether this app is going to be useful to me in my work here, right now. I have side questions like how in the world did the line Fluffy fluff ough just appear in the middle of the previous sentence as I was writing it, but that’s something to ask about later and delete now.