SharpMT and Pocket SharpMT 2.4 – Beta 1

And here’s another “minor”, yet massively requested update, and it’s been added to the desktop and pocket version: HTML encoding. Sadly this doesn’t seem to work for all language, but it will enable me to support non-English Latin-based languages. For more information, click more, to read the rest of this post.

Download SharpMT 2.4 Beta 1: EXE | MSI

Read: SharpMT FAQ

Screenshots: 1 | 2 | 3

Download Pocket SharpMT 2.4 Beta 1: ZIP | ARM

Read: Pocket SharpMT FAQ

Screenshots: 1 | 2 | 3

This entire issue is caused by MT and their support of non-English languages (or lack there of) through their XML-RPC interface. If it would allow me to send in posts using UTF-8, then even double-byte characters would be supported and everything would be easy… for example, I can save UTF-8 text files with Japanese characters in them: they come back when the file is re-opened. The problem is that when I try to send a Japanese text string (or anything that is encoded as UTF-8 for that matter) to the MT server, the XML-RPC functions yell at me.

So, there’s a workaround that’s been floating around out there, and it focuses on Latin-based languages. Take for example: “déjà vu”. With version 2.3, this would be “d?j? vu” or “d j vu” but with 2.4 it actually goes into the server as “déjà vu” which is completely valid HTML text. Characters that previously weren’t supported by SharpMT are now encoded just before they are sent to the server when posting or editing drafts – Geeks will see this as ASCII codes 160 to 255. Drafts are stored in UTF-8 format, so you will not see the &#nnn; encoding when editing drafts. You will see them when you get information from from the server: if you edit server based entries that are already on the server, you will see the encoded characters but you can type over them without worry because things are encoded when they go back up to the server. I tried this with some Japanese text, but MT didn’t seem to like it, but it might work… if it does or doesn’t, please drop me a comment: it might be because my configuration isn’t double-byte friendly or it might not be supported at all… I don’t know, but I’m hopeful.

12 thoughts on “SharpMT and Pocket SharpMT 2.4 – Beta 1”

  1. Just installed 2.4, checked the version in “About”.

    I recovered my posts from the Movable Type installation and special characters are still being replace by “?”, these are accented characters.

    The categories recovered from the site also suffer the same problem.

    The special characters posted to the MT installation are translated to ok to “” etc…

  2. OK, I’m confused by a few things… what do you mean by “recovered my posts”?

    This fix would apply to any newly typed draft (not existing ones) and it should be fine if you bring down a posted entry from the MT server…

    Categories are not included in any of this, actually, as per the post… they are set and stored as a numeric ID, so they will always be set OK even if they aren’t displayed OK – I can’t help if MT isn’t sending them as they are supposed to! The only reason why it works OK with the other fields is because they are used to show/encode HTML so that when they come back down from MT, they are encoded properly; categories won’t ever do this right, so I can’t hack those up.

  3. 99.44% of it does… I don’t have a device for it (nor do I plan to buy one) but I have the emulator for it… the images in the toolbar seem to “disappear” and that’s something we’ll have to live with if it happens on the real devices… I’m putting the images there and if they choose not to show… heh.

    Then there’s the issue of Portrait versus Landscape… that’s always been supported on the main dialog but the Options dialog had issues – most of this was corrected in 2.3 (ironically about a week before WM2003SE was announced – it wasn’t planned that way, trust me!) There is also one other thing, where one tab of the main dialog (Advanced) that had controls way off screen, but I’ve added a scroll bar for that as well in P#MT 2.4 Beta 2 (which will be out soon)…

    Right now I’m curious to see how all of the foreign language stuff is working… gotta love it when a “most requested feature” only gets one comment in feedback so far…

  4. Hey, I barely even speak that well :) Imagine trying to support multiple languages when you mangle your own native language!

  5. Randy,

    Ok, got the “limitations” of the fix.

    I meant “Blog Links” with “I recover my posts”, and I undertsand that SharpMT doesn’t create Categories, just displays it with the same “?” replacing special characters.

    Thanks anyway, the software is great but the special character limitation is really difficult to handle for any language different from english.

    I hope MT enhances it’s support for it in the future. making it easier for developers to handle this issues.

  6. “I hope MT enhances it’s support for it in the future. making it easier for developers to handle this issues.”

    Exactly that – I’m hopeful that 3.0 will allow support for UTF-8 via the XML-RPC interface but I don’t even know if it’s an MT restriction or a RPC or PeRL restriction… I’m just hopeful it gets better with each new release.

  7. Thanks, looks like great tools, but it seems to be hardly usable by me – I need International support. Particular speaking – Russian. Yes, it sends all Russian letters as “????” to server. However posting from web works just fine. Any idea when international fix could come up?

  8. Also, how can I post without saving draft? It asks twice to save and still, it then posts. I’d prefer more “windows-like” behaviour. i.e. ask to save on close, not on post.

    Bug with tray icon, seems it check for WindowState.Restored and thus when you maximize window and then minimize, it shows icon; then clicking on icon will show window maximized, but icon is still there; next click on icon will make window restored. Actually, I’d prefer (as an option) to always show icon in tray.

  9. @Ilya – Not much I can do for the lack of Russian support (it falls into the same boat as Japanese, Korean, Chinese, etc.) as the current kludge is for the extended Latin character set. It’s up to MT to allow it and I think Six Apart is still working on the 3.0 release – there’s been no mention that I’ve seen that this will include the fix, so I haven’t a clue.

    As to posting without saving, nope: I use the XML file proc’s to build the “proper” XML string that goes up to the server, so that’s sorta required.

    As to the tray icon, I’ll look into it: obviously the icon is current configured to only be there when it’s minimized (and when that setting is set) – a quick question: why keep it in there all the time? Curious about that, as to what that would imply…

  10. Several more notes at my second day of usage :) Answers first.

    International: I still cannot understand the problem. From the web I can post russian, why I can’t from #MT? Do you use unicode editor? Do you convert to 8-bit ASCII? Maybe you can make an option for codepage?

    Posting without saving. System.XML allows to save file into any stream (e.g. MemoryStream), why couldn’t you build “proper” XML in memory and post to the server?

    Icon: My system tray area is sort of another taskbar, but very short. I use it for apps, that don’t require title to be visible (and support minimize to tray). Rarely used icons are hidden. So I have there ICQ, LJ, #Reader and all other sorts of desktop clients for remote data. I used to click at single place every time to popup the application and not check tray area, then task bar and move my mouse around. Does this make sense?

    Two suggestions:

    1. Allow using MT templates for preview, to achieve WYSIWYG

    2. When automatically converting line breaks to BRs, could you skip those inside “pre” and “code” tags?

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