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Windows Live Writer Tracing Bloggers?

Like I’ve said before, I’m (almost) eating my previous words, and recognize that Windows Live Writer is a pretty good tool.   There are two more things I forgot to mention in the previous post:

Writer still leaves turd in your blog… and in your feed. So this morning I could clearly see how of my favorite bloggers downloaded the new release.  This Technorati search currently finds 4682 instances of “turd”.  Google Blog Search finds over 14K occurences.  How come Microsoft still did not find a way to detect stylesheets without this mess?  (incidentally the detection still fails on my blog system)

There’s another kind of turd … or is it more?   Every time you use the new “Insert Tags” feature, it inserts a cryptic line like this, along with your tags:


The part before the “:” is constant (for your installation I suppose), the second part varies post by post.  What is this?  Is Big Brother watching us again?   Call me paranoid, but in the wake of the HP Scandal I wouldn’t be so surprised….

Update (9/29):   OK, I’ve cooled off.  I don’t think this is Big Brother in action… after all it’s so easily detectable, and Microsoft has enough trouble in this are to know better. But then, WTF is this?  Why do I need a unique ID in my blog posts?



  1. Good questions.

    WYSIWYG style detection is a much harder problem than it appears at first. We are aware of the “turd” problem and we’re not happy about it, but at the moment it’s the only way we’re able to do WYSIWYG style detection. I do regret that we don’t warn the user what’s about to happen during the setup wizard.

    I’d be interested in finding out why the style detection is failing for your blog. Again, feel free to contact me.

    Good question about the random-looking numbers. You’ll notice that when you insert tags, it’s not just a one-shot Insert operation. After inserting tags, if you select the inserted content, you’ll see that the sidebar changes to allow you to modify the tags or tag provider. A similar thing happens with maps, you can modify maps after they are inserted. Maps and tags are examples of “smart content” objects. Each smart content object has metadata that’s not stored directly in the HTML, and each type of smart content has code that is associated with it on the client side.

    The first part of the number (the one that never changes) identifies the type of smart content (maps, tags, etc.) and the second part is a truly random number that uniquely identifies this particular smart content object.

    If we were really interested in tracing you, there are much more direct ways to do it–after all, we are executing code with full permissions on your machine.

    Hope that helps clear things up.

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