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Textile previews in Ecto and MarsEdit

27 Jan 2005

One of my bones of contention with Textpattern is that it still doesn’t support XML-RPC, allowing the use of a desktop weblog editor (although Dean has promised this for a while). However, thanks to Chris Mcleod, you can now get it up and working with Ecto and MarsEdit. I’ve had problems getting Textile previews to work in these apps, and wanted to share here the solutions in case anyone else has been in the same boat.


Thanks to Brent Simmons and Brad Choate, who spent time finding a way to trick MarsEdit into thinking its using Markdown, but it is in fact using Textile. What follows are Brent’s instructions:

  1. Quit MarsEdit if it’s running.
  2. Go to the TextFilters folder at ~/Library/Application Support/MarsEdit/TextFilters/
  3. If you have a Markdown folder, delete it.
  4. Create a new folder named Markdown.
  5. Download Brad’s MT-Textile plugin.
  6. In the plugin folder — in extlib/Text/ — you’ll find a file named Put a copy of it in your /Library/Perl/ folder. (You may need to set execute permissions for I did, though I’m not sure it’s necessary.)
  7. In the plugin folder — plugins/ — you’ll find a file named Copy it into ~/Library/Application Support/MarsEdit/TextFilters/Markdown/.
  8. Download and unzip this file and drop into that same Markdown folder.
  9. Make sure and have execute permission.
  10. Open Terminal and tell MarsEdit to always use Markdown for previews: defaults write com.ranchero.MarsEdit previewWithMarkdownAlways YES

Done! Its a little roundabout, but once setup, you can forget about it. Thanks Brent!


With Ecto, the process is a lot more straightforward. When you add your Textpattern blog to Ecto, choose ‘Movable Type’ as the ‘system’, and then when you write posts in HTML mode, the Textile option becomes available in the options drawer, under ‘Formatting’ tab, in the ‘Format’ drop down menu. Now select ‘Make Default’ to make it the last time you need to do that.

format screenshot

As for which I will use for writing my blog posts, I’m not sure. I’m just enjoying in the fact that I can use both at the moment.

What these won’t do

Obviously there are a number of custom Textpattern options that neither of these apps will cater for. So far I’ve been using MarsEdit for the last 3 posts, and the only thing I have to do is go into my textpattern admin and turn on comments for each entry. Ecto doesn’t have this problem however, so I’m now giving that a spin. Maybe once Textpattern 1 final is released and gains populularity, there will be more support for Textpattern options in future versions of these apps.

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