Summary (Updated April 2009):
If you want offline caching of posts AND proxy support and you aren't willing to tolerate Ecto's peculiarities, the only games in town are Windows Live Writer, BlogJet and RocketPost. Live Writer is free. RocketPost reportedly has zero support in the low-priced option, and it won't let me sort my cached post list by anything (other than date, descending, which it does by default). BlogJet won't let me sort, but it does on-the-fly filtering as I type words from the title or body.
Work Well Through an HTTP Proxy (without using CONNECT):
Don’t Work Through an HTTP Proxy:
Work Well Offline, Caching Old Posts:
Work OK Offline But Don’t Cache Old Posts:
Memory didn't matter too much until recently, when I started running all of my personal applications within a VM. All of a sudden, I have, in effect, half the memory I used to have.
(Memory use per Windows Task Manager.)
BlogJet is $40. There doesn't seem to be a way to get it to start up in "Manage Posts" view; it starts up ready to write a *new* entry. Pressing Ctrl-H or a toolbar button switches to "Manage Posts" view.
Scribefire doesn’t use Word-like formatting keyboard commands. It is entirely too easy to loose a post-in-progress with Scribefire. If you click on the wrong control in the Scribefire window, you open a new area of Scribefire, silently discarding your post-in-progress. You must remember to save your post as a Note or you'll lose it. One nice thing about Scribefire is that it picks up Firefox's proxy settings. (UPDATE: Still silently abandons your text if you click on the wrong thing, as of March 10, 2008)
Hmmm... Could I use a Greasemonkey script to prevent posting loss in Scribefire? Nope. Greasemonkey doesn't seem to run scripts against chrome:// URLs.
w.Bloggar isn’t WYSIWYG.
Zoundry's editor could be OK, but the 1.0.40 version does not work through proxy servers. They say their 1.1 version will support proxies. Zoundry does work via a localhost SOCKS proxy, via FreeCap proxy injection. Since it goes through the localhost SOCKS proxy and proxytunnel and the corporate proxy, network IO is slow and you have to remember to start the tunnel. Update - March 2008: There won't be proxy because they're working on a new, improved 2.0, and it doesn't look like 2.0 is going to get proxy early in its release cycle. This is a flat-out show-stopper for me.
RocketPost looks like a good product, but the story in the Blogosphere is that they provide zero support. They don't have forums or a knowledge base on their support site,
Ecto for Windows has a few user-interface anomalies. (e.g. in the Options dialog, if you ENTER 99 as the number of old posts to fetch, it reverts to its old value, but if you press the up-arrow until you get to 99, it seems to remember 99.) Update - March 2008: Still has odd UI problems. When I told it to publish a posting, it minimized to the task bar and when I brought it back up, it no longer let me edit the post.
If I could get Zoundry or Qumana to work via the proxy, they would be OK. BlogJet works well, but do I want to spend $50? RocketPost could be a winner, but with zero support and no user-forums, if it downloads an update that breaks everything, I'm hosed. Ecto for Windows is a little flakey; is it too flakey? Is it worth $20?