Barley is a plugin that works with existing blogging systems, including WordPress and Drupal. It’s selling point is in allowing a blog author to create and edit content directly on the front-facing part of their site.
This has long been a problem with content management systems. There has been a deliberate separation between the front-end and the back-end of the site. This means that the content which the author drafts in the administration panel may look completely (and unintentionally) different when published to the front-end; Thus wasting the authors time, by requiring editing and adjusting of blog posts.
In the past I have gotten around this problem by utilising native applications on my Mac. Marsedit is a highly capable OS X application, that has a number of advanced options for publishing to a blogging platform. Another, newer application recently released on the Mac Appstore is Blogo, a simple WordPress editor that is being actively developed with more advanced features. However, these applications rely on the author having installed them on a personal computer. If I wanted to blog on a work or public computer, I would have to use the WordPress Admin system.
Enter Barley. The best of both worlds, the reliability and safety of drafting using native applications and the dynamic preview and access anywhere of the back-end admin panel. Using their ingenious plugin, an author creates posts on the front-page of the wordpress blog. Full editing options and access to the media manager mean that content can be drafted and finalised before publishing. Drafts can be saved without leaving the page. The draft you create using Barley retains the correct formatting and appearance as the final output will have on your site.
Personally, I’m blown away by how useful Barley looks. At $25 it seems like a no-brainer purchase. Once I have finished modifying my site code this will be one of my first purchases to aid in blogging. Go have a look for yourself.