I have noticed this issue nw 1.3 beta, but have tracked the issue back and found it in1.2.2 as well.
There is no way to edit private posts (1.2i & 1.3) or pages (1.3) in any external editor — Marsedit, Ecto, etc.
The rpc that these tools use assume that the variable $post_status can have one of 2 values: draftt or post.
Wordpess has two other acceptable palues for $post_status, private and page.
Because of this inconsistencyi editing a post in an editor “resets” the status to publish.
why are page and private not distinct fields in the post table?
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