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Saturday, May 15, 2004

Blogger Enhancements? Pass the Tylenol!

On Mother's Day (??) Blogger delivered a major interface and coding upgrade. This would be a boon to new users or Bloggers who use Blogger templates, but those of us with custom coded templates were in for a bumpy ride.

The new dashboard interface, the talk of the blogosphere, is certainly nifty. There is a certain amount of glitchiness typical of new releases, but these are forgivable. But the comments feature? Give me a break!

I don't mean to be ungrateful, but the long-awaited Comments feature and the underimplemented "conditional tags" necessary to use individual post pages resulted in a two-day hair-puller to configure The LongBow Papers (my husband's blog) to support comments. I managed to hack through it, but I can't say I'm thrilled with the results. It would have been much more reasonable for them to have povided an option to use a separate template for individual posts with comments.

Blogger's "Preview" feature, unfortunately, does not allow clicking through to the individual posts page, so in absence of a real testing environment, one is required to republish the entire blog repeatedly and if it's a large one, this can take almost half an hour per revision because of the volume of individual post pages generated. Assuming the connection doesn't time-out or bug back to the dashboard page in mid-publish, as it did several times.

Now that the Blogger comments are up and working, I am quite irritated to find that a reader who'd like to comment is required to create a Blogger account and profile ("it only takes 3 minutes," the dialog says) if they don't already have one--or comment anonymously. The link provided in the comment when you do log in doesn't give the commentators URL or email, it displays their Blogger Profile, if the account-holder elects to make it public (this doesn't happen by default). I find this inconvenient and invasive. I feel a bit hoodwinked, especially after all that hassle.

I'll stick with my third-party comments add-on. It took only two minutes to add the Haloscan hosted comments and I'll probably eventually pay the small premium to eliminate the unobstrusive ad the free version carries.

Blogger: can you say "Beta Testing"?

// posted by Ellen @  13:49   //Permalink// 
Ellen says hey
Mainer, New Yawka, Beijinger, Californian, points between. News, views and ballyhoos that piqued my interest and caused me to sigh, cry, chuckle, groan or throw something.

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