Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Blogger 2.0: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

My blog is now, apparently, stable on Blogger 2.0, and you may be wondering if it's worth the move, or whether you should just abandon Blogger altogether and move to Wordpress.

I can't speak for the latter, but I can tell you about my impressions of the new Blogger, so far.

The Good
  • Labels, finally, are a much needed and critical feature. This doesn't really warrant much praise for Blogger, however, as most other sites had this for quite some time. Still.
  • Layout. If you allow your template to use the new Blogger Layout markups, dragging and dropping elements around your blog can be much easier. And if you bother to learn the attributes and language of this markup, you can actually do useful things with it. Kudos for allowing people to also directly manipulate their HTML, and for providing good information about the elements and attributes.
  • Publishing is by far the best reason to switch to Blogger 2.0. It used to be that every time I made a change in my template, I had to wait about ten minutes or more for the update to publish to all of my pages. As often as not, this would fail and I'd have to do it again.
    Because of this, I would try to save many changes to my template so that I could update all of them at once. Now a template change is quick and painless, which makes me freer to change the template more regularly. Big plus.
  • Owing to the quickness of the changes, any small, incidental outages that Blogger may experience no longer affect my ability to publish. This makes even the posting experience better.
  • The layout elements also allow you to easily add feeds to your sidebar, as well as allow third parties to create their own sidebar elements which you can them add to your template. Nice.

The Bad
  • Labels: I don't know if other tagging software pick them up, such as Technorati. Hopefully they do.
    The labeling is screwed up in dozens of ways; my biggest problem is the label counts that keep old labels at a count of 1 even when they no longer exist, needlessly cluttering my label lists.
  • Layouts could include more trivial features, some of which appear to be quite obvious, such as an easy way to limit the length of the label list on a sidebar. I could do it, but I had to go figure out how using the Javascript. There are still too many things that require me to figure out the Javascript.
  • There is no easy way to insert text/code between each blog post.
  • They still have outages.
  • Lots of little bugs in the editing features. For instance, when you try to edit a single item in a list element, the window jumps to the top of the screen. When you mass edit posts, the posts are redisplayed beginning from the first post again, instead of posts 820 to 840 which you were editing. And so on.

The Ugly
  • Google makes Picasa, so you would think that they could provide a way for you to manage your pictures on your blog, such as list them, edit them, remove them, etc. No. Pictures in blogger are still a huge black hole. You can upload them in only one of three sizes, and then you can't do anything with them. And when you upload a picture, the link to the picture is inserted at the top of your post, instead of at the cursor, which is where you would expect.
  • There's no easy way to review and edit comments around your site.
  • There are no stats.
  • There is no way to backup your blog.
  • Changing templates destroys the old one.
  • Captchas are not the best or only solution to comment moderation.
  • Plenty of advertisers and plugins don't work on Blogger.


Game News

Destructoid talks about juggling gaming and marriage.

The new Here and Now Australian edition of Monopoly is failing to capture interest from the main Australian cities, the result of which is that most of the properties may end up being places nobody has ever heard of.

Volokh reports on a failed attempt to convince a judge that denying him roleplaying material constitutes a repression of his religious freedoms. (Thanks, Shlomo)

The Institute of Civil Engineers is giving away 10,000 copies of their board game Flushed Away to UK primary school teachers. Just write them and ask for one.

And here's a pretty cake make out to look like a Puerto Rico board.


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