Friday, 9 September 2011

Another Real Post - Blogger's New Interface

I love it!

How many times do you see new interfaces for your browser of choice, your social network or your blogging service and find yourself thinking, "Uh-oh, what'd they do to it?" If you are nodding your head, just join the rest of us who were thinking the same thing and finding that the old interface was just fine. Why fix it if it ain't broke, as the old saying goes. Why mess with perfection?

I have noticed changes even when nothing was said about any changes having been made and not been to pleased. My husband, the quintessential programmer, told me that bugs are mistakes in the design of software and that mistakes that really are minor annoyances and too difficult to fix for little return are called "features". Yes, that's right. If you call a company and complain about some trivial annoyance to them that is a huge problem for you, they'll instruct their service providers to tell you it is a feature and the hell with your complaint. I suppose Luis would tell me this is not information for dissemination to the masses, but after 21 years together, he should know better. I mean, really.

As it happens, however, Google purchased Blogger and has put out the word that they have big plans to make big changes. And I'm sure the head-shaking and worried looks the world over were exchanged by those like me who listen to what C-Net has to say and thought, "Uh-oh." Damn right we all had that reaction. I like Google, for a multitude of reasons, but even I was leery to learn that they were fast-tracking their intent to make changes to the blogging system.

Google did right by us, no doubt about it.

The first thing I noticed was they fixed the bug where the system would initially reject my post if for some reason I stopped in the middle of it and the post sat there in the workable window past midnight. If you are sitting there thinking, "What in God's name is she talkin' about?" then you haven't done this. It happens - something happens that takes me away from my laptop in mid-post and when I return the next day, the post gives me a big old red message whenever the autosave engages or I try to hit SUBMIT POST. Now, on the second or third try it still would give me that. So I would click on the box, highlight all the text, hit Control + C to save all the text, and then hit SUBMIT POST and BOINK, up it went. Mind you, I did not actually do anything with the saved text, but that action seemed to unlock the problem and the post would go live as it should. This has been rectified.

When you now post images, they will show up in the spot you have the cursor. Yes, this was a gratifying and unexpected bounty. Time was I would post several images at once and they'd all be crowded into the top of the post, the default position for images. One image or ten, the result was the same, and I'd have to drag it a few lines at a time (the posting box did not show all the text) to get it to the pertinent area. Now, there are two factors: the writing box is now designed to show the whole post; the image will be dropped into the box wherever the cursor is placed. YES!!

I'm sure there are other changes (certainly the design is delightfully improved, with all kinds of options now running down the right side, and the whole screen is in use, not just one small designated area) that I have yet to encounter but I will undoubtedly let you know as I find them.

Way to go, Google!

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