Why I (don’t) Like Blogger Beta
Ok, I admit that I’ve been dragged kicking and screaming over to Blogger Beta. I spent a lot time and effort getting my old template just the way I liked it and now I’ve had to start all over again. Sometimes life sucks… or does it?
But maybe there is a silver lining after all, so instead of sounding off like a whining old fart I decided that I may as well just jump in and look at the brighter side of life (yes I am a Monty Python fan :).
During my beta meanderings I’ve discovered at least one good thing that I can say about Blogger Beta. And that is because the templates are designed for strict XHTML, (I thought this was supposed to be easier folks) beta won’t let me write sloppy code (something that I’ve been accused of once or twice). Did you happen to notice the tongue in my cheek when I said this was a good thing?
This widget thingy was also annoying at first but I can now see another hidden benefit (ok, so I admit there’s at least two good things about beta). It will automagically wrap your code very nicely so that there can be no possibility of writing spaghetti code. The end result is your template will be standards’ compliant no matter how hard you may try to mess it up (or it won’t let you save the changes).
But therein might also belie its weakness, because unless you are prepared to learn XHTML you are going to have a very frustrating time trying to modify your templates. (Sorry for being negative but I couldn’t make this post all peaches and cream).
The beta interface is indeed a big improvement but there is still room to grow. For example, my favorite blog editor w.bloggar is not compatible with blogger beta so I’ve had to work exclusively within the beta interface… and I have to admit that the Post Editor is not half bad.
However, it would be have been helpful if blogger provided us with a menu in the Template Editor and a few XHTML shortcuts. After all, since they are supposedly making beta easier for us to use, and they are forcing us all to be XHTML compliant — that would have been the least they could do don’t you think.
If all this sounds like a contradiction of terms then I’ve accomplished my goal. For to me Blogger Beta is a conundrum. Yes indeedy, it is a major upgrade in the right direction but it also comes up short in so many ways.
Like I’ve already said, why am I wasting any more of my time with a Wordpress wannabee? Perhaps I’m still waiting to see what more features they intend to roll out and if they’ve been paying any attention to my wish list.
I still can’t figure out what Google’s real intentions are with this upgrade. Will they build us the ultimate blog solution (one can always hope)? Google certainly has the resources to do it. Or will they just be content with playing catch-up?
And for that matter why should making the ultimate blog solution be really all that difficult? Just take the best from your competitors, make it a little easier for the end user… and voilà.
Sounds simple doesn’t it? It does to me. But then we would also have to factor in corporate business models, marketing niche campaigns, and politics around the board room. Yes, unfortunately nothing is ever really that simple. Sigh!
Lately I’ve been spending most of my spare time working on a new beta template and I wish I could tell you that it’s been a breeze, but I won’t blow smoke up your… The fact is it’s been a pain. There is a lot to learn between upgrading to XHTML and the new Blogger code that they’ve rolled out.
I’ll keep you posted as we continue this journey together down betaland and I recommend that you do the same. At least set up a test blog and start working on your new template because you don’t want to be caught with your knickers at half mast when they put the hammer down and force us over to the dark side.
I’m still investigating a free Wordpress solution and haven’t found anything viable as yet. But hey, who’s complaining? Aren’t we having fun?
Filed under: instabloke, blog, weblog, blogging, blog tools, web 2.0, blog resources, blogger beta