Friday, December 08, 2006

I'm probably going to lose everything, at least for now

Migration to the new Blogger is optional right now, so I went ahead and did that today. However, it will be mandatory before long, so guess what: everyone will have to use the new Blogger. This is all fine and good as long as you don't have any real customizations, but take a look at this blog: It's just a little bit different from the Minima template it started from.

There's a whole new way of managing the template—ahem, I mean layout—in the beta, and it seems to focus around brain-dead simplicity. This is fine for those who don't want to bother with a bunch of HTML, CSS, etc. But for people like me, who built my customization piece by piece using a bit of CSS and Javascript knowledge, this method of laying out a page is kind of useless. I need to be able to play with variables and codes until I see what I want.

Blogger Beta's new system operates around this goofy concept of "widgets", which I guess are these made-up things like page elements, but I don't understand them at all. I have tried to copy my current code over to this new template and Blogger says that it won't work because it isn't "well-formed." But they won't highlight the areas that don't work, so I can't change them to fit their new way of parsing the code!

Taking a deeper look, it actually looks as though I have to use the "widget wizard" (that is, the little pop-up window that comes up when you click Edit on a page element) in order to add things like a links list. The problem is, aside from being able to alphabetize the links, I don't see how I can customize it any further.

So here's a short list, off the top of my head, of what I think I'll lose when I am forced to do it the new way:

  • Rotating banner images at the top
  • Ability to put links into subcategories (Nicole's Blogs, Comics, Etc.)
  • Special messages, like quotes, that come up when one hovers over a link
  • Ability to even open a link in a new window
  • Control over fonts and colors of some elements (I experimented with this a couple of weeks ago)
  • Custom graphics in the sidebar
  • Custom graphics in the blog header (See today's date? There's a homemade graphic under it)
  • Ability to move things around within the post, like how it says who commented rather than just the number of comments
  • Toggling comments with the show/hide button

Until I can figure out how the new system works, I'm afraid that I might have to go back to one of their basic templates. Because I can keep this "Classic" template up for now, but they might pull that out from under me before too long.

I'm beginning to think that this new beta will be the new AOL of the blogging world: Easy to use as long as you stay inside their little box.

And oh, yeah, I increased the value of the comments from 2.1¢ to 2.6¢. Inflation, you know.

3 Talked Back:

At December 8, 2006 at 5:41:00 PM CST, Anonymous Amy - said...


You really, really, really should be using Wordpress.


At December 9, 2006 at 9:26:00 PM CST, Blogger Nicole said...

Actually, Amy, I went to Wordpress once, after considering a switchover, and I didn't like their options at all. I much prefer Blogger. (At least, I think I do. We'll see how the transition goes.)


At December 10, 2006 at 7:09:00 AM CST, Anonymous Amy - said...

Not I've never used that.

I mean the one you download from and host on your own. It is much more customizable... if you're willing to play with the CSS and the PHP.


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