December 20, 2008

The most annoying thing about Blogger.

It is way too easy to accidentally publish a post. It happens all too often that I'm only beginning a post and I do something -- perhaps hit the return button twice -- that makes the post publish.

Just now for example, I wanted to do a post on this Economist article about music, and I copied and pasted the whole article into the "compose" window so I could read it and cut it down to a few choice quotes. I then made some mistake that made a post of the entire thing -- with no identifying link or even quote marks to show that it was copied.

Sorry. And Blogger, please fix that.

15 comments:

Meade said...

Maybe Blogger is busy having sneezy sex every early morning. There are other things in life besides analyzing the economy and who the next president wants to thump on the Bible for him, ya know.

Meade said...

Sorry, I should have read the article first:

"Anecdotal evidence linking music to sexual success is strong"

Uh, BLOGger -- sometime this year, how about?

Rick Lee said...

Hmmm... that never happens to me. And I looked at the Compose New Message page and I couldn't figure out how it would happen. Are you using a mouse or trackpad? It sounds like the sort of problem that is caused by accidentally touching the trackpad. I might be missing something.

Chip Ahoy said...
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Chip Ahoy said...

I always see something in the published post I failed to see in the editing screen or in the scripting screen. Usually something that should have been obvious. So I usually end up making more corrections than I would care to. Seldom does the post stand as originally posted. But that too-quick-to-post thing has happened to me too. An intervening "are you sure?" query might be helpful. It's happened here in comments as well.

Like just now. ^^^ I had "to" instead of "too."

Theo Boehm said...
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Theo Boehm said...

The Blogger interface isn't bad, but doing anything complex in the 'compose' window sucks.

I know Althouse doesn't like non-Apple software on her computer, but I think she might make an exception here, and install Firefox WITH the ScribeFire extension.  ScribeFire is very useful, if chronically slightly buggy, blogging software.  It includes an HTML editor along the lines of the Blogger 'compose' window, but with a better collection of bells and whistles for formatting and linking.  You can paste long text in the window, edit it however you want, write your own material, add links, etc.  The linking feature requires a little attention to make sure you're putting the right link in, but it eliminates all that unpleasant and error-prone hand coding. You can then post your creation directly to your blog, and/or save it locally on your computer (I do that by saving as a 'Note' under the 'Entries' tab).

The best thing about ScribeFire, IMHO, is the ability to instantly switch between a robust preview mode and viewing the plain HTML.  You can tweak links, etc. in HTML mode, and get a preview with a mouse click.  The whole thing is a LOT slicker than Blogger's 'compose' window.  ScribeFire is known for its occasional bug infestations, but it's working quite well right now.

Another extremely handy toy for blog text creation on the Mac is TextMate.  It's fairly geeky, Euro-Mac software intended for both programming and to bridge the gap between fluffy little editors such as the Blogger 'compose' window or ScribeFire, and full-fledged grandes machines such as DreamWeaver. Unlike Firefox and friends, it isn't free, costing right now something like €39, but there is a full-feature 30-day trial, and it's easy to buy online if you like it.  You have to choose "Blog HTML" from a long menu if you want to use the appropriate formatting and linking features, plus you will have to do a certain amount of setup and minor macro writing when you first install the software.  The best thing about TextMate for blogging is that it automatically TESTS the links, so you won't put up a dead or broken link unawares.  The worst thing about it is that the 'Preview' mode is totally useless, so you will be staring at a lot of Blogger HTML.  But at least you'll know when you copy and paste your creation into the Blogger 'Compose' window and hit 'Publish,' that Blogger won't have a hissy fit or embarrass you because of crappy coding.

I use both Safari and Firefox on my Macs, and IE and Safari on my PC's.  For general web viewing and surfing, Safari is the fastest, easiest and slickest on both platforms.  I don't know how Firefox works on Vista, but it basically sucks for Windows XP Professional, which is what I use at work.  Firefox 3 is quite good for the Mac, however, fully as fast in operation as Safari, if a little slower to load.  Plus, if they're well-chosen, the Firefox collection of extensions is a wonderful set of toys, the only ones a lot of us ever get to play with anymore.

TBMD said...

Alternately, you could compose in either Word or OpenOffice Text, and then copy / paste to the blogger compose window when you're done.

There's probably similar functionality in whatever the Mac word processing software you're using.

That said, blogger can still do weird stuff to your fomatting, so check compose before hitting publish.

Cheerio.

Hey! I'm on the same comment thread as Rick Lee!!!

Ann Althouse said...

I do use Foxfire for my blog post writing, even though I use Safari for nearly everything else, because there are a few things that work better. I like the compose, HTML, and preview modes. The other thing I use if for is FireFTP, which works a lot better than other things I've tried (and need mainly for uploading Bloggingheads video).

So I will try ScribeFire. Thanks for the tip.

Ann Althouse said...

"Hmmm... that never happens to me. And I looked at the Compose New Message page and I couldn't figure out how it would happen. Are you using a mouse or trackpad? It sounds like the sort of problem that is caused by accidentally touching the trackpad. I might be missing something."

It definitely happens if I double hit the return button while I'm in the tags area, but there is something else that does it that I haven't been able to catch.

Ann Althouse said...

Ah! I just did a test: A double return button hit in the title area also causes it to publish.

Eli Blake said...

As I've posted a lot of times before, blogger is a ***free*** service.

There are many blogging services which charge a fee, for which one should expect everything to work without any bugs. But for something that costs nothing, I feel that blogger does a remarkably good job.

"Don't look a gift horse in the mouth" and "you get what you pay for" are more than just pithy proverbs.

Ann Althouse said...

Eli, as I've said before, things that you pay for also go bad, and I've chose to trust Google over some lesser entity. Blogger works great.

Ann Althouse said...

Eli, as I've said before, things that you pay for also go bad, and I've chose to trust Google over some lesser entity. Blogger works great. It's foolish to think that paying for something will make it good.

sonicfrog said...

Ann, the biggest thing that bugs me about Blogger, is that you can't seem to blockquote in comments such as this.

Theo, I'm gonna give ScribeFire a spin.