No Fancy Name
Saturday, July 17, 2004
blogger's recent editor-related changes
I've read a number of posts recently, in which people comment about their perceived crappy aspects of Blogger, and how they move to this blog tool or that blog tool, and that's just fine, people have their preferences, etc. I chose Blogger because I'm lazy -- I have server of my own, I could have installed any blog tool I wanted, I could even have written my own blog tool if I was bored or unhappy enough with the alternatives. But for me, Blogger is dandy. In addition to (free) Blogger, I paid $12 for a year of unlimited-length/advanced feature Haloscan-based comments and trackbacks, but I would have been perfectly fine with the free version if I didn't have verbose friends who write long comments. :) But anyway, you get what you pay for...and I pay zippo for something that I use every day, and I'm happy with it.

All that being said, I was a bit miffed when Blogger rolled out their new editor, because I hate editors and it defaulted to "fancy editor" rather than "edit HTML" (on your own). I recognize that I have an elitist view when it comes to coding, and as such I am not saying that editors suck and you suck if you use them, I'm just saying that for me, it takes me three times as long to do something in an editor that is intended to "help" you, than it does for me to code by hand. I know that's not the case for a lot of people, and as long as the editor doesn't spit out crappy, e.g. non-validated, code, then by all means knock yourself out with an editor.

Anyway, the implementation of this new editing tool was not a well-synchronized push to the numerous Blogger servers (meaning, not everyone in the Blogger user world was experiencing the same thing at the same time), and it caused publishing issues for a lot of people. Additionally, it did not seem to be very well tested with regards to browser usage, and caused a lot of issues for people using Gecko-based browsers, etc. I was less perturbed by the fact that I had to work my way past the editor than I was with these issues of non-synchronization and what I perceive to be poor testing. If I had published something in this manner, my clients would shoot me. Heck, I'd shoot me! It just wouldn't happen.

But I checked and saw that they posted updates about the push, and pointed users to an updated knowledgebase article on the topic. That's something, at least. What got them some points from me was that one of the main engineers (if not the guy, I'm not sure) wrote two posts in his own blog, "A note on the usefulness of WYSIWYG editing in the browser" and "A more technical note on Blogger's implementation of WYSIWYG editing in the browser". They're very truthful and in some instances, funny. But the cool thing is that from about 4pm yesterday afternoon, when the push occurred, dude's blog comments were a free-for-all from users, and they quickly filled up with bug reports, "this sucks"/"this rocks" comments, etc. To his credit, dude not only addressed each of those comments via his own follow-up comments, he basically sat there fixing things and pushing out as patches were complete.

Now, I still wouldn't have pushed a new feature on a weekday with that many issues outstanding, but the engineer is definitely someone I would have wanted to my team, given that he not only opened himself up to unfiltered public comments, he addressed a majority of his issues in a really short time frame. I'd buy him a beer. (They also fixed my main issue, and now I don't have to see the fancy editor unless I select it, because it "remembers" the last editor I used, which is not the fancy one. Yay for smart tools.)


job / books / new blog

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