Blog updates can be frustrating!

Thanks to Blogger deciding to add cute little icons next every commenter id, my blog layout was broken. Not terribly so, but enough to look ugly.

Since I had to edit the template anyway, I decided to make a few other changes too.

  • Moved the post time to below the title (and removed post author, since it’s only me.
  • Removed the bit of JavaScript that would hide comments on Item pages
  • Fixed the display of icons next to commenters.
  • Some sidebar cleanup
  • Added in some CSS to display labels like other post metadata
  • Pulled the CSS out of the blogger template and put it into a single .CSS file (This alone saved me about 2MB of server space!)
  • Lots of HTML cleanup. I can’t believe the number of places I’d left open elements!
  • Changed my DTD to XHTML 1.0 Transitional (It still won’t validate though, there’s a lot of work to be done before that happens.)
  • Removed the display of backlinks

I also changed a couple of settings in Blogger before I was finally done.

Little did I know…

Since I publish my blog via FTP, Blogger had to republish the entire site, file by file. Hanging every now and then…

And then when I looked at my earlier posts, I found them all in single massive paragraphs. Back then, Blogger didn’t have a rich text editor (or maybe it did, I can’t remember) so I used to type my posts in with 2 hard returns to mark the end of a paragraph. Blogger, in all its wisdom, would preserve these hard returns as <br> tags, rather than enclosing each paragraph within <p> tags. (Oh glory days! When we didn’t care about semantically marking up content!) I have known for quite a while that Blogger doesn’t seem to want to create paragraphs for you. Not even the new version released just a year ago. Why? Google knows!

Anyway, I’ve been hand coding paragraphs as I type my posts in Blogger for the last year or so. So most of my new posts display and parse without any problem.

But today since I was making all these changes, I decided I should fix my older posts and even label them while I was at it.

And that’s where I hit a brick wall. Or should I say Blogger’s short-sightedness/cussedness.

  • Making a change to a post’s labels makes Blogger republish ALL the other labels. Everyone single one in your blog.
  • If you’re editing an older post, you have only two options. Either publish it or save it as a draft. No option to save and publish later.
  • Publishing each old post means you have to wait until it uploads all of the labels each time.
  • If you thought that you could mark a whole bunch of drafts as “publish” from the “Edit Posts” page, think again. All you can do is apply labels to multiple posts there.

So what’s the solution? I don’t want to host my blog on Google’s Blogspot, nor do I want to go purchase a new domain just to point it to Google’s servers. This means I have to sacrifice some new features of Blogger, so be it. But I really want to clean up my older posts. I guess the only solution is to temporarily switch to blogspot, so that republish older posts doesn’t involve a round of FTP each time and when I’m done with all my label and formatting changes, to switch back to my FTP site.

Too lazy to do that right now though, it will have to wait for another day! 🙂

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