Archive of "Beta"

Archive for the "Beta" Category

First Blogger BETA Template

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Please see my Singpolyma Templates for the New Blogger

This is the first Blogger BETA custom template based on my Singpolyma Templates. This will not be a final version because it still has some slight bugs, but I would like feedback from users before I make any changes. You can preview the new template at my BETA blog. The spirit and look of the original basic template has been ported to the new widget system, and all fonts and colours can also be edited from the new panel for that purpose. Minor known issues are:

  1. Not even close to XHTML compliant. This is not my fault. There are significant JavaScript sections on Blogger BETA that are malformed XML and thus break any sort of compliance. I’ve written support, but I doubt that will do any good. We need to find a way to put serious pressure on them to correct this. The new template system is in XML, make XML-well-formed output (and perhaps even XHTML-compliant output) has never been easier, and yet so far away. The changes they would have to make are minor (like, adding commented CDATA sections around the JavaScript). I don’t see a thing about it on Known Issues.
  2. Ditto to peek-a-boo comments. This is a limitation in the BETA as far as I can see… I really hope they can be persuaded to fix this.
  3. The pre-included blogroll is XOXO compliant, but has fewer features as the manually-created ones did (ie, no option for feed data).
  4. No link to main comments feed (it doesn’t seem to be generating, I believe this is a known BETA issue…)

The profile section supports both single and group blogs, unlike the original which assumed a single-authorship blog. I could also add previous/next links on item pages and a labels sidebar widget if people want it. Versions with my other hacks (as before) will be forthcoming.

To install this template on your blog, cut-n-paste the template from here into the ‘Edit HTML’ view on your BETA blog, click ‘Save’, and if you are asked to confirm the deletion of existing widgets click the affirmative option. Then you can add/edit widgets or change the colours!

BETA Upgrades Progress

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Since the Blogger-released Widget Code Help and Johan’s Post, progress on BETA conversion has been much easier. Check my BETA Blog and you’ll find that I have most of the old post functionality and look done, with the following exceptions:

  • Feed information (often hidden) in template header. This is because Blogger BETA puts feed information for the whole blog in with the posts (that’s dumb) and basically expects you to have it in the footer of ever post (even dumber). Have yet to find a way around this (besides hard-coding the links).
  • Peek-a-boo comments… uh… Blogger? Little help? Comment data is only accessible on item pages…
  • Date no longer links to archive… that data is gone (and wasn’t terribly useful anyway)
  • I haven’t got it so the colour-changer works yet, but you can’t see that from my blog 😉
  • Minor XHTML breakage because the widget tags generate divs, and divs aren’t legal inside ul tags

Improvements due to BETA:

  • Tags look the same, but are now drawn from the new labels field
  • Peek-a-boo backlinks are no longer a hack
  • Comment author is now properly marked up as an hCard

The sidebar will come next (widitized! although I’ll leave the comments for full XOXO-compliant blogrolls for advanced users), then perhaps some new features (like next/prev links on item pages). Then work will start on comment forms, etc.


Blogger BETA

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Blogger BETA has launched and with it comes many new features and challenges for us as hackers. I’m slow on the draw for this one. I was on a trip when the whole thing came down and am just now catching up. FreshBlog, as always, has the scoop extrordinaire. Much good stuff over there… I wish they had some sort of ‘blogger-beta’ tag for all of it (or tagged it all both blogger and beta) so I could link to the category list (hint, hint 😉 ).

I’m not going to give a rundown of all the new stuff, but instead am going to give a ‘so what’ as relates to my stuff.

Busted Hacks
I’m going to be creating a test Blogger BETA account soon and trying to fix up hacks that don’t work there. However, from what I’m hearing it seems that there is no HTML editing in the new template system, and I don’t want to spend work making the old hacks work on the old template system for the new Blogger (that’s a mouthful!). I’d rather wait until hacks can be implemented in their own right on the new system. More on this when something happens.

Blogger Recent Comments
Is dead. Full stop. No question there. Blogger BETA has comment feeds. I will keep the app running, however, for people who have not upgraded yet (like me!) and just for reference.

Both the main FreshTags and my version are far from dead. Just as FreshTags features are useful on WordPress, where there was already a category system, so they will continue to live on here on Blogger. Since it’s not my baby, I won’t say too much, but we are certainly discussing the best way to move forward in this area. For now, I have upgraded my version to support incoming ?labels= from other blogs, and also to use that locally (still supporting ?tags= from old FreshTags and FreshTags for WordPress). If you are on Blogger BETA and want to use FreshTags ‘as is’ (provided you can get the script to work…) the following code will use the proper label display page instead of the ‘fake post’ for post display:

<script type=”text/javascript”>var freshtags_tag_url = “/search”;</script>

Upgrades to the Greasemonkey script should also be forthcoming.

Have created a BETA test blog and I have a mixed reaction. The new templates interface is nice, and as long as they get HTML editing working for it, it should be über cool. Some of the new button graphics are uglier, and the post published page doesn’t seem to have the details on it anymore (because of the dynamism), which will cause problems for the GM world… the JS/XHTML module funcitonality is nice though — hacks will make use of that! (perhaps even FT?)