The State of Blogger

I am totally paranoid about Blogger now. Every time I write a post to one of my blogs, I copy and paste the text into Notepad before clicking the Publish Post button. Been burned too many times with Blogger errors that caused me to lose all my data.
Today I thought I would write about a less serious but still telltale problem I have with Blogger. I like to add images to many of my posts. It gives them a fresh and interesting looking. However when I click the Add Image button in Blogger, I get a window that looks like the one shown above. Notice anything strange about the Cancel and Upload Image buttons? Yeah they are cut off. And it is not that the rest of the buttons are visible if I scroll the window down further. The window is scrolled all the way down.
Yes. I can still make out the text on these buttons. And when I click them, the upload to Blogger usually works. However in my mind this is typical of the state of Blogger. It is always seems a bit broke down like a 3rd rate blogging site. Why do I stick with it? I got a bunch of blogs with many posts already entered. It would be a huge pain for me to move them somewhere else. And I have invested in getting a lot of links to my Blogger URLs. All the work getting those links would have been wasted if I switch now.
Blogger rant off, for now.

Blogger Acting Up Again

Just when you think you are out of the water, the shark known as Blogger comes up to bite you. Today I submitted a post to my IBM Tools blog on Client/Server and DB Objects. Prior to publishing this large post, I saved the text to a Notepad file. The post published fine. So I assumed all was well with Blogger.

Then I tried to follow this post up with another one about DB2 storage, SQL, and security. I did not bother to backup the text prior to publishing. Big mistake. Blogger choked and gave me an error message. My text was lost. This is all too familiar of a horrific experience. Can't Blogger remain stable for even one day? What kind of buggy system are they running over there at Google?

I might have to start copying and pasting the text each time before I submit a post. Because I don't like losing my data due to Blogger hiccups. Or maybe I should write up my posts in another editor, then copy then to Blogger. This only works if the post is just plain text. It is not as easy when you have images and URL links in the post. I just wish Blogger could be stable enough to not lose my data. Yes I understand it is a free service. But at this point, if it keeps losing my data, it is worth less than free to me. Know what I mean?

P.S. While I am ranting about Blogger, does anybody else find the auto complete function in the labels edit annoying?

GMail Conversations

I have Gmail accounts that correspond to my Blogger accounts. And I recently noticed something strange. Today I received a number of e-mails from Ad Engage. But when I went back to check some of the details, it seemed like there was only one e-mail on my Gmail page.

Then I figured the number in parentheses next to the sender must have had something to do with it. It turns out that Gmail automatically bunches e-mails in the "same conversation" together on one line. You have to open the e-mail and choose the stacking tabs to see each separate e-mail message.

I searched all over the Gmail settings, but could not find a way to turn this feature off. It was very annoying. This is not intuitive in my opinion. Judging from the number of questions posted to Google Groups about this very feature, I guess a lot of other people share my opinion.

If you use Gmail, be aware that messages from the same sender can "stack" in your Inbox.

Spell Check Option

I thought I would take the time to praise the "Check Spelling" option available in Blogger. Most of the time this button works. And when it does, I usually have some misspellings in my posts. Blogger has a good user interface for the spell check. They highlight potentials misspellings in yellow. Then Blogger provides alternate spellings it thinks that I meant. Not having correct spellings can make a blog look unprofessional. This is a nice touch that helps my blogs look crisp.

One funny think about the spell checker is that it often marks competitor names as misspellings. However all things Google appear to be in their dictionary. I am not sure if this is something of a joke with the developers of Blogger, or a business decision to subtly take down the opposition. Either way it has me LOL.

P.S. This post alone had 5 items flagged as misspellings.

Note to Blogger Team - Please add "LOL" to your spell check dictionary.