Friday, March 14, 2003

Blogger QoS

It's not often that I'm caught ranting about the free services I avail of on the Internet, like Blogger in this particular case, but this case is a prime example of all the problems with Blogger that I hope will evanesce once the merger with Google is complete. Updates don't reach the pages that frequently. Lately, I've been getting "Archive error" problems on republishing my archives. The Blogger help pages and troubleshooting pages are rather ineffective in this regard. And I couldn't find a blessed email address. All I found was a note saying that they didn't have the time to help free users (which means countless people like me!). Something in the documents caught my eye: something about XML. Had these guys suddenly moved from a hacky underbelly and attempted to work out a sane design for the product and in the process break everything that worked before (things like JavaScript-based comment systems, for example)? I had to find out. I tried following the instructions in their response about FTP problems. But I couldn't view my FTP logs (of course, there could be a valid reason for this besides the big software move). Then I notice the [more info] link in my web interface and click it to be taken (back) to their troubleshooting page. Scroll all the way down. And there's a link that says Discuss. Somehow this carried some contextual information that was otherwise denied to me and I was taken to a formatted page where the following stared back at me:


XML Error loading ''

A string literal was expected, but no opening quote character was found.

at line 27, character 26
<font face="Arial" size=2>

That last line was important. Just the information I needed. And this was their code in the template. Having had dealings with ugly markup that pretended to be XML, I knew that the '2' was missing the double quotes. I modified the template, but now the error refuses to go away. I know they still use Microsoft Publishing Software [sic], so it will probably be a long time before (a) the error vanishes, if at all, and (b) my sidebars are updated. Till then, c'est la vie.

Addendum: Just figured out something else. That error page was something that happened at Blogger. They stepped on their own toes (ROTFL). It was just a coincidence that I had the same problem. Hope they fix it soon.

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