About

Michael Zucchi

 B.E. (Comp. Sys. Eng.)

  also known as zed
  & handle of notzed

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Wednesday, 07 September 2011, 15:23

Fixing what isn't really broken.

Blah, so Google have decided they're going to mess up another of their products for me.

I've already stopped using the web interface to gmail - I just use pop and thunderbird - and now they're playing with blogger.

Blogger's existing interface is pretty crap - but it's simple and it's fast and easy to use. But the 'improvements' hardly seem improvements to me.

Harder

First, the composer. About the only 'good' thing is that the editing area is bigger - not much difference to me - and that it is a fixed size - that's the nicest bit.

But it's now more difficult to attach labels to posts as you need to click on the labels tab first - it seems like a simple thing, but the old interface is very simple if you use a few common labels most of the time. The post options 'pane' in general is pretty pants, it somehow manages to take up about 4x as much space as the previous one while only showing 1/4 as much information at a time.

They've broken the 'preview' feature - ok, it was always fairly broken - but now it's a full stylised preview which takes quite a while to load on a separate page/tab. The old in-line quick preview was much more useful to me than the full preview just to review the content of the text when proof-reading and editing and trying to get the paragraph white-space right. What used to take no time now takes a second and a tab switch.

Bigger

The stats pages now no longer fit in my browser, and they seem to take longer to load. Too many annoying tooltips and popups as well.

The settings/dashboard is weird in general - everything is double-spaced, and a huge chunk of the top of the window is dedicated to a fixed area that doesn't really add anything useful by being fixed. For some reason people seem to love this kind of crap but it just gives me the shits.

For me blogger is just another tab of dozens - not a stand-alone full-screen application. Everyone seems to want to move away from being able to put stuff in a window which doesn't take up the whole screen - you know, to multi-task?

Apple had a reason to force full-screen applications - first in macos which had a shit multi-tasking system, and then on iphone/itab since the machines aren't that powerful. Microsoft did the same with windows - the OS was really just a glorified application switcher. But I thought those days were long gone ...

Slower & Hotter

One reason I dropped gmail is that it was starting to make my laptop hot - firefox was busy all the time doing pointless shit you couldn't see or would rather not. It will be interesting to see if this new interface on blogger is also heavier than the old one. Whilst typing this post i've already noticed a bunch of pauses and freezes which I can't recall having occured in the previous incarnation.

This could be a real deal-breaker for me, although the stats are fun to watch, by far the most time I ever use in blogger is simply writing blog posts. If that becomes too painful (and I have to say, 1/2 a second cursor pause every 20 seconds gets tiring VERY VERY fast) then I wont be too pleased. The pause seems to get longer the more you write too ...

For now i'll go back to the old blogger, and I provided some feedback, for what little that will be worth. But I know eventually i'll be forced onto something I don't really want.

(this sort of forced-upgrade stuff is the sort of thing that scares me about firefox's 'no version' plans. I'm still using an 'old' firefox because the new ones are not to my liking, and in any event aren't packaged for my distro - but at least I can use an old version if I so want).

Update And in a further twist, the 'no i'd rather go back to the old interface' feedback form failed to work.

Tagged rants.
Masked Loops & LU Decomposition | Java 2D arrays
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