Wednesday, October 11, 2006

face lift :: switched to Blogger beta

Experimenting a blog on, I liked many features. Yet to find time to try the open-source blog hosting software itself from However, I was very disappointed to find strips down the Wordpress blog software. Even html code to insert a Google adsense ad for Firefox was stripped out. Blogger has great support for adsense and such. However, it doesn't do static page. It is pretty desirable to have static page to hold, say, some static contents.

Sigh, do I really have to host my own? As a systems engineer by trade, I really don't need the hassle of hosting. Only if I can get the features I need for free. Only if Blogger can do 'page' to hold semi-static content.

Why not?! I googled for it. Among the first links, I found a link to 'Blogger beta' talking about new features with widgets and such. Click through and end up switched this blog to the new Blogger BETA.

Changes that met my eyes are:
  • blogger account is now assimilated to your google account
In other words, now Blogger is yet another Google service, side by side with Gmail, calendar, maps, search, spreadsheets, and such.
  • Template is now widgetized:
    • Pros: You move blocks (widgets) around on a page layout. I guess they copy the behavior of WordPress. I got to say it is such a nice feature.
    • Pros: Arbitrary html/javascript can be used to create a widget of your own.
    • Cons: A custom widget should have an extra label of sort so you can distinguish which is which on the page layout when you come back to edit. Currently, it only has a title, which is displayed on the actual blog. Imagine if you have more than one custom widgets.
    • Cons: Ad-sense widget couldn't be added, generating some error. I wonder if it is because my adsense account has different password. Search-box html code copied to a custom widget doesn't work quite right either. In fact, you can see a text ad link on top of my blog and a image ad link on the right column. I didn't asked for the top link! == as always, Google has wisely branded it as 'BETA'.
  • access control is in place, replacing the current membership. Yet another feature copied from WordPress, I assume.
    • authors can be added to co-own the blog
    • access can be changed from Public (the default) to private

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