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Monday, 18 July 2011

New GUI - Blogger in Draft - An Overview - Pt. 2

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia

This post is a follow-up to the first part of my overview of the New GUI, available in Blogger in Draft.

One of the major changes to what you will be used to, is the fact that when you use the New GUI, the screen which seems to open, almost as a default screen, presents a Blog List of all your Primary Blogs - as did the old Dashboard, in Production Blogger. However, you'll also see a little 'House', or 'Home' icon. This takes you to a Dashboard for each and every blog in your primary list! That's going to be confusing, too!

There has been many reports of confusion concerning the Post Editor of the New GUI, and I understand why. One aspect of the New GUI is that unless you know for sure, it is difficult to say whether you are in Compose Mode, or html Mode - and as Nitecruzr observed,

"...With the New GUI, you have a pair of "buttons" - "Compose" and "HTML". You hit one button or the other, to change mode. Unfortunately, neither button indicates which mode is currently active..."

You can determine which Editor you are in by the amount of options on the Toolbar - more for Compose Mode than for html Mode, but I must agree, that it would be far friendlier to have the Tab change colour when active, however, that's not the only thing I don't like about the Editors, that I have observed, so far.

I like the ability to extend the Post Box - click and drag, which is available in the html Editor. I don't like that it's not available in the Compose Mode! Unless you know that tabbing-down with the < ENTER > key, you'd think that the box is very small. It was only by accident that I discovered this feature, and I had to ask - why?

One thing I did worry about, was the difference in viewing some features, when using various Browsers. For instance, I was using Chrome Browser when testing the Delete/Restore functionality. I noticed that some buttons - namely, the New Post and Delete buttons were not populated, as you would expect. They were empty boxes. In Firefox V4, they were. This shows up in the post mentioned.

I must also mention the Scroll-bar. Talk about hard to see! What a chintzy, little, non-descript, after-thought. Don't tell me Blogger Engineers couldn't find more space for it, than that!

The Permissions feature, on the Settings - Basic screen, leaves me a little cold, too. Adding a Blog Author is as easy as, and changing the Status from Author to Admin is as easy as, but try doing it in reverse! Admin to Author - nope! Can't do!

Another screen, the Template, is basically the top part of the New Template Designer screen - all the possible, available, templates for your blog. However, at the bottom of this screen are the very important options of Template Back-up, Edit Template, and Revert to Classic Templates. I like this screen, yet I wonder why those important features are squeezed in at the bottom.

The Layout screen (goes straight to what we originally called Layout, then later, Design screen) is basically the Design screen - however - the name has been changed - again... talk about confusing. Blogger has added the Favicon option, which is great - and well overdue. It works like a charm, too!
The only thing I don't like about this screen is the 'Save Arrangement' button. What was wrong with just 'Save'?

Stats, are great, and easy to access. One thing I discovered was the sneaky links from the Blog List screen - just under the blog title. There's a blue graph-like squiggly line, and a blue Posts count. The squiggly line takes you to the Stats screen, while the blue posts count link takes you to what we know as the Edit Posts screen.

The Edit Posts screen is now hard to find, unless you discover it by moving your mouse around the Dashboard, and seeing a pop-up when you hover over the right icon, which is like two books. It appears to me, to be now called Manage Posts. There are a lot of changes to the functioanlity of this screen. There are mouse-over pop-ups, secret options, and different ways to do things.

You know what I hate? I hate it when you always use the html Editor, and go to Edit a post which gets opened, by Default, in Compose Mode. That's what I hate!

The option to 'Save' only saves to Draft. Then, the Publish button is needed. The 'Auto-save' function appears to have been disabled - thank goodness!

The Pages function is fairly straight-forward, too. Although I don't use this feature, I think I covered it all in that post.

One feature I was not impressed with, so far, was the Locator (Geotagging). I couldn't get it to work.


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