Blogger post tagging update | Good service provider practices

Did you know, that every time Blogger adds a new feature, or repackages an old feature into some other page, they reinvent the wheel, changing CSS classes, id attributes and HTML structure, rather than making reusable standardized components?

They really do! I know, because I have been trying to keep up with their pace, updating a user script that adds some features to Blogger that Blogger do not yet provide themselves, in this case tagging functionality. The container keeping the optional additional Title and Link fields on top of the Blogger editor (and the Tags field, when running my script), for instance, has been called "titles", "otherFields" and now "titleAndUrlFields" in different times and pages where the Blogger post editor has been featured. This is a very Greasemonkey unfriendly practice. The Google Reader people at least try to be user script friendly, and explicitly try to not to change node id:s without good reason.

Such caution helps third parties such as myself and Jasper (who wrote the original script I based mine on, before it exploded in features) to innovate around your product, adding value to your present users at no cost to you. But try to keep your sideshow helpers busy doing new good things rather than overcoming additional forward compatibility hurdles you fling out once in a while, and all will be happier in the end. Much thanks to Jasper's continuing development of his own script, I toddled along now too, but it gets old pretty quickly. I want to add native trackback support to Blogger, not make things that used to work fine keep working fine -- and within weeks of the time I embraced and extended some feature the first time too, at that.

Anyway, the script (original post here) is updated to cater the changed BlogThis! page, and thanks to some other user feedback earlier today, I also fixed a few old bugs of mine. It's quite possible the script works with the ftp publication mode now, too, and not only the Blogger hosted mode of publishing, as before. Do tell if it does or not; I don't have any test setup myself.

Regarding tagging Blogger posts, I didn't notice until today that Greg had drawn up a great site around his FreshTags system for blog navigation based on Del.icio.us tags. Maybe there was never any commotion around it, and maybe I just missed it somehow. I'll be sure to peek at it, though, as there are still a few misfeatures left to weed out in my own version.

Pardon the general rantiness of this post, by the way, but doing monotonous tasks void of creativity does not rank high on my quality-time-o-meter, and if the time spent gets flushed down the drain every once in a while, it does not get any better either. It is in times like this I have another peek at Wordpress, surveying the options.

Present findings, for the curious: Wordpress themselves host blogs where template tweaking is limited to picking one in eight templates, one in five colors, one in eight header background images and switching six sidebar options on and off. It's great for an average non-geek, and the rest of you want to go to BlogSome, where you may tweak the templates to your heart's content, besides browsing among some useful plugins on offer too.

Neither host seems to have the functionally well worked-through, standardized and user script friendly templates Blogger does though, which is one area where Blogger really excels as a blogging platform today. Some Wordpress templates both habe comment permalinks and shows links to them, which is something I believe all present Blogger template choices do, but far from all, and there is unfortunately no de facto naming convention imposed on new users. #c plus eighteen digits might not be a particularly pretty convention, but it is very effective, and so would the #comment-N slightly-convention not seldom seen on Wordpress blogs be if it was burned in as a default choice. Especially if these links were also shown to visitors.

Your CommentBlogging visitors will thank you.
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