Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Craze Beta

What is with everyone coming up with the beta editions of their offerings these days? Starting with Gmail Beta, we get Windows Live Mail Beta, Yahoo! Mail Beta, Yahoo! Photos Beta, Flickr Beta, and now, sweet Blogger goes beta too!

For many services, going beta just means getting AJAX-ified, with little or no improvement in features (Windows Live Mail leads the contest), only getting a face-lift and incorporating oh-those-cool-functions on the page that have nothing whatsoever to do with cutting the round trip time...!

With a sense of loyalty to the technology and the tech community (not to mention the need to be the first in trying things out - izzat ka maamla), I have officially switched to the new Blogger Beta. Switched - 'cause, ummm, beta could be exciting; officially - 'cause Blogger Help says you cannot opt out of the Beta!

So what does this beta has to offer over the old version? For one, the "privileged ones" now have a separate, red carpeted entrance at Ordinary mortals should stick to their filthy swamps and keep using the lowly Blogger home page to log in.

The Blogger people have added support for tags - or "labels" as they call them. Der ayed durust ayed is the only thing that comes to mind.

And there is this supposedly cool Layout feature, that help you manage the "template" of your blog. Beware, the "template" word is hushed now, if you're cool, you'll have a layout.

So the layouts help users "drag and drop" widgets, or little snippets (previous posts, profile, description etc) on the page. Intuitive it is, but couldn't achieve its full potential until the "Edit HTML" option starts working. Gives us "power users" that creepy feeling of helplessness!

That means my little blog page has some AJAX elements in it. How I have been dying to have a little Ajax, that would keep my dishes clean... Who said God doesn't listen?!

Oh, and by the way, you'll have to comment by choosing the "Other" or "Anonymous" option on the comments page, your logged in nick wouldn't work here. Of course, what did you think? Its Beta!

Besides that, all the functionality is unchanged. They have tried to spruce up the Dashboard a little, with cramming the various blog-specific options, and the Blogger Buzz posts. Heck, they even forgot to fix the bug that occurs in the Rich Text Editor that it doesnt convert line breaks to hard line breaks :\ So it'd be better to stick to posting via e-mail!

Buss ooper say make-up kiya hai, under the hood its all the same!

Returning to the Craze Beta, I forgot to tell you: Flickr has gone a step ahead, its now Flickr Gamma!

And that gives an excuse for procrastinating office work too. Whenever somebody wants to take you to task, just claim that you've gone beta!


Zakintosh said...

Extremely interesting and well-written. Does it allow you to add tags/labels/categories to all you previous posts. Will certainly help me avoid shifting to WordPress.

mAn[S]o0r said...

Good review!

i like the previous posts ajax thinghy.. gonna try that out

i switched to beta too.. but didnt like anything :p

so overall, my page remains the same... even though its runnin on beta.

uXuf said...

ZAK: The only way I find to accomplish that is to manually edit the entries one by one and specify the tags. Oh how I long for an independent WordPress blog where I can tweak things as far as I want!

There should be a feature that should allow to select a number of posts and zap them into a labelled category!

mansoor: To use "those" widgets thingies you'll have to get cool and throw over the notion of the "template". Get one of those Blogger default "layouts" and you can have all the fun in the life! (Well not all of it!)

9jia said...

ufffooo mujhai kuch samajh nahi a raha :s