Thursday, April 25, 2013

Launch of New Site Coming!

I am days away from launching the new AJ-Church.com site. Just have a few minor tweaks to take care and finish coding some of the book excerpts, but hopefully I'll get all of that taken care of this weekend, then it's take down the old site and upload the new. I'm really excited about it not only because it's new and fresh, but there will be a lot of new features and content, as well as improved accessibility. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Blogger's new template interface

I realize Google has a hard job protecting its little fiefdom on the top of the technology pile, but sometimes they absolutely drive me crazy with their so-called "improvements." In fact, it's getting to be a toss-up as to who is more annoying in this category--Google or Facebook.

Don't get me wrong, I love some of the changes. The image viewer on Google is amazing, a 300% improvement over that enlarge-on-hover disaster they had before. And while I've grown accustomed to Gmail's new interface, I still miss the old version. It may not have been as slick, but it was easier to find things. And when you're in a hurry (and who isn't, these days?) that's the bottom line.


But now, in Blogger's ever-expanding race to expand and improve, they've managed to pull another piss-off-the-user boner right up there with the roll out of the New and Improved Blogger dashboard. Who doesn't agree that the old Blogger dashboard, while a bit featureless, at least offered a more user-friendly experience? While Blogger may have added features, like the new Gmail interface, you have to jump through twice as many hoops to get to them. Which brings me to the latest bane of my existence--the new template viewer.

Come on, at least warn someone of this crap, or provide a beta version so you can get some feedback from the people, who, I don't know, ACTUALLY USE THIS STUFF.  It's great that you have line numbers now on the HTML viewer (btw, welcome to the 21st century, guys) but did you have to get rid of the Expand Widgets button? Yes, you have the (useless) Jump to Widgets button and the little arrows that expand on click, but really. When you have a big, complicated template, do you have any idea how long it takes to go through it and click on every one of those stupid little arrows to expand the widgets? Would it kill you to at least include an Expand All Widgets button among the six or seven useless geegaws you have up there now?

I realize Blogger is more geared toward the casual user who just plugs in a template and starts blogging, but there are those of us who are developers and programmers who need ease of functionality to get into the back end and make all those web-prettifying things happen. I jumped ship from WordPress because I got tired of how excrutiatingly slow and complicated the interface became, and oh goody, is that what we're shooting for here?

I'm constantly reminded of the Chase commercial that asks the question: isn't technology supposed to make our lives easier? I'm beginning to wonder, because the more we improve upon technology, the more complicated and just plain tear-your-hair-out-rage-filled life seems to become. It's enough to make a person hunger for a good EM pulse.

Or a vacation on a deserted island.