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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New look, coming soon

I was searching for my first post about my Christmas tree when I discovered a limitation in the new version of Blogger: searching using the "label" search will display only the 20 most recent posts with that label.

This isn't a bug, it's a feature. If my blog template had the appropriate code there would be a "Next 20 posts with this label" button at the bottom which would allow you to step backwards through all posts with this label, 20 at a time. Actually, if it had the appropriate code there would be a list of Labels (or "Categories" - dammit, that's what they are) somewhere on the sidebar, which would let you see all the wacky labels I've applied to my posts.

But I don't have the appropriate code. I have an old-style template that's been modified only a little. And while some of the features of the new Blogger will work regardless of the template you're using, many of them are built directly into newer templates. If I wanted to include these features in my existing template, I would have to locate the appropriate code and incorporate it. Much easier to go looking around for a new template I like and bring along my customizations.

I won't do this right away. I wasn't going to do it at all until I have labeled all my posts, but as I'm only a little more than a third of the way there, that may take a while. I think I may make the change on NEPA Blogs first and work out the bugs there.

There are at least two limitations in the new Blogger that I don't like. One, the total number of characters in the labels that you are applying to a post can be no more than 200. When you have some of the label names that I do, you hit that limit very quickly, especially on something like a "Greatest Hits" post. I hope this is a limitation that Blogger lifts soon.

Secondly, the nature of "Previous Posts" seems to have changed. It used to be that the list of "Previous Posts" was the list of the ten posts that preceded the top post, or the displayed post. So if I was looking at a page of ten posts and selected the tenth one, I would then see posts 11 - 20 now listed as "Previous Posts". This was a fairly easy way to walk through multiple posts without displaying, say, a month at a time.

Now, "Previous Posts" always seems to be the ten most recent posts prior to the most recent post. So it doesn't matter if I'm looking at my most recent post or one from a year ago, the "Previous Posts" list will always be the same.

Maybe this is another bug resulting from having an older template in the new Blogger. I don't know. I guess we'll find out soon enough!

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