Friday, February 23, 2007

Blogger Issues

Now that I've had this blog for a few weeks (hosted by Blogger/Google), I just need to communicate a few frustrations with the service.

I consider myself to be a very particular coder - whether it be in Java, HTML, or otherwise. This involves simple things like following standards and guidelines, and running any available validators to correct any errors or warnings.

Unfortunately, Blogger doesn't seem to follow the same ideals. All of their pages are declared as "XHTML 1.0 Strict", but I doubt a single page even meets basic HTML validation.

The problem seems to involve multiple levels:

  • I tested all the available blog templates, and even by themselves, none passed W3C's Markup Validation Service.
  • Whatever processing engine is being used to serve the pages fails to remove the Blogger tags and other non-XHTML data that shouldn't be sent to the web.
  • Creating an XHTML-valid post also appears to be next to impossible, other than simply avoiding problem characters and formatting. For example, XHTML reserved characters don't appear to be processed into their entity codes at all, but in fact, reverted back to the reserved characters. For example, the quotation mark (") should be served as (") and displayed by the browser as ("). Even when not using the WYSIWYG editor and directly coding the proper XHTML, things always seem to revert back to their illegal form by the time my web browser loads the page.

Unfortunately, no ideas or workaround here...

Another issue is with the "preview" feature for posting - it doesn't follow the same stylesheet, line-break, and other preferences as when actually posted.

Additionally, at least with Firefox, I frequently am annoyed with a disappearing text cursor when posting. Edits are still possible - it's just impossible to see where the edit will take place. The only fix I've found so far is to switch to preview mode and back, which usually brings it back - if only for a moment.

Update (2007-09-17):

The disappearing text/edit cursor/caret is covered under Mozilla Bug 167801. While first reported on 2002-09-10, there is speculation that this will finally be fixed for Firefox 3.0.

Update (2008-03-21):

I found another good blog posting about Blogger's issues with XHTML: Google/Blogger: XHTML Standards: Does Anybody Care? (John Walker, 2007-05-06,

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