Sunday, August 28, 2011

New Blogger GUI 2011 Pain: Post Editor And Labels

As people are starting to use the New GUI (2011), we're seeing questions about apparent restrictions on labels, in the new post editor.
Why can't I use an apostrophe in my labels?
and
Why can't I have a label "Red & Blue" any more?
Not all blog owners appreciate the special nature of certain characters, in HTML. Nevertheless, we are all affected by how these special characters are treated.

There are five special characters, that you can't enter as simple text, when you code HTML.
  • The quote symbol " must be entered as """
  • The apostrophe ' must be entered as "'" (If you are reading this in Internet Explorer, you may not see this properly!)
  • The ampersand & must be entered as "&"
  • The less than sign < must be entered as "&lt;"
  • The greater than sign > must be entered as "&gt;"
To make post editor code less complex, and more stable, Blogger has apparently written the latest post editor, to reject labels with any of the five special characters. This is possibly part of the new Blogger browser support policy, which seems to be more prevalent in various New GUI (2011) features.

We've seen problems with use of the ampersand and apostrophe before, in other Blogger features. People have been reporting problems with both characters, in both the blog Name and Title settings, for years. My Recipes blog, currently addressed as "recipes.nitecruzr.net", used to be titled "Chuck's Kitchen" - but is now (illiterately) titled "Chucks Kitchen", because of chronic problems with the apostrophe.

When you edit a post created in the classic post editor (pre New GUI 2011), and the post contains labels which include either an ampersand ("&") or an apostrophe ("'"), you're probably going to see an error.
These characters are not allowed in a post label: &.

One blog owner did report that the New GUI Posts menu does not have this restriction, right now. You can apparently add a label, using the "New label..." wizard in the Posts menu, containing an ampersand or apostrophe. Two caveats come to mind, here.
  1. You have to remove any such labels in post editor, and re apply the label using Posts, each time you edit a post.
  2. I, personally, would not be surprised if the Posts wizard were to have this restriction applied, in the future.

My suggestion is that you get used to including only simple alphanumeric characters, ("a" - "z", and "0" - "9") in your labels.

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2 comments:

Chris S. said...

I found out that meta tags in the auto-generated HTML can be broken when you use an apostrophe. I always correct them by inserting a formatted apostrophe from a word processor, which changes what character it is and then does not interfere with the HTML.

If you have your site registered with Webmaster Tools, you will find these types of errors.

David Bennett said...

Not on topic, but related - I want to delete labels from my blog because a lot of them are nonsense ones that got transferred across when I was autoposting from Amplify.com.

Now I have lots of ugly, meaningless labels and I cannot see any way with new Blogger to delete labels - either en masse or even singly.

Any ideas?