Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Innovative Concepts Behind The Dynamic Templates

Now that the new dynamic templates have been available for several weeks, and people are actually using them on their favourite blogs, some folks are disappointed that they can't use them.
I'm trying to install the dynamic template on my blog, and I'm seeing
Sorry, dynamic views aren't available for this blog.
Why me? What did I do wrong??
And these people simply have no idea how the new templates work - and why they don't always work.

Previous templates, whether Classic, Layout, or Designer types, served the formatted content of your blog, as posts applied to the template, page by page, from the Blogger servers. Since the blog content is served page by page, from Blogger, auto pagination is required to protect the Blogger servers from overload by single, large blogs, which generate irregular and large amounts of network and server load.

Blogger Dynamic Templates are a very innovative approach to web content, where the dynamic templates use the client computers as local web servers. Check out my test blog, and watch what happens. What you see is a few seconds of the orange gears turning, while your browser downloads the dynamic template code. This code is reused, when you view any Blogger blog that uses a dynamic template.

Once the dynamic template code has been downloaded, your computer simply retrieves the raw text of the newsfeed from the blog being displayed. Newsfeed text is far lighter than formatted blog posts, as served by Blogger from Classic, Layout, or Designer template blogs. Also, the newsfeed text is downloaded on a page by page basis. The overall effect is far less load on the Blogger servers and the Blogger / Google network - and eliminates the need for auto pagination.

Also, dynamic templates, which provide less options, are more stable - and require less support resources, which is necessitated by blog owners who are more concerned with accessories and style, rather than content. Use of third party accessories, and extensive tweaking of the blog layout, are two major causes of instability of Blogger blogs, using a dynamic template.

For all of its simplicity, reduced support resources, and the reduced load on the Blogger network and servers - and yes, reduced load on your network too - the dynamic templates have serious limitations.
  1. The careful formatting of your posts - including fancy, relevant, fonts and other features - isn't available. Newsfeed text, which you can see in a copy of this blog, for instance, contains very few formatting options.
  2. The dynamic templates only work for blogs with a full feed. Blogs with a disabled blog feed - or a partial blog feed - can't use them.
  3. Since the dynamic templates require the blog feed, they can't be used on private blogs.

So, the new, dynamic templates aren't for everybody - or even for everybody who are willing to overlook the currently known design deficiencies. For public blogs which don't require extensive formatting and special retrieval options, though, they offer definite possibilities.

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6 comments:

Gerry said...

Good post. Thanks for the info.

Harold Shaw Jr. said...

I have been using the Dynamic Views template for a couple of days now and like it a lot. I do miss not having a sidebar and access to my widgets, but that is coming. Instead of messing with my code, I am simply writing more now, so it is a good thing, who know, maybe not having the sidebar will wean me off the need for it - naw not likely.

But so far the Dynamic Views is working well for me.

Harold

The Consummate Gardener said...

Wow. Thanks for explaining this. I don't think I really want to give Google that much access to my hard drive, so I think I'll pass. I'm going to go warn people about this now. Just one more way for Google to invade our privacy and gather info, I'm thinking. I'll definitely be moving my blogs to a private server sometime soon.

Timothy Post said...

Ok.... you've guys have gone out of your way to create/launch these dynamic templates and in the process, erase some of the blogging community's perception that Blogger isn't a serious tool for the pros.

But.... while I'd love to give Blogger a proper spin through the park for a few months, I'm one of those unlucky few stuck in "custom domain limbo." Blogger simply refuses to recognize my domain (timothypost.com).

Yes, I've read through all the Help sections, forums, blogs, etc. I have reset my Google Apps to delete Sites. I've 2x reset my DNS setting on GoDaddy.

All to no avail. So.... keep up the great work but do know, that there are many of us out here who, while we'd love to switch back to Blogger, are now being forced into the warm open arms of Tumblr.

You know where to find me. Thnx, Tim

PS: Yep, I even tried the Magical Custom Domain Form http://bit.ly/oHvE1L

Chuck said...

Gardener,

You're not giving Google any access to your hard drive. You're just running a script, in your browser (your reader is running a script in their browser) that displays the contents of the blog feed.

Look at a Feed gadget in a normal Layout or Designer template - that's all that a Dynamic template is. Just one big Feed gadget, displaying the contents of the host blog.

Chuck said...

Timothy,

This we really need to discuss in detail, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.