Friday, April 20, 2012

Adding An HTML / JavaScript / Text Gadget To Your Blog? Be Careful

An interesting bit of confusion is seen, occasionally, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.
I added a gadget using code from a third party website - but the new gadget shows the code, instead of the gadget content, when I view my blog!
This is somebody who was confused by the options offered by the gadget setup wizard.

When you add an HTML / JavaScript, or a Text, gadget to a blog, the captions and labels in the "Configure HTML/JavaScript" or "Configure Text" display can be a bit confusing - and can lead to odd results.

From the "Add a Gadget" wizard, you can select either an "HTML/JavaScript" gadget ("Configure HTML/JavaScript") or a "Text" gadget ("Configure Text"). Both the "Configure HTML/JavaScript" and "Configure Text" wizards use the same code - the only difference between the two is the header.
  • Configure HTML/JavaScript
  • Configure Text
Everything else is the same. Either wizard can create an "HTML / JavaScript" gadget (in HTML mode) - or a "Text" gadget (in Text mode) - as you wish.
  • When the wizard is in HTML mode, the caption at the upper right border of the Content window will read "Rich Text". Positioning the cursor over "Rich Text" (and noting that the cursor does not change to a pointer), and clicking on "Rich Text", brings up the Text mode of the wizard.
  • When the wizard is in Text mode, the caption will read "Edit Html" - and clicking on "Edit Html" puts the wizard into HTML mode, again.

The header of the wizard - "Configure HTML/JavaScript" or "Configure Text" - will remain as it was when the wizard was opened, ignoring any mode changes. The caption, at the upper right border of the Content window, is what matters.
  • If you want to add code (HTML / JavaScript), you will want the caption to read "Rich Text".
  • If you want to add text (Rich Text), you will want the caption to read "Edit Html".

If you're in the wrong mode, you'll be able to enter a limited amount of content - but with odd results.
  • If you're in HTML mode (with "Rich Text" showing), you'll be able to enter text - to a limited degree. HTML is simply fancy text, with tags (special keywords and symbols). The HTML editor toolbar will lack a few buttons, and using special characters like ampersand ("&"), greater than (">"), and less than ("<"), will produce random and unpredictable results.
  • If you're in Text mode (with "Edit html" showing), you'll be able to enter the HTML code - but when the blog is displayed, you'll see code (which is just text) in place of a working gadget.

If you just added a new gadget - and ended up with visible code, when you tried to setup an HTML gadget - now you know why. Similarly, if the "Save" button is now broken, and you are trying to add or update a Text gadget. This is one of several possible causes of problems seen when adding / updating the HTML / JavaScript / Text gadgets.

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