Friday, May 11, 2012

The New Blogger GUI, And The White Screen Of Death

Ever since Blogger became more aggressive with the distribution of their New Interface, we've been seeing more reports in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken about a frustrating problem.
When I type in "www.blogger.com" - or try to pull up my dashboard - the website "thinks" for a minute, acts like it is going to load, then nothing is displayed.
This is another way of describing an Internet symptom - observed from time to time - and generically known as the (dreaded) "white screen of death".

The "white screen of death" is not unique to the New GUI - it's been reported in the forums, in the past, for various causes. It's possible that various design features of the New GUI are making it more likely to be observed, right now.

The "white screen of death" is generally our browser or computer "saying" to us "I have nothing to display". I can think of a few possible causes, for this mysterious symptom.
  • Browser / computer filtering.
  • Browser features / version.
  • Computer resources.
  • Display colour depth / resolution.
  • Network problems, ie "Dropped packets".

Browser / computer filtering

The New GUI uses new programming techniques - and runs much of the utilities (or dashboard menu entries), as scripts, on our computers. Many anti-malware programs on our computers or networks may detect these scripts as unwanted aggressive code - aka "spam" / "spyware" / "viruses". Some anti-malware programs may not actively alert us to a problem - but will simply block the scripts, and show us a blank screen.

Browser features / version

The new programming techniques used by the New GUI may not be supported by older browsers. Older browsers will simply display a blank screen. People using Internet Explorer V8 / V9 should check their "Compatibility View" setting.

Computer resources

The new programming techniques will use more CPU and memory resources. Older computers will simply not have enough CPU cycles, or memory resources, readily available. The computer will lock up, and the browser will display a blank screen.

Display colour depth / resolution

Owners of older computers, and some mobile computers / smart phones, do not run full 32 bit colour depth, in their displays. Many complaints have been observed, mentioning the overly "bland" colours, excessive "white" space, lack of contrast between foreground content (buttons, decorations, text) and background, etc. It's possible that some folks, unable to see the content because of low contrast, are perceiving a "white screen".

Network problems, ie "Dropped packets"

The New GUI runs from newer Blogger servers. Newly setup servers may be configured improperly, and may contribute to problems with dropped packets, again resulting in a blank screen.

Many of these problems are more likely with blog owners who are more cautious about accepting unwanted changes - and who are now seeing the New GUI for the first time, because of the aggressive distribution policy. People with older computers, or people who are less technically adept, will contribute to each of the above categories.

Many of these problems are jointly caused by the owners of the computers, and Blogger. Very few of these problems will be fixed by simply posting in [Problem Rollup] I do not like the New Blogger Interface because ... and complaining that the New GUI is defective.

>> Top

No comments: