Saturday, December 15, 2012

Template Designer Upgrades Require Supporting Updates To The Individual Blog Templates

This week, we're seeing a small flood of problem reports in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken about problems with the Template Designer.
Every time I change something, I have to refresh the page in order for it to show up. It won't "Save" when I try to save the layout changes. It just says "Saving..." at the top of the page and fades away, but doesn't actually save any changes.

Many problems involve changes made to the template, using the Designer, which aren't being saved - or are broken when saved. Most of the people reporting these problems have made changes to the template, previously - some are so experienced at making changes, they can't believe that their latest changes could ever have problems.

Interestingly, this history of changes is not a coincidence - and it's likely that some of the changes helps to cause these problems.

Take a look at the template code in your blog, some time. You'll notice a lot of code which doesn't look like CSS, HTML, or XML. Some of it is code which supports the various blog features that are adjusted or configured using the Template Designer.

Many template features involve two sets of code.
  1. The Template Designer wizard, part of the Blogger dashboard, is common code used by all blog owners.
  2. The blog template, post template, and / or widget template, is part of the individual blogs. Some template code does nothing but support the Template Designer - and let you configure your blog layout,
Every time Blogger Engineering adds or updates template features, they have to make changes to both sets of code.

Blogger Engineering does not edit each individual blog, after they upgrade the Template Designer. They make changes to the master template code - and their changes replicate into the individual blog templates. These changes replicate much more consistently, when the individual templates have not been changed.

The more custom a template is, with changes applied by the blog owner, or possibly in a third party template, the less likely it is to properly update, to support each succeeding Template Designer update.

Any time Blogger Engineering updates the Template Designer, to add a new feature, or maybe to support a new browser version, their updates may require changes which are not properly applied to all blogs - and the Template Designer stops working, in some blogs.

When the Template Designer stops working, the usual recommendation is to refresh the post or widget template - or maybe to upgrade the blog template - and things start rolling again. And the blog owner goes back to tweaking the template, until something breaks again.

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1 comment:

f4dLy :) said...

it is indeed a problem, especially blog owners who want to be free to change the display