Friday, January 10, 2014

Use Draft Blogger To Diagnose Or Solve Problems, Carefully

Right now, we have several different problems, being reported in quantity, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.
  • Image / video upload.
  • Stats, and the "Don't track your own pageviews" option.
  • Some specific bX codes, and miscellaneous network issues.

Recently, the problems with image and video uploads were reported to Blogger Support - and eventually, we got a monolithic response
Use draft.blogger.com.
In other cases, we've been told
Stop using Draft Blogger!
The contents of Draft Blogger, and its differences from Production Blogger varies, at the convenience of Blogger Engineering.

Any time that you use Draft Blogger ("draft.blogger.com"), to solve a problem, you are using whatever tweaks Blogger Engineering is currently developing or testing, before deploying the necessary changes into Production Blogger ("www.blogger.com").

You may use Draft Blogger to work around one problem (for instance, Image / video uploads) - but find yourself also subject to whatever changes Blogger Engineering is testing which are needed to support the latest update to Chrome or to Internet Explorer. If you're using Internet Explorer, you may find yourself subject to changes necessitated by Microsoft, in their latest security fix update.

If you use Draft Blogger, and find your recent problem with Image Uploads solved, you may find Stats, or Comments, to be problematic now. Or maybe the Template Editor, and the Preview feature, may stop working.

If you have a problem with Blogger, and you are advised to use Draft Blogger for that specific problem, you will do well to use a second browser (or an Incognito / Private window) - and to clear cache, cookies, and sessions, before starting.

If your problems are confined to one or two specific Blogger features, you'd do well to use your Draft Blogger session for those specific features - and continue with Production Blogger for other features, using two browsers / browser windows. Conversely, if Draft Blogger is prescribed to solve a general problem, such as the (long ago) well known white screen of death, you'll have to use Draft Blogger only.

In either case, I strongly suggest that you always first clear cache, cookies, and sessions, and restart the browser, whenever changing between Draft and Production Blogger. If you have cookies or scripts from Draft Blogger cached in your browser, and you switch to Production Blogger (or vice versa), you may get unwanted results.

If clearing cookies may present a problem because of other, non Google applications, Use Draft Blogger for all Blogger / Google activities, from the new browser / browser window (again, after you clear cache, cookies, and sessions) - and run non Google applications from the current browser / browser window.

A good reason for limiting your use of Draft Blogger is to reduce your exposure, after Blogger decides that the new problem fix - that you're helping them to test - is stable. Soon, they will move the new fix into Production Blogger. The next major change following that may, or may not, be applied to Draft Blogger.

If you, later, find yourself asking why the newest Blogger update does not work for you, you may be asked
Are you using Draft ("draft.blogger.com"), or Production ("www.blogger.com"), Blogger?
If the people trying to diagnose your next problem don't think to ask that question, you may find yourself waiting, helplessly, for the next Blogger fix. Blogger may apply an emergency fix - but overlook Draft Blogger, when applying the fix.

So use Draft Blogger, if it helps you - but keep track of it, as you use it - and know how to get out of Draft, when necessary. Or maybe, you'll be advised to try differential testing, to diagnose your next problem.

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1 comment:

Tito Dutta said...

Don't track my own pageviews, error message "There was an error while fetching stats. Please reload page" — is working in neither in draft.blogger nor blogger.com.