17 December 2006

Blogger 3.0 getting out of beta too soon

On december 11nth the Blogger team announced that they expect the new Blogger to be out of beta soon. I quote "Known issues on the new Blogger are few and getting fewer". Unfortunately I don't agree with them. If I take a look at the Blogger Help group (http://groups.google.com/group/blogger-help) I notice that there are a lot of people having problems with templates. I also had them, or at least my wife, who designed the wonderful layout for my blog. It was very hard to force the new very advanced and powerful template engine of Blogger to do what you really want, especially when you want your layout to be useful in both IE and Firefox (what about standards, huh?). Big problem was the fact that we couldn't validate the CSS through the W3C CSS validator (http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/validator?uri=http://ableijs.blogspot.com), because it complains that the document is not valid XML. Note that the same holds for the Blogger blog (http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/validator?uri=http://buzz.blogspot.com/), and the Known Issues for Blogger in Beta (http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/validator?uri=http://knownissues.blogspot.com/). When I try to validate my blog through the W3C Markup validator (http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http://ableijs.blogspot.com) I find a discouraging number of 874 errors. When I analyze them, I find the following structural errors, which come from the Blogger template engine:

  • Use of invalid xml namespaces (using a DOCTYPE statement restricts the use of namespaces)
  • The template engine should remove them during the transform to XHTML. I can't remove them in the template because Beta Blogger stubbornly keeps adding them.
  • Unencoded & in uris, should be &
  • Encloses blogposts in blocklevel elements without checking if the blogposts themselves contain blocklevel elements (like <p>, <ul>)
  • <style>-sections not enclosed in <!--[CDATA[ ... ]]-->, at least not after the transform. I already solved part of the the problem by enclosing the <style>-section in comments <!-- -->, which of course means that when the blog is served as application/xhtml+xml it will ignore all of the <style>-definitions. So this is not a real solution.
  • Widget scripts not enclosed in <\!--[CDATA[ ... ]]-->>. I couldn't solve the <script>-problem the same way, because the widget-scripts are included during transform.
I posted about this in the Blogger Help group (http://groups.google.com/group/blogger-help-customizing/browse_thread/thread/fef5d72011ed7571/).
Note that the same holds for the Blogger blog (http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http://buzz.blogspot.com) and the Known Issues for Blogger in Beta (http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http://knownissues.blogspot.com).

When I search the Blogger Help group for 'xhtml valid blogger beta' (http://groups.google.com/group/blogger-help/search?group=blogger-help&q=xhtml+valid+blogger+beta) I notice that I'm not the only one with these kind of problems. And as I stated xhtml-conformance is a prerequisite for validating CSS, which is necessary to be able to use the new Blogger template engine to its full extent. That's why I don't think the new Blogger is ready to go out of beta.

30 November 2006


I found BlogPulse, which has some interesting tools for analysis of the Blogosphere.
I quote "What is BlogPulse?
BlogPulse is an automated trend discovery system for blogs. Blogs, a term that is short for weblogs, represent the fastest-growing medium of personal publishing and the newest method of individual expression and opinion on the Internet. BlogPulse applies machine-learning and natural-language processing techniques to discover trends in the highly dynamic world of blogs. BlogPulse is brought to you by Nielsen BuzzMetrics. "

25 November 2006


Technorati considers itself to be the recognized authority on what's happening on the World Live Web, right now. The Live Web is - in their words - the dynamic and always-updating portion of the Web. We search, surface, and organize blogs and the other forms of independent, user-generated content (photos, videos, voting, etc.) increasingly referred to as “citizen media.”

As they say, on the World Live Web, bloggers frequently link to and comment on other blogs, creating the type of immediate connection one would have in a conversation. Technorati tracks these links, and thus the relative relevance of blogs, photos, videos etc. Technorati rapidly indexes tens of thousands of updates every hour, and so they monitor these live communities and the conversations they foster.

On Technorati you can search blogs based on tags, on the blog text or on the Technorati directory. Also you can search on authority, which is determined by the number of links to a certain blog. And also you can find out who is referring to your blog.

I think Technorati is an important example of how the social web is evolving.

I've claimed my blog on Technorati too. Look here for my Technorati Profile.

Website traffic analysis services

When I started this blog I thought it would be useful to be able to monitor the traffic to this blog. Doing so certainly fits into the theme of this blog. So for starters I installed a few services (WebStats4U, OneStat and of course Google Analystics) to investigate which one serves me best. I also made up a list of (partially) free website traffic analysis services:

If I have some spare time I might try to write an evaluation of these services.

20 November 2006

Welcome to my blog

I decided to reorganize my groups and blogs.
I'm going to abandon my groups at MSN and Yahoo!: http://groups.msn.com/eenwereldwijdwebvankennis and http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/aworldwidewebofknowledge/.

In this blog I wil try to gather all I discover about new web technologies, the social web and the influence on marketing. In another blog, at my Windows Live Space http://ableijs.spaces.live.com/, I will record more diverse stories and cover different subjects, either personal or professional, because are part of my life.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Arne Bleijs.