Monday, January 29, 2007

Testing using Blogger to host pictures for the profile photo, sidebar, etc

I have done a previous post describing how one can use Blogger to host the photo for the profile, for putting in the sidebar, for use in the <img> tag (see post Tip: Getting Blogger to host your photo for the profile, sidebar, etc.. That was for the old classic Blogger. However when I tried the method to change the profile photo for this blog, I met with a problem.

Jordan (Blogger Employee) has kindly given me and 3 others the Blog*Star award, and the award with a package containing a Blogger T-shirt, a Google water bottle and 5 Google ballpoint pens. I uploaded the photo of me in the T-shirt in front of my computer with the Google water bottle and the ballpoint pens in this post: Google Blog*Star Award 2006. The URL of the photo in that post is
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_jizoPL28qCY/Rb6YrgUk7qI/AAAAAAAAAA0/0ydsqfz-BIk/s1600-h/BlogStar.jpg

I tried replacing the current profile photo with that new photo by putting the photo URL into the Photo URL field and tried to save. Back came the message:

Cannot find file at specified URL: link is broken (failed request)

I also tried to use the photo URL for the <img> tag in this post: Testing to see if using Blogger to host photo for the <img> tag will work with the New Blogger and what I got in place of the photo was this:
testing <img> tag
No photo, just the description I put in the alt="" attribute in place of the photo.

Another test. I tried to add the photo into the sidebar by using ADD A PAGE ELEMENT > PICTURE, then in the "Configure Image" pop-up, I ticked "from the web" and then pasted the photo URL into the URL field and tried to save. This resulted in an error message "Please specify an image".

Conclusion. It is no longer possible to use Blogger to host the photo for the profile, sidebar, etc.

Update 4 February 2007: Here is a work around: Click on the photo in the post to go to the enlarged photo. Don't use the URL you see in the address bar. In the menu bar, click View > Source to see the source file, and there copy the URL in the src="URL" and use that. The source file I got is as given below:

<html>
<head>
<title>BlogStar.jpg (image)</title>
<script type="text/javascript">
<!--
if (top.location != self.location) top.location = self.location;
// -->
</script>
</head>
<body bgcolor="#ffffff" text="#000000">
<img src="http://lh5.google.com/_jizoPL28qCY/Rb6YrgUk7qI/AAAAAAAAAA0/0ydsqfz-BIk/s1600/BlogStar.jpg" alt="[BlogStar.jpg]" border=0>
</body>
</html>


The actual URL of the photo from the source is "http://lh5.google.com/
_jizoPL28qCY/Rb6YrgUk7qI/AAAAAAAAAA0/0ydsqfz-BIk/s1600/BlogStar.jpg

I put it into the "Photo URL" and it worked. This tip was provided by my online friend sookietex of Public Domain Clipart

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

testing uploading photo and deletion again

Repost of the original post minus the photo, and with the "delete photo" option unchecked.

Testing post deletion with the photo deletion option unchecked.
URL's of the photo:
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_sEyw6txVACs/RbeK9qDfHAI/AAAAAAAAATg/NgMHfV-mGGI/s1600-h/Edit+HTML+COMPOSE+tabs.jpg

and
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_sEyw6txVACs/RbeK9qDfHAI/AAAAAAAAATg/NgMHfV-mGGI/s400/Edit+HTML+COMPOSE+tabs.jpg


UPDATE 28 January, 2007: The image is still hosted on the Web even though the original post was deleted. You can try it yourself, by copying the above and pasted into the address bar of a browser.

CONCLUSION: When deleting a post with an image with the New Blogger, you have a choice of whether you want the image to be deleted or not. This is another improvement of New Blogger over the old classic Blogger where you have no choice - deleting the photo or post will not delete the image, and increasing the chance of you exceeding the limit for images set by Blogger.

Uploading photos and deleting posts Part II

(copy of the first post where the photo was uploaded then deleted)
In the old classic Blogger, after you uploaded a photo, the photo remains on the web even if the photo and/or the post is deleted. Someone commented in one of my blogs that he lost the photo when he deleted the post. So now I am going to upload a photo, get its URL, record the photo URL, dlelete the post, and see what happens to the uploaded photo. Here goes:

These are the URL's of the uploaded pictures:
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_sEyw6txVACs/RbeC2KDfG_I/AAAAAAAAATQ/w-nPItpI_rM/s1600-h/KL+night+skyline.jpg

and

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_sEyw6txVACs/RbeC2KDfG_I/AAAAAAAAATQ/w-nPItpI_rM/s400/KL+night+skyline.jpg


when I was about to delete the photo, I got the following message:

"You also have 1 photo stored on blogger for this post.
These photos will also be deleted from Blogger. If you don't want to delete a photo, uncheck it.
(It may take up to 24 hours for them to be removed)."

It gives me the feeling that I wouldn't see the photos again after 24 hours.

Update A few minutes after deletion of the first post with the uploaded photo: Both URL's showed the photo of the Kuala Lumpur night skyline after deletion of the original post, with the Petronas Twin Tower featured prominantly. I will give it another try after 24 hours.

Uploading photos and deleting posts Part II

(copy of the first post where the photo was uploaded then deleted)
In the old classic Blogger, after you uploaded a photo, the photo remains on the web even if the photo and/or the post is deleted. Someone commented in one of my blogs that he lost the photo when he deleted the post. So now I am going to upload a photo, get its URL, record the photo URL, dlelete the post, and see what happens to the uploaded photo. Here goes:

These are the URL's of the uploaded pictures:
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_sEyw6txVACs/RbeC2KDfG_I/AAAAAAAAATQ/w-nPItpI_rM/s1600-h/KL+night+skyline.jpg

and

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_sEyw6txVACs/RbeC2KDfG_I/AAAAAAAAATQ/w-nPItpI_rM/s400/KL+night+skyline.jpg


when I was about to delete the photo, I got the following message:

"You also have 1 photo stored on blogger for this post.
These photos will also be deleted from Blogger. If you don't want to delete a photo, uncheck it.
(It may take up to 24 hours for them to be removed)."

It gives me the feeling that I wouldn't see the photos again after 24 hours.

UPDATE 28 January 2007: The result of pasting the first URL into IE browser was a little box New Blogger: photo deleted from Web after post is deleted

What I get from the second URL is an error message:
Google Error
Not Found
The requested URL / was not found on this server.

Conclusion: In the New Blogger, if you delete the post, the images will be deleted.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Advantages of migrating from old (classic) Blogger account to New (formerly beta) Blogger Account even if you retain classic templates

Background

I occasionally check the statcounter statistics to check how people are finding my blogs, and found that this post Digi D'House: An almost paperless Office Part II were being found by surfers searching for D'House (the correct name for the building), but the original post Digi D'House: An almost paperless office were not being found because the name of the building was given wrongly as D'Block to me and the original title of the first post was "D'Block: An almost paperless building". The URL was then

http://enviromansays.blogspot.com/2006/11/digi-d-block
-almost-paperless-office.html

Now that blog is still using the old (classic) Blogger template although I have migrated the Blogger account to the New Blogger (formerly beta) account. I have already noticed that with the new account and new Blogger template, the individual post page URL (permalink) remains the same even if we changed the post title and/or date, but do not know if blogs still using the old (classic) template will have the same advantage (it is an advantage to me because if the permalink changed, then existing inbound links and links in search engine result pages will become dead links). I was sorely tempted to change the post title, but was afraid the permalink may changed. So I decided to test it on an unimportant post in an unimportant blog to see if changing the title will change the permalink. I found that it did not, so I had the courage to change the title of the above post from "Digi D'Block...." to "Digi D'House...." and confirmed that the permalink (URL) did not change.

Advantages of migrating your old (classic) Blogger account to the New Blogger (formerly beta) account even if you keep the classic template

So now, I have discovered the following advantages of migrating your account even if you keep the original classic template of some or all your blogs:

  • Individual post page URL (permalink) remains the same even when you change the post title and/or date

  • You can label (categorise or tag) your posts even if you retain the classic template. The labels will appear at the bottom of the post, although you will not be able to put a list of labels in the sidebar (unless you are prepared to do it manually yourself)

  • When you change the settings, you no longer have to republish

  • Posts get published faster
  • .

Anyone knows of anymore advantages, please put them in the Comments section.

I know of one person (20 sticky posts) who claimed himself to be a technophobe (a person who dislikes or avoids new technology) whom I expected to be the last person to migrate did migrate before the so called "mandatory migration" (don't know if it is going to take place) and even before I did, found the migration to be smooth as fast and problemless(as was my experience). There were no horror stories of not being able to see the blogs in the Dashboard, unable to publish, upload pictures or edit, etc that were frequently "heard" on the Google Blogger Help group.

Disclaimer: This post is not meant to encourage you to migrate if you have any misgivings. There may be unexpected changes (pleasant or unpleasant). For example, in my blog Enviroman Says, the sticky post "Environmental cartoon" used to be a small image which fitted into the main column of my template then, but the text were unreadable, and I am forced to put a notice asking readers to click on the cartoon to enlarge it. After migration, the cartoon was displayed in its enlarged format, which is a bonus because the text then become readable without having to click on the cartoon. However, I am forced to change template to accomodate the larger cartoon. Instead of the Ramani's 3 column Minima template which fits readers with 800x600 screen resolutions, I am forced to change to the Denim fixed 3 column template modified by Stavanger, and even then, I have to change the main and sidebars width to accomodate the width of the cartoon. See post New Blogger (formerly beta) templates modified to 3 column by Stavanger, at the bottom of the post.


You migrate at your own risk.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Testing embeding Google Spreadsheet into the New Blogger blog

I have prreviously written 2 posts on including spreadsheets with blogs at How to add PDF files, spreadsheet, etc. into your blog (close new window/tab to get back to this page) and Testing embeding Zoho spreadsheet into a New Blogger (formerly beta) blog (click "BACK" button to get back to this page).

I have discovered that in Google Spreadsheet, there is also an option to embed a spreadsheet into your website. I am testing it now:


Well, it worked. The way to do this is to go to Welcome to Google Docs & Spreadsheets!, start a Google account if you don't have one already, then make your spreadsheet. When your spreadsheet is ready, the "PUBLISH" tab at the top right-hand corner of the page, select which part of the spreadsheet you want published (in my case, it was sheet 1 only). You can even choose whether you want the spreadsheet to be updated automatically (every 5 minutes) or updated manually.

Then click on "MORE PUBLISHING OPTIONS" at the bottom of the pop-up.
Google Spreadsheet Publishing Options
Then under drop-down menu "FILE FORMAT", click the down arrow and select "HTML TO EMBED IN A WEBPAGE". Put in the range of the cells you want to include in the spreadsheet (in my case, it was A1:C4), click "GENERATE URL" and the script to paste into your post editor window will be generated.
Google Spreadsheet Publish Format

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Testing method of avoiding large white space created by standard way of coding table

I have a post detailing how to write the HTML for a table in this post How to avoid large space above table when writing the HTML for a table in Blogger. There were two methods, the one I used is cumbersome. MLA commented in that post and asked for my opinion of his way of avoiding large white space above tables when writing HTML for tables in the standard format. I said I will test it, so I am testing it first in a New Blogger blog. If it works here, I believe it should also work in the old (classic) Blogger. So here goes. If you don't see any large white space between this paragraph, and the table, that means MLA's method works:















ProductCodePrice
Apple0123$1.25
Orange0247$1.55
Pear1928$1.45



Well, there are no large space between the paragraph above and the table as you can see, so MLA's method works.

This is how MLA did it. He created a class "nobr" using CSS, like this:
<style type="text/css">.nobr br { display: none }</style>
Then below the CSS, he created a division <div> specifying the class. He will then type the HTML for the table in the standard format within that division. For example, this is the script I used to create the above table:

<style type="text/css">.nobr br { display: none }</style>
<div class="nobr">
<table border="1">
<tr>
<td>Product</td><td>Code</td><td>Price</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Apple</td><td>0123</td><td>$1.25</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Orange</td><td>0247</td><td>$1.55</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Pear</td><td>1928</td><td>$1.45</td>
</tr>
</table>
</div>


If you understand the method, well and good. If not, you can also see MLA's post: Table formatting in Blogger

Thursday, January 11, 2007

testing publishing via email

Testing to see if one can add label via publishing by email. If it works, the label for this blog will be "testing"

--
label:testing


Expecting? Get great news right away with email Auto-Check.
Try the Yahoo! Mail Beta.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

New Blogger (formerly beta): How to hide the navbar

A reader of my blogs asked how to hide the navbar.
I tried this hack from Remove navbar. It says to look for <style type="text/css"> and </style"> and add in some codes in between them. I could't find the tag <style type="text/css">, so what I did was I added the whole code:

<style type="text/css">

#navbar-iframe {
height: 0px;
visibility: hidden;
display: none;
}

</style>
<!-- End Hide Navbar -->


just after the <head> tag into this blog Digital Photography Articles and the navbar was successfully removed.

Actually, the navbar serve a useful function. It has a searchbar which allows one to search the blog, and it is not intrusive, just a narrow bar at the top of page. Anyway, if you really want to remove the navbar, but still want a searchbar to allow visitors to search your blog, you can sign up for AdSense and when you are approved, you can generate a sitesearch box for your blog like this blog Good Health Information.

You can apply to join the AdSense Program by clicking on the "Generate revenue from your site. Google AdSense" link at the top of the right sidebar. You can get more information about AdSense (how to generate a script for a sitesearch bar, for example) from this site Earning Online. If you have further questions, feel free to leave a comment, and I will try my best to answer.