Thursday, November 03, 2011

There once was a dormouse...

... who lived in a bed,
Of delphiniums (blue) and geraniums (red)

Jean very reasonably remarked after I wrote about my rejection of Blogger's new interface that it looked quite harmless, and asked what I didn't like about it.

Well, to be honest, I think it's mostly that it isn't the old one, and I am a stick-in-the-mud after all!  But I'll try to justify myself as reasonably as possible.

I think it looks very wishy-washy and faint in appearance, especially using the small notebook computer, and I don't care for the orange, I don't mind orange as a colour really, but don't much like it here.  I like the bold blues and blacks and big clear buttons on the old one.  I prefer the row of tabs along the top to the vertical list down the side, and the fact that they're accessible on all the blogs on my dashboard at once (I'm not alone in running more than one blog).   I find I prefer words to picture icons - the little pen nib for 'post' etc - for operations too. Yes, I know text appears when you hover the pointer but I prefer to see it instantly, thank you.

I like the old 'new window'(which using Chrome comes out as a new tab) option on the dashboard for viewing the blog.  Yes, I know that it isn't really necessary to open as a new page at all but I like to be able to look the blog but keep the dashboard in place, rather than keep having to navigate back and forth.  And I know that one can do so easily enough with a right click, but, again, I like having it given to me on a plate.

I do in fact quite like the post editor in the new interface, as it's wider and clearer, except for that thing with the labels-and-other-stuff options on it that keeps popping out from the right uninvited and getting in the way.

Despite what they say I can see no difference in the loading speed, which was perfectly satisfactory anyway.

But probably the real reason I don't care for the change is that I've known the old interface for so long, and it was one of the first computerish things I ever got familiar with, and I've got certain ways of doing things and little personal procedures that are kind of dear to me even if they aren't always the most efficient way, and which just don't seem the same with the new one.  I didn't actually mean to switch back, in fact, since I'd put my hand to the plough and I generally think if you have to get used to something new it's better to do it sooner rather than later, but I kind of did it by accident, and when I saw the old dashboard again I felt such a rush of sentimental affection and of being pleased to see an old friend I decided to leave it there!

Julia doesn't like the new one either either, and she's a software whizz so that makes me feel a bit better!

The new gmail format is quite similar and I don't care for that either, with lots of complicated separate scrolling bits and pictures instead of words on the buttons, and all rather scribbly and faint and messy, and the italicisation/emboldening thing doesn't work (yes, I do use keyboard shortcuts, but it's a bit retrograde isn't it?).  Further, there seems to be a bridge-burning catch built into switching to that, and once done there's no going back, so I'll have to put up with it now.  I leaned over Tom while he was grumbling about it today, and he decided to leave feedback on the matter.  I had declined to bother with this, as I would only spend far too long trying to clarify my objections in my computer illiterate vocabulary to surely no useful end.  However, he wasted time on no such conciliation and reasonableness, and just answered the question What do you like about the new gmail interface? with the response Nothing, and to the question What do you dislike about the new interface? he answered Everything.  That's my reactionary old git, I thought proudly.

Really though, I don't think I'm too stubborn and inflexible about change in this area, I didn't mind the post editor changes a while back once the picture upload started to work properly (which it only did when I used a newer computer, but I worked round that problem using Picasa albums).  In a wider case, I still use XP on the Notebook but am happy to switch back and forth between that and Windows 7 on the main one.  I generally get used to things and appreciate the benefits after a bit, but it seems to me that if after a month or more I rush back into the arms of an older system and look of things with nothing but relief it can't only be me ... Can it?

The Dormouse looked out, and he said with a sigh:
"I suppose all these people know better than I.
It was silly, perhaps, but I did like the view
Of geraniums (red) and delphiniums (blue)."


Apologies for the lack of techno-vocab in this, all these thingies and whatsits don't read very clearly, but I don't really speak the lingo very well and am afraid if I try I'll only say something stupid and expose myself yet more thoroughly for the helpless numpty I am..

(If you don't know the dormouse poem what kind of upbringing did you have for heaven's sake? please do follow the link and read it, it's such a gem.)

(That was really just an opportunity to use the struck-out text thing, which I never have before.  I do know not everyone was brought up in cosy-English-middle-class-home-counties-A.A.Milne-land.  But read it anyway.)


Anyway, very apposite that I should do a meta-blogging post today, even if it is a grumpy one, as today is Box Elder's 5th birthday!  Don't know where the time's gone, they grow up so fast don't they ...

In celebration here are five instances of the number five.



Fire Bird said...

golly I don't even know what Blogger's new interface IS!!

Lucy said...

Oops, hello old friend! You were quick, I was still fiddling about changing things there. You can see the new i/f by going to the link at the top right of the dashboard which says 'try the updated Blogger interface', it's easy enough to change back and forth, but if you haven't changed to the new Gmail look don't do so till you have to is my advice!

(And if you've got an odd sabot I can throw into those newfangled weaving machines I'd appreciate it...)

the polish chick said...

AAAAARGH! shows you how long since i've posted. i just went into my blog and tried the new interface and it's very much like the new hated google reader, i.e. bland and washed out and utterly dull.

i totally get hating new things. i wish someone'd ask. when i blog, i like to get down to the nitty gritty of it and write my damn post, not look for buttons and scrolling features and such.

will most definitely keep my gmail dirigible elderly and obsolete, since when i write an email, i like to also get right into it and not muck around with newfangled "improvements."

love tom's comments. thanks for the warning.

Julia said...

Happy 5th to Box Elder :-).

And you expressed yourself just right, no need for technical language. You should send your post to Google as feedback!

Rouchswalwe said...

Nope, you're not the only one, sweet Lucy. In fact, I have not even clicked on the new interface link ... and I do not intend, too. Send that to the feedback people at Google! (See, I'm feeling a wee bit grumpy this evening, too.) Enough is enough already with the changes and the new buttons and thing-a-mabobs and colours and jazz. As my Grandpapa would say in English translated from German, "leave me my peace!"

Your "fives" photos are soothing!!

Dave said...

Happy blogday, Lucy! Glad you're still here.

I'm not on Blogger but I'm a heavy user of both Gmail and Google Reader, and I have to say that even though I tend to like minimalist designs, these ones have really poor usability. They're a total eye-strain. I can only imagine what they're like for people with real vision problems.

marly youmans said...

Oh, I'm spoiling the "five comments" row...

I have been using the new interface. I think it handles multiple pictures better now, and I like the captions. But I always forget labels and have to go back and stick them in.

But I am going to have a new blog and am still dithering over whether to stick with blogger or not... What would you do now?

I loved that whole series of pictures by the water, and I really like the five boles.

zephyr said...

What a delightful post.
And i'm clicking over to read the poem as soon as i'm finished with this comment.
And Tom's response to Gmail was spot on.

Roderick Robinson said...

Happy fifth. But I don't like five, please move quite quickly (You can time-travel, can't you?) to six. Five is the betrayal word in French; the word you realise you (or at least I) haven't been pronouncing quite correctly for decades.

I take it the new interface is the sort of desk-diary format Plutarch flirted with and then appears to have discarded? And thanks for the reminder about the picture uploading SNAFU where Blogger seemed to realise it had made a mistake because there is a permanent option in Settings to revert to the old system.

Blogger should reflect. It has come up with system that millions (perhaps billions) of people, of varying computer skills, can handle. That seems too precious to put at risk by adding (Isn't this what they used to say?) "greater functionality".

Nimble said...

I love the 'five things' images. So glad that you persevere and share your words and wit.
My mother was raised in Iowa but she knew her Milne poems and read them to us too.

Bee said...

I can't bear ANY changes in technical things once I've mastered them. I'm a terrible Luddite in that way . . . and identify completely with the dormouse.

(btw, I didn't know that poem! Read it with pleasure, though.)

You have hit on a perfectly appropriate way to celebrate five fruitful years of blogging.

julia said...

a new interface?
yet another change that has passed me by, thank goodness

Have I ever told you that I love your photos?

Anne said...

Happy 5th, Lucy. I totally missed my 4th what with all the turmoil in my life. But things are getting back to some semblance of normalcy and I can again enjoy your superb photos. And poems, and prose!

Rosie said...

oh god! what new interface? I have noticed the occasional popup window which I have slapped to one side. I had better go investigate

Jean said...

Happy fifth blogday!

I love the dormouse poem, which I'd never seen before (no, did not have cosy, middle-class or home-counties upbringing - almost worth that to discover it now).

Oh god, I hadn't noticed the new gmail option either - I shall take your advice and not go there :-(

Lucy said...

Thank you all for the blogday wishes!

Oddly, the gmail doesn't seem quite as bad now as it did, but I'm still convinced that the old Blogger i/f was not broken and didn't need fixing.

BB - The interface is to do with the bit we see not how it appears; I think that thing Plutarch had for a bit was something to do with views. I couldn't even see half of that on the small computer screen, or comment or anything. I was going to tell him then he changed it, happily. The newer picture upload I needed for the extra-large format I use, going back to the old one meant I couldn't have that. I don't know why I couldn't upload from the old computer, but had to do so through Picasa to a web album then onto the blog from there. It's fine now with the new 'puter,

Marly - oh gosh I really don't know. I've thought about and opened a Wordpress account but it seemed complicated and I never pursued it. I do actually think Blogger is pretty good overall if you aren't a geek or don't have one to hand to help, and now you can have fixed pages (I think you can set this up using the 'insert a widget' thing) and quite a lot of other useful stuff, and if your happy with the interface... But then again my blog is just a hobby thing and I've more or less got it how I like it, whereas you need yours as a platform as a proper writer so probably could do with something a bit more serious. Best ask Dave!

Catalyst said...

Happy 5th birthday, Lucy. Your writings and your photographs are always such a joy. You make my day!

marja-leena said...

Happy 5th blog birthday, Lucy, I can't believe it's been that long and I've read and loved it the whole time. Itonly gets better and better, like good cheese and wine, heh. Though I don't use blogger, I do read many and was confounded that some of them would not let me comment until I found a code at one blog that enabled the 'switch' to the old page. Maybe that has since been ironed out. Oh, I'm a Luddite too...takes me forever to learn the new.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

I haven't tried new blogger. Not entirely true I have ventured there, not liked what I saw and scurried away without use.

Do not like the new Reader layout and am looking for a friendly alternative.

earlybird said...

Can't comment on most of this post as I am firmly convinced of the superiority of Wordpress! :)

Stunning photos - happy blogday for yesterday.

HKatz said...

I'm stopping by to wish your blog a happy birthday (belated birthday, by this point). I love the second photo especially: it's calm, eerie and melancholy.

I haven't given the new interface a try; from your description it sounds like they fussed unnecessarily.

marly youmans said...

I had asked him already! He actually seemed to think it would be fine to stay with blogger. I asked him about wordpress, and he was positive, but...

I probably will stay with blogger because I have infinite free picture uploads--thanks to signing up for Google+ (although I don't really go much--so far it seems dead as a doornail. They waited too late.)

The Poet's Lizard said...

I'm a wee bit late for the party but not too late to give you my felicitations, and to say how lovely your five things image series is!