End of the Blog: The New Blogger Interface is Broken

 Well, I’ve wondered when I’d give up blogging, and it looks like “now” is the right answer.  Why?  Because Google has forced the new Blogger interface on everyone as of a few weeks back, and say what you will about how “responsive” or “beautiful” or… whatever web developer bullshit you want, it fundamentally fails as a blogging interface.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.sevarg.net/2020/10/10/end-of-blog-new-blogger-interface-is/

(Comments copied from Blogger)

2020-10-10 by E


2020-10-10 by Symbioquine

It is a very sad day…

I could try to make eloquent arguments that these points are exactly why the internet needs your blog as a voice of reason, but you have the data to say whether that’s working better than I can.

I’ll just say your blog is a favorite among very few that I read. I’ve found it provided useful pertinent information for alternative/thoughtful strategies that intersect with tech, and done so in ways that are fun to read.

Thank you for what you have written/shared so far! If you do decide to continue blogging again in the future, please at least update this blog with a link.

2020-10-10 by Dusk Star

An extremely sad day :frowning:

This has long been one of my favorite RSS feeds, but if the blogging software has degraded sufficiently, I guess that’s that. Unless there are alternative blogging platforms that could be migrated to trivially?

2020-10-11 by Unknown

Gutted. This is one of my favourite blogs. If you do decide to come back, maybe a very simple static site on Netlify of GitHub pages - you can literally manage your entire blog in a text editor then. And it’s still free. :slight_smile:

2020-10-11 by dude mcginty

Thanks for the journey!

2020-10-11 by Michael Kohne

Can’t say I blame you - if the interface is that bad, it can’t be worth the trouble. Too bad.

2020-10-11 by Andrew Bailey

I would like to add to the chorus of people who enjoy reading your blog, the battery teardowns → the shed → solar. I hope you find a solution to the usability mess you describe

2020-10-11 by Val

Maybe you and Low Tech Magazine should start a low energy hosting service.

If they’re optimizing for mobile, would an iPad plus keyboard be better? My brother wrote a few articles in LaTex.

Thanks for your all your interesting subjects these years.

2020-10-12 by Raymond

Google Ruins Everything.

2020-10-12 by hoodcat

I’ll miss this blog :frowning: Thanks for all the interesting posts.

2020-10-16 by Andrés Hernández

Another victim of the year 2020. It is a sad day :confused:

2020-10-16 by Ian

This is sad. I will miss it.

Is the blog going to stay up, or should I get busy archiving the valuable solar posts?

2020-10-19 by Tom

You have a great blog, as a web developer I’d love to help you get started with a different platform or using a static generator. Or even wordpress.

2020-10-20 by Russell Graves

Part of it is certainly frustration that the bull rush of the tech ecosystem is in directions I think are quite hostile to humans. I get a few hundred page views on any typical post, and some of the ones that I wrote as “This is a common question; I’ll answer it in long form and can just link to it if someone asks!” have, via a few heated discussions, gotten me banned from various subreddits that would have been relevant. Linking to something you wrote is “self promotion” even if it’s literally an exact answer to the question asked (such as backup solar power without batteries).

I’ll probably be back at some point, I just have to really rethink my web presence and how I host things. Fundamentally, I hate being a sysadmin. I’ve done it for years, I’ve finally outgrown that weird obsessive “Must maintain enterprise uptime on college student hardware budget!” thing I had for years, and… I just like having stuff that works, that other people maintain. But that also means that they can change it out from under me, in ways I fundamentally disagree with.

If/when I start posting again, I’ll make it easy to find the new source from here. I haven’t decided if I’ll move all my content over, or simply leave old stuff here and start new from there.

2020-10-20 by Russell Graves

Alternative platforms, yes. Trivial migration, not really. I’m no longer a “web guy” and haven’t been for over a decade.

2020-10-20 by Russell Graves

I’ve looked at that, and I’m not sure I want to just move to someone else’s hosted platform. If I’m going to move to something else, I’m going to move to something that I have full control over, that won’t shift around. Part of the problem here is that I’m using a blogspot domain - I can’t just repoint the DNS at something I host and carry on with different formatting. I’m not opposed to paying for hosting, though I’m certainly not going to pay obscene amounts of money for hobby project hosting.

2020-10-20 by Russell Graves

A modern iPad has enough CPU to brute force through their crap, but doesn’t generally work with my style of writing/research. I can throw more compute at the problem, I just refuse to throw compute at nonsense work like… whatever they’re doing on a per-key, per-image basis. Or something like that. I should not need a modern high end computer to write text, and I can choke out a halfway modern computer anyway. Doing that is just saying, "Yeah, you write terrible code, but whatever, I’ll deal with it."

As for low energy hosting, I’m not sure there are huge gains to be had there. Even their analysis of the solar hosting concluded it’s worse than other options (mostly from the panel/battery embedded energy). And I sure don’t have the internet connection to manage that without lots of cloud caching in the first place.

2020-10-20 by Russell Graves

I don’t intend to remove the content at this point. I may, eventually, move it to another platform. But neither do I control Google, and I can’t help but think their new interface will drive enough people off Blogger that they can then shut it down for “lack of use” or something. So, if you want a long term copy, you might want to copy stuff out yourself.

2020-10-20 by Russell Graves

Contact form is on the right side. I’m considering Jekyll and static hosting, but my ability to wrangle CSS and such for formatting/layout/etc is a very small rounding error away from zero. I have legacy sysadmin skills, don’t mind fighting with stuff to get it set up, but just don’t have the time/energy right now with trying to get solar done. Winter, once the snow hits, is a better time for random projects like this.

Wordpress is a perfectly good remote sysadmin tool with a content management problem… I don’t see anything I do requiring that level of complexity/risk. Static content, perhaps with my Discourse instance used for some comment integration (I think it supports that…), should cover my needs, and be both cheaper to host and more agreeable to caching if I want to host on a poor connection (think Cloudflare).

One of the problems I have, though, is that I tend to keep a LOT of draft/half written posts around. I’ve got over 100 drafts ranging from “Mostly written” to “This is an idea I considered writing about at some point.” I’d like something that can manage those as well.

2020-10-25 by Arjun

Just discovered your blog by researching ebike battery rebuilds. If you haven’t heard of Roam Research, check it out. It could be a great way for you to start a new. You would still be beholden to a software company, but if you research the founders and their following as well as plans for funding, you might feel more comfortable.

2020-10-26 by Ed

Would an offline blog editor work for you?

2020-11-04 by Ted

Sad to see the blog go but I understand your perspective and respect it whole heartedly. I left Blogger a few years back out of similar frustrations. I just wanted to write something in Markdown or, heck, even HTML, and have it hosted and even back a few years ago Blogger seemed incapable of doing this. I’ve since moved on to hosting my site through Gitlab Pages using Hugo and have been very happy with it. I do hope you find a way to continue posting content again soon, after a well deserved break, and please bear with the terrible Bloggerr interface at least one more time when you do to update us on where we can find it.

2020-11-06 by Unknown

I can certainly understand your frustration. While I recently got into the software scene, I often find myself fighting against the “newer is ALWAYS better” crowd that is so prevalent. Since you mention being a sysadmin, have you considered migrating to a different platform that caters more to your level of expertise?

While I write API code for a living and am also quite fluent in React, if I were to choose a platform for my own blogging (which I keep meaning to get around to…), I would highly consider something like Hugo. Content lives in markdown files and the tooling generates static HTML that gets uploaded to the server.

2020-11-07 by Russell Graves

My sysadmin skills at this point are exceedingly legacy. I’m a quite competent Linux sysadmin through about 2009, at which point my skills stopped improving because I was no longer doing sysadmin stuff (or, at least, single system sysadmin using tools that exist outside the walls of certain companies).

I’m looking at Jekyll, Hugo, or one of those various sorts of thing, just haven’t had the time to sit down and muddle through them. They’re written in languages I don’t know (I make a living in assembly, C, and occasionally C++), using config stuff I’m not familiar with, etc. So it’s a bit of a project to get stuff going.

Then I need to figure out hosting, and while I know Github Pages is a thing, I simply don’t want to trade reliance on one third party provider for another. My ISP is not exactly fast, so self hosting would require some interesting challenges.

2020-11-10 by Herpderp

Just stumbled upon this blog while looking for power tool battery disassembl. Found more than I bargained for - you seem to be one of the rare sane people in this world of collective madness. I’ll be binge-reading this blog from beginning for the next few weeks. I hope you will continue writing and sharing your thoughts wherever it’s convenient.

2020-12-10 by jasonmcgathey

I thought it was just me, having problems with the insanely slow text. I’ve been just typing everything in Word instead, then copying and pasting. This is also much easier to format all around (fonts, ink color, etc) than tinkering with options on Blogspot itself.

2020-12-12 by Russell Graves

I’m not going to work around and support broken software at this point in my life. I’m working on some self hosting options, should hopefully have something online in the next month or so.

2020-12-20 by Bekki

Gave up using Blogger in September I hate the new layout and it’s unusable. They don’t listen to people who are saying the exact same thing. Blogger if it ain’t broke don’t fix it