Saturday, March 17, 2007

Why Programmers Drive People Nuts

A few days ago while trying to link to one of my own posts, I noticed that when I clicked on the title from the Dashboard or from Archives, that it would only show the most recent post. While the page was loading, you would see the post you asked for and then it would disappear and be replaced by the most current post.

Now, I bought this template for a whopping ten dollars because I like the idea of not having to reload the whole page every time one wanted to see a post. I was extremely pleased with it ...and then he updated it.

When I tried to load a post, it sucked up so much memory that the computer literally couldn't complete its task. And I don't even have Microsoft! No matter what I did, any posts older than a month were inaccessible except for a very time consuming method of clicking backward on an "older" link. This is my exchange with the designer.
From March 6 when I first noticed it.
I don't know if it is a blogger problem or not, but the post feed is constantly updating and my comments aren't showing up. I don't get a whole lot of them, but I had just responded and then both disappeared. It happened yesterday also.

Is there a glitch somewhere? It worked great before the upgrade but it seems a little slower now. It could be my connection, but it's very strange.

Then on March 12th, I started in earnest.

This has happened to me several times and today was extremely inconvenient. Whenever I try and only when I load one of my archives, Firefox hangs. It ties up 100% of my CPU. Firefox freezes in that I can't switch tabs. The title changes, but not the screen. The only way out is to quit and start again. I just lost a really long post that I was very proud of and am having difficulty recalling it.

Is there a glitch?
His reply.
I don't see why firefox would hang. But even if does, how can you lose a post by just viewing the archives?
My response and explanation.
Because if you can't change tabs, move the page up or down, if you are stuck on the page, you have to force quit, thereby losing all unsaved work. I was checking my archives for a post that I had written and couldn't get back to save my work. This has happened to me three times. and it only happens when I ask it to load a month. I asked it to load last November which had 45 posts and as I scrolled down the page, it froze. the mouse moved but had no effect on firefox, as I said before, the title of the tab will change but not the focus. Also, I'm trying right now to load a post through the edit posts page. I click on view, it loads the page, I see the post I'm looking for, for about two seconds and then it shows the current post. I cannot access individual posts.

I tried going in through the archives again, it was still loading from and, for over two minutes. The title I was looking for was near the top of the page, I clicked on the title, it loaded the post, for two seconds and flipped to the current post, again.

Do you think there is something wrong with the feeds? Also, would it be possible to just load the titles from the archives with the peekaboo option instead of the whole post? I was able to access old posts by going through the older link in the feeds post. It is the only way I've found so far. I don't really want to click back two years but that way does work.

No response so I sent this.
My readership has dropped tremendously in the last few days with only one page view. I opened it in Safari and have the same problems, plus sitemeter didn't record more than one page view, no matter how many I looked at. If people are unable to search my site, what good is it for me to maintain an archive? After all the hard work I've put into it, I would hate to take it down but I'm going to have no choice if this continues. This is very frustrating.
His response.

This is expected because page is not reloaded for every post with Neo, as I have told repeatedly in my blog. But, it doesn't mean that your readership has gone down. People may be reading several of your posts but without reloading the page. If you are highly concerned about the statistics and not the speed of your blog, you can revert back to your previous template. I will refund $10. let me know.
Now, I'm steamed. I was getting a lot of referrals for the Walter Reed stuff but nobody could access the posts because it was flipping to the most recent post. So I sent this.
It has to do with the fact that my archives could not be accessed. Period. As I said repeatedly. There was no way to access older posts except to go through your new "older" link. Most people aren't that savvy. I have wasted my whole day trying to repair the damage. I have taken the Neo template down. I had made some changes and am trying to convert my old template and having extreme difficulty.

And I knew the pages weren't reloaded for every post, that wasn't the issue. Whatever change you made on March 6, affected archive access.
This morning I received this.

I don't think you told me about this archives issue. there's no way neo could affect archives. did you add archives widget to Neo (it doesn't come with one by default)? anyways, if you don't like neo, you can go back to previous template.
This is my reply to that brilliant piece of customer service.
I don't appreciate being treated like an idiot. Of course I had Archives, I had labels, I had widgets, I had formatting, Ii had no problems until your update.

I've gone back to an older template, and I am not happy with the hours of work involved. I had better things to do than to try and fix something that wasn't broken until the update. If you had checked before I took it down, and gone through the steps below, you would have known what the problem was.

Thanks for the irritation.
The amount of work that I had to put in to recover the old template and fix the additions to bring it up to speed was tremendously time consuming. It isn't about the ten dollars, it's about someone avoiding responsibility and then being patronizing and insulting when the customer needs help.

I'm up and running again, albeit rather slowly in comparison to the Neo template. The lesson here being to do everything myself if I'm going to spend that kind of time tracking down errors. Now the question is, should I link to someone who treated me this way? I linked to him and have recommended him to several people already. I hope they are happier with the service than I am.



  1. Though there is some technical expertise associated with template construction, I consider it to be more of a design issue than a programming issue. A good template has good user semantics, and that is the product of someone good user-interface insticts.

    The reason Blognonymous looks like ass but functions is that I'm a software developer not a designer. I do my best to keep the usage semantics brute simple because I have rotten UI insticts.

    The short of this being: Never send a programmer to do a designers job. ;-)

  2. I'm neither, but I find it fun to play with Blogger. When something goes wrong, it's like an advanced game of "which one of these isn't like the other?" That can be fun for a while, this time it wasn't.