Now, we understand that when you agree to install a beta product, you can expect a few glitches.
Maybe a few features won’t work, maybe a few functions won’t do what you expect, or maybe you’ll get the odd error or two.
When it’s a Google beta – a company whose innovative beta programs are often more polished than the final versions of some software products – you can usually feel pretty sure that they’re not going to foist some unfinished rubbish on you.
Well, at least that’s what we thought before trying out their dreadful Blogger beta ‘upgrade.’
Seduced by the shiny new features bigged up on the Blogger homepage, we foolishly elected to move over to the new Blogger Beta and have been struggling with it ever since.
Immediately, we were plagued with time outs, and that ruddy annoying animated exclamation mark icon that appears when Blogger’s uploading became a near permanent fixture on our screen.
Trying to upload a simple blog post seemed an impossible task, with this error being repeatedly thrown up: “Your Publish is Taking Longer than Expected. To continue waiting for it to finish, click here.”
Settings were lost. Links stopped working. The archive seemed to have disappeared altogether as all links gave ‘404’ errors (fortunately we found that the archived pages were still there, but the links had all been incorrectly set).
After several hour of fiddling about, we’ve only just got the blog working again and we’re not entirely sure how. You can see it here (or at least we hope you can).
Google’s perpetual betas
After I had a late night whinge on the urban75 bulletin board, a poster sagely observed about Google’s beta policy:
“The worst thing is that they keep their products in beta for so long. Meaning you’re never quite sure if it’s a fully working product and you can’t complain when it goes wrong. It’s a very ‘google’ thing to do too, they practically invented the idea of the never-ending beta program.”
In our experience, it felt like we were dealing with an alpha product and seeing as the process is one way, once you move to Blogger Beta you can’t switch back.
We’re sure that in the end Google will produce a nicely polished update to Blogger that consumers will love, but for now we strongly advise users to stick to the old version.
After all, life’s too short to be staring at a “Your Publish is Taking Longer than Expected” screen.
Blogger Help Group (you’ll need this)