Orcmid's Lair
Orcmid's Lair

Welcome to Orcmid's Lair, the playground for family connections, pastimes, and scholarly vocation -- the collected professional and recreational work of Dennis E. Hamilton

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Blogger: Metaphor Shear It!

Blogger: Metaphor Shear It!

Well, well.  It is time to organize all of my notes about what works in blog applications, what doesn't work, and how to re-express blog and wiki as common little things loosely connected.  It is all here, it seems to me. I will do that by creating some project pages here in Orcmid's Lair as a sidecar to the blog but not cluttering these entries.  It would be nice if I could use similar tools to post and notate there as well.  This becomes what I call a bootspiralling exercise - building tools in such a way that by the time I tear down the scaffolding it looks like it was always that way -- and can be replicated easily the next time. How'd I get to this point? I just realized that the Blog It! scriplet doesn't work, and it doesn't work to use the browser as an editing and maintenance shell.  Once too often, while composing or editing a note, I have reached over and clicked a web shortcut or followed a link in another open web page. I immediately lost my work because the new page took over my Blogger-editing browser window.  There is either no way back (because the Blog It! page customizes the browser and removes all of those controls) or I can go back but all of my work is gone. (Some forms pages will restore content when backed into, but Blogger's don't.) So I have to manage my attention in an odd and laborious way, because Blog It! and my Blogger page look like desktop applications but they aren't; they are web pages and it is easy to navigate out of them without thinking.  The same thing happens with MSN Radio Plus, which runs in a little browser window, and I can't bring up my browser without losing the radio.  But Media Player doesn't do that, and I can run media player collapsed on my task bar, out of the way.  Because of this limitation, I end up listening to MSN Radio Plus on a nearby computer or simply surrendering to running RealPlayer10 on my task bar while I browse and do other things.  For the same metaphor shear, the same solution: - use a desktop application that doesn't compete for browser attention and persists in the midst of all other activities, including those involving other instances of itself. After that I can repurpose the components that support that to assist in other activities, such as local editing of my once and future nfoWiki and integration with other text-create-edit-post-document applications.  I want a simple, clear conceptual model that provides what I think it should, and does better at WYSIWYG while doing it.  The desktop is the answer. Son-of-a-gun. That's what I have in mind.  After figuring out what the essentials are and choosing an experimental approach, I will be left with the usual killer development question: How far can I get with this in the six weeks that now remain until my next on-line M.Sc class starts?

There are some more things that I notice about the metaphor sheer around the new comment and posting model.  First, the new post archiving, with one page per archived entry, removes the context of the original posting.  In the weekly archive, except when a date-boundary is crossed (that should be handled so you could browse forward and backwards in the archive and among these individual posts), there is valuable context.  I would think that the chronological archive should be preserved, along with the singly-posted friendly-named ones.  That makes for a lot of synchronization, so that trade-off must be considered too.

I don't understand some things about comments, beside the user-identification model being busted and the markup (and preview) of comments not being the same as for blog entries.  Also, you can't see the page being commented on while on the Post a Comment On page.

Weirder still is a little trash can symbol that I hadn't noticed before, that follows each comment.  That can't be there because I am currently logged on to my site, because the page is being served from Orcmid's Lair, not a Blogger site.  I'm afraid to click on one of those.  I will make a brief comment just for experimental purposes.
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Well, I made a little comment. Then I went and clicked on the little trash-can symbol, and it said that it had deleted the comment for me. That's amazing.  While it makes it easy for me to rapidly go through and prune comment-spam and other noxious material, that's still startling.  It is also startling that the icon is there for anyone, but I assume that it really requires me to be logged in.  I wonder if it will let anderbill delete the comment he left earlier today.
Well, I understand a little more about the trash-can icons. I looked at the source of my web page, and noticed that each comment is followed by a link to a delete function on www.blogger.com, and it is tied to my blog ID.  Along with that comes a button from a www.blogger.com URL that also includes my blog ID.  I suspect that is enough to control the visibility and the ability to activate the delete function.  That also explains why I have never seen them when working from my Windows XP Pro machine, where I have very high firewall privacy settings by default, and there is nothing that I place on my web pages that would require anyone to lower their privacy fences.  (I now understand the Firewall telling me that it was suppressing cookies when I was accessing a page I thought to be my own.)
The trash cans are back.  They weren't there when I looked and posted the previous comment.  And as soon as I refreshed the page to see the new comment (the postal service confirmed-deposit procedure in new clothes) I also see trash-can buttons beneath all of the comments, with links to a www.blogger.com URL that names the blogger and the comment's permalink.  Making the comment as me was apparently enough to have the right cookie set up to offer the deletions when the page fetches the button.

I am pretty sure that my firewall on Compagno prevents this from working, and I will confirm that when I finish seeing how a Klez.h actually made it onto my hard drive and wasn't caught at any of the usual entry points.
I'm over on Compagno (the klez.h story will take a whole different accounting and I won't do it here), and of course, I had to log in to Blogger there to get "Post a Comment On:" for continuing these comments.

When I navigate the Orcmid's Lair blog pages, My firewall keeps raising these little pop-ups about how Privacy has inhibited Cookies and, occassionally, Private Header information.  I forgot that Blogger is generating those pages, even though it uses my carefully-crafted template, and we now also have a case of "Whose Computer Is It?"

I can post this comment, because www.blogger.com has various permissions in my firewall, but I don't think I'll see the trashcan icon afterwards.  Let's see.
Yep, that's it.  The delete function and other things depend on cookies and maybe private headers.  Of course the "remember me" as a commentor fails on Compagno, apparently because of my privacy settings.  I could do a more thorough forensic job, but I have everything I need to know already.
YES! YES! YES! Been trying to delete a comment for 2 days, but no trashcans. After reading your blog it occurred to me that Norton Internet Security might be blocking my icons/cookies. SURE ENOUGH! Just disabled Norton and there they were! Thanks!
I found a way to delete comments even though the little trashcan icon doesn't show up on my own pages (because they involve 3rd party cookies and I've blocked those).

If I select the "Post a comment" option, I am taken to the blogger.com site and I am recognized. Since all previous comments are showen down the left column of the left form, I can scroll down and delete the spam/offensive comment as owner of the blog.

An awesome multi-link spam comment was just posted here and I deleted it with extreme prejudice.
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