Blogger Frustrations and Limitations

I've been using Blogger over the last three days to host this site. The choice between WordPress (hosted) and Blogger (hosted) was a tough one. I picked Blogger due to three main reasons:
  1. Free CNAME custom URL mapping;
  2. Does not insert random ads in my posts that someone else benefits from;
  3. Editing is somewhat faster than WordPress 2.7.1.
However, Blogger is really starting to frustrate me now, especially the primitive visual editor:
  1. When inserting images, they always get placed at the top of the page, regardless of where the cursor is when I click the insert image icon - I have to manually switch to HTML mode and copy-paste the ugly code chunk to the correct location.
  2. When inserting images, regadless of what size I pick, the image always gets inserted as it's original size - I have to manually edit the HTML code to change the thumbnail size.
  3. The image thumbnails are resized in the browser, meaning the full image gets downloaded regardless of whether the end-user has any interest in seeing it in its entirity.
  4. No options for nested bullet or numbered lists in the visual editor - have to switch to HTML mode and hack away at the ugly code.
  5. No support for tables in the visual editor - have to do this through HTML coding.
  6. Pasting text from Google Sites, WordPress or other online sources causes serious issues in the visual editor - the font always goes to 48pt for some reason, although publishing the post appears correctly. Selecting the text and changing properties in the visual editor has no effect.
I'll also mention that I'm using Google Chrome and haven't tested this in Firefox or Internet Explorer, but I doubt it'll make a difference. If the CNAME mapping was free, I'd switch back to WordPress in a second!

UPDATE: This is worse then I originally thought. The editor doesn't even escape HTML special characters so if you make the mistake of pasting some code in one of your posts and clicking save, you'll be presented with a nice error message saying certain tags are not allowed. Or worse, you'll get no error at all and your post will be saved with random live HTML tags that will break your site in unexpected ways. 

The only work-around for this at the moment is to manually escape any special characters yourself, or use another editor to compose your messages and then copy-paste into the HTML mode in Blogger. Even then you risk Blogger trying to parse your HTML and doing its own reformatting screwing things up even more. This little flex app was specifically made as a quick hack for escaping Blogger text.

Google, get your act together and give us a decent editor! Buy TinyMCE if you have to, or get some decent coders to do a decent job of upgrading what we have now! I mean seriously... it's 2009.


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