Friday, March 6, 2009

A personal limitation: Just try it

My previous post described frustration with the posting process and all the bits of knowledge one needs to accumulate to make it work.  That knowledge is often not laid out clearly and concisely nor in one location.

However, the frustration this causes also reflects what is perhaps a personal limitation.  I tend to be very cautious, and afraid of "breaking" something or exposing a security risk.  There are times when this has served me well, but at other times it does seem largely to get in the way.

In terms of blog posts, well, there is an "Add image" toolbar button here in Scribefire (once you hover over it and happen to catch its tooltip).  Instead of pissing and moaning further, I could simply try it and see what happens.  It's not as if I need reference top secret material.

Well, trying this and selecting the option to upload a file from my computer, I find that Scribefire gets a 404 response when trying to use the blog's (Blogspot) API, and hangs indefinitely when trying to use the other choice:  FTP.  In lieu of solving these problems, I'm left with one other ready option, which is to repeat the whole "Picasa Web" experience for this Google account, emailing myself the photo, and then trying the "link to image on the web" option that is also available in Scribefire.

Well, that appears to have worked. However, the Scribefire "rich text" authoring form gives no hint of the image's presence. Preview shows only a faint "broken image" icon which appears to be at the end of the post -- but, as I inserted the image at the end of the draft, this may reflect the final/actual location within the post.

It's only by viewing the HTML authoring form within Scribefire that I can confirm that the img tag is present.

Why do basic tasks like this continue to be so difficult and/or opaque?

I suppose I should try the free Microsoft post editor that has been receiving such favorable comments.  But I just can't bring myself to trust MS particularly with regard to long term availability of / accessibility to the product.  And it's yet more semi-arbitrary interface to learn.

Addendum:  Looking further, it appears that perhaps the "Link to this Photo" address provided by Picasa Web is a link to the photo's "page", rather than to the photo itself.  By looking at the URL's provided within the proferred "Embed image" HTML, I find a URL that appears to directly address the photo.  Trying that URL in the Scribefire "Add an Image" functionality yields the following:

Ah, that actually displays, including in the "rich text" authoring form.

So, "just trying it".  And keep trying, until you find something that works.

Never mind the frustration.  ;-)

(And just don't try to do it at the last minute, when you don't have time to figure things out for yourself.)

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