Monday, 2 March 2009
Over the nearly three years that I have been doing this blog on the UCL site quite a few people have complained to me about two points:
* that they cannot leave comments on the blog (the only thing they can do is to email me, with a comment that I might or might not pass on); and
* that the RSS feed either doesn’t work or isn’t very good.
These are consequences of the fact that the UCL departmental server doesn’t offer these facilities.
So for all this week I shall be mirroring the blog here, on Google’s dedicated blog server. You can find us not only on the UCL site but also here, and on this site you can, if you wish,
* leave comments (provided you register first, with a nickname if you prefer anonymity), and
* enrol as a “follower”, which means you will have a page on which you will be alerted each time there is a new posting on my blog or on others that you follow, with the title and first few lines of each posting.
For me the blogspot site will also have the advantage of automatic archiving rather than the hand-coded archiving that I have been doing till now.
There are several things we need to check with the new site. You can help by telling me whether they work for you.
* Most importantly, IPA symbols. I am not sure how blogspot handles fonts for Unicode characters not included in the basic font, which is Verdana. Perhaps it depends on the browser or the fonts installed in the system. The IPA symbols come out satisfactorily on my screen. Do they on yours? I have also (on my other blog, which has always been on blogspot) used Cyrillic, Hebrew, Japanese katakana and Korean hangŭl, all of which come out OK. I haven't yet tried polytonic Greek or Chinese.
* There are several details of layout I haven’t yet tested on the new site. In particular, I am not sure how it will cope with tables (which also allow one to have more than one column of text, for example).
* The blogspot editor makes it easy to embed links, images, and videos. I must see how it copes with sound files. I haven’t yet found whether it is possible to link to an image, and if so how to do so, other than messing around with the HTML by hand.
If everything turns out to work satisfactorily on this blogspot site, I may transfer to it entirely in a week or two. If it proves unsatisfactory, I won’t. If I do, I’ll put a redirect on the old url, of course.