Thursday 20 March 2014

Move Day -1


Picasa/Blogger is not working and that's my excuse for not posting...

I use google's awesome photo organiser, Picasa. It's free, it's easy to use to store/organise/edit/print/email/blog/etc.
There are plenty of other similar things out there, but Picasa is generally so good that I can't be bothered to check out the others.

Often, when I start a blog post, i pick up the images I need in Picasa, hit the 'Blog This' button at the bottom, and post them to a draft in Blogger's editing console, then I do the text within blogger. It's quick and simple and I'm used to it.
Recently, that's not been working, hitting 'Blog This' just gets me an error code. The nub of that error is:

rss: Required field must not be blank

Simple enough? No. Because there's no rss field that you can fill in. So of course, I do what  picasa asks, delete cache and cookies, sweep out all the accumulated crap from my browser, and the problem's still there. I look up Picasa Help, no help. Forums, no help. This is Google, so there's no easy way to report a problem or contact support people. Then, after an age of googling, I find this

Picasa Resources:‎ > ‎Picasa FAQ‎ > ‎Picasa‎ > ‎Troubleshooting‎ > ‎

How to Fix Blog This Function

Note: The Blog function in Picasa can only be fixed by an Update to Picasa. Until Picasa is updated, this page suggests one Workaround:

The Blog This Button and the Create menu -> Publish To Blogger... function both use the Picasa button function to call transport service to the Blogger.
The underlying transport to the services was changed from http to https and the URL in Picasa was hardcoded as http in the custom button files.
This will be fixed in the next Patch release.
Helpful, ha?
No clue as to when. And why couldn't they say on the error page "It doesn't work because we broke the 'Blog This' button"?
Even better, seeing as in order to be uploading by Picasa to Blogger, users must have a google/gmail account, wouldn't it have been really handy if there was some magic way to contact users to tell them that a key part of the interface between two popular Google platforms had been deliberately disabled, and there was a reason it no longer worked?
I wonder if google has heard of email? Oh... Of course, it sends me crapmail already...

I was an early adopter of Google, back when it was a newcomer to the search-engine world.
I've loved some of the things google has done, but sometimes, just some times, I loathe it. This is one of them. 

This is what reminds me that when we put our trust in companies that host our content on the web, our content is hostage to their whim.

Update: I took some more time browsing for answers. "Update Picasa"?  So I go to the Picasa update checker "You already have the most recent version" Well of course I do, because I ticked the "enable auto-updates" option. But being a belt and braces sort of bloke, I decide to go to the Picasa download site and reinstall it.

Magic. It works. Why? I don't know. Do I take back my grumbling?


If a developers deliberately screws up a feature, then the users should be informed, not left to waste their time trying to mend the unmendable.