My apologies for a small problem on this blog yesterday. For several hours the layout of the blog was broken, although the material was all accessible I think.
This problem was reported to me by several readers. But when I first looked at it, when I was home briefly between two trips out, I thought it had fixed itself – but apparently it was only fixed in my open Firefox window. When I got back home late in the evening I discovered that the problem was still there. I tracked it down to a problem with the WordPress plugin W3 Total Cache, which (if any of you are interested in the technical details) was apparently trying to “minify” and cache my CSS but was redirecting users to a non-existent CSS file. Neither clearing all caches nor an upgrade to the latest version of W3 Total Cache fixed the problem. Disabling the “minify” feature did.
But my problems have been nothing compared to those of fellow bloggers who have stayed in the dark ages, which I left four years ago, and continue to blog with Blogger. Despite the best efforts of Google, its owner, Blogger still has serious problems. And it has now been out of service for something like twelve hours, and many posts which my dark age blogging friends had published have disappeared. The Blogger team is promising to restore them, but nothing has happened yet. One of those blogging friends, Philip Ritchie, has referred in a tweet to
The great Blogger crisis of 2011.
Last time there was a major glitch with Blogger, for about 25 minutes on 17th March, the team admitted that
The problem was caused by human error. … we will try harder to make Blogger a more reliable service.
Well, Google certainly need to do better with Blogger if they expect the public to have any confidence in their recently announced Chrome laptops, which will depend completely for their operation on online services rather like Blogger.