International relations

International relations
: Blogger and its new parent, Google, need to fix something: Hoder, who started the blogging revolution in Iran, reports that the new Blogger doesn’t support unicode (which, I now learn, is a means of displaying no end of languages in browsers) and that means that the many Persian bloggers now using Blogspot can’t. And that would silence most of them, for they are taking advantage of Blogspot because it is both free and anonymous. Hoder also reports that commenters in his Persian blog are paranoid about this, fearing that Blogger is trying to get rid of them.

: UPDATE: Good news from Blogger boss Ev in the comments:

We do support unicode. The new version is still in beta, so perhaps there’s a bug with it, which we’ll look into. But internationalization and character set support is much improved.

Pass the word.

  • They are screwed. As anyone who uses Blogger knows, Blogger deosn’t fix anything. They went to a great deal of trouble to switch to Dano, and they aren’t going to go back simply so a bunch of Iranians can fight for democracy.

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    Jeff, I just dropped an e-mail to Jason Shellen bringing this oversight to his attention. I told him the programmers seem to have forgotten to include Unicode which is practically a necessity these days. It’s not just Persian that’s involved, it’s also many other languages including Hebrew and Arabic. Maybe they just forgot. Anyway, I brought it to his attention.

  • I just got an email newsletter from the Six Apart folks (those are the people who made Movable Type) about TypePad, their new hosting service for bloggers. It’s not going to be free at first though. (It’s also still not ready. But they have screen shots! Whoo hoo!) I don’t know if the special version of MT they are going to use will support Unicode, but I don’t see why it shouldn’t.
    I just made an offer to someone (not an Iranian blogger, though) to host their site so they can get off of Blowspot.* I might be able to host one more person — I don’t have unlimited server space, unfortunately… Maybe we can start a campaign.
    *Not a typo.

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    They’ll probably support Unicode; if they don’t, they may not get many Jewish bloggers which would make a very boring group to be in. Look at what happened to Vienna– it’s practically a museum today. Well, they got what they wanted– they purified Vienna and now it’s deader than a doornail. Boring!

  • Ev.

    We do support unicode. The new version is still in beta, so perhaps there’s a bug with it, which we’ll look into. But internationalization and character set support is much improved.

  • Mitra

    Blogger is full of bugs… let’s say full of Dinassors! It’s unbelievable how many times I got pages full of Java error messages (mostly after submitting a form). I wonder why they release a product with so many problems in it. I know it’s free and it’s unfair to complain, but this will convince me (and many other bloggers) to migrate to another blogopolis.
    Anyone has any idea about a good blogging service (where basic services are free?)

  • Hmmm. It’s free, it’s like socialized medicine. And you are bitching about it because it’s slow it’s unacceptable or something. Would someone please forward this to the Democrats so they know what to expect when they get their plan in place?

  • And I forgot the best part, those who can afford better will migrate to a better server, leaving those who can’t afford any better to receive second class service. Yup, just like socialized medicine.

  • Dave,
    It is better than socialized medicine. At least your tax money did not go for this poor quality of service.
    But like socialized medicine, a minority will move to a paid service and leave the stranded majority behind ;)

  • Dave,
    D’oh. You were about to put another comment while I was doing the same. It is funny we thought about the same thing.

  • Liberation through web standards!!

  • well, u know, i like blogger, even more than persian blog, cuz there is no limitation in it. in most sites they give u for ex 300 mg a month or so but in blogger i can write 300mg a day :P abd that is so coo0o0o0o0ol:P so i think i can excuse blogger 4 this unicode trouble thingy ;)

  • I’ll start taking Blogger seriously just as soon as they have an archive that actually works. Reading the annoucments of the buyout by Google, I found lots of stuff about faster servers and new features, but nothing like this:
    “Evan Williams, boy genius and founder of Blogger, said: ‘now we can finally fix the horrendous bugs around arhives and linking to individual posts that have made our software the laughing stock of the blog world. Hot shit!'”
    …but I didn’t.