I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

New blog feature: post "labels" (categories)

I finally switched over to the new blogger.com version when I could no longer log onto the old version. I delayed switching over because (1) I was afraid of new username and password hassles and (2) I was informed that I could not switch back to the old version if I didn't like the new version.

One of the new features of the new blogger.com version is the post "labels" (categories), a common feature on other blog services. This new feature has great potential but has some serious flaws which I hope blogger.com will correct in the future. I have labeled most of the posts on this blog -- quite a task because there are about 300 of them. Below is a list of the labels that I have created so far, with the numbers of posts bearing each label:


Attorney fee awards (12)
Darwin-to-Hitler (13)
Ed Brayton (1 of 2) (13)
Ed Brayton (2 of 2) (13)
Establishment clause (8)
Evolution controversy (1 of 4) (14)
Evolution controversy (2 of 4) (14)
Evolution controversy (3 of 4) (14)
Evolution controversy (4 of 4) (15)
Evolution controversy abroad (15)
Grand Canyon's age (3)
Holocaust revisionism (1 of 2) (11)
Holocaust revisionism (2 of 2) (11)
Intelligent design (5)
Internet censorship (6)
Judge Jones (1 of 2) (19)
Judge Jones (2 of 2) (18)
Judicial independence (8)
Kansas controversy (13)
Kitzmiller v. Dover (1 of 2) (13)
Kitzmiller v. Dover (2 of 2) (13)
Monkey Girl (8)
Non-ID criticisms of evolution (5)
Ohio controversy (7)
PZ Myers (7)
Selman v. Cobb County (12)
Voter initiatives (5)

The reason for the (1 of 4), (2 of 4), etc. stuff is that I found that blogger.com will show a maximum of only 20 posts when a label is selected (please don't ask me why). BTW, I selected 15 as the number of posts shown on the main (home) page -- a really large number here would significantly slow down loading speed for those with dial-up connections. There is virtually no limit to the number of posts allowed on the monthly archive pages -- I have been averaging about 30 posts per month.

Most of the posts have only one label, which I considered to be the primary subject. So, for example, if you are looking for posts pertaining specifically to Judge Jones, you should list both the "Judge Jones" and "Kitzmiller v. Dover" categories, and if you are looking for all posts related to the Holocaust, you should list both the "Holocaust revisionism" and "Darwin-to-Hitler" categories.

I would like to post the above label list as a selectable list in the left sidebar of the main (home) page, but to do that would require switching from the "template" program to the "layout" program, but I find that when I do that I lose the Sitemeter feature, which I cannot install in the layout program because the coding is completely different than in the template program (I use a hidden dummy blog for experimentation so that I do not disrupt this blog). Also, the link list format in the layout program is bad -- there are no indentations or extra spacing to indicate the separations between the links (some of the links are two lines long). So I decided to stay in the template program, with the unfortunate result that the above list of labels may be hard to use. One way of using the above label list is to enter an appropriate keyword in the blog search window in the blog's upper border (you must be scrolled to the very top to see this window) and then click on the label when posts with that keyword appear. Where effective search keywords are not obvious in the above label list, I suggest the following: Attorney fee awards -- S 3696; Evolution controversy abroad -- UK; and Non-ID criticisms of evolution -- Co-evolution. Unfortunately, the blog search feature is again not working well, with many extraneous posts appearing in response to a search request.

Also, on the old version, one could browse through all the post titles on the blog by clicking repeatedly on the last post title in the list in the left-hand sidebar, but that cannot be done in the "template" program in the new version. The only way to browse through all of the post titles now is to use the monthly archive feature, where browsing is slower because it is necessary to scroll through text material of the posts (though browsing through this text material might be desired in some cases). However, with the layout program of the new blogger.com version, all of the post titles can be browsed in the left-hand sidebar.

I am very disappointed that the new blogger.com version does not have the feature that I wanted most: a list of the most recent comments posted anywhere on the blog. A nice new feature is that the comment copies that blogger.com emails to me identify the posts under which the comments were placed, but that feature does not do the readers any good.

Also, some important features -- like post "folding" (where part of the post is initially hidden) and the link list coding -- were not pre-installed but required the insertion of special coding into the template program. Apparently a lot of blogger.com bloggers are not even aware of the availability of the post-folding feature or do not want to go through the hassle of installing the coding (on blogger.com, this folding feature has the odd and inappropriate title "expandable post summaries" -- the visible text is often not a summary at all). With the same effort or even less effort, blogger.com could have done things right (if the post folding feature had been pre-installed, blogger.com would not have had to write instructions on how to install it). However, despite all these problems, this blog service, blogger.com, is free and so I should not look a gift horse in the mouth.

It is really nice having my own blog. One of the advantages is that when commenting elsewhere I can post links to this blog -- that greatly cuts down on the amount of new writing that I have to do.

BTW, my copy of "Monkey Girl" has arrived and I intend to make some comments about the book later.


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