Monday, April 1, 2013

Forever Frankenweenie

I've seen a new movie since Frankenweenie.

It was Neil Marshall's The Descent, which I started watching on Wednesday morning when I inexplicably awoke an hour earlier than I needed to. Since movie-watching time is rare and precious, I put that extra hour to good use, and finished watching on my lunch break.

I've also revisited a movie since This Is Spinal Tap. It was Quentin Dupieux's Rubber, which my wife and I liked so much when we first saw it, I decided to buy her the BluRay for her birthday in February. We watched it again on Friday night.

Neither of these viewings is reflected in my Most Recently Seen For the First Time or Most Recently Revisited sections on the right of my blog, however, because Blogger is broken.

I don't usually have to write too much -- or anything, really -- about the functioning of this free service that Blogger provides me, because usually that functioning is top notch. But since Wednesday, when I tried to update you on the fact that I saw The Descent, the gadget that stores that list has been busted.

See, everything that appears in the right column on the blog is called a gadget. A gadget is basically a blog part that has a certain function. You can have as many or as few as you want, but many of them are pretty core parts of the functionality of the blog, such as the display of my followers, the listing of recent posts, the quick bio of me and my extensive list of labels.

The Recently Seen lists (which were accompanied by a Recently Reviewed list when I was still regularly writing reviews) are just a gadget called a list, which can be anything you want it to be. I decided that these lists would be a good way to keep you up to date on the most basic level with my viewing habits, since I certainly don't discuss every movie I see in the form of a blog post.

I've been unable to since Wednesday, however, because when I try to delete Butter as the third most recent movie I've seen, move the others down to slots 2 and 3, and add The Descent at the top, I get the following error upon saving: "Please correct errors on form." In fact, I get this error if I try to do any one of those things, so it's nothing about the "complexity" of my transaction that's causing the error. In fact, even if you just open the gadget, do nothing, and then hit save, it still gives the error. Your only choice that does not produce an error is just hitting cancel and closing the gadget that way.

I didn't even notice the form had given me an error on that first day. In fact, I was at work, and I just hit save and shifted my attention to another open window on my computer. It was only the next day, looking at my blog, that I noticed Frankenweenie was still the most recent movie I'd seen. Surprised at the oversight, I then noticed the gadget window still open, hidden behind my other open documents, with the error. I repeated the action and got the error again.

A couple hours later, after another failed attempt, I finally googled it, and discovered that dozens of other people reported the same issue -- with no response from anyone at Google (which owns Blogger) about what was happening and when it would be fixed. Not to mention plenty of bloggers frustrated with Google's inactivity.

Since then I have tried it again about once a day with the same result.

I don't care all that much, really. Although it's a bit annoying, I don't sit here and say I have some right to a string of perfect, unbroken functionality on a service I don't even pay to use. Of course, Google gets its money from me in other ways, charting my activities and selling it to advertisers. Still, I think I've gotten a plenty good deal by writing this blog for over four years and never paying anyone a single dime.

I did want to let you know that no, I did not go blind, or no, my DVD player and internet are not broken, or no, I'm not suddenly too broke to go to the theater.

I did want to give you some sort of explanation about why Frankenweenie will forever more be my most recently seen movie ... either forever more, or until sometime this Tuesday, when someone at Google finally finds the small piece of screwed up code and fixes it.

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