Friday, April 17, 2009

A Change To How Blogger Parses Comments

You may or may not know this, but you can do limited HTML markup in comments on blogs that run on the Blogger software (* websites).

I will occasionally use <i> </i> tags (you can use lower-case or upper-case i's, it doesn't matter) to italicize text in a comment. I like to do this to another person's text that I am responding to, so it's clear the text wasn't written by me.

What I type:
<i>Hey, how's it going, Splotchy?</i>

Fine, thanks for asking!

The text above gets displayed in the comment as:
Hey, how's it going, Splotchy?

Fine, thanks for asking!

Well, I noticed when I tried to italicize some text in a comment earlier this week that things are a little different. When I previewed the comment it looked fine, but when I actually published the thing there were no line breaks.

Instead, the comment appeared like this:
Hey, how's it going, Splotchy?Fine, thanks for asking!

Icky, eh?

Previously, Blogger was converting my line breaks into HTML line breaks, which are represented by the <BR/> tag. Now, it appears that they have modified their software. If Blogger now sees an HTML tag included in a comment, it no longer converts line breaks to the <BR/> tags recognized by browsers.

A little sidenote for those who want to know. A line break in an HTML source file does not equal a line break in a browser. Blogger does the heavy lifting of converting the line breaks that you make in your blog posts to HTML line breaks (<BR/> -- case doesn't matter here -- it could just as well be <br/>).

So, you have the option of giving up your use of italics in comments, or you can be a little amateur HTML coder and add a <BR/> to force a line break yourself.

Here's an example how to do it:
What I type:
<i>Hey, how's it going, Splotchy?</i>
Fine, thanks for asking!

Which will display in a comment as:
Hey, how's it going, Splotchy?

Fine, thanks for asking!

Anyways, I'm a geek. Happy commenting! Feel free to give this a try on this post, you nice people, you.

Try it with and without the <BR/> tags if'n you don't believe me.


Jennifer said...

No way. So that's what happened here. I'm not sure I would have made the connection between tag use & the sudden need to insert my own line breaks, so thanks for spelling it out. Also? I bet they fix it, cause that there? Is pretty obnoxious.

Liberality said...

Whoa, I like your teaching methods. Nice and spelled out for us nongeeks. Thanks!

Freida Bee, MD said...

I had not yet discovered that, so I am using "< em >< /em > a I usually do to italicize.

and then...

I'm testing the break thing.

Freida Bee, MD said...

It worked ok w/ em, rather than i for me there- putting the break in for me.

Is that what you were talking about?

Randal Graves said...

This is all too techno-wizardly. You should have included a diagram in crayon for us dumbasses.

Splotchy said...


This line uses emThis line uses i

Splotchy said...

Okay, this comment just uses em

Line 1Line 2Line 3

Splotchy said...

I don't know what you did Freida, both em and i collapse the lines if I don't explicitly put the HTML line breaks in them.

Distributorcap said...

can you come and give me a full lesson

Dr. Zaius said...

Try <BR> instead of </BR>.

Splotchy said...

I would consider </br> by itself as malformed HTML -- what I was doing was indicating an empty tag via <br/>.

Actually, I used to just put <br> to do line breaks in the HTML I edited way back in the 20th century, but since then I have worked with so much XML that I can't help bring its empty tag syntax back with me.

Thanks for pointing out the simpler way.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Splotchy, thanks a bunch. That was driving me nuts. I was using only one
and getting the words on the next line, which I did not like. You are my hero.

You are my hero.

Yes, you are.

Grandmère Mimi said...

And Dr. Zaius, you, too. Even simpler. Yay!

AB said...

And careful with the preview option. It seems to process comment formatting the old way, just to confuse us.

Jewish Atheist said...

this is so annoyingtesting em

again with emI'm done.