Sunday, February 11, 2007

Posting - FTP & Blogger: What a mess!

I suspect the mess is FTP, more than Blogger. But I have been looking at the "advanced" settings where one can establish the use of FTP to publish a blog. This theoretically makes it possible to publish directly to your own website. In my case that is

I already have a "handmade" website there, and I publish to that using WebDAV, which lets me drag and drop files, once logged in, from my computer to the computer (web server) my web hosting provider is hosting my website on. WebDav is available in Windows systems (as "webfolders" up to Win 98). In Windows XP it is found under "Add Network Place" which "Connects to shared folders, Web folders, and FTP sites". By entering the www location and my Hosting provider password, I can drag and drop files, or copy and paste them if you will, and add and delete folders, just as on my local machine.

FTP is arcane, incomprehensible, and unuseable, IMHO, compared to WebDAV. It is also much less secure, according to people who should know and who developed it as a tool to simplify and make more secure the posting of files to web sites.

So why, O' Why, is FTP used at all? I don't get it. And I don't know how to use it.

And it's probably a good thing I don't, because I'd likely screw something up if I did. Like FTP this blog entry to my Web Hosting Provider's hosting server, where it would overwrite my existing weblog. They do have the same file name, according to the FTP "Help" (as in May God Help Us!) file describing FTP procedures. At least that file warns that the file will be overwritten.

According to the Blogger "Settings" information for this blog it is being published by FTP. (It has not been published successfully, however.) True, I have tried. I've entered the settings menu and have guessed some settings parameters for FTP publishing to my WHP's server. Those parameters must be incorrect - nothing has ever posted.

There was the matter of the FTP "path" that I was asked to enter. What happened to browsing a folder tree? In this case that would be the folder tree on the Web Hosting Provider server servicing my website, as I do all the time in my "normal" website activities.

Who keeps track of "path" anymore, anyway? PATH! That is DOS stuff for crying out loud. DOS... as in 1986, pre Windows 3.1. Why are people putting up with this BS? And why do services like Blogger insist on using an ancient, arcane, inefficient, and insecure technology like FTP?

Anyway, I used XP's Web folders to establish a new, separate folder for this Blogger blog: Then I went to Blogger settings, publishing, and specified /blogger/ as the FTP path (but see below); blog.html as the Blog filename; as the blog URL, and as the FTP server. (I think that my Hosting provider requires that format.)

I assume that my password for FTP purposes is the same one I use for web folders.

~But what about the "FTP username"... I don't know of one, at least not one which is actually a "username" as such. And I have not been able to make that one work for the Blogger/FTP interface.

So what else can I use for "FTP usnername"? I have to check my "Control Panel" at my web hosting provider's site where I find that they do indeed have a required format for username that includes my domain name. Let's try that!

~What do you mean, "login incorrect"? The publish post routine did not even ask me for login information this time. It apparently "saves" and reuses whatever username and password that was used previously - so if those were mistaken, we must back up and restart.

And what is this "#*c.web.log.??!!!~.//\\btsflk" path not found stuff, anyway?

~OK, Once again back to the Web Hosting Provider's (arcane in the extreme) instructions for its ''File Manager" and FTP. This stuff is ridiculous. I am glad I never touched it before, and have been running my website for 5 years or so without ever having seen it.

Anyway, it says there that my files are not where I thought they were, or where I see them when I log onto my website through My Network Places/web folders/

Instead they are in a folder which they have named. To use their "File Manager" or FTP that file name must be included in the "Path" to the blogger folder, so now that "FTP path" that the Blogger software needs to transfer the blog file to the web site must be named /"foldername"/blogger/

~I save that change to my Settings > Publishing. It returns "success" and offers an opportunity to republish this entire blog - which, so far as I know, has never before been published except within the recesses of the Blogger machine.

~That works too. So now my Blogger blog is published on my website. But not this posting, which has been held in draft format, and will be posted now.

By the way, it is Wednesday AM, February 14, not Sunday the 11th, which is what this posting will say. Sunday is the day I saved the first version of this post as a draft - Blogger doesn not seem to update that date or offer a way for me to do that....

Good night. And Good Luck!


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