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New Look For BBC Blogs

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Nick Reynolds Nick Reynolds | 12:27 UK time, Monday, 16 March 2009

It was Elvis who demanded "a little less conversation and a little more action".

Well, today I can tell you about some (modest) action.

As you will have noticed (Hymagumba got there first) the design of the Internet blog and some other BBC blogs has changed. This is a new look which we are rolling out across the whole of the BBC's blogs in the next few weeks.

Picture by Ania on Flickr.

It's not a revolution, more building on the success of the BBC's blogs to date, and moving them to the new visual language now in use across BBC Online, with a cleaner and simpler look and feel (let's face it some of our blogs including the Internet blog were starting to look a bit wild and scruffy).

When we user tested the designs last year people described the designs as "clutter free" and "easy to use". They also had a strong sense that these blogs were "from the BBC", one of the things we're trying to achieve.

Blogs which are no longer being updated will stay in the old look and eventually be mothballed.

Dave Lee said "it's like moving into a new house". We're fixing a few things as we go so if you see any glitches let us know.

Nick Reynolds is editor, BBC Internet blog


Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    will you be incorporating the auto RSS icon for IE7/IE8 like the old blogs did?

    Ie, the RSS icon changed orange when an RSS feed was available.

  • Comment number 2.

    Page doesn't get render right in Opera 9.63 - it's about a mile long with the footer half way down in a sea of white space.

    The comments are rendered tiny in Chrome

    Anywhere I can report more issues as they arise with different browsers (as it obviously hasn't been checked properly)?

  • Comment number 3.

    Comments look a bit strange here on Firefox. A case of too much whitespace maybe. There's a big gap above the first comment and the headings for each comment blends in rather too well.

  • Comment number 4.

    The design is certainly an improvement! I particularly like the 'More from this blog...' section at the footer of each page. It looks like the design needs a little tweeking as said above in terms of white space though (like between the flag link at the bottom of each comment and the line-rule) and particularly sectioning between posts/comments etc. IMO it would also be great to have a prominent link direct to the BBC Blog index on each blog - right now I'm URL-hacking to get there.

    Although this isn't directly related to the new blogs design, I notice the Text Only links across bbc.co.uk aren't working on most areas which are dynamically generated (blogs, /programmes, etc.). This seems to have been overlooked in conjunction with an aged Betsie so I just thought I'd point it out so someone was aware :)

  • Comment number 5.

    Cripes, our comments are very small. It makes us all seem much less important. Possibly not a bad thing.

    Love the banner with the BBC Micro owl in his/her proper glory.

  • Comment number 6.

    I should have said, I'm using Chrome and the comments are very, very small. And if you zoom in the text on the right and in the input box is very, very big!

  • Comment number 7.

    Using Firefox 3.0.7 here, and the page, and comments look terrific ... a big improvement. Just checked back here in IE7 and, again, no problems with design or formatting.

    WIll have a go with Opera and K-Meleon when I get home.

  • Comment number 8.

    Does this mean that new look blogs will all be "reactively moderated"?

    All except cbeebies, that is?


  • Comment number 9.

    It's a mile wide, but that's OK.

    It no longer renders blockquote indentations, and I'll miss that. Will it give us special characters again, like £ and accents?

    Test: bolditalicbold italic

  • Comment number 10.

    Still no pound sign, I see. Will this work?

    Well, it seems ampersand is totally banned, and thus the easy road to some characters, including "greater than", etc.

    "There has been a problem...

    Your comment contains some HTML that has been mistyped.

    Data at the root level is invalid on line 1"

    Oh well,.....
  • Comment number 11.

    FYI Using Firefox 3.0.7 ubuntu canonical 1.0

    Renders quite OK, but I'll miss indented quotations for interactive discussions. Any suggestions?

    I seem to be a "trusted" user here (and on PM blog), but long delays remain the norm elsewhere (e.g. Justin Webb's America)

    How many posts to become trusted, if ever?


  • Comment number 12.

    Any chance of adding the 'Blog Network' panel on this blog, as it appears to be missing. Apart from that the new layout is better.

  • Comment number 13.

    Hi Ed,

    I'm one of the people who's worked on this redesign from the start.

    This redesign purely affects the presentation, none of the underlying technology has changed. We know that the comment submission engine isn't as good as it should be, and more work will take place this year to improve it.

    In terms of moderation - different rules apply to different blogs. This blog is 'reactively moderated' so your posts, in most cases, go up instantly. Most of the blogs in News - like Justin Webb - are pre-moderated, so you have to wait for your comment to be read by a moderator before it appears. You should find a line telling you the status of each thread appears just above the comment form on each blog in question.

    Any other questions, put them here and I'll try to answer.

  • Comment number 14.

    Also - darrenj1 (comment 1) - yes, the absense of RSS autodiscovery is purely an oversight, and will be fixed in due course.

  • Comment number 15.

    The text-shadow trick for Safari (which used to make the text look sharper) doesn't work so well in the new version (4), it makes the text look smudgy. I suggest you change the:

    text-shadow:0 0 0 #000


    text-shadow:0 0 0 #FFF


  • Comment number 16.

    Hi Aaron,

    Thanks for the reply.

    "Any other questions, paste them here and I'll try to answer."

    1. Any idea how to get a block iindent for quotations?
    2. Any idea why ampersand is such a problem?
    3. Any idea when we might be treated to a British character set?
    4. If "none of the underlying technology has changed", why does ampersand work in other places for 'entities', and in others simply appears as typed without any problem?

    But, in general thanks for your efforts and those of your colleagues. Now I'll have to edit this tutorial, but I'll wait a bit.

  • Comment number 17.

    Ah, so that's who Elvis is. Thanks for the link.

    Talking of links. Where have they gone? There used to be links to other BBC blogs and even to the much-neglected and beeb-avoided bbc.co.uk messageboards.

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    £ &

  • Comment number 20.

    < (&#60;) > (&#62;) And & (&#38;) work but pound sign £ (&#163;) still fails.

    All seem to appear in preview and after comment appears, but disappear on refresh....

    Surely this can't be all that difficult to fix?


  • Comment number 21.

    (&lt;) (&gt;) (&pound;) Do they work?

    No: There has been a problem...

    Your comment contains some HTML that has been mistyped.

    Reference to undeclared entity 'pound' on line 1

  • Comment number 22.

    Did you test this in Chrome?

    I have had to switch back to IE8 for a useable interface.

  • Comment number 23.

    Well I think my little name check has replaced the time I met Frank Bruno as best showbiz moment :)

    Overall I think the new blogs look tidyer than the older ones, although the fact that the BBC in the banner doesn't line up with the BBC logo on this one is going to annoy me I'm sure.

    Out of interest, is there any reason for the removal of the links to other blogs section that used to be on the right hand size? I used to find them useful to jump around between here, The Editors and Radio Labs.

  • Comment number 24.

    A couple of people have asked for the links to other blogs section to come back. We are working on a suitable replacement now.

  • Comment number 25.

    To whom should we address requests that certain blogs be removed from the nursery of pre-moderation? Some of us are getting tired and frustrated with being in the same playpen as Cbeebies, and may just start throwing our toys...

    wee ed

  • Comment number 26.

    If you start throwing your toys around then you are more likely to stay in premoderation...

    That's not really a question for this post. But an interesting one.

  • Comment number 27.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 28.


    Thanks for the response. I know it didn't appear to be a question for this post, but if you check the phrasing, you'll see I was asking "To whom" such a request might be addressed...

    I would still love to learn a way to more clearly indicate quoted material. Blockquote was perfectly suited to the task, and is it simply a matter of including it in the list of accepted html? At presnt, it doesn't raise any objection or error, but seems to be simply ignored.

    Thanks for your efforts, and I appreciate the warning about throwing toys.

  • Comment number 29.

    @Ed Iglehart: Surely part of the problem is that the page is encoded in ISO-8859-1 but declares itself as UTF-8? At least that's what I'm guessing because when I manually change the encoding to ISO-8859-1, the pound sign shows up properly instead of a box with a question mark in it.

    @Michael-Walsh, Briantist and Bill-Taylor: Chrome 1.0 isn't actually officially supported by the BBC yet (although I'm guessing that's just because the Browser Support Standards haven't been updated since September):


  • Comment number 30.

    Andrew (29),

    "Surely part of the problem is that the page is encoded in ISO-8859-1 but declares itself as UTF-8?"

    Indeed, but why the mixup? Is it because it's American software (half)modified for European use? It should be one thing or the other.

    Anyway, I'll try a Euro symbol (&#8364;) €

  • Comment number 31.

    There seems to be an idiosyncratic habit (maybe only in firefox?) that a useless <br /> linefeed gets inserted when clicking on some links. The link then returns (naturally) an error 404. This can be overcome (if one knows aabout it) by deleting the <br /> from the url in the address bar.

    I haven't discerned any pattern in why or what sort of links are affected in this way. It's frequent, but still a minority.

    Any ideas from the techie team?


  • Comment number 32.

    I'm using Mac's Safari 4 (beta) on a Mac and the typeface appears twice as large as previously. However, the comments box shows much smaller than the rest. Fortunately one can reduce or increase the size to make it easier to read, but the new format does not appear to be an improvement over the old. There's an American saying which is applicable - "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

  • Comment number 33.

    David, Maybe you should move to firefox. Apart from the character problems which seem to be browser-unspecific, everything is OK, and the comment box is almost full width...I do miss the blockquote....whimper, whimper...


  • Comment number 34.

    #33 Ed: Seconded! Firefox is the way ahead - you can even undo accidentally closed tabs :oD

  • Comment number 35.

    Hi Loon!

    How about this reactive moderation, eh?

  • Comment number 36.

    Aye, it's no bad Ed. I can just imagine the pounding the Blether with Brian keyboards would be taking if it ever makes it that far north...

  • Comment number 37.

    ...aye_write would need to start wearing thimbles to protect her fingers ;o)

  • Comment number 38.

    I'm only posting so this doesn't look like an Ed monologue. And to see a comment appear within a few hours.

  • Comment number 39.

    Blimey. A blog that has contributors from around the world, on different timezones, could be significantly improved with this reactive moderation. Oh to be a grown up. Even soccer fans get a better service than us Justin Webb followers.

  • Comment number 40.

    Checking for the profanity filter:

    Yup! It stopped the onomatopoeic word for a puff of smoke which has also sometimes been used as a derogatory(?) term for persons of non-standard gender orientation....

    Message: Your comment was failed by the profanity filter.

    So it appears there is some protection in place.

  • Comment number 41.

    #40,ed, don't let the pope know.

  • Comment number 42.

    #40 That's a can of worms you're opening Ed! I wonder what other naughty words the profanity filter will exclude...

  • Comment number 43.

    What happened to #41?! Given the 1,2,3,4,6,5,7 on Blether with Brian my faith in maths is shaken :o(

  • Comment number 44.

    Aha, #41 has now appeared! A few gremlins still lurking behind the new blog methinks...

  • Comment number 45.

    I don't really want to test all the "naughty" words I know, in case it might stir the blogbot to do me permanent injury....

    I suspect some of the colloquial words for various body parts and excreta and the act of human copulation will be included, possibly including the participles as well, but the magic word ----! as if by magic! Really!


  • Comment number 46.

    Okay, now I want to see what happens when I post here.

  • Comment number 47.


    Not a lot. It just appears

  • Comment number 48.

    #9 Ed Iglehart & #13 Aaron Scullion (BBC)
    Thanks for being the pathfinder, Ed, and thanks for responding Aaron.
    There are two completely separate issues here.
    1. On moderation, it seems odd that posters on political blogs are less "trustworthy" than those on, say, 606 or the Archers. Of course, we sometimes get postings removed for overdoing quotes on copyrighted material - for which even the House Rules acknowledge "[t]here is no hard and fast definition" - and just occasionally ire rises to the point where name calling goes a little OTT, but only a tiny percentage use language of which Bowdler would not have been proud. If it is to continue, the Types of moderation entry on Checking and Removal of Messages should be modified in respect of Pre-moderation to say: All of the BBC's children's and politics message boards are supervised in this way.
    2. On what HTML coding is supported, it has now been nearly a year since the New ways into blogs thread introduced us to the current Movable Type software used for blog parsing, but as Ed's #30 reminds us, it's "American software (half)modified for European use". The English language cannot be used properly without occasional recourse to accented characters - the first e in fiance and fincee, for example - and the "special" characters for the GBP and EUR currencies are a pain to do without. But for starters, what's essential is a statement of what HTML is actually supported - something I have been trying to establish by trial and error for some time on the New ways into blogs thread - see my #84 and #75.
    This is the type of thing a BBC techie could do comfortably in a working day on a test area and publish an idiot's guide.
    Post or reactive moderation for all except CBeebies, please!

  • Comment number 49.

    #37 forfar-loon

    #40 Ed Iglehart
    I had a previous post removed for using the ancient & modern spelling for King Canute, viz: Cnut - checking profanity filter.

    PS: The preview feature is good but gives extra lines vs the actual parser - hence the poor formatting in my #48!

    Post or reactive moderation for all except CBeebies, please!

  • Comment number 50.

    The link to the comments should be below each post, i don't read the comments until after i have read the article.

  • Comment number 51.

    A relatively minor glitch in the new system is that our user profiles no longer link directly to our published comments, but merely to the thread on which they appeared. The links simply end with #P which was clearly intended to be followed by the post ID.. #P77359345 in the case of my previous comment on this thread, for example.

    If a specific comment on someone else's profile is of interest, it makes it a little more difficult to locate and review in context.

    A minor bug, I suspect, which a techie could easily correct.

  • Comment number 52.

    On the Find and talk to the BBC's bloggers page:

    - the list of blogs in the dropdown box for the 'Name of Blog' is incomplete;

    - if making a comment via that page, it is not clear who the comment is being sent to.


    P.S. Thanks for the preview mode (at last!), but the extra linefeed bug (#49) is annoying.

  • Comment number 53.

    Thanks Russ. Improving this is on our radar.

  • Comment number 54.

    In the listing of one's blogging locations, for example mine is here, is it possible for the entries to show:

    - last contribution;
    - number of 'latest posts';
    - time of latest post.

    This would I feel be a more efficient place for showing where blog comments have been updated, and preferable to an RSS feed. If this could be done, it would benefit users who could easily see and swap between their blog posting places their messageboard posting places.


  • Comment number 55.

    Sorry - that last phrase should have been "...who could easily see and swap between their blog posting places and their messageboard posting places."


  • Comment number 56.

    Reference the useful tutorial in #16, I found the blockquote function did not work here.


  • Comment number 57.

    Nick - looking at your blog user profile, the 'Older' function works, i.e. it displays your older entries. On my blog user profile, the 'Older' function does not display my older entries. I assume this is a bug?


  • Comment number 58.

    Aye Russ (56),

    It seems to have dropped through some hole....neither do the methods of rendering < and > and &#38 work any longer...See comment #20

    Blockquote still works on the blogs which haven't been converted to the 'new look', and I do hope our hard working techies will find a way to reinstate it and the entity codes (&amp; for & and &lt; for < and &gt; for >)

    Meanwhile, a word to those using firefox, the text size can be changed under "view", and firefox will remember your preference when you return...

    Here's hoping for further improvements and a general amnesty in terms of pre-moderation...


  • Comment number 59.

    Test: & < >

    These work in preview, and display as:
    & < >

    Will they display when posted?

    "I wonder
    if blockquote
    is also fixed"

    probably not
  • Comment number 60.

    Does &pound; work now?
    [deleted ...]
    Does &#163; work now?

    If so, thanks to the techies!
    There has been a problem...

    Your comment contains some HTML that has been mistyped.

    Reference to undeclared entity 'pound' on line 2

  • Comment number 61.

    I see you still haven't fixed the problem with characters above chr(127) like the £ sign and the ¥ or
    accents such as á é í ó ú. ½ the time we end up looking at black diamonds with question marks unless we change text encoding on the browser. Its annoying². ¿How can the some talk about £xxxxxx pounds wasted on Namby pamby politically correct nanny state schemes and others criticise right wing thing tanks for suggesting that some townsthat they say have lost their Raison D'étre should be abandoned if we don't have access to these Characters? Its something to do with having a UTF-8 website with a normal ascii comments box I believe. Will this work?

  • Comment number 62.

    Wilkinson (61),

    How did you do that? By changing the browser code to before commenting?
    Test: £££ £££ €€€

  • Comment number 63.

    #61 dhwilkinson

    As Ed's #62 says, how did you do that? The page does show UTF-8 coding, which turns your lovely symbols back to gibberish if you manually change the page encoding to ISO. The page source is UTF-8, so the $64000 is how to put those characters into the "dnacomment" <textarea> where we enter our comments.

    It would certainly be nice to be able to refer to Zürich rather than Zuerich and Málaga rather than Malaga, not to mention referring to my son's fiancée. Better still to use £££s and €€€s instead of GBPs and EURs.

    Eureka - the preview shows that now we can! If the actual post stays this way, well done BBC techies!

    Post or reactive moderation for all except CBeebies, please!

  • Comment number 64.


    It really is weird, except for dhwilkinson's #61, which managed it, the display of characters above ASCII 127 seems only to have been corrected on the preview handler and in the initial view of the page [due to the reactive moderation], but not when the page is re-painted or the comment goes through pre-moderation.

    Could you please mention to the techies that having £££s [=GBPs] and €€€s [=EURs] available is pretty handy everywhere and even more important on the politics and economics threads.

    See my #407 for a copy of some text here, which showed perfectly in the "Preview" and still does in my User Profile.

    A little tweaking of the header HTML still needed, I think, in the area of the extraction of text by the renderer.

    Post or reactive moderation for all except CBeebies, please!

  • Comment number 65.

    #61 dhwilkinson

    You've obviously hit on a method that works, which could be copied by us all even if the BBC techies don't a round tuit.

    One of your tests on the old New ways into blogs thread also still works without needing recourse to manual page encoding by the viewer, which clearly cannot be relied upon.

    I've tried to follow your instructions before but failed miserably. Could you please post an idiot's guide for this old idiot?

    Post or reactive moderation for all except CBeebies, please!

  • Comment number 66.

    Test: ££££ €€€€€

  • Comment number 67.


  • Comment number 68.

    Test again (encoding set to ISO8859-1)

  • Comment number 69.

    Testing again encoding set to ISO 8859-1; copied from charmap latin-1 supplement)

  • Comment number 70.

  • Comment number 71.

    Ed Igleheart - will you please stop doing whatever it is you are doing as it is disrupting the blog comments. It's off topic anyway.

  • Comment number 72.

    #71 NickReynolds

    Whatever Ed, dhwilkinson and I are doing, it's not "off topic anyway" as you put it, but trying to establish how us proles can post on the political threads we usually infest concerning things as mundane as the currency [GBPs = £££s] used throughout the UK, the other currency [EURs = €€€s] used in the rest of the British Isles and by many of our EU confederates and the accented characters [or more accurately: diacritics] needed to form words in the English language to which the House Rules limit most of the threads where we post, not to mention their need when referring to foreign visitors to our shores.

    When the BBC ignores this topic on these and similar threads, as well as emails broaching it, what mechanism do you suggest we try to get our points across?

    Post or reactive moderation for all except CBeebies, please!

  • Comment number 73.

    Brownedov (72),

    Seconded! Sound as a £

  • Comment number 74.

    This is HILARIOUS!!!! :-D

    Ed! Have your squirrels sanctioned this 'direct action'?

    I think profanity was exactly what was called for (Ed #40)...

    "Message: Your comment was failed by the profanity filter."

    When we have to wait for up to 4 hours for comments to appear, it just makes the BBC look bad, not better as I'm sure pre-moderation is supposed to ensure (!).

    If you are going to post-moderate, do it faster.

    Ed's action is just deserts I feel as #13 Aaron Scullion (BBC) was being so overtly partonising....

    "In terms of moderation - different rules apply to different blogs. This blog is 'reactively moderated' so your posts, in most cases, go up instantly. Most of the blogs in News - like Justin Webb - are pre-moderated, so you have to wait for your comment to be read by a moderator before it appears. You should find a line telling you the status of each thread appears just above the comment form on each blog in question."

    #37 forfar-loon

    "...aye_write would need to start wearing thimbles to protect her fingers ;o)"

    Then I could really make sparks fly!
    (Watch out, aye_write might be coming to Brigadoon...... ;-)

  • Comment number 75.


    "Aaron Scullion (BBC) was being so overtly partonising...."

    Don't be hard on Parton. It's a fine wee wide spot in the road.

  • Comment number 76.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 77.

    I'm afraid gentlemen that Ed's comments were off topic.

    1. The blog post is not about moderation on BBC blogs, its about the new look and feel for blogs.

    2. What Ed appeared to be doing was testing what characters would work in comments. By repeatedly testing this he (hopefully inadvertently rather than maliciously) caused the comments on this blog to fail. As a result I could not post a comment asking him to stop for a number of hours. This kind of behaviour disrupts the blogs for other users.

    The post is not about browsers either.

    Stay on topic and no more disruptive behaviour please.

  • Comment number 78.


    With respect, is it not a bit strange if a topic about a new look to a blog considers browsers off-topic?

    After all, the "new look" seems to put the comment box at the top for some folk, while I find it right here at the bottom. Is that not a function of browsers?

    And, if the way in which the 'new look' renders characters is also 'off topic' just exactly what is on topic? What do you want? Just a simple lobby division with two options:
    1. I like the new look
    2. I hate the new look

    I'm sorry if you consider my behaviour "disruptive". That isn't and has never been my intent. I am one of the BBC's greatest fans, coming as I do from a place without anything approaching its integrity (for all its faults).

    "By repeatedly testing this he (hopefully inadvertently rather than maliciously) caused the comments on this blog to fail. As a result I could not post a comment asking him to stop for a number of hours. This kind of behaviour disrupts the blogs for other users."

    Please be assured it was inadvertant, and I immediately attempted to apologise and call your attention to it.

    In good faith,
  • Comment number 79.

    I accept your apology Ed. The browser comment was aimed at someone else. But no more "testing" of our comments please.

  • Comment number 80.


    "I accept your apology Ed."

    And I yours. So, can we have #76 back again, please?

  • Comment number 81.

    Until comment 77, it was somewhat unclear on what is and what is not considered off-topic here. Personally, it seemed entirely legitimate to me, in the context of an announcement about a new blog style being deployed throughout the BBC, for users to explore and ask questions on a diverse range of issues: 'look and feel'; user interface; external linking functionalities and architectures; character set compatibilities; browser compatibilities. It is not clear whether such questions are being efficiently deployed here. If questions are not being answered, then I feel it would be useful to be told whether the questions have been logged for future resolution and explanation or where in the BBC such dialogues can be conducted in a more structured manner.


  • Comment number 82.

    No you can't have comment #76 back. It was clearly off topic as it wasn't about the blogs in different browsers.

  • Comment number 83.

    #77 NickReynolds

    I'm afraid gentlemen that Ed's comments were off topic.

    Nick, you do not show yourself in a good light.

    First, I am a woman, not a gentleman.

    Second, check out the authoritative and reprimanding tone of your...

    Stay on topic and no more disruptive behaviour please.

    You scold us like children.

    Now, I am assuming, giving you the benefit of the doubt, that you never intended your input to sound quite that bad. But if we are to take more care, then perhaps the one asking should take more care too.

    In my opinion the overall look of the blog now is more sleek and smarter - simple and effective and modern. So it succeeds in those areas.

    My gripes would be, purely re functionality.

    1. The larger size of comments space means it seems you see less comments at a time when scrolling, so it seems more disorientating. Is it the case that less comments can be on screen at one time than before? Perhaps I will get used to it.

    2. There seems to be a "satellite delay" between when I click or type and when the screen obeys, again making navigating a bit haphazard. Maybe this will sort.

    3. When scrolling to the comments box, I used to just go directly to the bottom of the screen. Now, if I do, I have to scroll up again past the new added section. That's a bit inconvenient.

    4 Oh, and having worked once in reprographics, I don't like courier! Is that the ugly font we get when entering comments! ;-)

    On the other hand, on multi-page threads, when a new comment is entered we aren't directed back to the first page, which is a big boost :-)

  • Comment number 84.

    re 61

    Most people will want to skip this message.

    Re my comment about the strange flaw in your comments system. I've made a little program to get round it. that converts ascii text into UTF-8 encoded text displayed as ascii iso 8859-1. The text can then be copied to your comment box so I can display £ ¾ ½ ¥ ¢ and fiancé. I was just testing it. Suprised you hadn't fixed this seems to me very simple problem. Probably not though . Some characters don't work because the software blocks them as control characters because it ascii. Why do the comments boxes only produce Extended ascii? when this page is in UTF-8.. don't know how to pass on this program as its in delphi Pascal so of limited . and even with this some characters dont appear due to blocking. Here are the rules so others can come up with their own.

    characters 0-127 no change from ascii
    characters 127-191 Require a control character to access one of several blocks of 64 characters.

    ascii 127-191 only require a character 194{capital A circumflex(A^}} in front of them. £ is {A^}£ The capital A should be wearing his Circumflex hat do not type A^. I can't display the Circumflex even from my program,

    asciit 192-255 have character 195{capital A tilde(A~)} in front of them and start at 128 129 130 instead of 192 193 194 etc. basically {A tilde}character(ascii number-64)
    Characters 192+ are the control characters

  • Comment number 85.

    Ed inglhart@60
    Does £ work now?

    No but &#194;&#163;=£ {A^}£ {A^} is the capital A circumflex character(I cant display it here)should display a £.

  • Comment number 86.

    Another database error - if you look at, e.g. the list of March blogs, you will see many of the blog posts that do have comments posted are listed as having zero comments posted.


  • Comment number 87.

    @2 - I have the same issues as you report in Opera 9.63 on my computer. Further, all text in Verdana appears somewhat blurry on the redesigned blogs. Needless to say, this doesn't affect me on other websites (eg, the main BBC News website).

  • Comment number 88.

    D H Wilkinson,

    Thanks very much for your detective work. See here for some follow-up

    And I have extended my tutorial to include some of the most useful characters...

    Thanks again.

  • Comment number 89.

    #77 NickReynolds
    The blog post is not about moderation on BBC blogs, its about the new look and feel for blogs.

    I believe you're wrong in a couple of areas here, Nick, and rather perpetuating the "Aunty is always right" attitude the BBC have been somewhat prone to since the days of Reith.

    Firstly and most importantly, the new look and feel has, in some ways, exacerbated problems with the BBC's implementation of the Movable Type software reported since soon after its initial implementation by burying "problem" code deeper in the process.

    Before Blog refurbishment was posted on 16 April 2008, there was a BBC page which I can no longer locate that explained what HTML could be posted on BBC blogs. The next day, New ways into blogs was posted and - just like now - the concentration was on "what's new" rather than on what works. After a respectful delay, anticipating that this would be rectified in due course, the browser platform moans started the same day, so that aspect should come as no shock.

    It took until 20 April before pushy types like SBReboot started questioning what could and could not be posted and until 04 Jul 2008 before retiring souls like me started asking Is there a guide of allowed tags anywhere? - a question that remains unanswered.

    By 16 Aug 2008, I and others were trying to identify what special characters [=HTML Entities] and postings were followed up with emails receiving acknowledgements from info@bbc.co.uk but no action.

    It is now 100% clear that your blog preview and parser accept and store UTF-8 characters above ASCII 127 perfectly, and your User Profiles are also able to display them using simple HTML.

    The problem lies in errors in the HTML of your 2008 look web pages perpetuated by this new look and exacerbated by the new, extremely welcome, preview feature which is sadly NOT WYSIWYG in respect of characters above ASCII 127 as well as the extra superfluous line breaks previously reported. dhwilkinson has shown us "techies" a way to post some of these characters [such as the GBP symbol £ and the e with diacritic in fiancé], but this is impractical for most and should be entirely unnecessary.

    Your Movable Type software stores such characters correctly and it is surely not unreasonable for us to expect it to be able to retreive them correctly also.

    It certainly stikes me as much more important to expend your efforts on displaying our comments properly before worrying about changing the "look and feel" of them.

    Regarding moderation on BBC blogs, you have more of a point, but rather than simply tell us it's off-topic, it would be more productive to tell us who determines policy in this area and how we can draw our concerns to this person's attention. At the very least you could confirm that you have forwarded our responses to whoever maintains the Checking and Removal of Messages page, where the following text is sadly untrue:

    • Pre-moderation... All of the BBC's children's message boards are supervised in this way.
    • Post-moderation... Most BBC message boards are supervised in this way.
    • Reactive moderation... This approach is only used on boards for adults.
    Post or reactive moderation for all except CBeebies, please!
  • Comment number 90.

    This interim report concerning the operation of page links will be of interest only to the members of the architectural subgroup.

    Depending on the route by which you arrived at this page, you may or may not see a set of linkages topping and tailing the list of comments. On this page these linkages are carried within 'Previous123'. Of these linkages, I find Previous, 2, and 3 produce incorrect page impressions without any comments displaying. Only the link 1 produces a full page with comments present.

    (The active linkages above replicate the source code of this page, which I cannot show here owing to the lack of a codequote function.)


  • Comment number 91.

    Apologies, the active links in comment #90 do not work correctly, although they seemed fine in preview mode. I give up!


  • Comment number 92.

    Thanks Brownedov and other for your comments which I have passed on to the relevant technical team.

    Moderation questions and comments about moderation are clearly off topic for this post.

  • Comment number 93.

    #92 NickReynolds

    You're welcome, and I'm sure we all hope the techies will take them to heart.

    Just two more points on the new look and feel; one visual and one technical:

    1. Unless my eyes deceive me, the font colour used for unselected links is actually different from the colour used for "plain text", but the difference is so slight that links are only really obvious when emboldened. A slight tweak of the CSS would improve the visibility of them making people less inclined to embolden then, which can reduce overall readability. Compare the following, both to the BBC News Front Page: 'regular link' vs. 'bold link'.

    2. One useful feature which has been lost through the changes is that, except for post numbers above 500 on a thread, the 'old' User Profile system took you straight to any post you clicked on by finishing the URL with ...html#CommentNNN [where NNN was the comment number without leading zeros]. Now that individual posts are 'bookmarked' with their post numbers, the User Profiles should finish with a contruct like ...html#P77580226 [to go direct to your #92] but in fact they simply end ...html#P, which certainly doesn't help to locate the specific post on a typical Nick Robinson thread. Perhaps this is a "work in progress" issue, but equally it may be something not spotted in beta testing.

    Post or reactive moderation for all except CBeebies, please!

  • Comment number 94.

    Layout problems also present in the Opera 10 beta.


  • Comment number 95.


    "Layout problems also present in the Opera 10 beta."

    And in Opera 9.64 (linux)

    Masses of excess blank space below comment box and to the right
    Also below "archive links" block

  • Comment number 96.

    Nice to see some links to other areas of the beeb at last.

    I hope the fact that the Points of View messageboard link is "404
    Page not found" is cock-up rather than conspiracy.

  • Comment number 97.

    Seurat - my fault. Broken link now corrected.

  • Comment number 98.

    Would it be churlish to mention that "5Live Pods and Blogs" is broken too.

    btw Nice to see that your BBC blog post lists are now not linking to your (often non-family friendly [to put it mildly]) personal blogs. New BBC guidelines?

  • Comment number 99.

    It isn't churlish and I will fix it.

    But we will be linking to personal blogs again. We're working on a new box.

  • Comment number 100.

    Nice work.

    Wondering if the new look has made any observable changes in users behaviour on the blogs? Are you getting more, less, or about the same amount of readers and/or comments. And not just about new designs ;-)

    Also, can you update the pics from Flickr? And move the archives to the right-hand column, increase the column widths for the More from this blog... so that the titles for "Topical Post on this blog" don't need to wrap so much. And for the staff bloggers, how about adding their bio to the list of their posts when clicking through the "latest contributors" list?


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