New Blogger Embarking

As of today, Blogger is starting to roll out a new platform, which has been in the works for a while. The emphasis will probably be on new features, which include:

* WYSIWYG template customizer with "elements"

* Labels (aka, "tags") for each post for categorizing and sorting

* Access control: Keep some stuff private and control who can read what

These will be exciting features to millions of users. Read about them here. But the real story here is the underlying architecture that makes this possible. For the first time, almost seven years since launch, Blogger is dynamically serving content (when you host at So, instead of generating static HTML files and handing them off to a generic web server, Blogger will answer requests and construct pages in a dynamic fashion. Yes, this is how virtually every sizable web site or application in the world works. However, it's new for Blogger.

You see, static serving was at one time a feature, in fact, the enabling feature of Blogger, because it allowed Blogger to publish via FTP—i.e., you could serve your blog off an entirely different host than Blogger was running on (like, for instance), and it worked with virtually any web publishing system. It also allowed us to serve a tremendous number of web sites off very little hardware.

The limitations to static publishing, though, are significant and are the reason that Blogger hasn't had these types of features (and many more) in the past.

Converting the entire operation to a dynamic model meant essentially replacing the entire architecture, which is likely serving tens of millions of pages a day. This was a daunting task. But the team got it done (messy transition process still to come). And now much, much more is possible.

At the same time, Blogger is converting to Google Accounts. Which opens up all kinds of other possibilities—e.g., seamless integrations with Gmail, Reader, Orkut, and future Google tools, for example. (Whether or not the Powers That Be take advantage of these possibilities will be interesting to see.)

Whatever the case, I'm very happy to see this major milestone in Blogger history. Congratulations to Jason Goldman and the rest of the Blogger team.