Playing with blocks

I came back from a 7-mile hike to find a buggered WordPress interface.

Here’s something I don’t like: Unasked-for, unannounced and unwanted changes to a product I use daily.

WordPress pulled one of these switcheroos on me yesterday, reconfiguring its “navigation experience” to make managing its sites “more intuitive.”

“For many of you, there will be little to no change in how you use,” wrote Austin Lao on the WordPress blog yesterday. The many did not include the one, which is to say this one. Me.

Engineers gotta engineer, I guess. But still, damn.

Tucked into the “enhancements” to the “navigation experience” appears to be a forced shift from the old “Classic” CMS to the Gutenberg block editor, which I have been resisting because I don’t like anything about it.Â

For starters, “intuitive?” Me bollocks. The old “New Post” tool was intuitive. The new one is riddled with perplexing popups and hidden widgets. I’ll find them eventually, I imagine. But it’s gonna be like digging in the back yard for buried treasure. Might be there; might not be.

It’s a small thing to complain about. I mean, out in the real world people are still catching The Bug®, drinking poison water, or getting boned by Matt Gaetz (eeeeeeeyeeewwwwwww).

But still, damn.

I’ve posed the traditional “WTF?” to WordPress. While I await a reply, I’m back in kindergarten, playing with blocks.

Update: One of WP’s “happiness engineers” showed me how to unplug The Great and Powerful Oz. Fuck that guy. Not the happiness engineer, the Wizard. Anyway, with any luck atall atall we’re back on track here.

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24 Responses to “Playing with blocks”

  1. Floyd Kelly Says:

    Regarding my blog writing experience, at first I was somewhat irritated by the new Visual Editor in WordPress (the block editor). After using it for a month, it has made creating posts so much easier and I enjoy using the Visual Editor. It has made my blogging quicker! I hope you have a great day and I wish you better experiences using WordPress.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    Or, sometimes when you dig in the yard, you hit the gas line, like the guy down the street from us up in BombTowne a few years back. We heard this loud whoosh and then the smell and figured….i hope no one has a spark or open flame anywhere near that house. Not sure what the lower flammability limit is for natural gas and I don’t wish to find out.

  3. Pat O'Brien Says:

    I’m still laughing about “Bloggus Interruptus and Ever Clear.” I am not too swift these days. Please tell me one of your posts, with a photo of clouds, disappeared in the transition to the new and improved WordPress. Otherwise, besides being slow, I am also forgetting too much stuff.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I don’t think anything disappeared, but I haven’t wandered back into the Words Warehouse to see if the ratoncitos have been nibbling away at some of the tastier morsels. This post might have a few holes in it. It’s a combo platter with both block-editor and Classic-mode content.

      I’ve spent a lot of years working WordPress for myself and for VeloNews, and while the custom setup VN used was pretty goddamn awful it ain’t a patch on the block editor. If I had to use it, I could learn it, but I don’t want to. I think I’d consider migrating to some other blogging platform first.

      Trouble is, Blogger, where I also have an account, is also on a block editor. So is Squarespace, from the look of it. This must be the Wave of the Future. Oy.

      Maybe I should just start printing out rants and nailing them to telephone poles in the ’hood. Nah, that printer is the biggest pain in the ass in this house. If you don’t count me.

      • khal spencer Says:

        I’ve been using Blogger because I’ve been using Blogger. I am too lazy to learn something else. Besides, I’m getting bored with ranting into the forest when no one is around to listen. Thinking about shitcanning it.

        Its a lot easier than the 1990’s when it helped to know a little HTML to post stuff. I had a blog I set up for HBL back in the Stone Age at the U of Hawaii and recall scratching my head to figure some of this stuff out. God help me if I ever had to do that again. My brain is too old and fried.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          Blogging is on the decline, or so says Kevin Drum (a blogger, go figure). There are still blogs, but generally, like the elephant’s tail, they’re just a part of something larger. So I don’t imagine we command a lot of respect, if we ever did.

          Like you, I learned just enough HTML Back in the Day® to get my ass in a sling, and managed a couple simple blogs at various ISPs. PageSpinner was a useful tool for the Mac enthusiast, and did a lot of behind-the-scenes heavy lifting when it came to “writing” HTML. I think I still have a copy of it on the old G4 tower.

          Self-hosting was a pain in the ass, though. One of the reasons I went to the free editions of Blogger and WordPress is that they made it easy to enable comments, which have become a must-have here at Ye Olde Chuckle Hut.

          Going back to self-hosting would be all like, “Yikes.” No, thank you, please.

      • Pat O’Brien Says:

        Print? You would go broke buying ink. Speaking of that, I went to a B&W laser printer a few months ago, and will not go back to an ink jet printer again because of ink cost.

        Are blogs getting to be like YouTube/Vimeo videos? You can post them but they get lost in the noise.

        • Dale Says:

          God bless big Brother and his cheap B&W laser printers. My son has one, my wife has one, and I have two – one of them is a multifunction P/F/C (gift from a neighbor leaving town).
          Three years toner cost is less than a years ink cost.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          We went to a cheapo Brother B&W laser after a color inkjet/scanner combo that was a vale of tears. Never again. B&W was good enough for teevee in the Fifties, and it’s good enough for printing in 2021.

          • Shawn Says:

            I’ve also got a Brother B&W that is fast as hell and takes up little space. The drawback to it is that it just doesn’t have that “bing!” sound. I like my machines when they go “bing!”.

            Although it looks as though I don’t have to anymore, I typically bought my printers at my local food bank thrift store.

  4. Opus the Poet Says:

    You can get to the Classic editor via your dashboard or append /wp-admin/post-new.php?classic-editor to your website URL. Somewhere along the line I must have volunteered for Beta testing.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yeah, the happiness engineer tipped me to that, but it’s not easy to find. Even my dashboard vanished in the New WordPress Order, replaced by a new sidebar. I’m back in Classic mode for now.

      This isn’t the first time WP has pulled this trick. I understand that their elves would like to have us all on the same page. I just think their page sucks.

  5. SAO' Says:

    I think we were using EduBlog for our PTA, basically free WordPress without ads. They took the useful stuff and hid it behind six layers, and took the awful parts and propped them up at the top.

    If you’re looking for the consumer tech version of the Serenity Prayer, it goes something like, Every software change that calls itself an “improvement” is mostly (only?) an improvement for the folks maintaining it, not using it.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      “Every software change that calls itself an ‘improvement’ is mostly (only?) an improvement for the folks maintaining it, not using it.”

      Well said, sir.

    • JD Says:

      SAO: Indeed. That’s called Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand (either a raised middle finger or it’s in your wallet); or a self-licking, ever-expanding ice cream cone; or the multiplier effect. Entropy? A black hole for your money and time? Fusion of your frustration and anger? Etc. 🙂

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      Don’t forget that we all read the 1700 page user’s agreement that even Sydney Powell would have been embarrassed to write. And, we clicked I agree. And we click it often. I think Bill Gates wrote the original, and it is in the chip he shot into us with the fake vaccine for a hoax disease.

  6. SAO' Says:

    We’re in a weird place right now. The bigger you get, the further you get from understanding the customers’ needs. The smaller you are, the less power you have to meet the customers’ needs. And Goldilocks is just a fucking fairy tale.

    When I updated to Big Sur, first thing I noticed was they dorked up Mail. There’s no way to spring up to the top of the list, besides brute force page up. Used to double click anywhere near the top and it would pop up there. Now, that move widens your window to full screen but without increasing the height. So, it’s semi-full screen? That is a feature that no one on planet earth wanted. Seems like a coding hassle as well. So it cost them energy, time, and money to make things worse. I did a little digging, even filed a radar, and the bottom line was, no one uses the default Mail app so who cares?

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      I have been using it for decades. Used to be Apple users and makers were a tight knit family. With the advent of the iPhone, the family started to incrementally break up.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I’m still rocking High Sierra on all the “newer” Macs (the newest of which is 7 years old). Herself is on Mavericks with her 2012 MacBook Pro. And I wait a long time between OS “upgrades” because I want other people to tell the horror stories.

      The Mac is still the only choice for me. But I’m gonna stay in 2014 as long as I can.

  7. SAO' Says:

    FYI, page looked fine on an iPad, but looks like this on my phone:

    Kind of a mobile/desktop hybrid?

  8. DownhillBill Says:

    Even Apple’s “more intuitive” changes are a pain in my elderly brain, and often elsewhere. I came in on OS7.1 and sometimes I still miss it.

    HTML was OK by me (used to teach it to noobs for the local Freenet – remember those?) until everything went to JavaScript and code generators. The promise of the Web as a people’s medium was done in with malice aforethought by the goddamn graphic artists.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I think I came in with System 6.0.3 (Mac SE circa 1990 or thereabouts). You wouldn’t believe how long it took me to abandon the “Classic” Mac OS and surrender to the Dark Side, OS X.

      I still use the Classic OS on the G4 tower whenever I need to boot up Photoshop 4.0. Yes, I said Photoshop 4.0.

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