Blogging, Diary

New & Improved…. yeah, sure

When anyone in the computer field tells me that some new product has been released and has been “improved” over the prior product I cringe. The improvement may be easier, nicer, more convenient for the people who designed it, but it is rarely any of those things for everyone else.

What about when “new and improved” isn’t either?

When I started blogging using WordPress it was difficult to even create a drop down menu. Over the years things have gotten infinitely more sophisticated. Some of the changes have been easy to adjust to: given a considerable investment in the time it takes to learn new coding skills — quite apart from the time it takes to create content — two entirely separate tasks.

Still, I have met each challenge with aplomb and succeeded. I feel rather good about that seeing as all my computer savvy is self-taught. Still, the newest iteration of WordPress’ editor is taking “New & Improved” to new depths.

For those who aren’t writers, and particularly those who aren’t WordPress writers the editor is the virtual typewriter that you create within. Not only does it get the words on the pages of everyone’s computer, it also handles things like justifying lines, inserting images/video/link, etc.. The editor is where we do all our creating and the idea is to spend more time creating and less time “programming.” The strength of WordPress has been that the writer has been able to create content and then to pour it into any of a plethora of formats and be assured that it will present to the reader in pretty much seamless fashion. The existence of these “formats” has enabled me, and a lot of other writers, to periodically change the appearance of their blog to keep things new and interesting to the reader visually as well as intellectually. Surely, that’s a good thing. And I have taken advantage of the ability to be sure.

Hey, I might as well pat myself on the back and have some fun with this seeing as this editor is being forced upon content creators. So, yeah, I met it with self-confidence and assurance in a demanding situation. So There! 🤣

When I first started blogging the programming part was sometimes the biggest part of running a blog. I started blogging before I discovered WordPress. I struggled with at least for different platforms before I came here. And even then, I tried self-hosting for a a couple years before tiring of the hassles of constantly upgrading my site to keep up with the onslaught of hackers. I know for sure that I had to recreate content at least 4 times because of hackers. Then I moved here to WordPress.com and those problems ended.

I’m glad those days are gone forever. That said, I admit that there are a lot of times even now, more than a decade later that I still need to look at the code to see how something was accomplished. It can be because I forgot how I did it last time; it can be because I want to try something new and I’m not sure what series of codes I need to get to the desired output — but I often toggle the editor over to what is called “code view” from what is called the “visual editor.”

I’ve been doing that more with this new “block editor” and while the professionals tell us that this is a step forward and it will allow for more improvements in the future the fact of the matter is that the coded screen sure looks a lot more messed up with code than it used to be.

The computer geeks may be getting what they want, but the people who simply want to “use” the program to communicate are sure paying a price along the way.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that WordPress exists. I’m that I’ve been blogging for more than 10 years for free with only the inconvenience of minimal commercials on my blog for my readers to cope with. But I have to wonder if this is a movement to limit something (like the platform) rather than to make it more accessible.

I’ll do my best and I hope you readers don’t mind. But an awful lot of people were happier with things the way they were and see no reason at all to change. I’m not yet sure where I stand; I’m still learning the new editor. But, as I’ve said many times, nothing stays the same, everything changes.

And for what it’s worth. That drop cap
in the first paragraph is something
I’ve never been able to do before.
Is it good, or is it bad?
Sometimes in the world of
computer’s that’s not the
right question. What
everyone wants to know is
“Can you do it?”
The availability of every
possible option isn’t really
progress, it’s just MORE.
As is the ability to change type size
in just this one paragraph.

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