The Odd Pot

A new way of writing

WORDPRESS OCCASIONALLY messes with a good thing, trying to make it better. Yet again, they have changed their editor, the page we scribes use to pen posts.

Sometimes these changes are improvements. Other times you can see the WordPress designers sitting in the smoking lounge with nothing to do till someone says: I’m bored! Let’s go improve the product!

They all jump up, return to their workstations and get busy, justifying their fat Silicon Valley salaries. Fixing something that wasn’t even broken.

At times, they do improve the product. Other times, they just gum things up. They have changed the product again, and I’ve not decided if it’s a step in the right direction or not. Time will tell. I’m not optimistic.

It’s far more complicated from the writer’s end. Readers likely will notice little difference. WP designed something called “blocks.” Everything I want to do entails messing with a freaking block. Blocks do different things. For instance, there’s a block to list stuff. To wit:

  • Bingo.
  • Bongo.
  • Splat!
  • And so on …

Another block lets you write a verse. Here’s a poem by Charles Bukowski. Why you have to chase it off to the right is beyond me. You won’t be encountering verse here on The Moon. But if you did, this is how it would appear.


Long walks at night -- that's what's good for the soul: peeking into windows watching tired housewives trying to fight off their beer-maddened husbands.

I hope you enjoyed that brief poem. Bukowski was a weirdo. Another block lets you write a heading. There are three options: big, medium and small.

This is a small heading

This is a medium heading.

This is a big heading

 

The problem with these headings is that I see no way to center them. Flush left, which I don’t like, appears to be the only option. Oh, well.

And then there is this. I can start a paragraph with a big, fat letter. Makes me look literary. And 19th Century. My major gripe with the big, fat letter is that it’s so big and fat. Where’s the subtlety?

Next is the “Gallery.” There seems to be no limit to the photos you can add to a gallery, and you can insert multiple galleries. We’ve finally arrived at a block I really like. These shots are all of the area where I live, and you likely do not. Sad.

Next up is another block that deals with photos. This block is called a “cover.” Perhaps someone can explain it to me. The cover of a book maybe? The photo is a shot of my child bride last Spring outside a hotel near San Miguel de Allende, a city I have sworn never to visit again for obvious reasons.

And you can write something in the middle of the photo. What, pray tell, is the purpose of this?

Here’s a block that lets you write a quote. This quote is Mohammedan. It’s something to consider the next time you praise open borders and criticize President Trump for wanting to limit Mohammedan immigration.

When you meet the unbelievers, smite at their necks.

— The Koran.

There is also an audio block, which I doubt I’ll ever use, and a plain ole image block, which I will use to insert this timely photo. Note the talavera tile which was installed this week on the ledges below the three arches in the veranda.

Quite snazzy, I think.

I wrote all this to familiarize myself with the new editor, and I decided to bring you along for the ride. I wonder if you made it to the end. If so, thanks. WordPress is still far superior to Blogger, but that is not saying much.

If you write a WordPress blog, and you haven’t used the new editor, just ask me. I’m an old hand at it now. PayPal accepted.

23 thoughts on “A new way of writing

    1. Ray: The good news is that you don’t have to use the new editor. After additional thought on it this afternoon and playing around with it some more, I’ve decided not to. I have bookmarked the previous one, which works fine, and will continue with it. I even have the editor before that one, which is to say two back, bookmarked for emergencies.

      So, no more excuses for your rather scanty output becoming scantier. We shall not put up with it!

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    2. Well, I hope you are joshing with us all about not writing your wonderful stories and life observations, Ray. I myself have missed seeing a post from Words Not On Paper. No lame excuses … git with it, man!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The recent history of computing, or rather, software, is to make “improvements” which make it ever-harder to use the underlying functionality. Take Windows 8, supposedly an improvement over Windows 7. Well, in Windows 8, they decided it’d be cute to hide the controls. How do you find them? Why, you engage in mental telepathy with your computer and you then intuit that you need to push the mouse all the way over to the edge of the screen, and Voila! The menus appear. Or take Google’s recent infatuation with the “hamburger.” This “hamburger” is comprised of three, quite innocuous horizontal stripes, measuring less than a millimeter thick by about three millimeters across tucked into the corner of things like Google maps. In Chrome, this “hamburger” has been reduced to three little dots. Again, you’re supposed to telepathically know that this is a menu, and that if you click it, things will happen. Maybe.

    Apple has done similar things with the iPhone. In previous versions, you needed to swipe the screen across to activate the search function. Now you need to swipe it down. Other controls have been hidden deep within the guts of the system. Functionality has been sacrificed (and quite gorily at that) on the altar of prettiness.

    As for WordPress, I have staunchly resisted all entreaties to use the “improved” version of things. And not infrequently, I switch to HTML mode when even the older prettiness keeps me from actually getting things done. Not that I’ve been exactly burning up the functionality of the post editor these days.

    It’s all enough to make one return to the days of DOS and its command line, which was hideous but quite functional.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where computing has become the electronic version of the Stepford Wives.

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    1. Kim: I don’t know how much prettiness has to do with what WordPress does now and then. I maintain they change things because the programmers are idle and look for things to do, and then they do them. This latest change — have you even looked at it? — is odder than anything I’ve seen them do before, and I’ve been with them for years. The previous editor, which I’m sticking to, works well enough for me. The one before that had the “draft” button and the “publish” button directly next to each other, making it very easy to publish by error before you were finished. That was boneheaded. I never used that one for that one reason and I stuck with the one even before that one for a long time. This new one, which I played around with for a few hours the other day, has some things I like, but I cannot figure out how to size photos. There is a place to do it, but I think you have to be an advanced techie to pull it off. Before you send me instructions — thanks in advance — don’t waste your time because the previous editor is what I’m going to use at least until they grow weary of this “block” concept and move on to something else.

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      1. You know, before writing my comment, I did go to my control panel to compose a post. But my interface looked the exact same as before. And the headings in mine are labeled “1, 2, 3,” not blocks. So color me a bit perplexed about what you’re seeing. But having trouble doing stuff due to “improvements” was the gist of my comment. Agreeing, of course, with your original post. Anyway, Saludos.

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  2. I’ve never used WordPress, but I see what you mean. There’s enough frustration involved in just writing a post let alone trying to make a blog look nice (which you do). I miss the indent key on a typewriter when you want to start a new paragraph. Spellcheck, although it saves time not having to worry about apostrophes or spelling words I don’t use often, it can also make me doubt my own spelling, which used to be excellent. On occasion, I find myself staring at a word that spellcheck “fixed” for me but now looks wrong.

    When I was a kid my dad used to have three printing presses and cases and cases of lead type. Sort of a hobby that got out of hand. It was my first job, printing letterhead and stationary for some of his colleagues and friends. It was really an art and you could do anything if you had the time and patience. Those days are long gone and even the once state-of-the-art IBM Selectric typewriter is obsolete. Now I’m reduced to chicken pecks with one finger on an iPad. Is this really progress?

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    1. Brent: I always disable spellcheckers. I think they create more goofs than they solve. Interesting hobby your father had. I used to have bookbinding equipment, and I could take books apart and put them back together again, and I did. It was fun. I picked up the idea from my aunt who did it professionally. I sold it all when I moved from New Orleans to Houston in 1985. Not having a full keyboard is why I mostly shun writing on tablets and cellphones. That’s just for emergencies. On a regular keyboard, I can type over 100 words per minute. I learned in high school where I was the sole boy in the typing class full of girls.

      As for my website looking nice, thanks. I just changed the theme a few minutes ago, so it looks quite different. Still nice, I think. Appearance matters in all things.

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      1. By the way, my initial reaction to the new theme was negative. But on further thought, I think you probably just need to change the header photo. The default one makes it look like your blog has become the website of some kind of café.

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        1. Kim: Awww, and I went to such lengths to find that photo, which I like. I’m a coffee man — café Americano negro — so I’m sticking with the photo! Anyway, I think your reactions to theme changes here going back years has almost always been negative at the get-go.

          It will grow on you.

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