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The Unheard Word

One woman's slightly skewed views

WordPress 2.0

Happy New Year to all!

I thought I’d start off the New Year by upgrading to the new version of WordPress, my blogging software. I’d read some less-than-enthusiastic reviews and so didn’t do it immediately on its release. But over the New Year weekend, I didn’t want to actually work so I placated myself by doing something work-related instead. ๐Ÿ™‚

Backing up the old database and files was the usual tedious chore (particularly on my slow dialup connection) and I also had to work out which of my plugins would work with the new version, which wouldn’t, and which had working updates available. But once that was done, the upgrade itself proceeded with textbook ease. I actually forgot to disable a couple of plugins (had wanted to leave them till the very last second, then forgot about them) but fortunately for me, those plugins played nice and didn’t cause me any issues.

On successful completion of the install, my blog site opened in the browser window, and I was understandably rather pleased to note it hadn’t changed a jot. ๐Ÿ™‚

The admin area is the same รขโ‚ฌโ€ and different. A few people have commented that the WordPress back-end is unattractive, but it’s not something that has ever mattered to me. So I was pleased to find that although the general look of the admin area has changed (and definitely a visual improvement), everything is in pretty much the same place so I can continue to use it without thinking. Indeed, most of it is exactly the same, apart the new theme.

I did notice a perceptible difference in speed of navigating within the admin area. I noticed this on my WordPress.com blogs as well so it’s unlikely to be anything related to my server. Version 1.5 was not sluggish, nevertheless that was a pleasant surprise.

The only area in which I have run into any trouble at all is the WYSIWYG editor. You can switch this on or off in the options, but I wanted to use it to write this post so I could write about it in this post. (I normally use ecto, and in HTML mode at that.) Sadly, the built-in WYSIWYG editor doesn’t show up at all in my default browser, Safari (which is actually not uncommon for WYSIWYG editors but some do work in that browser), so I had to then open the site in Firefox.

In Firefox, the editor appeared, and this is one area where noticeable interface changes have been made, and for the better. Most of the long list of options including time stamps, password protections, post slugs, categories and so on are now neatly tucked to the right of the editor in expand/collapse format รขโ‚ฌโ€ so you can see each one at a glance as you type, but their “innards” are neatly tucked away until you want to use them. Nice touch. And you can even add a category right from this page. (Not sure if you could do that before, but if you could, I hadn’t noticed it!)

Back to the editor: I started to type. So far so good, it all behaved exactly as I would expect. Hitting the Return key gives a nice clean paragraph as you’d expect from an editor of an application that outputs XHTML. Drag-and-drop of selected text works great.

Then I tried to use a button to bold a word. Uh-oh. Clicking the button had no effect at all. I had to go into HTML Source Code view to bold words. Then I remembered keyboard shortcuts (I am not used to using buttons in editors!) The tooltip for Bold says the keyboard shortcut is Alt+B, but that didn’t work for me either but Ctrl+B worked. The editor evidently didn’t know I’m using a Mac! How silly can you get? (Joking!)

However, even Ctrl+B was “sticky” and it was hit-and-miss to actually get the word bolded. The same occurred when attempting to return the text to normal. Luckily the HTML button worked instantly.

Closer inspection revealed that the other buttons are working, and Firefox was trying to attempt to execute them, but it took such an extraordinarily long time รขโ‚ฌโ€ as long as several minutes. You can imagine, I only found that out by accident; I wasn’t deliberately waiting minutes which is why I initially thought the buttons didn’t work at all. But keyboard shortcuts are faster.

After saving this post as a draft then returning to it, I got a nice surprise in the Post Preview section below the editor, which displays the blog like a live preview so you can see what it will look like before it’s published. A very nice touch. (It may have been there before but I don’t remember it…?)

Another thing about saving posts and returning to them: some of the paragraphs get lost and br tags sneak in. After further use, I see that the same thing is happening as I continue to write the post as well. Grrrrrrr.

Also, I can’t see any option to add Technorati tags. Will have to do them by hand. (Mttr grnt mmbl. I’ve been spoiled by ecto!) Expect this post to be updated after publication to fix any of these issues; I don’t want to do it now because I’m determined to post using the built-in editor. ๐Ÿ™‚

So, generally, I found the WYSIWYG editor disappointing รขโ‚ฌโ€ not because I want to use it myself, but because I like WordPress and was really hoping it would all work perfectly. To write this post I have needed to go to HTML Source Code view several times.

Moving away from the editor, another thing I’d like to note is that ongoing issues I’ve had with the Discussion options not working, appear to have totally been fixed. (In version 1.5, despite my settings, posts were not getting moderated and a lot of spam was finding its way to the blog, including words I’d set to be blocked.) So I am really happy that’s a thing of the past, or at least I’m hoping it is! I’m also now using Automattic’s Akismet, and haven’t had one spam message since the changeover… that’s pretty good. ๐Ÿ™‚

Reading back, I see I have given the major portion of this post to the WYSIWYG editor, but that’s just because it was the only area that gave me any troubles. In all it appears to be a fairly unspectacular update but a definite improvement, from my perspective. If the comment moderation continues to work, I will consider it worth the trouble of the upgrade for that alone.

UPDATE: Seems the news feeds from this post didn’t work so I’m deleting the original and re-posting from ecto.

UPDATE 2: RSS still doesn’t seem to be working though Atom does…. will look into it. Sorry folks. If anyone does receive an RSS feed, please let me know. ๐Ÿ™‚

UPDATE 3: It seems to be working now รขโ‚ฌโ€ for me, at least. (After nearly 24 hours of angst… blah.) Seems there are a few hoops to jump through to get Feedburner and WordPress 2.0 to play nice together. If anyone is not getting their usual feed, let me know and I’ll do what it takes to fix it!

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8 Responses to “WordPress 2.0”

  1. Lea de Groot Says:

    I saw the feed… yesterday? the other day? This wasn’t the first time, anyway.
    I definitely think I will wait for 2.1 to upgrade (yes, I’m a slacker, what can I say? Have you seen my backlog? and i really need more sleep… yes, yes, I know, stop to sharpen axe…)

    Ah, I lie – I saw it in atom the other day ๐Ÿ™

    ~ darn, this thing doesn’t like Safari very much ๐Ÿ™

  2. Vicki Says:

    Lea, thanks for the input! I think it’s working in RSS now though… I think! ๐Ÿ™‚

    WordPress 2.0 is fine… Feedburner is fine… I just had to search forums forever and fiddle with .htaccess files forever to get them to play nice together. But I admit, I haven’t (so far) found a compelling reason to upgrade other than that my comment moderation now works. ๐Ÿ™‚

    But… what doesn’t like Safari? *sob* I use Safari…. it works for me. *another sob* Tell me the worst of it!

  3. Lea de Groot Says:

    Oh, I’m whining too much. The scrollbar didn’t seem to be appearing consistently when the comment got long.
    Am I fussy or what? ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Vicki Says:

    Well… sheesh… don’t write such long comments then! (Joking!!! LOL.)

    I just checked here, and it seems the scrollbar appears one line after it should. Hmph. I wonder why that is? Mttr grnt mmbl.

    Thanks for taking the trouble to let me know. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Amit Karmakar Says:

    Oh i love a bit of challenge I jumped right in and upgraded the day it was release… had this urge to go pink… so i did. 2 hours later, database backed up, WP updated and a bit pink… but I am not complaining, WP1.5 was faster though!

  6. Vicki Says:

    Pink does suit you, Amit. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Do you really think WP 1.5 was faster? Hmmmm.

    Amit – are you having difficulties with your feeds too? I can’t subscribe via your blog…

    I love computers. I do. I do. I do. (Consider it repeated at least 100 times.)

  7. Amit Karmakar Says:

    Awww thanks Vicki ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I did feel wp1.5 was less cluttered and faster. And I am not a big fan of the wp-admin page. Not very user-friendly (especially for people who are new to the whole blogging scene) WP1.5 IMO was simple and worked with more ease. I guess most of the changes to WP2 are in the code so its not until we all use it a bit more that we’d get more out of it? But remains to be seen. Akismet is good but they seem to force people to register! Such an ancient way of going about. So not web2.0

    re: Feeds on mine, no haven’t had any problems. Try this link if it helps?

  8. Vicki Says:

    Got your feed now! Thanks Amit. ๐Ÿ˜€