It’s Not as Scary as It Appears to Be

I’m a big enough man to admit when I’m wrong. For the past year I have written a deluge of posts lambasting WordPress’ decision to “decommission” (their word) the reliable, easy to use classic editor and to force us to “embrace” its block (Gutenberg) editor, whether we wanted to or not. And I most certainly did not want to.

As most of you know, I blog from my iPhone. In fact, at this very moment, I am sitting on my couch in my family room, listening to classic rock music, and composing this post.

But I digress. I have vigorously resisted this whole block editor thing for the better part of a year. First, I didn’t see any need for the elimination of the tried and true classic editor. Why, if the developers at WordPress were so thrilled with the new block editor, couldn’t they offer it as a “new and better” option, while continuing to offer the (mostly) beloved classic editor?

Second, the block editor that WordPress first introduced last year was not designed for use on the relatively small screen of mobile device. Maybe it worked well on a laptop, but it was shit on an iPhone. I resented feeling that if I wanted to continue to blog on WordPress, I’d have to do so on a laptop because the block editor was close to impossible to use on an iPhone. I even wrote in response to one of Dr Tanya’s Blogging Insights posts last July, “If the day ever comes when WordPress no longer offers the classic editor, that will be the day I will either find a different platform for my blog or I will just stop blogging.”

Well, that day came for those of us using the iOS app on our iPhones last month, when, as I explained in this post, WordPress removed the classic editor option from its iOS app. And that’s when it was shit or get off the pot time for me.

So I decided that I was going to dedicate myself to figuring out how to blog on my iPhone using the dreaded block editor, as it had become my only option. And it’s now my duty, as a member of this great blogging community, to admit that, in my rants over the past year, I seemed to have been making that proverbial mountain out of a molehill.

The current version of the block editor in the WordPress iOS app is usable. I can pretty much do with it all of what I was able to do with the iOS version of the classic editor. In fact, I can do a few more things with the iOS block editor than I could with the iOS classic editor.

So now I have no excuse to whine and rant about the block editor. No reason to hunt for another blog hosting site to move to. I’ve been able to move forward with the block editor on my iPhone without too much pain.

What I’ve learned is that no matter how dark the corridor ahead appears to be, one shouldn’t be afraid to step into it and see where it leads.

(I hope you appreciate how I managed to fit my FOWC with Fandango daily prompt word, “corridor,” into this post despite the fact that it had no relevance to the rest of this post.)

Written for these daily prompts: Your Daily Word Prompt (deluge), The Daily Spur (duty), Word of the Day Challenge (proverbial), MMA Storytime (mountain), Ragtag Daily Prompt (excuse), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (corridor).

Thank You Fellow Bloggers

On Sunday, in this post, I asked a question to the WordPress blogging community about how to create single-spaced text within the paragraph block in the block editor instead of having to use the verse block. A number of you offered suggestions.

Some suggestions could work on a Windows computer with a full-sized, physical keyboard, but not on the virtual keypad of an iPhone. Others suggested going into the HTML and making changes using the <br> tag, which inserts a single line break. And still others suggested using an external text editor to draft the text that I wanted to single space and then cut and paste it into the paragraph block.

Well, I ended up going with the external text editor, writing my seven-line “poem,” and copying the text into the paragraph block. And here’s what I got:

This is a test
Of some HTML code
Within the paragraph block
To see if it permits
Me to single space
Without using the
Verse block

Woo hoo! That is exactly what I wanted to do. Yay!

So I want to offer a huge thank you to those of you who took the time to respond to my post and to offer help. I am now more determined than ever to master this block editor because I can’t imagine blogging anywhere other than on WordPress because of all of you. You are the most generous, supportive, encouraging, helpful, and most sincere community of bloggers there is. Thank you for being who you are.

And for those of you who are interested in this sort of thing, here is what the HTML view looks like for the six lines of single-spaced, center-justified text.

Blogging Insights — Change

For this week’s edition of Blogging Insights, Dr. Tanya want to know about change. She asks…

How comfortable are you with change?

That depends upon the context. Are we talking about life, or specifically about blogging? I’m going to assume that, since the title of this series is “Blogging Insights,” I should focus on the latter.

Generally I’m okay with change, except when it’s change for the sake of change and especially when it’s not change for the better. And WordPress met both of those negative criteria when it introduced its block editor and then essentially forced us to “shit or get off the pot” by “decommissioning” its classic editor.

But even though I’ve spent the last year vocally resisting the change to the block editor, I am writing this post using the block editor. I’m still not happy about having to succumb to that change, but in the immortal words of J.E. Lawrence, who, in The Nebraska State Journal, when describing the difficulty faced during frontier-era life in Nebraska, wrote, “It is what it is.”

How often do you like to change your blogging style or the topics or format of your blog?

Since I started this blog almost four years ago, not much has changed. My style of writing is essentially the same and I’m using the same template (theme) for my blog. The only meaningful change to my blog over the past four years is that I now host a small number of prompts that are intended to tickle the imaginations and stimulate the creativity of other bloggers.

Of course, being as open to change as the next guy, if anyone would like to suggest changes to my blogging style or my blog’s appearance, let me hear from you.

Block Editor Help

WordPress automatically inserts a blank line after you hit Return. I guess hitting Return to WordPress means you want to start a new paragraph and thus the app adds a blank line.

In the good old days of the classic editor, if I wanted to eliminate that blank line, say if I was writing what could only loosely be described as a poem, all I needed to do was switch to HTML mode in the app on my iPhone and delete the line between the sentences, thus achieving single-spacing in my published post. Easy peasy.

But since WordPress “decommissioned” the classic editor on its iOS app for the iPhone, the HTML code generated is a lot more complicated than it was in the classic editor. Each time you hit Return, the app creates a new paragraph block.

Here’s the poem as it appears using the paragraph block and hitting Return at the end of each line.

This a test

To see if I can figure out

How to single-space a line of text

Using the block editor

On my iPhone

Without having to use

The verse block.

Using the old Text tab in the classic editor on my laptop, here’s what the HTML looks like…

And to remove the extra line between sentences, all I needed to do was delete the spaces, so the updated HTML code look like this…

But the HTML code for this seven line “poem” above, using the paragraph block in the block editor on my iPhone looks like this…

Yikes! WTF?

So now, the only way I can figure out how to get my text to show single-spaced is by using the verse block, which looks like this…

This is a test
To see if I can figure out
How to single-space a line of text
Using the block editor
On my iPhone
Without having to use
The verse block.

Using the verse block is not terrible, but I prefer to look when I just have the lines of text appear in the body of the post and not inside a shaded block.

So here’s my question for you tech-savvy bloggers out there. If you are an iPhone user and you are using the WordPress iOS app for the iPhone, do you know how to single space your text after each Return without having to use the verse block?

Or am I SOL in the brave new world of the block editor?

Scratching My Head

I am scratching my head, wondering if I’m losing my mind or if WordPress is gaslighting me. As I announced in this post, I decided to embrace the block editor on my iPhone. Well, actually, WordPress decided for me when they removed the classic editor from their iOS app, as I explained in this post.

I’m not a novice blogger, but when it comes to using the block editor on my iPhone, I am definitely a neophyte. But I decided the best way for me to master the block editor is to just do it. And I was doing okay using the block editor without suffering undo agony. But I got to a point where I was unsure how to do something in the block editor, so I thought I’d call up the more familiar classic block. But the classic block was nowhere to be found on the iOS app. So I sent a message to the happiness engineers.

I’ve been trying to use the block editor on my iPhone, but I can’t seem to find the classic block in the latest version (17.1) of the app. It’s not listed as a block when I hit the plus sign and there’s no “search blocks” field that allows me to find it. So can you tell me how to add the classic block, as has been suggested, when it’s not there?

And this is the response I got.

I’m glad to know that you’ve taken the initiative to try out the block editor! I hope the experience was good. Regarding adding the classic block in the app, unfortunately, it isn’t supported in the latest version of the iOS app.

What? For months WordPress has been saying that we could use the classic block in the block editor in the iOS app to help us “bridge the gap” between the classic editor and the block editor, but now they’re saying that the classic block, which I know used to be in the block editor on the iOS app, is no longer there. Seriously?

I think we are being gaslighted.