TMP — Bad News

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off. Actually, I was pretty stoked today because I really wasn’t pissed off about anything, so I was going to skip today’s Monday Peeve.

This afternoon I saw that WordPress had just come out with a new update to its iOS app for the iPhone, version 16.3, and I got very excited. Why? Well, because I had been advised a few weeks back by one of the Happiness Engineers, that version 16.0 of the WordPress app, which was released in early November, included a fix to a different feature that, “unfortunately, had a side effect that would cause the in-app browser to be logged out for certain sites.” Talk about adverse side effects! Anyway, I first posted about this so called side effect here.

On December 1st, a Happiness Engineer notified me that “once we learned about the problem we put together a fix, which is still being tested, but if all is well, should be coming in version 16.3.”

Oh goodie. The fix is finally here! So I uploaded version 16.3 of the iOS app to my iPhone and gave it a shot. I tried to visit a post from my reader that didn’t have “.wordpess” in its address and to like the post. No deal. I tried to comment on the post. No deal.

So I wrote to the Happiness Engineer who told me they expected the bug to be fixed in version 16.3. I wrote…

I just updated my WordPress iOS app to version 16.3 and I am extremely disappointed that the issue we have discussed remains unresolved. In your comment you said that your team was working on a fix and that you thought that it would be addressed when version 16.3 was released. Sadly, that’s not the case.

So it’s Monday and I’m peeved. I’m pissed. I’m vexed. I’m angry. Hence, my Monday Peeve.

The Fix is Not In

Warning. This is yet another whiney post from me about the as yet unresolved bug in the WordPress app for iOS. Feel free to skip this post if you either are tired of my rants on this topic or have no interest whatsoever in bugs related to the WordPress app for the iPhone and the pain and suffering they’re causing me.

I’m generally a reasonably patient man, but I admit that my patience is wearing thin.

At the beginning of November, WordPress released version 16.0 of its iOS app that runs on iPhones and iPads. Unfortunately, that new release broke something in the WordPress Reader so that when you visit a blog that doesn’t have “wordpress.com” in the address, you can’t “like” or comment on any posts from within the app. Since my own blog’s address — “fivedotoh.com” — doesn’t have “wordpress.com” in it, I can’t even like or comment on my own post if I visit it from the reader.

I pointed out this issue to the WordPress Happiness Engineers on November 3rd, and on November 14th, after continual prodding from me, the Happiness Engineers finally admitted that they screwed up. I was told that they were able to replicate the issue, which is somehow related to the way that iPhone/iPad apps open links and how information is passed between the app and the web page. They said that their app development team was “working on an update that will fix this recently introduced issue.”

I was quite happy that the Happiness Engineers identified the cause of the issue and had committed to addressing it. But since November 14th, WordPress released version 16.1.1 on November 20th and version 16.2 yesterday, November 30th, neither of which has addressed the issue with the WordPress Reader.

It’s been almost a month since this WordPress Reader bug was rolled out and even though WordPress has released two iOS app updates since then, nothing has changed. There has been no fix to this annoying and frustrating bug and Fandango is not a happy camper.

Hurry Up and Wait

I was excited the other day when I saw that WordPress had pushed out an update to its iOS app for the iPhone. I was sure that version 16.1.1 had a fix to the Reader issue that by now you are no doubt tired of hearing me whine about.

After it installed on my iPhone, I opened the app, went to my Reader, and clicked “Visit” on a post that I had been unable to like or comment on after the previous update. Unfortunately, even with this new update, I was still unable to like or comment. Bummer.

So I sent a message to the happiness engineers.

I was disappointed yesterday, after installing version 16.1.1 of the WordPress app for iOS, that the issue with the WordPress Reader that surfaced when version 16.0 was installed, and for which I’ve been exchanging messages with various happiness engineers since November 3rd, is still unresolved. I hope your team will be releasing a fix for this issue in short order.

The response I got essentially reminded me that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Here’s the answer I received:

We understand this is frustrating. But even with high priority issues, it does not mean the fix will be released in the next update. Some things take longer to fix than others. We don’t have an ETA on this one yet, but our developers are working on it. We appreciate your patience and apologize for the inconvenience.

So I guess I’m in a hurry up and wait mode and the happiness engineers at WordPress will be taking their sweet time getting around to fixing the issue. As the old song says, they’ll be coming ’round the mountain when they come.

Blogging from an iPhone

Some people might characterize it as a bit of an aberration. But the truth is that, before I retired, I used to blog using my laptop because I worked from home and sat at my desk in my home office most of the day and I needed my laptop for work. But upon my retirement, my life experienced a total paradigm shift. Suddenly I no longer was tied down to a desk or had the need to use the laptop. Most of what I needed a laptop for could be done using my iPhone, and I found the mobility of being able to blog from anywhere at any time was liberating.

The first sign of trouble after I made the switch from a laptop to my iPhone for my blog happened this past August when WordPress abandoned its classic editor, which was a cinch to use on the relatively small screen of an iPhone, in favor of its block editor, which is close to impossible to use on a smartphone screen. What the hell? Was this some kind of evil plot to drive us smartphone users and casual bloggers away from WordPress so that it could cater to commercial sites and business users? Were they trying to provoke us hobby bloggers to leave WordPress?

What began to emerge was a fear, or perhaps a recognition, that my blogging days were potentially numbered. I contacted WordPress about how nice it would be for those of us who blog using our smartphones if they were to give us the option of keeping the classic editor as the default editor. But each reply that I received from WordPress left little doubt that they were 100% committed to the block editor and, for those of us using smartphones for our blogs, it was “too bad, so sad.” I started to lose all credence with WordPress’ claim to be the biggest and best blog hosting site on the internet. Maybe the biggest, but the best?

And then, on top of the block editor, the latest update to the iOS app for the iPhone created a major issue with the Reader that caused difficulties when it came to liking and commenting on other bloggers’ posts. Being just one of the many unhappy fans of the block editor that WordPress had forced on us, now, with the issues of the most recent update to the iOS app, I was really pissed.

Throughout most of the month of November, I exchanged myriad emails with the Happiness Engineers about the iOS app issue. And finally, on Saturday, the Happiness and I were in concert that there was, indeed, a bug in the most recent iOS app update and they were going to try to get it fixed as soon as possible and to release a new update to the app to fix the problem in the Reader on the iPhone.

I’m still waiting on that fix to be delivered, but in the meantime, I ordered a new iPhone 12 Pro Max, which has a display screen that is 6.7 inches, compared with the 5.5 inch display on my current iPhone 8 Plus. The new iPhone won’t be delivered until the first or second week of December. But maybe with a display that is almost 22% larger on the new iPhone, I might even be able to use the block editor!


Written for these daily prompts from yesterday and today: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aberration/paradigm), Ragtag Daily Prompt (mobility/emerge), Your Daily Word Prompt (switch/credence), Word of the Day Challenge (plot/provoke), The Daily Spur (reply/concert), and MMA Storytime (fans/November).

Oh Happy Day!

On Friday morning I sent a few screen recordings and screenshots to the WordPress Happiness Engineers about a bug that appeared in the WordPress app for iOS when it installed on my iPhone on November 3rd. My hope was when they actually saw the screen recording of what was happening on my iPhone, they would understand why I wasn’t a happy camper.

Unfortunately, the responses I had gotten previously from the Happiness Engineers suggested that the problem was either a user error (i.e., my fault) or a problem with my iPhone or browser. They explained that they couldn’t replicate the issues I was supposedly having.

Well, late yesterday I received a response from WordPress regarding these issues and I’m happy to say that things are looking up.

Here is what they wrote…

We’ve had another report of this also and have raised the issue with the app developers. They’ve been able to replicate the issue on their end and are looking into potential fixes. It’s related to the way that iPhone/iPad apps open links and how information is passed between the app and the web page. That said, our team is working on an update that will fix this recently introduced issue. We don’t have a timeframe, but once we’re able to find a solution to this, we’ll make sure it’s pushed to the app.

Well that’s exciting. Now that they have identified the cause of the issue, I hope they will soon be able to come up with a fix and will roll out an update to the app that will finally get it all resolved.

It’s also good to know that they no longer think it’s a user error!