A Tricky Problem

49872735-bf2a-41f9-bae5-dac16d379442.jpegWhen we last discussed this issue a few days ago, I was pretty stoked. As I told you here, the WordPress happiness engineers finally acknowledged that my iOS app issue — the one with huge time gaps (3-6+ hours) in posts that show up in my Reader overnight — was not unique to me. They said, “This issue (or something similar) does appear to be affecting other people than just yourself.”

That was a relief. After all, WordPress boasts 75 million blogs on its platform, about half of which are on WordPress.com. I found it comforting to know that I wasn’t the only WordPress blogger out of 75 million (or even out of 37.5 million) who was having this issue.

I was also encouraged to hear that, “Fixing this has been escalated to high priority for our developers….” Great! Help is on the way.

But as John Wayne was wont to say, “Not so fast, Pilgrim.” Today I received another message from WordPress.

“I wanted to update you on the progress of this fix. I have checked in with our developers who have confirmed there is currently no ETA for this fix yet, but it’s something we are aware of and is high priority to get resolved.

However, this is a tricky problem to solve because it’s hard to pin down the exact steps to replicate the problem. We are continuing to do our best to work on this, and hope to have a solution for this as soon as possible.”

No ETA for a fix? A tricky problem? You want the exact steps to replicate this problem? Simple:

  1. Pick up an iPhone 8 Plus that has the latest version of Apple’s iOS installed.
  2. Go to the App Store and install the WordPress app for iOS.
  3. Follow about 175 bloggers, most of whom post multiple times a day.
  4. Go to bed.
  5. Wake up in the morning, reach for your iPhone, open the WordPress app, and go to the Reader.
  6. Marvel at how you see a post from one of the bloggers you follow that was published 8 hours ago and the very next post you see in the Reader was published 3 hours ago.
  7. Go to your web browser on your iPhone, log into WordPress from said browser, and then go to your Reader.
  8. Marvel at all of those missing posts in that 5 hour gap that aren’t showing up in the Reader on the WordPress iOS app, but which are miraculously showing up in the Reader in the browser.
  9. Get really pissed that this has been going on for at least six months and the happiness engineers at WordPress have no clue how to resolve this “tricky problem.”

I’m Not Alone!

08ADF090-F175-4F01-BFF1-88C78C366D28And I’m not crazy, either. For the past six months I have been complaining regularly to the Happiness Engineers at WordPress about a multiple hour gap in the Reader on my WordPress iOS app for my iPhone. Here’s the the post from last October in which I first raised the issue.

On Saturday I got an email from Anna, one of the WordPress Happiness Engineers. She wrote:

“I have taken a closer look into all of this and this issue (or something similar) does appear to be affecting other people than just yourself.”

Woo hoo! It’s not just me. I feel vindicated. It’s a total and complete exoneration! But I do wonder what she meant by “something similar.” It’s either the same issue or it’s different.

“Fixing this has been escalated to high priority for our developers and it’s looking like there should be a fix for this coming in the next app version released. I am checking in with our development team to confirm that now, and I may not hear back until after the weekend.”

Well, I’ve waited this long, I suppose I can wait a few more days for the next app update to get this frustrating glitch resolved.

“Once I can confirm the progress that’s being made on identifying and fixing this problem, and when we are likely to see a result, I will get back in touch with more information for you. Thank you for your continued patience while we have been investigating this frustrating and unusual problem.”

Wait! If others are having this same issue, why did she call it an “unusual problem”?

Hmm. Based upon my past experience, I don’t think I’ll be holding my breath.

WTF WordPress?

8A371390-1E1E-46F7-8DB1-A7E9272C573DHere we go again. Back last October, I wrote this post in which I complained about a four hour time gap in the posts that showed up in my Reader overnight on my iOS app on my iPhone. When I contacted WordPress about the problem, its Happiness Engineers informed me that they were aware of the problem and were working to fix it. And, after a while, they did seem to fix it.

But the fix was short-lived. A month and a half ago, I wrote this post complaining, once again, about how, when I go to my Reader on my iPhone, that huge gap, now typically five hours, has returned.

Once again, the gap issue seemed to have been addressed. When I went to my Reader I’d see a message that said “Loading More Posts,” and then, lo and behold, the missing gap posts would be there.

But now, as of yesterday, it’s back yet again, as can be seen from the screenshot above. Only now the gap has grown to six hours!

I don’t know if each time WordPress makes an update to its iOS app, the problem magically resurfaces, but, as I said to WordPress the last time I complained about this, you need to “get your shit together, dammit.”

Does This Only Happen to Me?

I’ve written lately about some wonky things happening on the WordPress iOS app. Here, for example. And here, too.

As some of you know, I blog exclusively from my iPhone and I’ve noticed something a bit weird. On the WordPress app for the iPhone, when I’m looking through my Reader, I will see a post notification with a small, cropped image at the top, followed by the post’s title, and then the first few lines of the post. As in the illustration below:18264bf5-be5d-42bc-85d0-39ff3f48287bThere are two ways to view a post in my Reader. One is to tap the post’s title, which displays the post in Reader mode. The other is to tap the “Visit” icon at the bottom left, which will bring up the mobile-enabled view of the post. This shows the Reader view when I tap the post’s title:4e10783f-9a7b-432e-9157-154380e34f37Note the full image at the top of the post. But if, instead, I tap the “Visit” icon, here’s what I see:6a241377-88f2-4f5a-bb13-22a72eb0644dNo image at all! Nowhere in the post! Where did the image go?

Maybe it’s the fact that I’m using an iPhone instead of a laptop. But why, I wonder, does the image show up in the Reader version and not in the mobile version of the post?

I’m sorry if I’m coming across like a bit of a whiner, but I’m curious if the images you see in your Reader don’t always show when you go visit the actual post. Or does this only happen to me?

Dammit WordPress

b558d83d-f9dd-4807-b3d0-dc6ebf12b60dThis is what I’m talking about, WordPress! What is going on with the Reader in the iOS app? I know that there wasn’t a five hour gap where no blogger I follow posted anything last night! So why the fuck aren’t their posts showing up in my Reader on the app.

Hang on a second, WordPress. I’m going to log into Safari on my iPhone. Give me a second, okay?cda1004d-9aa2-4bb8-9e9a-bee5864797c0Okay, I’m back. Do you see that, WordPress? The “missing” posts are there in the Reader on the web browser, but not on your app.

Get your shit together, dammit.