TMP — Being Seen

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off.

It should come as no surprise to anyone who has perused my blog over the past four months that my rant today is about WordPress. On November 3rd last year, I wrote a post, “Another WordPress Bug,” in which I pissed and moaned about how WordPress had released an update to its iOS app for the iPhone. That release, version 16.0, had a bug in it.

When I went to my reader and then click to visit posts, I could no longer “like” certain posts. And if I tried to comment on those posts, it didn’t recognize that I was logged onto the app and it asked me to enter my name, email address, and blog URL. And sometimes, even when I did that, I still was unable to leave a comment. I’d never had to do any of that before from within the WordPress app on my iPhone.

Of course I’ve exchanged dozens of emails with the WordPress Happiness Engineers, who have assured me that they’re working on a fix. Almost four months have elapsed since that release and every time WordPress issues a new release, I get my hopes up that the bug will have been fixed.WordPress just released version 16.7 and, once again, my hopes have been dashed. The annoying, frustrating bug persists. But one of the “enhancements” introduced in version 16.7 is described as this…

We continue to improve the experience in your Reader, and you can now mark posts as “seen” as well as view your total of “unseen” posts.

Okay, what does that mean? Why would I want to mark posts as “seen”? Does that send a notification that to the blogger who wrote the post that I’ve seen it? Here’s an example of what it looks like:I can also mark a post I’ve seen as “unseen.”So much for the old saying that once you’ve seen something you can’t un-see it.

I’m hoping that someone out there can explain to me what the purpose of marking a post as “seen” or “unseen” could possibly be.

And I’m going to contact the Happiness Engineers and link to this post and ask them if they can explain how this new “feature” improves the Reader experience, and, more important, why they’re focusing their efforts on seemingly unnecessary features and not on fixing that goddam bug!

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).

Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

Yesterday I posted about a way to add a drop cap to the opening paragraph of a post to give it a more professional look. And if you go to my blog and read the actual post from there, it does look kind of cool.But I learned today that if you read my post with a drop cap in the WordPress Reader, it’s a whole different story.My question to you, those who read my posts, is this. Do you typically read them in the WordPress Reader or do you go visit my blog and read them on the internet as they were formatted to look?

Let me know, please.

Double Whammy

Stomach painYesterday I had to go for a CAT scan of my head because of a hearing issue. But the night before my scan, I came down with a pretty severe stomach ailment. I don’t know if it was something I ate (i.e., food poisoning) or if it was due to a 24-hour virus I picked up somewhere. But either way, it both literally and physically knocked the shit out of me.

I did manage to show up for my CAT scan yesterday, which turned out to be a bit of an ordeal due to my chronic positional vertigo ailment, but that’s a story for another day. By the time I got back from the scan, though, I was doubled over with severe stomach cramps.

I spent most of the rest of the day alternating between sitting on the toilet and sitting on the couch wrapped in a blanket watching the first day of the televised impeachment hearings. Oh the drama! Ultimately, having been pretty much exhausted from the continual stomach cramping during the previous 24 hours, I went to bed at around 8:30 last night.

The good news is that the worst of my stomach issues are over and, for the first time in 36 hours, I was able to eat (lightly) and drink something other than water. I even missed my daily fixes of Ben & Jerry’s Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream ice cream for the past two nights, so you know I was really feeling miserable. Fortunately, I’m doing much better now than I was yesterday at this time.

But my reason for writing this post is not to make you feel sorry for me or to get your sympathy, even though it might appear that way. Actually, my reason for this post is to let you know that from Tuesday evening through most of yesterday, and even until midday today, I wasn’t using my iPhone at all, which means I wasn’t on WordPress, either. I didn’t write any new posts on my blog, although my daily FOWC with Fandango prompt, my provocative question prompt, and even my One-Liner Wednesday post were all scheduled in advanced.

But more important, I didn’t get a chance to read any of your comments or links back to my post. Nor did I have a chance, since Tuesday night, to read any of your new posts that showed up in my Reader. And while I will try tonight, now that I’m almost fully recovered, to catch up on all of your comments and pingbacks, I probably won’t be able to go back and read 48 hours worth of your posts that I missed. And I’m very sorry about that.

I hope you’ll accept my apology.