Where’d the link options go in the new WordPress editor?

Unless I’m missing something (entirely possible), you can no longer select a post from a list of older content by using the link options when you create or edit a link in the new WordPress editor. You can only search for the content, and if you can’t find it, well, you’d better open another browser window and prepare to hunt it down and get the link that way.

What the hell, WordPress?

The old way to add a link

The new way to add a link

If you’ll notice, the options bring up only the option to open the link in a new tab. You no longer get that helpful list of recent posts.

Blah. Just another way WordPress has degraded on the usability front. I’m just so disappointed with this new version that I’m seriously considering a change back to static HTML websites for the first time in years.

Reviews and comments about the new WordPress block editor

I wrote what I thought about the WordPress 5.0 update and the new block editor in my own previous post.

I’m not satisfied to be unhappy about the change all by my lonesome. So here are some links to other people’s reviews and thoughts about the new editor.

Reviewing Gutenberg: Is WordPress’ New Editor Up to Scratch?

Thorough and to the point. It addresses the topic from a viewpoint I share, but I am totally biased. I don’t like the editor.

Welcoming WordPress 5.0 And The New Editor

Mostly a positive look at WP 5 and the new editor, with a bit of a take-back at the end.

WordPress Gutenberg will be the end of WordPress

This one was written by someone who appears to have had so many of the same feelings I have about WordPress’s new update, Gmail and Google Calendar and their regression to a mobile first interface to the detriment of the desktop environment, etc, that I got sucked into reading lots of stuff there. (Gotta say, the article about the three-foot long erection was probably the highlight of my reading that day.)

I have a few more links that I want to post but I’ll have to get back to it. They’re on a tablet somewhere and I’m supposed to be writing fiction. Also, I’m hungry and the new WP editor has stolen enough of my time! :)

Looking for a comments alternative for WordPress

Basically, the only reason I don’t want to move from WordPress to static HTML (after years of thinking WordPress would make it easier to post and give me options away from my computer but in reality almost never finding that to be true for me) is that I like having comments enabled.

The fact is, I rarely get comments. Out of 1,305 posts, I’ve gotten 27 comments here and since I respond to most comments, only half those aren’t me. In fact, I filtered and searched and 14 of the 27 were me.

So yeah, there’s not a really good reason to want comments enabled but I do.

I’ve tried Disqus in the past on other static sites and it worked, but it was a hassle. (I apparently think lots of things are hassles, but what can I say? I do.) And there are ads. But it is an option.

I’d like a better option. So if you know of an alternative—a way to get comments that isn’t a hassle for a static HTML website, I’m listening. :-)

On the other hand, I’m also seriously considering going plain old HTML anyway. I’ve been wanting to try my hand at an HTML5 site because I really stopped making sites before it was standard.

And finally, I’m keeping an eye on ClassicPress, but before I do anything with that, I’m going to need a little time. It seems there’s some bad blood there between the CP and the WP people or something because I’ve already found one person who’s writing code to help plugin authors break their plugins if they’re being used in ClassicPress. So, sounds like sabotage is a possibility? (Which really did just give me an idea for a murder mystery. Holy shit. I need to get out on the web more.)

Obviously I just don’t like change

So I’m all aggravated about the WordPress 5.0 block editor, and I log in to my Gmail account because in all the aggravation of writing that big test post with images in it, I’m making links to some books and I accidentally buy an ebook from Amazon that I don’t need. I’ve already read the book through the library, so of course I returned it immediately, but now I’m logging in to Gmail to check something and I realize there was a reason I don’t log in to Gmail anymore.

I use Thunderbird to check my email or I use my phone. Because Gmail’s web interface is the most godawful thing I’ve seen this decade. Unless you count Google Calendar, because that thing looks like it was made for a six year old. Anyway. Now I’m just depressed because obviously the taste of the people creating all this stuff is becoming so far removed from me that I’m thinking I’m pretty much guaranteed to have to learn to live with a whole lot of things I hate for the rest of my life.

The irony is that Google keeps sending me notices that one of my websites has accessibility issues because the text is too small to read (it says), but the text on the website in question is considerably easier to read than the soft, fuzzy, not really dark enough mess that is the text on Gmail’s page. Staring at that page just gives me a headache.

I really should have spent my evening writing. It would have been a lot more fun.

Should I update to WordPress 5.0?

I am torn this morning about whether or not I want to update WordPress to version 5.0. I did the update on a smaller site I have (it has about 3 posts) and it went well. No issues to speak of. I also created a post with the new block editor (which I had already tried it out a little when it was called the Gutenberg plug-in). The post turned out fine.

My problem comes in with the actual editor. It’s a bit of a hassle for me. All the little boxes and blocks flaring to life as my cursor scrolls over them. I like seeing the WYSIWYG version and working in the “Visual” editor while being able to quickly flip to the “Text” editor (really, the code editor), and make whatever changes are needed there.

The new block editor is kind of a mess really. As far as I can tell, you can edit the HTML of each block but you can’t edit it as a whole. So lots of extra steps to move one bit of code to another place in the post compared to how it’s currently done.

Screenshot of options showing how to change from visual editor to code editor

NOPE. I just realized I am wrong about this. (I went to the little site that I updated and checked.)

I can select the code editor and see the entire post as code but the way to get to it is separated from the way to get to the HTML editor for each block.

So a bit of a hassle but not as bad as I feared.

Anyway, I’m just not sure I’m ready to change. Being wrong about the HTML editor doesn’t really change how busy the new block editor feels. And then I do have some sites where I use a custom theme I made myself from scratch. It’s held up really well through the upgrades but I’m kind of scared to try it on this one, because of the new structure.

I’m conflicted and I think my best option in this case is to wait until I’m not. I have a book to write and I’ve only written about 300 words today.

Dealing with issues that might come up because of an update going bad isn’t how I need to spend my day. I have too many websites to update to think nothing will go wrong (and I’ve had that happen often enough for me to know it’s a possibility). I hope it’ll be a seamless update for every one of them; I’ll be planning for it not to be!

Update: Well, I am not that happy with WordPress 5.0. I finally updated on a site with more posts and wrote one that used images and the first thing I found was that dragging and dropping an image once it was settled as a block within a paragraph block, it wasn’t coming out short of deleting and recreating it or going into the code editor and sorting through the junk (oh lord is there a lot of junk in there now) and then cutting and pasting it where I want it. [Yeah, I figured this one out, and let me just say that it was a PITA. I had to go search out the answer online. Make the image center aligned so it became its own block again, then move it above the paragraph you want it to merge into before you choose left or right alignment again. My god. Everything takes more steps in WP5. Even deleting a damn paragraph break takes extra keystrokes before two paragraph blocks will merge into one.]

I kind of think I’m not ever updating on any of my sites that matter to me. In fact, I’m now thinking I might just go back to static sites. Plain old HTML is looking pretty attractive right now. WordPress 5.0, not so much.

Looks like I’ll be stuck with the Classic Editor plug-in on the sites I did update until I make up my mind. One thing I can say for sure: I won’t be using WP5’s block editor as is. It wastes way too much of my time. I don’t write in damn blocks. I write, merge, delete, add, merge, delete, write, add, and shift text all over the place before I’m settled with a post. All those little blocks are meant for short-form writers. They sure as hell aren’t meant for me.

Update (the second): I have installed the 5.0 update (because I like keeping things updated for security reasons), but I did install the Classic Editor plug-in, and I’m going to stick with it. I’ve tried multiple additional posts with the block editor on a few sites as I updated them, and I just have to say that the new block editor is hideously inefficient. I tried to imagine what it would be like once I got used to it, but the sad truth is that it’s just a hassle. The blocks are unwieldy when I just want to do a few paragraphs, a quote, an image, and a quick publish. I won’t be using it. I guess someday I’m going to have to consider going back to static HTML or handwrite my own PHP site. But that worry is for another day!

Microsoft Word or LibreOffice Writer?

I’ve been telling myself for a while I needed to switch to LibreOffice Writer. I canceled my Office 365 subscription because I hated Word 2016 just that much. I spent three years as a subscriber and wasted good money on it and never could get used to it enough to actually use it. I used the OneDrive space and OneNote 2016. That was it.

I didn’t hate everything about it, not by far, but there was enough.

  • Lack of ClearType support. My computer really needs that—or maybe my eyes. Either way, the type in Word 2016 looks horrible and since I spend a lot of time staring at the type, that doesn’t work for me.
  • Styles and design tabs were reorganized into something that felt a lot less intuitive.
  • They made Excel green. I mean, I don’t hate green in principle, but I really hate that green. It doesn’t help that I love the blue of Excel 2007. (I am not so enamored with the gray of LibreOffice Calc, but hell, at least it isn’t green.)

There’s a more complete list of all the reasons I hate Word 2016, but suffice to say, I could not get used to it and never ended up writing more than half of one book in it.

HOWEVER.

Yeah. All caps.

I am finding it really difficult to switch to LibreOffice from Word 2007 and Excel 2007.

Calc is rough to look at every day compared to Excel 2007 while Writer has some annoying little glitches that make me want to open my documents in Word 2007 and just write.

  1. Writer jumps around sometimes, such as when I hide whitespace.
  2. Writer can’t find and replace ^P paragraph marks. That matters to me because I sometimes mistakenly put a space as the first letter of a paragraph and a quick search and replace before I do my final spell check takes care of that in Word.
  3. Lots of people say Word is unstable with large documents, but I haven’t found that to be true for me. I have a complete series file for each of my series. One is 570,462 words long. Opens just fine in Word, and searching the file is fast and easy.
  4. Calc loses my row height when I use the format painter to copy a format to a different cell. I’m really not sure what that’s about, but I use the format painter all the time, and ugh. I like my row heights the way they are and don’t want them changed, and they shouldn’t, because I’m copying a format from a row that’s already the height I like.
  5. I just really miss my routine. I like Word 2007 and Excel 2007.

My reasons for switching make sense, and I’ve already formatted a couple of paperbacks in LibreOffice Writer and YES, it is so much easier than Word once you figure out how the hell to use the page styles. You do have better control over the orphans and widows and hyphenation options. It really cut down on how much time it took to manually adjust my page spreads so things looked good.

But for the actual day to day writing? I miss Word 2007.

And as for Calc versus Excel, don’t even ask. I miss Excel 2007 like it’s a phantom arm. Calc can do everything I need it to do, and I still miss Excel 2007. That’s the one that’s killing me.

Sigh.

 

Weird ways I use my calendar

I use a Google calendar for all kinds of things, most of them very normal. I use it for my scheduled appointments and events, and I use it as a task list. I hear you’re not supposed to do that, and I understand why because I’ve read the trusty Getting Things Done book.

I found a lot in that book that helped me set up some systems that I continue to use nearly ten years later. But I still choose to use my calendar for tasks. My brain doesn’t do well with stuff that is out of my sight. I’m very much an out of sight, out of mind kind of person. And when I’m not, it’s because I haven’t been able to stop thinking about whatever thing it is I’m afraid is out of sight and will be out of mind shortly. :)

Most tasks are just set up as “All Day” events and when I finish them, I add a “+” at the beginning of the event name. It’s easy and it lets me search backward when I need to.

Such as: when was the last time I reconciled my accounts in GnuCash? Ah…that’s right, August 20th and it wasn’t part of my normal routine, because I didn’t “+” the event, I added a new event straight into the calendar. :)

But then there are the weird things, like my weight.

I set up my weight as an event and throw it in there every so often just so I can look back and see where things stand. Search makes it easy since the keyword is “pounds.”

Personally, I appreciate the broad overview this gives me. It’s easier to see significant changes when you get rid of extraneous data like what you’d see in a daily log.

I also keep affirmations of one kind or another in my calendar. I have some of them set up as recurring All Day events, so just about the time I’m likely to forget them, they pop up again.

I add All Day events for anything I want to remember, really, from “stray kitten arrived” to “woke up with vertigo” (which happened last week).

I recently created a calendar called “Writing” (separate from my publishing calendar) and I think I’m about to start using it in the same way for memorable stuff related to my books. Stuff like “came up with twist for SB” (SB = Some Book). :)

The one thing I don’t do is use my calendar to track my daily word count. Too much data. If I search for “words” I would be sure to get pages and pages of useless info, because I already keep up with my daily word count in a spreadsheet.

But now that I’m thinking about it, I am definitely going to add a yearly word count to my calendar. I do have a yearly word count summary in my spreadsheet, but the numbers are spread out and not so easy to see side-by-side. I don’t want to make any changes to my spreadsheet, so this will give me a different option for viewing my year-end word counts.

Seriously, Google?

Google is dying. How do I know this? Because I searched for something today and on page 4 (just page 4), the results were so nonsensical that it really makes me question whether or not Google is any good as a search engine any longer.

I mean, seriously.

My terms weren’t in good order, but they weren’t weird, by any means.

hate google calendar's new look want desktop software to access calendar

Because yeah. I’m still stuck on that. :)

Here’s what made me go “huh?”

I don’t even know what to say about this because it shows such a decline in quality of search results that it’s left me speechless. There should have been far more than 4 pages of results for these terms that were a better fit than Chick-fil-A. Right?

Forget that, I know I’m right.

:D

Apparently, Google’s day has come and gone.

Just one more reason I’m so glad I don’t live or work in California

Recent Developments Regarding the California Consumer Privacy Act

It’s not that I don’t value my privacy, because I certainly do. It’s not that I don’t like California, because I’d visit, given the right opportunity. But I also value small businesses and think the burdens they bear are already excessive. Small businesses are being crushed.

I run a small business as a self-published author, and I often get overwhelmed with what I’m supposed to do to stay fully compliant with the laws and regulations I operate within, and that doesn’t even take federal, state, local, and international tax issues into consideration.

I sincerely hope other states don’t follow suit and we all end up with more of these burdensome laws in place.

It’s undeniable: every day, we lose another little piece of freedom to the bureaucracies of the world. From the moment society turned to civilization, we’ve been on the road to complete enslavement to each other. The day will come. Not even the wealthy will escape in the end. :D

Maybe I should write that book. Hm…