In case (ha!) you hadn’t heard, spelling WordPress correctly (with a capital P) is a big deal in WordPress land. You see, there are a lot of folks in the world claiming to be “WordPress Experts” without knowing how to correctly spell WordPress. I mean… if they get this wrong, what else will they get wrong? If they miss this obvious detail, just think of all the other less obvious details they’ll also miss.
Brad’s not wrong. The world is full of individuals hoping to exploit a knowledge gap, call themselves an Expert in something, and make a quick buck or two in the process. Those people, in that scenario, are bad. But can we really be sure these are scammers, and not just mistakes?
Brad, if you’re reading this, this isn’t me calling you out. You reminded me I wanted to blog about this. I get what you mean, and you’re right to tell people to look at all the signs and trust their spidey-senses. I’m sorry I bombed into your Twitter replies. ❤️
A few years ago, WordPress itself started coming bundled with a function that would autocorrect many of the most common misspelled variants. This isn’t new; Apple’s iOS and macOS have been autocorrecting the casing of every single one of their own product names for years before WordPress was.
The inclusion of this function was kind’ve a hot topic, because it was WordPress internally changing up the way content was displayed to users differently than it was written, without explicit author consent. It was no longer as the author intended it, so if I want to intentionally type “wordpress” then that’s no longer my decision, and WordPress is going to prevent it, whether you like it or not.
In the end, it didn’t really make that much of a difference. The world kept turning, content kept getting published, and nobody really noticed barring for a few noisy journalists with podcasts… ahem.
Some of us used a small snippet of code to remove these filters.
One problem is that it’s really easy to get the spelling wrong. Even the official WordPress subreddit is wrong, and people get it wrong constantly in that forum and everywhere else on the web:
The capital P has become a little bit of a war cry, actually. People will raise their hands at WordCamps to interrupt talks to alert speakers to typos in their slides. People will not hire otherwise qualified applicants because they get this wrong. People are separating themselves from others because they do not see this very specific detail.
You spelled it “Wordpress”
Frankly, it’s a little bit elitist, and comes across quite crudely – from a position of annoyance, disappointment, or wanting to segregate those who get it from those who do not. That’s dangerous stuff when weaponized.
Making jokes at the expense of someone who isn’t in your group, is really just bullying with extra steps.
Democratizing publishing is providing opportunity
I feel, today, right now, like it’s really unfair to use what people do not know or have not seen or do not yet understand against them. I remember clearly applying for jobs, hoping that anyone would take a chance, knowing it wasn’t something I’d done professionally yet, to pay me for what I was capable of achieving outside of what my resume documented.
Not everyone has the same education. Not everyone has the same experience. Everyone is focusing on very different areas of expertise, and not all of that requires exceptional attention to brand awareness. Everyone struggles, maybe with words sometimes.
If you spell WordPress incorrectly, it’s OK, and not everyone in the WordPress community is Nelson Muntz’ing you.
At the time of this writing, the latest stable version of nginx is 1.16.0, and none of the package managers have updated themselves to include it.
Before you get started, you’ll want to be logged in to an open terminal session with a user that has sudo access. The reason for this, is because nginx itself requires root access when it starts up, to bind itself to lower number ports (usually 80 and 443.)
You’ll also notice that I use nano for editing files. Use what you prefer.
First, stop any version of nginx that might already be running:
sudo service nginx stop
Next, you’re going download the latest version of nginx directly from the official website:
Next, decompress it, and change into the new directory it made:
tar xvf nginx-1.16.0.tar.gz nginx-1.16.0/
Next, you’ll probably want to install some related dependencies. Below is a pretty general list, but if you know better for yourself, replace these as needed:
Many of the above flags are important, but I think the most important one for our purposes is --with-debug because without that flag, you cannot log any of nginx’s important debug information, in the event something isn’t working correctly.
Next, you need to build the executable from the configured source. You’ll make it and install it like this:
I’m writing this post using the new block-based editor that comes packaged with the first WordPress 5.0 beta, known previously and externally as Gutenberg.
For just general writing, so far it ain’t so bad, but one thing that bugs me straight away is that the auto-save causes the UI in the upper right corner to jiggle around every few seconds. I keep thinking it’s a notification in macOS, so I stop writing to look up at it, because it’s all just outside my periphery.
I type. I pause to think. Autosave triggers. I look up and right. I forget my original thought.
In this post, I haven’t needed to add any blocks or format any text, and I haven’t needed to move any text or paragraphs around. I have a feeling this is how most people will interact with this editor most of the time, and for that, it generally gets the job done no different than the classic editor did.
I suppose it’s about time I try to insert some kind of image, so here’s a shot I took today of some concrete that got poured behind the building my office is in.
I think it’s a little weird that the default new-block buttons are: image, header, and gallery. (I think think it’s even weirder these change over time to be my most-used blocks. Consistency is gone.)
It’s weird when I hover over the “P” for paragraph button, that it changes to 2 arrows creating a circle. No other buttons change their contents on hover; what makes that one special? And it changing makes me afraid to interact with it, because I’m afraid of what it does now.
The vertical elipsis icon reminds me of Pokey the cactus from Super Mario Bros. It’s literal usage is to indicate an intentional omission of a word, so… it’s a stretch to use it here, but it’s not totally semantically inaccurate, I guess?
I also don’t like that new empty blocks don’t have the hover-bar UI thing above them. I think it would feel more natural if the new default block were just a paragraph always. This new rogue block has a “+” next to it, but clicking it doesn’t actually add anything – it reveals a menu to pick the block type from a huge accordion picker.
The more that I move the mouse to pick blocks and click on things, I’m noticing a lot of hidden UI reveal itself and then disappear in ways that don’t feel natural to me. I’m not digging this part of the experience at all. There are grey and blue hover/focus outlines on blocks, toolbars pop-up, the buttons in them have tooltips that pop-up, and there’s a grabber UI for relocating blocks that comes and goes – it’s just… a lot going on.
I’m going to try the drop cap feature on this block. It’s turned on (blue) now, but I don’t actually see a drop cap. If I save and preview the post, it’s there, but it’s not in the editor. Oddly, it’s targeting both the “I” and the apostrophe from “I’m” which doesn’t seem correct. Why wouldn’t it just target the first letter by itself?
Oh. So the drop cap is only visible when I’m not typing in the box. When I hit enter and created a new block, the drop cap became visible in the editor. That feels super weird, but it’s hard to know if that’s a bug or a feature. That’s kinda how I feel with most of this so far – it all feels like everything is very intentional, while also feeling like nothing I want it to do.
This paragraph has a green background with white text. I’m not sure why this is even an option yet. This is the kind of feature I would wait to build after the rest of the editor is working correctly.
A warning appeared that this color combination might be hard to read, but I can’t imagine that white-on-green is actually that horrible.
It’a a running joke amongst some close friends that I’m going color blind, specifically around oranges and reds. Naturally, I don’t see that as a problem. 🙄
It was nice of the editor to add some padding around it automatically, but unfortunately I found another bug with this feature. If you insert a new line without creating a new block, it looks perfect in the editor, but that new line is interpreted as a new paragraph when previewing it theme-side.
These side-by-side images went in pretty normally, but I think the gradient effect is not the greatest.
It’s odd that the “Settings” sidebar thing, under “Block”, doesn’t actually let you change the block type there. It shows what kind of block it is, but clicking it does nothing. Why isn’t that a block-picker? It has the same icon in it as the hover-bar thing, but it’s not interactive.
I also noticed in writing this that I’m not sure what the many, many UI dinguses are actually named. Inspector? Toolbar? Is a meta-box still what we call these inspector sections? Is there a glossary of terms somewhere?
And why is it when I’m focused on a block, I can’t insert a new block because the hover-bar thing is in the way? The “+” is gone, and I need to click out of the block and hover over it to make the “+” come back so I can insert something new.
I just floated that button over there, which worked OK, but now I lost it because I inserted a block ahead of it. No idea how that happened. Let me try that again. OK I think it’s back. Color picker is nice. Why no hover color or effect?
The button block had a button with an “enter” looking arrow in it that, when hovered over, popped up a tooltip that said “Apply.” I clicked it, and it didn’t do anything. I assume it applied, but what did it apply? Why is it an “enter” arrow looking thing? I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with iconography at this point.
Let’s try a list
How’s it work?
What formatting options does it have
In the “Settings” inspector bar thing, it looks like it has no settings
The hover-bar is back. What’s it got there?
Oh, all the typical list settings are there, but they disappear when I type
Hovering over the list icon brings back the double arrows again. No like.
I can indentPressing tab does not indentI can’t get multiple indented list items to work
When I click enter, it doesn’t retain the indentation
Nested lists are totally broken and not working
This is a quote block. This theme of mine supports them. Hopefully it works!
Clicking enter has me locked into the citation block
I can’t get out
Looks like I need to use the arrow-down key to get out.
Phew. That was close.
This is a heading. The “Settings” inspector thing has options here. I can pick H1-6, plus text alignment. I’m gonna center it, because why the heck not.
I'm gonna write some 1337 code in this box.
Hitting enter in here also does not break me out of the block.
No matter what I do.
I guess it's arrow-down time again.
Yep. That did it. But now that I’m in this paragraph block, arrow-down doesn’t do anything. So weird.
Hitting enter got me here.
^— That’s a spacer. Why is that even a block option when basic things like lists don’t work correctly?
Let’s try columns
Hitting enter kept me in this one
Hitting tab kinda focused on this one, but I still couldn’t type in it.
Finding the parent block to adjust the number of columns is really hard.
There’s only a 1px target to click to target the parent block to make this 3rd column
Hitting enter makes a new block in this column
I needed to hit the down arrow to get out of the column block.
Here’s me testing the “Media & Text” block. This one seems to work like I expect it to, except there is no parent-block hover-bar picker thing, and clicking the image doesn’t do anything. I expect that to pull the media library back up. How do I change that image?
Oh. I need to click the parent block for a hover-bar to appear. So, now it’s a click-bar? Huh.
I couldn’t enter out of the above block, so arrow-down again!
Hitting enter brings me to a new line in this same block.
Now, hitting enter a third time brought me here. That felt like a bug, but I’m honestly not sure how I’d duplicate it.
Had to arrow-down out of that one, too. I guess it’s just paragraphs that need entering out of, and maybe other random ones?
At 4:33am this morning, a lady passed our house, slammed on her brakes, threw her car in reverse, threw her hazards on, parked facing oncoming traffic, on a state highway, to steal 2 steel goats we had on our front lawn.
Social networks and social media are weird. I'm deleting my Facebook account, but I'm not just deactivating it – I'm going post by post, comment by comment, through my entire 10 year history and deleting each agonizing thing one at a time.
It's insane. I'm insane. And Facebook knew I was insane way before I did.
Something weird happens on modern day social networking applications and websites that I never experienced on previous generation forum type software. I'm sure this phenomenon has a name; I'm sure folks smarter than me knew about what I'm about to describe years and years ago; now that I've recognized it, I'm going to try to outline it here so that I never repeat myself.
I bet older generations had a version of this, too, but I bet it happened in person instead.
So, because applications like Facebook and Twitter are all about me seeing you, and because we've cemented our friendship with a formal request and acknowledgment, and because I choose to follow you, I think I have a relationship with you that I never really had. I see your posts, photos, and updates, and I think "this person wants me to engage with them" when, frankly, that's unlikely to ever be the case.
The reason I know this, is because I can look through every single comment and post on 10 years worth of Facebook content, see that there are people who I frequently respond to, who do not respond back. Ever.
I'm not mad that you don't like or comment. It doesn't bother me. The problem is that algorithmic platforms like Facebook and Twitter DO, and they use the patterns of our relationships (or the anti-patterns of our non-relationships) against us, without telling us exactly how.
For example: I've basically forgotten about 99% of the things I've ever said online, usually instantly after hitting publish, but Facebook will never forget. And they're able to calculate the intersection of times we've had interactions back and forth, over all of our online years, to identify that I like you more than you like me. I literally like your posts and comments more than you like mine, and Facebook has always known this.
It's fine that they know this, I guess. What's not fine is that they don't say that they know this, and that they use that knowledge to manipulate our entire interaction with their platform, by: weighting posts and comments higher or lower so that we are more or less likely to read or engage with them; by showing us ads that might make us feel better or worse based on things our friends bought or sold; by tricking us into thinking that by me saying "congratulations" to you that you'll remember that I'm still back here working towards accomplishing something that maybe you'll congratulate me back for later too. Jesus.
None of this is about privacy settings, or who stole my information, or who gave my information to what advertisers, because I gave it away for free first. The risk was mine to take, and I took it; I have no one to blame but myself, so just like I'm responsible for whatever the online version is of me that Facebook and Twitter and everyone else think you should see, I need to be responsible for taking that power away from them.
Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are our worst friends. They know us at an intimate level, at our best and at our worst, and they use everything we say and do against us…
I want to see what exactly they're using against me, and what they gain from it. Pennies? Dollars? What does it cost them to host my 600 images, and what do they gain from me allowing their advertisers to scan through those images to identify that I own several LEGO sets, an XBOX, have 2 dogs, and so on.
I want control over their narrative. I want to be able to tell them "I don't actually like my XBOX; I only play 1 game, and it's buggy as shit, so it sucks and all that mining that you did was worthless and you're wrong."
I want to be able to say "I'm only friends with this person here because I think declining their request feels unkind, so even though I'd prefer they not have access to everything, and even though I'd prefer to not have to go through the work of blocking them but still somehow being friends, they aren't actually anyone I am friends with."
Obviously you and I are friends; besties, even. I mean, you've made it this far, right? But a lot of other people read something I post, don't get what they expected from me, think that I'm crazy or whatever, and don't engage. Maybe you unfollowed me. Maybe they mute me. I'll never know.
Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are too much like real life, in all the bad ways that make us insecure, neurotic, and just a bit foolish because it's not even real life or whatever.
Lots of folks online are not my friends, but current generation social platforms are built to show us the best of what we asked to see. I actually do think it feels pretty natural to engage in conversations you find interesting from people you care about, regardless of how much they care about you back.
This is basically how folks like my mother like and repost everything that they see. Yes, it's process addiction. But it's also the best way they have available to them to use the platform everyone they care about is on in a way that enables them to "prove how much they care" a million times a day.
It's super weird, and really unhealthy, but kinda cute, I guess?
So, that shit stops now for me. I'm done commenting on stuff. I'm done liking stuff. I mean… I'll like it, but I'm just going to assume that you know I like it because you know I like you, and support you, and want to see you succeed. And if you need validation from me, or miss hanging out, I expect you'll reach out and say so.
I want to double down on work, on real life stuff, and solving bigger harder problems. No more likes or comments. Just work, results, and healthy positive reciprocating caring relationships. Hopefully, that's with you.
In a way, this all feels wrong, which I think is why it's probably right. If less is more, than nothing is most, and silence is golden. Peace, and humptiness forever.