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Uncategorized

First post with Gutenberg

Welp, let's give this a shot.

JJJ
Here's my bike!

There lots of things I really like about Gutenberg, and some things I really don't like very much yet.

There are quite a few little UI & UX quirks, enough where it's not easy to identify, verbalize, communicate, test, iterate, repeat for each individual one of them. Plus there's the self-doubt that maybe it only affects me, maybe it's that way by design, or only temporary, or whatever. It's like my internal FUD meter is saying "you can't be the first person to notice this and this and that and this and…"


To start, I don't like that control + a doesn't select everything; it only selects text in the current block. There is no way to select-all, and using shift or control alone to try another way actually highlights DOM elements in weird ways, so that's even worse.

I also don't like that it feels like stuff is happening all over the place. The "Save Draft" button keeps changing text to "Saved" and the "Publish" button goes disabled when that happens. There's all this activity in the upper-righthand corner of the screen.

That by itself isn't a problem, but Gutenberg has me typing long-form at the very bottom-left now, so my eyes are naturally in the very lower-left watching stuff animate in the upper-right. It's really distracting.

Here is Paul the Nugget Puppy

My friend Jeff has covered his experience with Gutenberg already, and I share some of his thoughts with images. Placing media isn't easier than it was before, and it's harder to undo because certain blocks can be converted into other types of blocks, but not to media, and there isn't anything in the UI that subtly hints me towards why that is.

It is possible to turn text blocks into other text blocks, but it's also possible to turn media blocks into headings. Doing this removes the image, though. Where did it go?

To better understand what blocks are available (and what makes them different for each use-case) users need to be willing to go looking. That's normal. I'm trying not to be deliberately obtuse, or play dumb, or pretend like I can't learn or adapt or whatever. There's just a lot going on in many places.


I do really like the separation between the "Document" and an individual "Block", and the way that meta-boxes have been reimagined as an inspector of sorts. I think that makes a lot of sense, and translates really well to WordPress and editing content like this.

Weird triangle between two rectangles

I also like that updating posts finally happens without refreshing the page. It's such a small but amazing thing. WordPress plugins have tried to implement this in different ways over the years, but it's always been a problem for other plugins because of how they need to hook into save_post and related actions.

Writing this post has generated 211 revisions so far. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but I suppose it's better to have more than less.

I've spied a few CSS issues here and there, and noticed that the way Gutenberg handles focus is a little bit different in different browsers.

And some things that are good ideas just end up looking off, like the way the current top-level admin menu aligns with the status update bar.


Lastly, I'm afraid of how mucked-up my post_content is now:

You thought "Paste from Word" was bad?

See that weird <!--stuff-->? Gutenberg uses that to understand what blocks are what, and it's before & after every block in your post now. This is not good, but a few folks think I'm a little crazy for saying so.

This is WordPress intercepting our authored content and leaving it's signature hidden around every paragraph.

WordPress is crossing a line that it can't uncross, and folks who care about the longevity and authenticity of their authored & published works will choose the platform that continues to uphold the standards that WordPress has upheld it's entire life so far.

I'm not trying to say that formats can't change, or that anyone will notice, or that they'll even care if they do. Symbolically, this marks the end of the what-you-wrote-is-what-gets-savedWYWIWGS era, and we embark down a new path where what-you-wrote-comes-surrounded-by-hidden-junkWYWCSBHJ. WYSIWYG is way easier to say; let's just stick with that? 😅


Gutenberg isn't about writing, not yet anyways. Today, it's about competing with next-generation publishing platforms, and creating a new economy of pre-programmed block-types to write the HTML that writers didn't want to learn or repeat. It's about a first-class interface for developers to build elaborate experiences around the latest and greatest <p> tags and other stuff too.

In a lot of ways, Gutenberg is not for me, yet built exactly for me. I don't write a lot of short blog posts, but I do enjoy crafting great WordPress experiences and improving WordPress itself whenever the community agrees.

If I had to sum up my very first impression of using the latest version of Gutenberg, there is too much to discover without a high enough reward for discovering it. It's kinda more of the same – instead of toggling between Visual & HTML modes, I'm toggling block-types. Instead of wondering what shortcodes do, I still wonder what most things do because I only ever use a small subset of what's available.

I can't easily undo what I did wrong, because I haven't learned what's right.
I can't easily convert my mistakes into successes.
I can wipe the slateblock clean and try something different.
I can keep trying and learn how it all works.
I canwill continue contributing to it's success however & whenever I'm able. 💙

Categories
Software

Stop indexing your development directory

Are you a software developer?

Do you run macOS?

Do you frequently checkout files from third party code repositories?

Do you use an IDE like PHPStorm, Xcode, Atom, Netbeans, or something else?

Do you frequently run commands like npm install that reach out to the web and pull down a bajillion files you will literally never-ever open even if your life depended on it?

I do… and that’s why I block macOS Spotlight from indexing the parent directory to all of those files. It’s a dead simple and obvious thing to do once you think of it.

Continue reading “Stop indexing your development directory”

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Home

Dog Thinks it’s a Car

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Life WordPress

CaboPress 2017

We’re all pretty brilliant folks (especially you, since you’re reading this) and convincing us we could be more-brilliant about stuff isn’t always easy, especially anything that deals with our businesses, relationships, or visions for either or both.

We need evidence. We need proof that if we’re going to change up our strategies or approaches with our money-makers, they will actually work and not be another experiment or “valuable learning experience.” I mean, I like learning new things probably more than most people, but I am not a fan of re’learning something I already thought I knew.

The world is round – I don’t want to learn that it’s not – and CaboPress will teach you how to navigate the WordPress business world regardless of its shape. Here’s how I navigated CaboPress this year.

Continue reading “CaboPress 2017”

Categories
WordPress

WordPress 1.5 had Markdown Support

No foolin. I bet the story here is a fun one.

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Family Uncategorized

Paul’s 8th Birthday

Paul’s birthday this year wasn’t particularly eventful. Usually we try to do something special for him on his special day, but there’s been so much happening around the house and in the coming weeks that yesterday just ended up being a normal day, with some extra treats and puppies sleeping in the bed to celebrate instead.

He’ll have an eventful weekend in Ann Arbor, though, and he’ll have a week’s vacation with our friend’s dogs all next week, too.

Sorry, buddy. I promise we’ll give you a full day’s puppy-snuggles ASAP. 💜

Categories
Apple iOS

iOS 11 Wallpaper

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Uncategorized

Turbo boost for bbPress 2.6

Last week I literally had a dream about a way to improve performance in bbPress 2.6, and it worked better than I imagined. Here’s what I did, and how you might be able to do something similar.

TL;DR

Prime all the object caches.

Continue reading “Turbo boost for bbPress 2.6”

Categories
Rants

Computers are the worst

Categories
Life Uncategorized

Where’s my sanity?

Yesterday, the wonderful Doc Pop drew up a cartoon for Torque that made the rounds and got some attention from a few pals and ex-colleagues that work on the Jetpack plugin for WordPress.

Torque Toons: Where’s my Jetpack?

For some reason, this comic bothered me. Well, not the actual comic itself, but my reaction to the comic bothered me, which then further bothered me enough to publish this here.

I noticed right away that the man on the right pretty closely resembles Doc Pop himself, and so it’s safe to assume it’s probably literally him having drawn a reasonable facsimile of himself that he titled “Me.”

On the left are two women having a conversation about a lack of Jetpacks in their lives, and Doc has written them to be relatable, and really… normal.

But… I’m actually worried for Doc.

My recent experience with strangers on Twitter is developing into its own type of PTSD where I’m beginning to censor myself and change my behavior to try and continuously re-prove that inclusion and diversity are important values to me, ones I prioritize.

Then someone says “no they’re not because of that we’re true you’d do this” or “you’d do that” or “I’m offended because you used this word this way.”

And so an innocent comic from a creative acquaintance made me worried that his portrayal of two women as being “not as into tech as he is” would turn out poorly for him in a way that I know he doesn’t actually believe.

This is me having been bullied, and trying to protect someone from attackers that might not ever even exist for him, and so it’s completely irrational to intervene.

I’m not offended, and I know Doc didn’t intentionally draw his comic in a way that’s demeaning towards anyone but maybe himself and what he sees as his own quirky passions, but because I could imagine a very real threat, it became really hard to not interrupt other people’s conversations to say “hey look at this potential threat I’ve identified.”

The interesting thing about this realization, is what I just laid out IS the cycle. It’s exactly the way that the abused become abusers, and the bullied becomes bullies. Someone beats me down, and now I want to prevent others from being beaten down, but that’s impossible unless I become the person who mentions something first, making me the bad guy.

It’s a really complex problem that has me seriously considering giving up engaging on social sites like Twitter and Reddit entirely. I feel like I have an intimate understanding of these types of elements of human interaction (more than most?) and am really growing tired of people assuming that “you need to learn a lesson” or “you can’t possibly understand what I’m going through” when I know that I deeply do, more than most, am more willing and able than most to help, but the offer to help actually will make things worse for everyone somehow.

For what it’s worth, I don’t think the comic is offensive because I know Doc didn’t intend for it to be. I don’t think it portrays anyone poorly. I don’t think it’s an issue. But other people might, and other people might be mad at me because I don’t feel how they feel. It’s all behavior that I don’t subscribe to, think is unhealthy, and try to avoid.

But, I wanted to write this out, and didn’t feel comfortable shouting it all over social media.